The cost of travel in India depends on the type of trip you wish to have here. India is a great value destination and offers varied experiences that suit the needs of all types of travelers. Some consider INR 1500 per day to be a reasonable amount while others (mostly solo backpackers) will shell out less than INR 600 every day toward cheap travel. Then, there are those who wish to experience the luxurious side of India and consider even INR 10,000 per day to be less.
An important thing to remember is that the cost of travel in India is different in big cities when compared to small towns and rural areas. While it may be difficult to give you an exact trip to India cost, we can certainly discuss the estimates and reach a ballpark figure.
The overall cost of traveling in India:
Roughly putting up a number, we’ve estimated the cost of travel in India for four different types of travelers. The estimate includes basics such as accommodation, entry fee to famous monuments, transport, and food. Keep in mind that this estimated cost excludes your personal expenses such as shopping, partying, and other things. So decide how much money to take to India depending on what type of a traveler you are based on the estimates below.
- Budget Backpacker: INR 600-1000 per day (USD 9-15)
This includes staying in incredibly cheap backpacker hostels or in semi-private/private rooms in super cheap lodges. You can eat street food and dine at restaurants as well since the cost of food in India per day is quite cheap. Book a flight only for a very long journey within the country. Otherwise, use public transport as and when possible. Within this budget, you can comfortably visit popular sights as well.
- Spendthrift Backpacker: INR 1000-2000 per day (USD 15-30)
The spendthrift backpacker will travel a bit more comfortably than the budget backpacker. He or she will enjoy better accommodation, explore places a bit more lavishly, and will be willing to spend a lot more on food and other expenses.
- Mid-range Traveler: INR 2000-6000 (USD 30-85)
With a couple of more dollars adding significant value to a backpacker budget, the mid-range traveler will enjoy stays at charming hotels, book internal last minute flights easily, and dine without worrying about the restaurant prices in India.
- High-end Luxury Enthusiast: INR 6000-10000+ (USD 85-145+)
Unaffected by the cost of living in India per day, luxury travel enthusiasts enjoy limitless travel options in the country. They stay in 5-star hotels and topnotch luxury resorts, dine in the fanciest of restaurants, and enjoying chauffeur-driven rides. Booking business class flights for travel within the country will also be a non-issue for such travelers.
Cost of travel in India differs from cosmopolitan cities to small towns:
If you’re wondering how much money to take to India for a month, that will depend on your destination here. Visiting big cities such as New Delhi or Mumbai will cost you anywhere from INR 700 and above per day. This cost will cover you three to four days in smaller towns such as Darjeeling, Kasauli, Kochi, or Jaisalmer. If you head toward offbeat destinations in India, the cost of travel in India per day will decrease even further. So decide likewise.
[Note: There are plenty of ATMs in big cities and you can easily withdraw cash whenever you need to. However, when traveling in small towns or rural areas, make sure to have enough cash in hand as there won’t be many ATMs or banks around.]
Traveling in a group or with a partner will be cheaper than doing it solo:
Most hotels and guest houses in India will offer rooms for more than one person. So accommodation charges for one person will be almost the same as for two or more people. It’ll be cheaper to stay in a backpacker hostel. However, if you need a single room here, that’ll cost you extra than staying in a dorm. When you travel in a group, it becomes easier to share costs. You will also find that it’s easier to bargain rates (food, travel, shopping, etc.) for more people than just for one.
Your cost of travel in India will also be high if you travel as a family. You will pick better accommodation, hire a car rather than take public transport, and you will eat at fancier places. You will also look for places a outside of the box to avoid crowds. All of this will add up and make your travel charges that much higher.
If you’re a solo female traveler visiting the country for the first time, you can join some of the many women’s travel groups in India. With others around to guide and help you out on the trip, it’ll be easier to manage the cost of travel in India as well.
Budget food in India:
Avoid high-end restaurants for most of the trip. You can permit yourself this luxury one or two times during the entire trip. For the rest of the trip, you can dine at local places which are great budget options. Typically, your daily costs will range this way: breakfast – INR 30 to 70; lunch – INR 100 to 150; dinner – INR 100 to 150.
The cost of travel in India when it comes to food can be tricky as well. You will find that the cost varies for the same item depending on the place it is sold at. For instance, a plate of dosa (south Indian dish) will cost you around INR 30 at a local hotel. The same thing will cost you just about INR 10 if you buy it at a street-side food stall. The food stall is a cheaper option if you are fine with eating there.
Budget sightseeing and transport in India:
If you belong to one of the SAARC nations, the cost of travel in India and sightseeing will not be a burden to you. However, for foreigners (US and other nationals), most heritage sites will use the ‘double-price’ policy. This means that a ticket to a famous monument will cost around INR 500 per person. This is a huge sum for backpackers on a budget who may want to avoid most of the incredibly famous places.
Transport is a whole other thing. Budget travelers can walk to nearby attractions, take a bus or rickshaw to the ones that are further away, and book an overnight train journey to ones that are very far off. The transport cost of travel in India is a lot more flexible for travelers unrestrained by budget. You can book cabs anytime you wish to in big cities, hire cars and visit far off attractions, and book cheap flights at Indian Eagle for easy travel across states.
So when you plan a trip to this amazing country, check the above parameters once. Decide what your travel style is, the places you’d like to visit, the sites you wish to explore, and draw a rough estimate of what your cost of travel in India will be like.