Travelling on a shoestring budget
Recently, I told you that I was going to open the blog out for a guest post. Almost immediately, I got a mail for Ajay Reddy, who runs the website www.tripnaksha.com.In May, Ajay Reddy and a friend went on a budget trip to the North East of India. The plan was to visit the seven sisters, record local, folk music there, run a 10k in each capital and do all this within a budget of just Rs 150 a day.
What they actually managed was slightly different, but equally budget. They visit five of the seven states, coming in at a final expense of Rs 221 a day.
The duo wrote a blog at www.hitchhikingindia.com during the month they spent exploring explored some of the most beautiful and least touristy destinations in India.
I asked Ajay to write a guest post for you on how to go on a budget trip. After all, he ought to know! Read ahead to learn his tips.
By Ajay Reddy
Travelling on a budget, just like normal travel, requires preparation, a lot of patience and some luck too. But there are a few basic tenets which can help you plan your own budget trip -
Make local friends
Locals know best! They can guide you to the best things to do in town and also in finding the cheapest way to do them. Use websites like www.couchsurfing.org to get accommodation or a friend to show you around. However, even local shopkeepers will usually be glad to give information. Don’t be shy, talk to people!
Be ready to skip some tourist attractions
You cannot travel on a budget and be able to do all the touristy things possible at a location. The important thing is to choose wisely and do only those that matter to you most.
Think out of the box – transport is not by buses, trains alone – it can be done in trucks too. Hotels are not the only places where you can stay –churches, homes and temples are options too. In some places, you can volunteer at local organizations and get food and lodging at very low prices or for free.
When on an adventure trip, you can safely assume that things will not go according to your plan. An 18hr bus journey might turn into a 40hr endurance test; how you deal with a surprise and turn it into your favour is what counts.
Carry enough equipment (tent, sleeping bag, etc) and food so that you can manage if you are left in a hard situation. Even if you do not get to use your tent on your entire trip, it gives confidence to the other person that you are prepared for any eventuality, which may even get them to help you out.
Budget travel or not, remember to have fun on your trip!
Hope you enjoyed the piece. Follow me on Twitter (@nehadara) for travel updates through the week and to know when I next open Footloose for a guest post.