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It’s a great feeling to be bitten by the travel bug, but it can also be pricey. Globetrotting is the fantasy of a lot of people. They may be discouraged from making it a reality, unfortunately, because travel is always perceived to be costly. How will you see the world in your budget without burning a hole? Is flying on a budget possible?

Travelling cheap can be quite challenging. Fortunately, we’ve done the work for you by putting together a handy list of must-visit countries from India, if you are looking to travel on a budget.

Nepal

This Himalayan country promises mountains, spirituality, and scenic beauty. Many Indians choose Nepal because unlike other countries you do not need a passport here. Pashupatinath Temple (the city’s oldest Hindu temple) and the Boudhanath Stupa (one of the oldest Buddhist temples) are tourist hotspots.

Durbar Square before the earthquake in Nepal

How to reach: The round-trip flight from New Delhi to Kathmandu could cost approx. INR12,300 if booked a month in advance. 

Where to stay?: A decent hostel room will cost you anywhere between INR1,000 to INR2,000.

What to do?: All range of options is at your disposal wildlife sanctuary, temples, monasteries. Trekking in the World’s Highest Peak—Mt.Everest Base Camp—is a must-do.

What to see?: For a wildlife enthusiast Parsa Wildlife Reserve, Shivapuri Nagarjun National Park, Shuklaphanta Wildlife Reserve. For people with spiritual bent Pashupatinath, Dakshinkali temple, Shechen Monastery, Lumbini, Boudhanath Stupa, Siddha Gufa, Hanuman Dhoka. Devi Fall and old market at Pokhara as some add ons.

What to eat?: The Nepali national meal is “daal bhaat tarkari” (spiced lentils poured over boiled rice, and served with tarkari). Meals range anywhere from ₹250- ₹500 depending on the cuisine and place you select. OR2K in Kathmandu or Krishna’s kitchen in Pokhara are some places to try.

Suggested Duration: 5 Days and 4 Nights

Travel Calculation: INR 35,000 to INR 40,000

Tourism during COVID-19: When flying to Nepal from India, you will need to present certain documentation:

  1. A vaccination certificate showing a full dose of vaccination against COVID-19, completed at least 14 days prior to entering Nepal or
  2. If you are not being fully vaccinated, or have not completed a full dose of vaccination at least 14 days prior to arriving in Nepal, COVID-19 test report (RT-PCR, Gene Expert, True NAAT or WHO accredited test) showing negative result done within the last 72 hours of boarding from the first airport or, if you are entering through land border, done within 72 hours of entry.
  3. A copy of the permit, if applicable, for mountaineering, trekking and other activities that will require permission.

Vietnam

One of the best places for backpackers all around the world, this is also one of the cheapest countries to travel from India. With ample natural beauty, its rich heritage and history you are bound to return with a soul satisfied.

Hoi An, Vietnam

How to reach?: The round-trip flights to Vietnam from India is around INR12,300 if planned 2 months in advance. 

Where to stay?: You can avail a decent hotel for about INR1,500-INR3,000 per night.

What to do?: Sightseeing, Yacht or Boat Cruises, Local Market Tours, Caving, Cultural Tour, Island Tours, Wildlife Tours.

What to see?: Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Sapa, Nha Trang, Mekong Delta, UNESCO World Heritage Site-listed Ha Long Bay.

What to eat?: A 3-course meal in a mid-range restaurant will cost you approximately 500. ranging from spicy in the south to milder in the north, Vietnam has a wide variety to offer. Cha Ca Street and Nguyen Truong to a street in Hanoi for popular yet budget meals. Coffee is a must-try with its distinct Vietnamese twist.

Suggested Duration: 7 days 6 nights 

Travel Calculation: INR 40,000 to INR 45,000

Tourism during COVID-19: All Vietnam destinations are open, no self-isolation is required, and all regulations for SARS-CoV-2 testing required before entering will be temporarily suspended.

 

Bhutan

Who would not visit a country which publishes its happiness index? Bhutan offers guaranteed happiness and passport-free travel to Indians. With a vast expanse of unexplored Terrain and breathtaking natural beauty, Bhutan is a must-visit.

Tiger's Nest monastery

How to reach?: Catch a domestic flight from India to the Paro International Airport which is the only International Airport in Bhutan. The round trip can cost INR 6,000 onwards. Take a 5-hour bus journey ahead which could cost approx INR390 – INR650. 

Where to stay?: Decent hotels will cost around anywhere INR 2,000. if you go for homestays it will be around INR 1,000-INR1,200.

What to do?: Cultural Tours, Local Sightseeing, Himalayan Tour, Treks, Adventure Sports & Activities, Religious Tours and wildlife tours. The Drametse Mask Dance with colorful costumes depicting demons, heroes, gods, and animals should not be missed as it is UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.

What to see? Trashigang, Haa Valley, Trongsa, Dochula Pass, Rinpung Dzong, Phuentsholing, Thimphu, Punakha Dzong.

What to eat? For a normal 2 course meal, you will spend INR 100 to INR 400 per person.

Suggested duration: 6 day 5 nights

Travel Calculation: INR 35,000 to INR 40,000

Tourism during COVID-19:All individuals wishing to travel into Bhutan are required to produce a COVID-19 negative certificate on arrival into the country. The test should be carried out by RT-PCR from a certified laboratory not earlier than 72 hrs (3 days) before embarking or initiation of journey from India.

Myanmar

Myanmar lets you experience the simple pleasures of life. Like a drift down the river in a cruiser, trek through the pine forests of Shan Hills, play on the beach of the blissful Bay of Bengal. Scattered landscape with pagodas and the traditional ways, that’s Myanmar in short. Myanmar sees a lot of visitors at Inle Lake that offers spectacular terrains for cycling.

Sunrise landscape view with silhouettes of old temples, Bagan, Myanmar

How to reach?: A round trip to the country could cost you approximately INR 20,000 if booked 3-4 months in advance.

Where to stay?: get a decent hotel for around INR 1,800-INR 2,200. 

What to do?: Hot Air Balloon Rides, Cultural & Historical Tours, Nature Walks, Local Shopping and Food Tours.

What to see? Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, Golden Rock Pagoda, Kyaing Tong, Monywa, Putao, Ngwe Saung Beach.

Suggested Duration: 5 Days 6 Nights

Travel Calculation: INR 50,000 to INR 55,000

Tourism during COVID-19: All visitors to Myanmar need to purchase COVID-19 medical insurance from Myanma Insurance. This is required regardless of any other insurance cover you may have. All arrivals will need to complete a Health Declaration Form when they arrive, which should be provided by the airline or the airport authorities.

You will be expected to take a COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Diagnostic Test at the airport, regardless of your vaccination status. You should bring 15,000 MMK with you or be prepared to convert cash at one of the exchange counters. If the test result is negative, you will be free to leave. Travellers who display symptoms or test positive will be isolated and taken to a hospital or hotel designated by the Ministry of Health at their own expense. This is in addition to the test you need to take 48 hours before your arrival. Which test you can take depends on if you are fully vaccinated or not.

United Arab Emirates

From desert safaris to standing on the top of Burj Khalifa, UAE one of the most popular destinations for leisure travelers. You can be a witness to the riches of the country and its unique culture. Also, it is one of the cheapest countries to visit for Indians.

Dubai Palm in free fall

How to reach?: The round trip flights to the UAE will cost around INR 16,000. 

Where to stay?: it’s possible to get good places between 6,000-7.000 per person per night.

What to do?: Cultural Tourism, Shopping, Business Tours, Dubai Desert Safari, Luxury Tours, Sports Tourism, Indoor Skiing, Adventure Sports & Water Sports in Dubai.

What to see?:  Burj Khalifa, Ferrari world, Dubai, Sharjah, Abu Dhabi among many others. 

What to eat?: A decent meal will cost anywhere around INR 700-INR 1,000

Suggested duration: 4 – 5 days

Travel Calculation:  INR 60,000 to INR 70,000

Tourism during COVID-19: The Arab Emirates, including Dubai, are now open to tourists from all countries as long as you fulfil one of the following requirements:

  1. Present a valid vaccination certificate(s) reflecting that the passenger is fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the WHO or the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and includes a QR code
  2. Present a valid negative COVID‑19 PCR test certificate issued within 48 hours from the time of sample collection to the time of boarding and the certificate must be issued by an approved health service provider with a QR code
  3. Present a valid medical certificate issued by the relevant authorities that the passenger has recovered from COVID‑19 within 1 month from the date of recovery to the date of arrival

 

Oman

Oman might not be the first name which pops up when one thinks of travel in the Middle East, but it surely surpasses the expectations of every visitor with its grand mosques, spectacular mountain views, vibrant souks and white-sand beaches. The best part is it all comes at an extremely affordable price.

How to reach?: A round trip to Oman from India will cost you around INR 16,000.

Where to stay?: You will get a decent room for INR 2,000- INR 5,000 per night. 

What to do?: Cultural Tourism, Beach Visits, Desert Safari and Stays, Fort Tours, Hiking and Rock Climbing. 

What to see?: Muttrah Souq, Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Khasab Beach, Al Qurum Beach, Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve, Wadi Bani Khalid, Nakhal Fort, Nizwa Fort, Jibreen Castle.

What to eat?: Dining is a bit costly in Oman. A decent meal will cost you around INR1,500. Fast food and street food options are considerably cheaper than sit-down restaurants. 

Suggested Duration: 5 days 4 nights

Travel expenses: INR 55,000 to INR 65,000

Tourism during COVID-19: The Omani authorities have removed all COVID-19 restrictions.

 

Indonesia

Indonesia – one of the largest archipelago state in the world – is the go-to destination for Indians as it offers all types of recreational activities. It is one of the cheapest countries to visit from India.

Tirtagangga Water Palace in Bali, Indonesia

How to reach?: If you take a flight from India to Indonesia, it would cost you INR 20,000.

Where to stay?: You can get hotels ranging from INR 2000 per night. For cheaper options, dorms are available which will cost you less than INR 800 per night.

What to do?: Nature tourism, volcano tours, cultural visits, leisure tours, water sports, and religious tours.

What to see?: Bali, Jakarta, Malang, Lombok, Bandung, Yogyakarta

What to eat?: Anywhere between INR 700 and above. Satay (skewered and grilled chicken with peanut sauce) and Gudeg (jack fruit with palm sugar, coconut milk, meat, garlic, and lots of spices) are must-try.

Suggested Duration: 7 Days 8 nights

Travel Calculation: INR 55,000 to INR 60,000

Tourism during COVID-19: The requirements for entering Indonesia for international travellers ( including Indian citizen) are as follows:

  • A certificate proving complete vaccination against COVID‑19
  • Statement letter agreeing to follow all health protocols applied in Indonesia; and
  • Proof of health insurance/travel insurance including health coverage, and or a statement letter agreeing to settle all applicable costs if infected with COVID‑19 during their stay in Indonesia

Malaysia

Corals reef in Bohey Dulang Island, Sabah, Malaysia

How to reach?: Round-trip to Malaysia is around INR 11,800.

Where to stay?: On average, a room will cost around INR 3000.

What to do?: Go trekking in Taman Negara National Park, Explore Culture of Kota Bharu, Observe the orangutans in Sepilok.

What to see?: Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Sunbathe at Langkawi, Tunku Abdul Rahman National park, Getaway to Genting Highlands

What to eat?: Taste the local flavor with Nasi Kandar, Bakuteh, Sang Har noodles, Satay.

Suggested Duration: 4 to 5 Days

Travel Calculation: INR 45,000 to INR 50,000

Tourism during COVID-19: All entry requirements related to COVID-19 travel to Malaysia have now been removed, regardless of vaccination status.

Philippines

person in black long sleeve shirt and brown hat standing on green grass field during daytime

How to reach?: Round-trip to the Philippines is around INR24,000.

Where to stay?: On average, a room in Philippines will cost around INR 3000

What to do?: Visit Boracay Islands, stroll around the City of Vigan, and sightseeing on Puerto Princesa Underground River, Palawan.

What to see?: The Mayon Volcano in the Albay province on Luzon Island, Chocolate Hills in Bohol, Sugba Lagoon in Siargao

What to eat?: Taste the famous local flavor Adobo, Kare-Kare, Lechon and Sinigang.

Suggested Duration: 4 to 5 Days

Travel Calculation: INR 30,000 to INR 40,000

Tourism during COVID-19: All passengers, both Filipinos and foreign nationals, will be accepted for travel whether fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated or whose vaccination status cannot be independently validated provided that they follow the COVID‑19 testing requirements.

Thailand

World-renowned destination – Thailand, when it comes to tourist attraction there are very few countries that can match up to Thailand. It is your go-to place if you are looking for a cheap country to travel from India!

Pa-pong-peang rice terrace north Thailand

How to reach?: Round-trip fare to Thailand from India is around INR12,000.

Where to stay?: It will cost you around INR 2,000 per night to stay at a decent hotel.

What to do?: Local Shopping, Floating Market Tour, Elephant Tourism, Medical Tourism

What to see?: Bangkok, Phuket, Santikhiri, Tarutao.

What to eat?: Tom Yung Goong(spicy shrimp soup), som tum (spicy green papaya salad), Tom Kha Kai (chicken in coconut soup), Gaeng Daeng (red curry)

Suggested Duration: A week would be good!

Travel Calculation: INR 35,000 to INR 45,000

Tourism during COVID-19: There are no longer any COVID 19 entry restrictions for travel to Thailand. Passengers are no longer required to hold a COVID 19 vaccination certificate or a COVID 19 test result to enter the country. Quarantine restrictions have also been lifted.

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