Hello friends! This is the beginning of the new year and my best wishes to all of you for wonderful explorations during 2019. Welcome to my first post of the year about amazing places to see in India. With explorations come the money matters and in that respect, I am pretty sure that each one of you would love to spend as little as possible to explore as much as possible. For a compulsive and inquisitive traveler like me, it becomes imperative to go with a tight budget. It not only enables me to manage my finances rationally but also gets me out of worry for my next trip. I hope you all would agree with me on that.

But traveling on a shoestring budget comes with its own set of problems. There would be some hardships that you must be willing to endure. I know some of you are already saying, "been there, done that" :). But there are many among us, who would love to get new ideas on saving money and traveling on a tight budget. This is as true for solo travelers as for family or group travelers. Nobody wants to splurge money unnecessarily but everyone likes to get the most out of whatever they are spending. So how do I manage when I go to see amazing places in India.

Travel budget

So, when I was planning for my last trip, I decided to set a very tight budget and check myself if I could manage within that. And it involved letting go of some of the comforts, which I could have had otherwise. And then there was the question of the amount of time that I would be able to spend in the budget I had planned.

After considering all factors, I finalized a two day trip to Bikaner in Rajasthan. Bikaner is not a very big city and is a border city. It is about 500 km(312 mi) from my native place, Faridabad, which is again about 40 km(25 mi) south of national capital New Delhi. 

I booked an overnight train from Delhi to Bikaner as the train route doesn't pass through my city. Although it was peak winter (I traveled only last month i.e. December'18), I purposely booked a non -AC coach ticket. So I saved both the ticket as well as night stay. I knew it would be tough to travel non-AC in peak winters but I was prepared, both mentally as well as physically. I did the same for my return journey also. So the total train ticket cost for return journey came to just INR590.

Bikaner junction railway station, Rajasthan

Then I checked and found that there was accommodation available at Bikaner station itself. So I never thought of booking a hotel room and instead booked a bed in the dormitory of the railway station. I made this booking online. I was not sure about the condition of the dormitory so booked only for one night. Actually, the dormitory bed is booked for 24 hours slots beginning at 8 o'clock every morning. And my train was scheduled to arrive at Bikaner station at 7.10 am. So it suited me perfectly. And this 24 hours bed booking cost me just INR200. There are non AC rooms also available at the station, which would have cost INR500. (There are AC rooms also available at major railway stations).

When I checked into the dormitory, I found it pretty decent. Neat and clean with comfortable beds and not much crowd. There were two washrooms attached and hot and cold water running(who would have expected that in a dormitory?:) ). Beds were quite comfortable. So it more or less justified my decision. Now the question before me was that should I extend the booking for another 24 hrs, considering that I was to catch my return train next night at 10.30. Which meant, paying for an additional 24 hours but availing the facility for only 14 hrs (since my early booking expired at 8 am next day). But after doing a cost-benefit analysis, I concluded that I must keep the accommodation till the time I left Bikaner. So I got my dormitory bed booking extended by another 24 hours by paying additional INR200. So far, the cost of my to and fro train journey and my stay in the city - INR990.

Now coming to traveling intracity. Traveling in Bikaner is fairly cheap. The main mode of transport being autorickshaws and owing to short distances, they don't cost much. However, if you wish to travel to spots outside the city, then you have to shell out bigger amounts. But traveling inside the city will cost you not more than INR10-20 one way. So in two days, that I was in the city, I spent about INR160 in two days on local travel and further INR80 on entry tickets to monuments. So, the total spends so far INR1230.

Local travel cost
As for food, it is again not very expensive in Bikaner. And me being a veggie, made it easier for me. You can have a fulsome veg meal(and the city primarily serves a veg meal), for INR150. Therefore, I spent roughly INR400 per day on three meals, including breakfast. This adds up to INR800 for two days. My total cost so far INR2030.

And finally, my cost for travel from my city to Delhi Sarai Rohilla station and back was INR270, which included the metro train fare to and from Delhi and autorickshaw fare to and from the metro station to the railway station. The grand total adds up to INR2300 (which comes to 32 USD roughly). I hope my maths is correct because I was never brilliant in maths :).

So INR2300 is all that I spent on a trip from Faridabad to Bikaner and back. I left home on Tuesday evening and was back on Friday morning. 

You may also like: Very Useful Tips to Save Money on Travel

Looking back, I feel I did fairly well. I don't only hope but I am sure that some of you will take a cue and plan your next adventure keeping the above economics in mind because if you intend to cover a lot of amazing places to see in India, you must keep your finances tight. And let me stress the fact that not once during my journey, did I ever feel uncomfortable or deprived. On the contrary, it turned out to be a very enjoyable and refreshing experience.

And what did I do in Bikaner? Read here

All the best to you for your next travel.




  1. "Nead and clean with comfortable beds and not much crowd."

    check that typo...great post man...winters or summers I always take a sleeper berth, ins not only cheaper but you also end up meeting some or other interesting person from elsewhere. I find AC too reserved.

    BTW I sucked at Maths too...but the calculation seems fine :)

    check out my blog about my sojourns on a 100cc bike across Uttar Pradesh

  2. Thank you. Rightly said Kshitij. You do end up meeting many interesting people in sleeper coach. I have stayed in dormitories earlier too and found them good for a solo travel.
    Stay connected.

  3. It's incredible how little money you managed to spend on such a trip! Great going!

    1. Thanks Laura! One needs to look for economical traveling options if one is a frequent traveler.

  4. Good post Vimal! It's always important to know what kind of strategies you've got to take to save whilst you're on the go travelling :)

    Johnny | Johnny's Traventures

    1. Right John. More so, when you are a regular traveler. I always make it a point to budget my travel before embarking on any trip.

  5. Very nice, interesting |I have never been to India X

    1. Thanks. Do visit India once. It's a beautiful country. I am sure you will love it.

  6. This is such a great blog post for anyone wanting to save money but also travel too - I think this post will help so many people trying this year. Thanks for sharing! 💜

    With love, Alisha Valerie x |

    1. Thanks Alisha. I am glad that I am able to contribute towards making travel a pleasant experience for people.


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