India is visited by many foreign tourists, as well locals wishing to explore this precious land. Everyone wants to get the best out of a holiday, and make it easy on their pocket, and why not, it is after all a sensible thing to do. Air fares, decent railway tickets can be quite pricey, and so are the hotel reservations. And to add to it all, the food in most places is priced quite heftily, and the taxes make it worse! Nevertheless, there is always a frugal way to travel through which you can save quite a sum of money, if not a fortune. Therefore, do not hesitate to take a budget your next trip to India and the tips bellow will ensure that you spend within it!
1. Scourge for Coupons
A lot of sites offer coupons and promising discounts on air prices, hotel bookings and eateries/restaurants. These coupons are free, but do require a bit of hunting! Most of them are legitimate, and offer tickets at astonishingly slashed prices! Although there are a few terms and conditions, if they can be met, most of the work is done for you, and is oh so light on your wallet!
2. Opt for An Airbnb, Or A Guest House Instead!
If you are travelling with a large group of people, look for a home stay guest house instead! Airbnb is becoming quite popular these days, and are extremely cheap to stay in! You do not have to pay extra for room services and maintenance charges, unlike hotels. You get to stay in a place which feels like home, interact with the locals, live their lives and become a part of it. What better an experience could you get?
3. Decide on A Hotel Based on Its Location
If you do not wish to opt for a guest house, you can still get a hotel, but do make sure that it is well placed and easy for you to reach. Also make sure that it is close to the places you want to visit, thus reducing your travel expenditure and travel time! You could also opt for one which is away from the main roads, where all the traffic is, so that your stay is as peaceful as you want it to be!
4. Travel at Night
Choose to travel at night, and save a whole day’s expense on hotel bookings. Check in times are in the morning, so if you travel during the day and reach the hotel in the evening, you have lost an entire day looking and booking hotels. Also, given that India is a hot country, one would find it more comfortable to travel at night! Kill two birds with one stone, as they say!
5. Prefer Eating at Restaurants Outside the Hotel
Hotels have their own bars and restaurants, but these are heavily taxed and too expensive. Even aerated drinks are priced more than maximum retail price! Do not make such a mistake, do go outside to famous eateries and have a bite of the local lip-smacking foods- these popular places tend to be cheap! Again, the important thing to do is choose a hotel where these eateries are in the vicinity and easily accessible!
6. Carry You Own Food for The Journey
One must always make it a point to carry eatables while on the journey. Food served on air is extremely expensive, and although railways isn’t so, one may be paranoid of how hygienic the food offered may be- you certainly do not want to be sick at the entirety of the trip! Also make sure to carry as many bottles of water that you can, not only for the journey, but to every place you visit! You will certainly need it in this tropical country! Also carry hats and caps, while you’re at it!
7. Shop at The Street Markets
Instead of opting for boring malls where all the clothes are pricey and the same as at the malls back home, visit the roadside markets for exciting trinkets and local material, fashion, shoes and souvenirs! It is one experience you must not miss out on!
A travel guru and wanderlust, Himanshu has a knack for finding beauty in every little bit of nature, travelling to make memories, and leaving footprints. Tales of his travel adventures are available at pearlsindiatour.com where he shares about his passion to all!
Traveling by train in Europe is an experience itself. It’s relaxing, you can see beautiful parts of the countries you travel through and it can also be a great way to meet people.
While it’s mostly an ideal way to get from place to place, there can be some minor hiccups with the system. Below is a basic guide to train travel in Europe and tips for avoiding pricey mistakes or confusion.
For those who are new to my blog you can easily find everything I’ve written about cities in Europe by using the search tag in sidebar. I hope everything that I’ve posted can inspire you to travel and help you plan your next big trip! Feel free to ask any questions as well.
Throughout Europe, domestic trains (traveling entirely within a single country) don’t require a reservation, so it can be easy to wake up and decide you want to hit a new city. Just arrive at the station before the train leaves, purchase a ticket and climb aboard!
Having said that, especially during tourist season, trains can fill-up and last minute tickets can be expensive.
Depending on the country you are departing in, make sure you check for availability online. One of the best resources for checking train schedules is Rail Europe.
Check train times online and book international train travel in advance if possible.
While flying is almost always faster, there are pains that come with it. Long security lines, cramped seating, baggage fees and an inability to socialise are all annoyances that are avoided with train travel.
European trains are known for their punctuality – on time over 90% of the time. You can bring what you can carry (and more if you really want to), there are no pesky liquids restrictions, you have room to move around, there are sleeper carriages for long journeys and you can be social with your neighbours and you can travel with your pet – always on leash and muzzled only when hop on/off to the train-.
Airports are pretty easy to navigate. Upon check-in, you know exactly what gate to go to and there are numerous signs to guide you there. Trains, however, can be a little more confusing. There are so many trains going through Europe with multiple trains passing on the same track minutes apart.
Make sure you know exactly what track your train is arriving on and the train number as a train to Madrid may arrive 10 minutes before your train to Paris and, before you know it, you’re in Spain. If you’re ever unsure, there is typically always someone at an information desk around that can help.
And don’t be shy! Locals are often very friendly and willing to help out as well.
The weather is often a major contributor to why flights are often delayed or even canceled. This is another very annoying and almost too frequent inconvenience with flying. Trains usually are free of these hassles and get you to your destination on time regardless of the weather.
However, European railways are known for their strikes. Be sure to pay attention to the news and ask around if there is word of a strike on the verge of taking place. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about it if there is. In case it does happen, buses are usually available.
Now that you have your train ticket, what are you supposed to do with it?
Many train tickets need to be validated (stamped with time/date) before boarding the train since they’re open tickets for train travel between two destinations and not for a specific train or time.
There are machines at the station, usually located on the train track. You just stick your ticket in and the machine stamps it. You could receive a fine if that train conductor sees that you neglected to do so and they will think you are trying to ride for free. Try to avoid the “I’m a silly tourist and didn’t know that rule” moment even though they will likely let it slide if you do forget.
Also, most trains have assigned cars for 1st and 2nd class so make sure you know what car you are assigned. It’s not fun being booted out of your seat after you’re all settled in or worse, asleep!
Overall train travel in Europe is fun and easy! Be sure to do a bit of pre-planning and enjoy the ride!
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