"We are meant to travel the world, if not, we'd have roots instead of feet.”
I couldn't agree more with this quote. Traveling helps us explore the true meaning of life and become one with our inner being. However, as they say, traveling can be a very expensive hobby. It is normal to keep shelving travel plans, estimating high travel expenses that go along with our international fantasies. Most of us postpone our plans until we earn enough to afford to take-off on travel rendezvous, but sometimes this kills the whole charm of it.
However, there are some of the best places for adventure travel in India that won’t eat into your bank balances, while also offering the complete ease of packing and landing without much prior planning. And as you might suspect by now, the Indian peninsula is full of these kinds of places, so I’m here to tell you all about them.
India adventures for any budget
India has a number of places that can be traveled on a shoestring budget, and the good thing is, they are all breathtakingly beautiful. Yes, you don't need to plan in advance for your travel expenditure when you have such mesmerizing locations that can be traveled anytime without months of savings and prior planning. Here are the five best places for adventure travel in India that you can explore anytime you need to satiate your wanderlust without breaking the bank:
There are a number of places in “God’s own country,” Kerala, that can be meaningfully explored on a shoestring budget. From the scintillating backwaters of Alleppey to the lush greenery in Munnar, Kerala is here to spoil you with choices for budget travel. A houseboat in the Amazonian wilderness of Alleppey can be rented for as cheap as INR 5,500 for two with all the four meals included. A trip to the picturesque Munnar would also be under your budget as stay in Munnar cottages would just cost you around INR 600 per night with food costing around 100 bucks a meal. Varkala, a coastal town in Kerala can also be explored anytime owing to its budget stays and accommodations. You can explore many tourist places in Kerala to enjoy this natural beauty without shelling out big bucks.
Spending a bit of your time to volunteer in meaningful activities is utterly satisfying in the bounteous Kerala. Make a positive change in Kerala from your budget stay by getting involved in volunteering opportunities. Helping people out in nature’s paradise will not cost you any bucks and you’ll come back an enriched traveler.
When in Goa, live like the Goans. Get your accommodations in one of the cheap homestays that Goa offers, rent a bike at dirt price between INR 250 and INR 500, and go around the state exploring the pristine beaches and cafes that line the roads of this much-hyped state. From the booze-soaked North to the serene South, Goa is a sandy sunny playground that would make an ideal holiday destination for all those seeking an inexpensive yet enjoyable place to explore in India. It is a backpacker’s delight and a party animal’s favorite, a beach lover’s paradise, and a peace lover’s haven. From the scenic beaches and Portugal architecture to the churches, forts, and local markets, Goa has many of the best places in India that can be visited on a budget.
To make your budget stay in Goa more meaningful, enroll in volunteering programs in Goa. Dedicate a day or two at any of the education, healthcare, or childcare organizations to make your trip to Goa even more uplifting and inexpensive.
What better place to spend your time than in the lap of green, snow-capped mountains and beside the perennially flowing rivers? Himachal Pradesh is festooned with many scenic locations like Shoja, Kullu, Kasol, Lahaul and Spiti Valley, and Khajjiar that can be explored anytime without fretting about the money you’ll be spending. Shoja and Lahaul and Spiti are best visited by those in search of an isolated place away from the maddening crowd. They are untouched by commercialization, which makes the stay, food, and even traveling budget-friendly. Kullu, Khajjiar, Kasol, and Dharamshala are some of the nature’s gems that will add charm to your travel diary. The traveling might cost you a bit with private transport providers’ fares but otherwise, the food, stay, and visiting places in these popular holiday destinations is quite affordable in Himachal.
You can even get into some volunteering work in the lap of nature to enlighten your social conscience, and possibly get your stay and food free of cost. From volunteering to conserve the environment to spending a day or two working with other volunteer organizations, any time spent volunteering will help you gain even more from your budget travel. The monasteries, temples, and other religious places in Himachal can even be visited through volunteering amidst the peaceful nature.
From the famous camel rides in Pushkar and the fort walks in Jaipur to the lake boating in Udaipur and cultural experience in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan is home to a number of the most budget-friendly places in India. Staying, eating, and traveling within the cities of Rajasthan is dirt cheap, with a three to four day trip costing between INR 5,500 – INR 6,500 only. You can explore many tourist places in Rajasthan, like the splendid forts, royal forts, historical museums, colorful fairs, sandy deserts, pristine lakes, serene temples, and other architectural marvels without shelling out a fortune. And Rajasthan boasts a colorful culture you won’t want to miss too.
To enhance your India adventures' experiences in this culturally rich state, you can also consider taking up some volunteer work to give back to the communities you decide to visit. Devote a day from your itinerary to some type of social welfare program, like teaching or public health, to make your trip to India even more worthwhile. Moreover, you’ll get to know so much about the culture by working side by side with the local people through your volunteer work.
5. Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is one of the many gems that festoon the face of India’s tourist attractions. A nature lover’s paradise, exploring this state still doesn’t require too big of a budget. Ooty and Kodaikanal always top budget travelers’ lists of best places to go in India, with Kodaikanal offering fried chicken and stays for as low as INR 20 to INR 200 and Ooty offering scrumptious meals starting from just INR 50 and amazing stays from INR 300. Exploring the gardens, lush greenery, lakes, waterfalls, beaches, granite cliffs, tea plantations, and of course tasting the chocolates in this state can be done at rock bottom prices.
It never hurts to spend some of your time volunteering for social causes in Tamil Nadu too, even if only to feed your social conscience. The serenity, tranquility, and greenery of Tamil Nadu offer the perfect setting for undertaking volunteer work in India.
Next steps to adventure travel in India
Now that you have the inside scoop and know where to have the most epic adventures in South Africa, it's time to choose who you want to travel with! Choosing an adventure tour program isn't as hard as it sounds, especially if you follow these steps:
- Decide where to go. Figuring out where YOU want to adventure in India is paramount. Have a short list of locations that sound ideal for your goals—mountains? Safari? The jungle? Don't let your adrenaline hold you back—choose a place that's right for you.
- Pick your adventure. Do some reflection on just how much adrenaline you want to get pumpin', and which type of company or organization would best satiate your adventurous appetite.
- Choose from the best adventure travel abroad programs in the world. Pay attention to past participants’ reviews, program reputation, and how the adventure at stake matches your preferences. Some programs may even share contact info for ambassadors or past participants if you want the REAL dirt. Here are more considerations to make as you figure out how to choose the right adventure tour for you. Pro tip: You can use MyGoAbroad to compare programs side-by-side.
- Plan your finances. Sort out funding before you go to afford daily essentials and splurge on unplanned travel (in addition to tour costs and airfare). Be sure to raise a little extra money to donate to the organization that you'll be working with. Learning how to raise money for a trip fast will serve you (and your wallet) well!
- Get prepared! Preparing for backpacking and adventure travel abroad is as fun as it sounds (eight essential to do's here!). With the days til departure number dwindling and your excitement boiling, it can be easy to overlook the details. Lean on us to help guide you through your pre-departure process—that's what we're here for.
You're ready for India tours and travels!
There are many more hidden places that await you in the different corners of India, all of which can be traveled to at anytime on a shoestring budget. So, stop worrying about your budget and just pack your bags and get going to the best places in India for budget travelers!