One month backpacking in India – Part 2

May 24

Rupees Rupees Rupees!

If you think you cannot afford to backpack for one whole month in India, then I have good news for you; backpacking in India is damn cheap. Guess how much I spent in whole India for 33 days? No prize for guessing though. Come on… you can guess it. How much? Around RM5,000? Not even half of that. The grand total is merely INR 32,946 or around RM2,400 or less than RM73 per day! Not expensive at all considering I have covered 7,500 km on the ground, visited 16 places, 6 World heritage sites and 1 of the 7 wonders of the World in 2 countries! For comparison, my Indochina trip early this year cost around RM2,000. It was only for 2 weeks at 7 places.

If I analyze further, I actually don’t spend much considering my monthly expenses at home cost almost the same. When I was in India, I saved on petrol, tolls, car maintenance, phone bills, utility bills, movies, fancy food in fancy restaurants and other entertainment expenses. That means, if you save a little bit more, you can travel to most parts of India for one whole month. A small price to pay for a big adventure with amazing bedtime stories to tell your children or grandchildren when you are old.

Now, you must be wondering how do I managed to survive with RM2,400. Well, this is how I spent it…

india-expenses-chart

30% on transportation, 24% on food, 13% on accommodation, 11% on sightseeing, 8% on souvenirs, another 8% on work, 6% on buying essential stuffs and the rest on miscellaneous expenses.

More good news is you still have room to squeeze the budget. The expenses is a little bit more for me because I work and travel at the same time and I traveled mostly by myself. So if you have few friends to travel with and you are one of the lucky person who doesn’t have to work when traveling, then you can cut down your budget on work, accommodation and transportation.

For work, I spent mostly on Internet connections and phone calls. None of the guesthouses I stayed offered free WiFi connection, so the only place I can get Internet connection is at cybercafe. For phone calls, I used Sim pack from Airtel. It costs me INR 1,000 and it is all used for airtime. I have to pay to receive phone calls when I travel. Receiving phone calls is only free when you are in the same area where your Sim card is registered.

If you are not picky, you can sleep very cheaply in India. The cheapest I paid was INR100 (less than RM8!) a night. It was a dormitory of 10 people. Even though I shared room with other travelers at some places, in other places I don’t. So if you have a companion, you can save some money by sharing the cost even though it is not much.

The best way to discover a place is at ground level and luckily traveling on the ground in India can be very cheap and convenient. The whole country is connected by a vast network of railways. More isolated places are reachable by vans or buses. I traveled mostly by train and I always choose overnight train so that I can save on accommodation. That is why comfort is my top priority so that I can have better sleep. The couch class I bought is mostly 2A (2-tier with A/C) or 3A (3-tier with A/C). Air-conditioned couch is less noisy and of course more expensive. So if you are on really tight budget, then forget about comfort and travel in cheaper couch such as Sleeper Class. That could save you around 60% of your transportation budget. But be warned, it is not for the faint hearted and it could be the ride of your life. I will write more on train traveling in India in my other post.

If you still think it is too much for you, then don’t buy any souvenirs. Take photo. It is the cheapest souvenir you can ever get. By now, you should be able to squeeze your budget to not more than RM1,600. That is right. It is possible but not recommended unless you are a seasoned traveler. If you still cannot afford to fork out RM1,600 for an adventure that you may remembered for the rest of your life, then I suggest change your job immediately. Anyone deserve better.

So? What are you waiting for? Pack your stuffs and get out there. There are so many places to explore and so many things to discover. This may sound a little bit cliche, but I always remind myself; Life is short.

To be continue…

8 comments

  1. “A small price to pay for a big adventure with amazing bedtime stories to tell your children or grandchildren when you are old.”
    go find urself a gf first. :p

  2. lee peng /

    wei! u spent 8% to buy souvenirs, is that included for mine one!

    • Hahaha… sorry. You are too late. It all went into me and my parents’ tummy already 😛

  3. lee peng /

    is doesn’t matter,just kidding with u lah! anyway thanks to you & appreciated for your precious travelling experience!you are kindness enough!

  4. Could you break down your travel expenses a little bit more for me please… Do these figure account for your travel costs to get to and from India. Looking at the numbers, I am assuming not, but your clarification would be helpful.

    Thanks, happy travels!

    Best,
    cpr.

    • Yes. You are right. It does not include flight tickets. The budget is only for ground travel.

  5. Scott /

    Hi There, Is there such a thing as a monthly ticket to allow you travel throughout India, or did you have to pay individual trips all the time? Certainly I have travelled (as a student) on a monthly ticket in Europe previously. It worked out very cheap.

    Can you give an insight as to what route you took and whether you what parts of it you would recommend.

    Thanks in advance

    Scott

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