For some of us traveling is more than a hobby or just recreation. Personally, I connect deeply with my travels and with nature. Exploring new cities and cultures is always exciting and makes me feel alive. However, let’s face it! Many of us are on a budget most of the time! How many times have you looked at pictures of an international destination that someone you know has visited and thought to yourself “I wish there were some cheap foreign holiday destinations.” Abroad travels have an exciting feel to it. The idea to be away on a holiday in a foreign land has a thrill to it.
BUT there are so many MYTHS around these international travels, the most common one is – all international holidays are expensive. I say NO! Not necessarily. The country you plan to visit makes a lot of difference to the budget you need for your travel. There are quite a few inexpensive countries you can visit from India.
Here is a little trade secret: Some of the important factors you need to consider while figuring out the cheapest countries to travel from India are when to book your air tickets, the approximate cost per night of your stay and local travel expenses because these can contribute to a big chunk of your travel expense. It can be that simple.
From my past travel experiences (not necessarily always from India) I have learned that air tickets when booked more than three months before departure and also when booked as a round trip are so much cheaper when compared to ticket prices a month or two before the trip.
The picture below should help back my theory.
Before you go on to read my list of international budget travel destinations from India, I want you to know that these places could be one among the cheap holiday destinations if you plan to visit from some other country as well. The approximate cost listed below are in INR (Indian Rupee).
Top 10 cheap foreign holiday destinations
1) Kathmandu, Nepal
Nepal is the first one on my list because of how often we forget about this beautiful place nestled amidst the Himalayas! It’s a hop, skip and jump away from our capital city, Delhi (Ok! Not exactly, but you get very cheap flights from Delhi to Nepal) and placed on the other side of India’s border. The snowy peaks, the heritage, streams, and the yaks, add to the beauty of the place. If you want to take a break from busy city life and get away from the hustle-bustle, then the calm and serenity that Nepal offers won’t disappoint you. It’s home to beautiful monasteries, mountains and dense UNESCO listed world heritage sites.
Flight charges: Delhi to Nepal (1.5 hours travel duration) INR 10,000 to INR 12,000 or cheaper.
Cost per night of your stay: INR 2,000 to 3,000.
Cost of local transportation: Nepal has a good network of buses that can take you from Kathmandu to Pokhara for INR 500.
Must see places: Durbar Square, Bodhnath Stupa, Pashupatinath temple, Devi falls, Parsa Wildlife Reserve, Siddha Gufa and Shechen Monastery.
2) Colombo, Srilanka
Although the western coast of Srilanka is no doubt very beautiful and Srilanka has a lot to offer from mythologically significant places like Ram-set to beautiful beaches, I will stick to discussing the most budget-friendly place of them all, Colombo. This city offers something for everyone. Also, I think I’m in love with Srilankan cuisine. If you are in Srilanka, make sure to buy organic spices and oils, they are amazing! You can read more details about Colombo in my next post focused around my recent visit to the city. If you’re in the city, grab a meal at the Irish pub near Galle. I can vouch for the quality of food and service.
Flight charges: South Indian city to Colombo (1hour to 1.5 hours travel duration) INR 15,000 – 17,000 or cheaper.
Cost per night of your stay: Airbnb and Hostels can cost you anywhere from INR 700 to INR 3000. If you choose to stay in an Airbnb in the western province, then cost can come close to INR 3000 but stay can be a lot more comfortable relatively, especially during summer when it is super-hot and you’re looking for a place with air-conditioning.
Cost of local transportation: I hear trains can be as cheap as INR 150 and you get an amazing view during the journey. I say I hear because I haven’t tried and I had hired a car with a driver for INR 5000.
Must see places: Gangaramaya Temple, Colombo Fort area, Pettah Market, Beira lake, Galle Face beach, Kelaniya, Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque, Independance square and Kandy if you have time.
That’s right! Krabi, Bangkok or even Phuket: all these pretty places are super cheap travel destinations one can visit. The white-sand beaches, clear blue waters, nightlife, exotic flora, and the coral reefs – you name it and it’s there in Thailand! What more? You can safely tell your friends the pictures aren’t photoshopped because of how scenic the place is. Great food, perfect sky and so much of outdoor fun, doesn’t it sound like a perfect holiday? Whether you want to just kick back and relax or enjoy some tasty cocktails and the nightlife on a budget, then this is the place for you. If you like water sports, then you have even that covered!
Flight charges: (Approximately 7 hours travel duration) INR 15,000 to INR 25,000
Must do: You should try scuba diving while you’re in Thailand. The Natural cool dipping Emerald pool at Thung Theao forest. Shopping (don’t forget to bargain!) Psst: Men can get good looking suits stitched here for super cheap!
The best time to visit is between November to March.
Your daily expenses including stay, food, and local travel can be easily less than INR 5000.
One of the cheapest places to travel to from India, where you find peaceful vacation spots with beautiful lush greenery, beaches, and great tasting food! Well known for its stunning natural beauty Taiwan is also called as ‘Formosa’. It is 180 kms away from mainland China and is bordered by Japan and the Philippines. Taiwanese cuisine is mouth-watering food. You can easily spend 7 days filled with activities in this beautiful country and have your total travel expenses maintained under INR 50,000 per person.
Travel expense: If booked off-peak season and at least 4 months prior to departure then you can get air tickets to Taiwan for as low as INR 15,000.
Must visit: Taipei, local museums, Taroko National Park, Dasi, Dajia, Anping, Jinguashi and Jiaoxi
Activities: Cultural and Heritage Tours, Nature walks, Museum, Wildlife parks.
Cost per night stay is between INR 5000 – INR 12,000 with cost per meal in a decent restaurant to be close to INR 300
Local transportation in taxis would cost INR 300 – INR 350.
5) Hong Kong
Super cost-effective Asian place to travel! Hongkong was officially a colony of the mighty British empire until 1997 and is now a part of China. This history has led it to be politically, culturally and economically very different from the rest of the country. So much that even people from mainland China require to go through immigration checks to enter Hong Kong, which is a Special Administrative Region of China. The iconic skyline of Hong Kong is beautifully well lit at night. The view of it from an airplane is breathtaking! This mesmerizing place offers fantastic city views, beautiful Chinese religious sites, bargain market places for Shopaholics and amazing hiking or trekking hills. You can read details around planning the perfect itinerary for a budget trip to Hong Kong in my next post.
The best time to visit Hong Kong is between mid-September to January (which is in Autumn).
Flight charges: For a round trip (6.5 hours travel duration one way) Approximately INR 30,000 – INR 35,000
Daily expenses: including food, travel, and stay can be less than INR 5000.
Must visit: Lantau Island, Victoria peak, Disney land, Central district, Macau and Taio fishing village – I made friends with pink dolphins here!
The latest popular destination among travel enthusiasts is the Philippines because of many hidden, unexplored natural beauties that lie among the 7000 tropical islands. It is not only a budget-friendly tourist place, but also offers everything from graffiti walls, amazing rice fields to beaches to volcanoes! Perfect place for adventure-seeking travelers or even those looking to get lost amidst nature.
Your flight cost for a round trip can easily be less than INR 30,000.
Daily expenses: including food, stay and local transportation: INR 5000.
This megadiverse country is an amazing combination of tall city buildings, old heritages with beautiful temples and island beauty. Food is a very big part of the country’s culture and you can find a variety of cuisines here.
Must see: Marina Bay area, China town, Night safari at Singapore zoo, Universal Studios, Temple of 1000lights, Santosa island and Botanical gardens.
Flight cost: INR 20,000 round trip
Food cost can vary depending on your choice but if you are on a budget, it can be kept under INR 1000 per meal.
The cost of stay per night and local traveling can be maintained under INR 3000.
Malaysia is one of the most popular, budget-friendly tourist destinations, sharing borders with Indonesia, Thailand, and Brunei. Famous for mountain ranges, tropical forests and coastal plains this diverse country is home to 20% of the world’s species.
Must see: Petronas Tower, Lankawi, Kuala Lumpur, Kapas island, Miri and Pangkor.
Flight charges to Kuala Lumpur: INR 20,000 round trip
Daily expenses: including food, stay and local transportation: INR 5000 – INR 7000.
9) Bali, Indonesia
Bali is the most sought-after holiday destinations in Indonesia. Famous for its ancient culture, exotic temples and perfect nature backdrops for Instagram photos, Bali is one of the most inexpensive international tourist places. Bali offers lip-smacking food, great nightlife, beautiful nature to explore with pristine forests and volcanoes, amazing beach resorts and perfect surfing spots.
Cheapest accommodation per night starts from INR 1000
Per meal can cost anywhere from INR 800 to INR 1,200 depending on the choice of restaurant
Must see places in Bali: Ubud, Uluwatu temple, Seminyak beach, Sacred Monkey Forest, Mount Batur, Nusa Dua, Jimbaran, Tanah Lot temple, Besaikh temple, Tegallalang Rice Terraces, Bali Safari and Marine Park, Goa Gajah, Jatiluwih Rice Terraces.
Looking for an itinerary to visit Bali? You can find mine here.
Yes! The Maldives once upon a time infamous for its expensive luxury resorts are today a budget travel destination thanks to the government permitting locals to rent out their guest houses in 2009 and these are very cheap with starting price at INR 2000 per night. So now you can plan a budget trip to this exotic island without hesitation!
The Maldives is famous for its walking tours, scuba diving, submarine tour, and snorkeling, this island is also a perfect place to kick back and relax and eat great food at a cheaper cost (starting at 1NR 150 per meal)!
Must visit: Alimatha Island, Velligandu Beach Island, Hukuruu Miskiiy and Maldive Victory.
Flight cost to Male: Round trip INR 15,000 to INR 20,000.
My list of budget-friendly international holiday destinations doesn’t end here. If you enjoyed this blog, then you must read my other list of cheapest offbeat abroad countries to visit.
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