I knew before leaving that India would be one of the cheaper destinations on my trip. But still I was surprised just how cheap. Over the 102 days I spent in India the costs only amounted to 113,757 rupees (£1,126) total. And averaged out at 1,115 rupees (£11.04) per day.
In addition to be an incredibly affordable destination to travel around, the daily expenses generally become cheaper the longer you spend in the county. It takes a little while to work out what is a good price for rooms, tuktuks, bananas etc. A good way to find out is to befriend a impartial local and ask how much things should cost.
The following is the breakdown of my spending while in India:
28,884 rupees (£286) total
283 rupees (£2.80) per day
Double rooms in budget guesthouses cost around 400-600 rupees. From experience there is a big difference in quality between 400 and 600 rupees rooms. Solo travellers can stay in dorms, if they wish to meet other travellers, but it won’t be much cheaper – around 400 rupees per dorm bed. If you’re a couple travelling together, skip hostels and go for the guesthouses, as a double room will be cheaper than two dorm beds. Accommodation costs vary throughout India, for example Mumbai is very expensive, and Delhi is dirt cheap.
36,586 rupees (£362.32) total
359 rupees (£3.56) per day
If you stick to local food, it is incredibly cheap to eat in India. There’s also a great selection of local foods, so you won’t get bored, and tempted to pay for expensive western food. Some example of price include: 50-100 rupees for a thali, paneer butter masala 120-200 rupees, chapatti 10 rupees, rice for two 60 rupees, and a dosa 40-80 rupees. Western fast food will cost around 500 rupees per meal. And upmarket western restaurants much more.
24,003 rupees (£237.71) total
235 rupees (£2.33) per day
Your transport costs will depend on your travelling style. Flights are expensive, where as bus and train travel is affordable. These are few examples of transport costs: 24hr journey on 2AC train (2,019 rupees), overnight sleeper class train (236 rupees), local 7hr day time bus (171 rupees), Volvo sleeper bus (1,110 rupees). Autorickshaws (tuktuks) around towns/cities will usually set you back between 30-100 rupees, and the price generally depends on how good your bartering skills are.
20,987 rupees (£207.84) total
206 rupees (£2.04) per day
There are a lot of free sights in India, plus a few pricer ones. The cost tends to balance itself out over the time you’ll spend there. Some examples of costs are: Taj Mahal entry (750 rupees), Afternoon tea at the Imperial Hotel Delhi (1,875 rupees), Gir Lion safari (2,725 rupees), overnight camel safari (1,350 rupees), overnight trip on Allepey backwaters (4,250 rupees) and Dharavi slum tour (800 rupees).
3,297 rupees (£32.67) total
32 rupees (£0.32) per day
These are the extra bits and bobs you might need during you time in India. For example, toilet roll (300 rupees), Odomos inspect repellent (84 rupees), postcard (10 rupees) and public toilet (5 rupees).
In total I spent 113,757 rupees (£1,126) during my 102 day stay in India. This equated to 1,115 rupees (£11.04) per day.
I tried to be fairly strict with day to day spending, as this meant I had the budget to splash out on safaris and houseboats. However, if you prefer more day to day comforts and less big activities this budget could also work for you.