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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. 11,300 if booked a month in advance. If your budget is around 25-30k, Nepal is one of the best destinations.

Where to stay?: A decent hostel room will cost you anywhere between ₹1,000 to ₹2,000.

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: 6 Days and 5 Nights

Travel Calculation: Less than 30,000

Tourism during COVID-19: A full dose of vaccine certificate and negative RT-PCR test result is needed to enter Nepal. Unvaccinated travellers will need a valid reason for not being vaccinated.

 

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 ₹25,000 if planned 2 months in advance. The airfare has increased of late due to the coronavirus pandemic, but is likely to come down after.

Where to stay?: You can avail a decent hotel for about ₹1,500-₹3,000 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: Approx. ₹50,000

Tourism during COVID-19:The Vietnamese government has agreed to reopen Vietnam for international tourism from March 15. Vietnam has reduced quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated international arrivals from January 1, 2022. Arrivals with negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test results would only need to self-quarantine at home or their places of accommodation for three days when they enter Vietnam. Two RT-PCR tests will be conducted on the first and third day of entry. If negative, entrants are still required to monitor their health for the next 11 days.

 

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 ₹ 6,000 onwards. Take a 5-hour bus journey ahead which could cost approx ₹390 – ₹650. 

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

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 100 to 400 per person.

Suggested duration: 6 day 5 nights

Travel Calculation: Approx. 35,000

Tourism during COVID-19: As of 4 January 2022, Bhutan is closed for travellers, and only citizens may enter. 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 the country of origin.

 

Sri Lanka

Our southern neighbor is one to reckon with when it comes to selecting a country for your international trip. With the Ramayana and Buddhist connection, there is a significant cultural pull for visitors from India. With beautiful and peaceful beaches it can be a top choice.

Untouched tropical beach in Sri Lanka

How to reach?: Multiple flights are available from India to Sri Lanka and it could cost you just ₹10,000.

Where to stay?: you can get a decent hotel around 1,000-1,500. Reduce your cost by staying at hostels at just ₹600 per night. 

What to do?: Heritage Tours, Religious Visits, Art and Culture Tours, Water Adventure Sports, Wildlife Tours, Plantation.

What to see?: Colombo, Kandy, Yapahuwa Kurunegala, Galle, Tissamaharama, Kirinda, Sabaragamuwa, Panduwasnuwara, Dambadeniya, Matara, Kataragama.

What to eat?: 300 – 1,000 depending on the place you choose to dine. Thambili, the juice from King Coconut, is very refreshing and a must

Suggested duration: 6-7 days

Travel Calculation : ₹35,000

Tourism during COVID-19: The island country has started welcoming travellers from all countries as long as they have a valid tourist visa. Vaccinated tourists are free to visit approved tourist sites without having to quarantine. COVID-19 PCR Tests or Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) are no longer required for Fully Vaccinated Travellers or for children below the age of 12 years prior to their departure into Sri Lanka.

 

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 ₹25,000 if booked 3-4 months in advance.

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

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: Suggested trip duration 6 Days

Travel Calculation: ₹50,000 

Tourism during COVID-19: The international borders of Myanmar haven’t opened to international arrivals yet. Tourism is not permitted as of 4 January 2022.

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 ₹20,000. The airfare has almost doubled since the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 700-1,000

Suggested duration: 4 – 5 days

Travel Calculation₹55,000- ₹60,000

Tourism during COVID-19: The Arab Emirates, including Dubai, are now open to tourists from most countries. Family entertainment, attractions, observation decks, public transport, parks, beaches, pools, as well as shopping malls and restaurants & cafes are open and operating, subject to restrictions on the number of attendees, vaccine certificates, etc.

 

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 ₹16,000.

Where to stay?: You will get a decent room for ₹2,000- ₹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 ₹1,500. Fast food and street food options are considerably cheaper than sit-down restaurants. 

Suggested Duration: 5 days 4 nights

Travel expenses: Around ₹55,000 – ₹65,000

Tourism during COVID-19:Non-citizen travelers aged 18 and above traveling to the Sultanate of Oman are required to present a vaccination certificate indicating that they have received at least two doses of the approved COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before traveling. Cinemas, parks, beaches and tourist areas such as forts and museums have also reopened.

 

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 28,000.

Where to stay?: You can get hotels ranging from 2000 per night. For cheaper options, dorms are available which will cost you less than  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 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: Approx. ₹55,000

Tourism during COVID-19: The archipelago, including Bali has re-opened for international tourists. Only vaccinated tourists are allowed to visit the country, given that they can show a negative RT-PCR test result taken 48 hours prior to departure.

 

Malaysia

Corals reef in Bohey Dulang Island, Sabah, Malaysia

How to reach?: Round-trip to Malaysia is around ₹20,000.

Where to stay?: Dormitory at ₹800 per night; Hotel at ₹3000-₹5000 per night.

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: Approx 45,000

Tourism during COVID-19: Malaysia will reopen its borders from 1 April 2022 and allow entry without quarantine for visitors vaccinated against COVID-19. 

 

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 17,000.

Where to stay?: It will cost you around ₹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: Approx. ₹35,000

Tourism during COVID-19: After months of strict restrictions and closing borders, the tropical havens of Thailand are all set to welcome fully vaccinated travellers from India, even allowing them to bypass quarantine. Non-essential businesses and attractions in low-risk areas are open, under social distancing and capacity limitations.

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