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Sharing a squatter, India on the cheap

Posted by on June 1, 2013

We arrived in India having spent the best part of 6 weeks on the road, so we knew if we wanted to stay away we’d have to curb our spending as much as possible. As ever we wanted to do anything and everything in India

All daily prices below are for the 2 of us (for all the non mathematicians, if you want single cost- divide by 2!).

Accommodation
When it comes to accommodation India has it all, boutique Raja hotels to the hole in the wall beds on the floor. Unfortunately we found ourselves in the latter, we knew if we wanted to do all the things we wanted we’d have to cut back somehow, and this is where we would try. Our room often compromised of a bed, fan, and occasionally our own squat toilet. We made do without an air con room all the way around India, however this started getting pretty tough towards the end of the trip, sleeping in a room at 46 degrees with no windows can take its toll! Also, where possible we travelled on overnight trains to try and save on room costs. Our average accommodation per day over our time in India was 560 rupees (£6.75).

Food
India food is cheap, you can get a Thali anytime of the day for 70 rupees (£0.84) which will keep you filled up for a good 5/6 hours, or can snack on fresh roadside Samosas for 4 rupees each (£0.05). Generally we ate a pretty big breakfast, snacked on bits and pieces through the day, then had a big curry. rice and nan for tea. Our average food spend per day was 479 rupees (£5.77)

Transport
Its estimated that approximately 24,000,000 people use the Indian Railway every day, and my word can you tell. It can take a couple of confusing hours just to book the train, however once you’ve got it sussed travelling around India is easy, and very very cheap. Trains come in 4 different classes from Sleeper (6 bunk beds in a small space with people trying to sleep on your bed and on the floor) to 1st AC (unfortunately we can’t comment on this class), the best we made was 3rd class on a couple of occasions where sleeper was full. Anyway, transport is cheap, a 1500km 15 hour journey costs about 500 rupees (£6.02). In our 3 months in India we must have travelled absolutely thousands of miles, and only spent 24,429 rupees (£294.30). Our average daily spend was 344 rupees (£4.14).

Beer
I’m not sure if this is a saving grace or not, but if you’ve read our beer reviews you’ll know the beer in India is pretty pissy. We only really drank in our 2 weeks in Goa, so thankfully managed to keep the beer costs pretty low. Our average daily spend on beer was 157 rupees (£1.89). I’ll raise a pint to this cost not being this low again on the rest of this trip.

Drinks
With the beer not very nice we had to make do with drinking sweet lemon soda, chai and water. A cup of chai in a cafe cost about 30 rupees (£0.36), and a bottle of water around 15 rupees (£0.18).  Our average daily spend on drinks was 266 rupees (£3.21)

Misc
So far you can see we didn’t really spend much with regards to living, however this is where we made up for it. While in India we did pretty much everything we could, bought and sent home quite a few souvenirs. Unlike Sri Lanka attractions here are reasonably priced, while you still pay more than an Indian you generally pay 10x more as opposted to 100x. Some of our highest costs within these were:

House boat – 5,500 rupees (£66.26)
Goa Canyon – 4,005 rupees (£48.25)
Elefantstic – 6,200 rupees (£74.70)
5 x Tiger Safari – 9,578 rupees (£115.40)
Taj Mahal – 1,750 rupees (£21.08)
Sh!t hot handmade Tiger rug – 11,630 rupees – (£140.12)

Our average daily miscellaneous spend was 1,263 rupees (£15.21)

Total
Another country down and more of our hard earned cash spent. While the average daily spend was higher than Sri Lanka we did most things imaginable in India and felt we got in to the groove controlling out money, hopefully something we can keep up for the rest of the trip. Our average daily spend of the time we were here was 3,071 rupees (£37.00)

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