Visa fees can be quite unforgiving and the worst thing that could hinder your travel is being unable to pay these fees. An Indian passport may not be the most powerful passport in the world but there are many countries that offer Visa on arrival to Indian tourists for no fee, or a manageable fee. If you pick the countries with the right exchange rate, you'll find that you can combine work and travel at quite an affordable expense. Here are a few countries where you can get visa on arrival and hire local services too, for quite an affordable rate.
Sri Lanka (1 Indian Rupee = 2.18 Sri Lankan Rupee)
Sri Lanka is one of our closest neighbours and as a country, is a beautiful place to travel.In addition to a beautiful coastline, Sri Lanka has an active surfing scene and many national parks. Visitors need to fill an ETA form prior to entering the country and getting their visa. Visas are valid for 30 days but can be extended. The exchange rate is great, at 1 Indian Rupee coming to around 2.18 Sri Lankan Rupee, making your travel and expenses quite cheap. It also means hiring human resources here for short periods is a viable option.
Indonesia (1 Indian Rupee = 196.33 Indonesian Rupiah)
Another popular destination in south east Asia, Indonesia too, has an extremely attractive rate of exchange. India falls in the category of visa exempt countries, which means you can stay in the country for a period of 30 days without a visa. The exchange rate stands at 196 Indonesian Rupiah for 1 Indian Rupee, which means getting services, whether it be domestic, or pertaining to your work, is quite handy here.
Madagascar (1 Indian Rupee = 44.79 Malagasy Ariary)
Baobab trees, cheeky lemurs and beaches that are brimming with tropical beauty, Madagascar can be a wonderful nomadic pitstop. You can get a visa on arrival free of charge if you are going to remain for a period of 30 days. There is a fee for a maximum stay of 90 days. The exchange rate is 0.022 Indian Rupee for 1 Malagasy Ariary, so hiring services there is far from costly.
Tanzania (1 Indian Rupee = 32.77 Tanzanian Shilling)
If visiting national parks is your thing, visiting Tanzania has to be high on your list of travel destinations. You can observe a lot of Africa's flora and fauna in these parks, not to mention the gorgeous coastline and beaches, as well as Mt Killimanjaro, one of Tanzania's chief attractions. Lucky for us, Indian passport holders can obtain a visa on arrival for $50 US. The exchange rate is 32.77 Tanzanian Shillings for 1 Indian Rupee. The cost of living is higher, but again, with some budget traveling, you can live quite comfortably.
Thailand (1 Indian Rupee = 0.52 That Baht)
Thailand is one of the most popular destinations for any kind of traveller. Many kinds of nomads flock here for the beaches, the nightlife and the many buddhist temples. Travellers have to get their visa on arrival at the first point of entry into the country for a fee of 1000 Thai baht. 1 Thai baht equals 1.91 Indian Rupee, which is not ideal but if you're earning in US Dollars, comes to 35 baht per Dollar, which is quite comfortable.
Mauritius (1 Indian Rupee = 5.34 Mauritian Ouguiya)
Another country that allows Indian citizens to stay without a visa for 90 days, the volcanic island nation of Mauritius is a must visit for anyone who wants to see the wonders of nature. In addition to pristine beaches, the country has an abundance of hiking trails amid rainforests and rocky mountains. The exchange rate is 5 Mauritian Ouguiya for 1 Indian Rupee but similar to Thailand, if even part of your income is in US Dollars, makes life here quite manageable.
Cambodia (1 Indian Rupee = 61.36 Cambodian Riel)
Home to the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat, Cambodia is a great destination for slow travel.It would be an absolute shame if you didn't take your time to explore the Cardamom mountains or visit south east Asia's largest mangrove forest. Fortunately, Indian nationals can obtain visa on arrival or even apply for an e-visa for a period of 30 days. With 1 Indian Rupee coming up to 61.36 Cambodian Riel, you can comfortably spend a month here, and with some budget travel, can cut down on some more costs.
Vanuatu (1 Indian Rupee = 1.64 Vanuatu Vatu)
The archipelago of Vanuatu is rich in history and prehistory. The country is made up of 83 islands, and with its azure coastlines, is a great destination for photographers. Vanuatu has a visa exempt policy for many countries around the world, including India. You can stay in the country for a maximum amount of 30 days without a visa. 1 Indian Rupee is equal to 1.64 Vanuatu Vatus, which is quite an affordable exchange rate.
Kenya (1 Indian Rupee = 1.52 Kenyan Shilling)
Kenya is the most rapidly developing country in East Africa and another African nation that you can visit for its national parks. The annual wildebeest migration is one of the most popular natural wonders that occurs here. Areas bordering South Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia are considered dangerous due to the risk of terrorism and banditry, but travelling through safe channels with ensure your safety. Indian nationals can obtain a visa on arrival and the exchange rate is 1.52 Kenyan Shilling for 1 Indian Rupee, with the cost of living being slightly higher.
The cost of living in countries with good exchange rates varies but with a little financial planning you can easily spend at least a month in any of these places and find human resources for quite an affordable rate too. As nomads, we have learnt the importance of spending money carefully. But of course, money spent on travel is the best expense, so we might as well make the most of visa on arrival facilities around the world.
PS - To read about Visa Extension Procedure In India. Click Here.
This blog was originally published on 'Digital Nomads India'