Budget Conscious Traveler’s Top 10 List !

10 gorgeous places outside India that can fit into every budget conscious traveler’s itinerary.

Travel has become an indispensable part of our lives. Be it to unwind, to take a break from the hectic schedules, to do some soul searching or see the world other than our own; the fact is that your passport is the key to the wonderland that you find yourself peeping through often ! Maybe it’s time to look beyond the enticing pictures on Instagram and head to these destinations for the much needed R & R.

It pays to be a budget conscious traveler, you can squeeze in much more in the same amount. With budget airlines jumping in the fray and availability of cheap, clean hostels and B & B’s, foreign travel is no longer as intimidating as it was a few decades back. There are a number of destinations ready on a platter for a budget conscious Indian traveler without breaking the bank.

 1. THAILAND

The reclining Buddha in Bangkok

Thailand should undoubtedly be on top of everybody’s list. This tropical paradise has everything to offer from beaches, water sports, animal life, food to die for, cultural history and much more at a very affordable price tag. Between the futuristic sky trains zooming across Bangkok to the serene Buddhist temples and the far flung islands there is much more to this country than meets the eye. With ‘Visa on Arrival’ for Indians, this makes a perfect getaway for the sudden travel pangs, long weekends staying well within the budget.

It’s easy to get a good bargain on airfare if booked in advance in the range of Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 to multiple destinations across Thailand. Travel companies too offer low priced group packages to Thailand through out the year.

2. MALAYSIA

The war memorial in Kuala lumpur

Malaysia is a land of contrasts. The sky high Petronas Towers snuggle cosily besides the world’s oldest tropical rainforest in jungles of Taman Negara National Park. You can snorkel with the sharks in Pulau Perhentian and kiss the clouds climbing Mount Kinabalu. With the Fox Studios opening it’s very first theme park in Genting Island, Malaysia becomes an even more attractive prospect to travel. The very warm people and the spicy Malaysian food ticks all the right boxes for the Indian traveler.

You can score great deals on airfares with Malaysia based budget airlines Air Asia which has started operations in India and keeps having flash sales offering very low airfares.

3. Sri Lanka

Avukana Buddha statue, pic courtesy Carlos Delgado

Our southern neighbour happens to be a green jewel in the Indian Ocean sparkling like an emerald. You can go for a ‘Ramayana Trail’ across Kandy and Nuwara Eliya or marvel at the Buddhist ‘Temple of Tooth Relic’. Step outside the capital city of Colombo to the picture perfect countryside and the villages with the tea gardens offering the perfect opportunity to do some experiential traveling. With lot of cultural similarities, it’s easy to get the rhythm of this country like a duck taking to water.

Sri Lanka has recently come up on the tourist radar thus resulting in cheap airfares and accommodations, making it perfect for the budget traveler.

4. Bali, Indonesia

Tanah Lot, pic courtesy James Mason-Hudson

If you have read or seen ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ and fallen in love with Julia Roberts, you want to head to Ubud in Bali. The paddy fields and the swaying coconut trees under the azure sky is enough to warm the cockles of your heart. The infinity pools in the resorts are just what you need to leave all your worries behind and soak in the tranquility all around. You will find expats from all over the world making it a truly diverse experience.

With a highly devalued currency compared to INR, the chances to get a good deal are very good making it ideal for the budget traveler.

5. CAMBODIA

Pic courtesy Wikimedia

We have a strong connection with Cambodia. Don’t believe it ? Do you remember Kamboj Samrajya in history books back in the school days ? Present day Cambodia is the very same Kamboj Samrajya and is home to the majestic Hindu temple complex of Angkor Wat. Along with Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and the somewhat gory but riveting war history, Cambodia is an extremely fascinating country.

With convenient Visa on Arrival and a devalued Cambodian Riel, it should be high on a budget traveler’s list.

6.Vietnam

This once war torn country has healed its scars and is fast becoming a hotspot for backpackers and budget conscious travelers. The capital Hanoi, beautiful Ho Chi Minh, the super famous Halong Bay and beyond, the humble INR can take you very far in this exotic country. Vietnamese cuisine is one of the best and will have you hooked in no time !

It is easy to get good deals on airfares by flying low cost carrier to Singapore / Kuala lumpur and then taking super cheap local airlines onwards.

7. NEPAL 

Pic courtesy Donald Macauley

This land of simple and very warm people is one of our friendliest neighbours. The temples, monasteries, the Himalayas, Nepal is rightly called the watershed of Asia.  It is slowly picking up the pieces after the deadly earthquake and is welcoming the tourists with open arms once again.

Indians have freedom of movement in Nepal, so no hassles of passport or visa !

8. BHUTAN 

Pic by Christopher Fynn

You do not need an excuse to plan a trip to the land of Gross National Happiness. The pristine mountains, the apple orchards, the Orchids, the Rhododendrons, fall leaves, Buddhist Monasteries, some very interesting temples which happen to be PG13, Bhutan is a paradise for trekkers and adventure seekers. Being easily accessible is a big plus point.

You can go to Bhutan by air as well as road and do not need any passport or visa. Just a valid Indian Identity proof is enough. Here is how to plan a road trip to Bhutan alongwith info on the paperwork needed.

9. DUBAI

Pic Courtesy marviikad

Yes, Dubai is as much for a budget traveler as it is for the luxury traveler ! This glittering, shiny country has a lot to offer without going overboard with your budget. Excellent public transport system, malls affording hours of window shopping if not real, views and vistas galore, the city is a fine example of how an arid desert can be converted to an oasis for the new age traveler.

Hotels in old Dubai give cost-effective deals and low cost carriers offer very cheap airfares. Travel using the metros, buses, ferries and Dubai is super affordable for the budget traveler.

10. MYANMAR

Pic Courtesy Wikimedia

Myanmar is a surprising recent entry in the list of places to go ! The golden pagodas, the misty mountains are enough to overcome whatever reservations you may have and pack your bags to visit this land of shadows. Creeping out of the fractured tourist policy for so long, Myanmar is attracting travelers today who want to slow down, sit down and inhale the authentic charms of a country yet to be westernized.

Myanmar can be reached by air as well as by road and not being overly touristy it is easy to get good affordable deals within your budget.

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