The Broke Traveler's Guide: Tips and Tricks for Budget Travel in INDIA

Photo of The Broke Traveler's Guide: Tips and Tricks for Budget Travel in INDIA by Vritiz Travelogue

Listen up, fellow wanderlusters and penny pinchers! Are you itching to explore the vibrant colors, flavors, and chaos of India, but worried that your wallet won't stretch far enough? Fear not, for we have cracked the code on how to travel India on a budget. Yes, you read that right. We're talking about the land of spices, saris, and spirituality, where every street corner is a feast for your senses. But let's face it, traveling can be expensive, and not all of us have the luxury of a trust fund or a money tree (if you do, please DM me).

From bargaining like a pro in the bustling bazaars to feasting on mouth-watering street food, and some good ol' Indian jugaad we've got all the insider tips and tricks to make your broke traveler dreams come true without breaking the bank. So, put on your traveling pants (or saree, we don't judge), and get ready to experience the enchanting land of Maharajas and masala magic, all while keeping your bank account happy.

Budget Travel

Photo of The Broke Traveler's Guide: Tips and Tricks for Budget Travel in INDIA by Vritiz Travelogue

i.Bargain Like a Pro in Bazaars

One of the most overwhelming experiences of traveling in India is exploring the bustling bazaars and markets. From textiles to spices, jewelry to handicrafts, there's no shortage of treasures to discover. However, the prices can be steep, especially for tourists. The key to getting a good deal is to bargain like a pro. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

- Start by asking for the price and then offer a lower price. - Don't be afraid to walk away if the price isn't right. Often, the vendor will call you back with a better offer. - Keep a poker face & don't show much enthusiasm for the item you want to buy. - Be respectful and courteous throughout the negotiation process.

Photo of The Broke Traveler's Guide: Tips and Tricks for Budget Travel in INDIA by Vritiz Travelogue

With a bit of practice, you'll be able to score great deals in the bazaars and bring home some amazing souvenirs without breaking the bank. And if you can't bargain like a pro, at least pretend to be offended by the price and walk away dramatically. It's all part of the game."

ii. Finding Affordable Accommodations

Accommodations can quickly eat up your travel budget in India, especially if you're staying in high-end hotels. However, there are plenty of affordable options available, including hostels, guesthouses, and homestays. Here are a few tips for finding affordable accommodations in India:

- Use booking websites like Hostelworld,, and Airbnb to search for budget-friendly options. - Consider staying in a hostel or dormitory-style accommodation, which can be significantly cheaper than a private room. (Sign up at vritiz travelogue to get a list of cheapest accomodation options state-wise) - Look for homestays, which offer a more authentic and immersive experience of Indian culture while being cheaper than hotels. - Check out websites like Couchsurfing, where travelers can stay with locals for free.

Photo of The Broke Traveler's Guide: Tips and Tricks for Budget Travel in INDIA by Vritiz Travelogue

iii. Eating Street Food Safely and Inexpensively

Street food is a staple of Indian cuisine and can be found in every corner of the country. However, many travelers are wary of eating street food due to concerns about hygiene and safety. The truth is, street food can be both safe and delicious if you follow a few simple rules:

- Look for stalls with a high turnover of customers. This indicates that the food is fresh and in demand. - Avoid street food that has been sitting out for a long time or looks stale. - Check the cleanliness of the stall and the utensils being used to cook and serve the food. - Choose dishes that are cooked thoroughly and served hot. - And if you're feeling brave, try the infamous "spicy" street food challenge - just be sure to have a glass of lassi nearby!

iv. Use Public Transportation Getting around India can be expensive, especially if you rely on taxis and private cars. Instead, opt for public transportation, such as buses and trains, which are much cheaper and often offer a more authentic experience of Indian life. Remember that the journey can be just as rewarding as the destination. Here are some transport options to consider:

Buses: Be prepared for crowded conditions and long journeys. But don't worry, you'll have plenty of time to chat with your fellow passengers and practice your Hindi skills. And if you're a woman in Delhi, you'll be happy to know that buses are now free for you.

Trains: Snoring men and snacking aunties are a common sight on Indian trains. But if you can't beat them, join them! Strike up a conversation with your fellow passengers and share some snacks. Who knows, you might even make a new friend. Book tickets here!

Pro tip: bring earplugs to avoid snoring men & loud groups.

Tuk-tuk/E-rickshaw/Auto: These little three-wheeled vehicles are a fun and efficient way to get around cities. Just be sure to negotiate the fare before you hop in, and hold on tight as you weave through traffic. And if you're feeling adventurous, ask the driver to take you to a hidden gem that only locals know about. (Don't forget to bargain)

Metros: If you're in a big city like Delhi, Bangalore, or Mumbai, the metro can be a convenient and inexpensive way to get around. But be prepared for rush hour crowds and long queues at the ticket counter. Pro tip: use the women-only compartments in Delhi's metro during peak hours for a more comfortable ride.

v. Embrace Jugaad

- Use a polythene bag as a makeshift raincoat - If you've forgotten your phone charger, don't panic. Simply head to a local shop and ask if they can charge your phone/ ask travelers/ get it charged in a cafe.

Jugaad - the Indian style

Photo of The Broke Traveler's Guide: Tips and Tricks for Budget Travel in INDIA by Vritiz Travelogue

- Get a glass of lassi/ nimbu pani to beat the Indian heat! - Grab a free meal at gurudwaras/temples (Langar) / Community Kitchens (Bhandara) when hungry

vi. Ask the locals

- Locals have an intimate knowledge of the area and can often offer creative solutions to your problems. Plus, striking up a conversation with locals can lead to unforgettable experiences and new friendships. - Befriend a local aunty or uncle who can give you insider tips and free chai. They might even invite you over for a home-cooked meal! (Facebook Group to Connect with locals) - Get a free guided tour by following a group of locals pretending you're a part of their family. Bonus points if you can master the local dialect and blend in seamlessly. (Disclaimer: We're not responsible for any awkward family photos or overbearing aunties that may come your way.) - Take advantage of the Indian hospitality and stay with a local family for free. Just make sure you're ready for dadi's endless supply of food and unsolicited advice. - Find a group of people heading in the same direction as your destination and hitch a ride! Sure, you may have to sit on someone's lap or share your space with a few chickens / cows but it's all part of the adventure, right?

So, my broke travel comrades, let me leave you with this: the world is your playground, and India is the ultimate playpen. With a little creativity and a lot of jugaad, you can have the adventure of a lifetime without breaking the bank.

To READ MORE TIPS AND TRICKS BOLE TOH DESI JUGAAD READ THE FULL BLOG HERE - The Broke Traveler's Guide: Tips and Tricks for Budget Travel in INDIA

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