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Young and restless? Want to travel in India on a budget? But, low on cash? Fret not! We have put together tips and tricks to help you travel inter-state and intra-state in the cheapest ways possible. We are sure these will save you a lot of time & money, and make your journey stress free!

How to travel in India on a budget?

For the travelers who are running on a tight budget, make sure to keep this guide handy and save some bucks while going on spree to explore your dream destination in India.

Are you ready? Let’s start!

1. The Hacked Airfares – Cheapest Flights

Usage of Award Wallet to track credits

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We always have the perception that airfares are fixed and usually expensive. Not true! Read on to find out.

  • Book Early: Always book tickets 6-8 weeks before the trip, this will always save a lot of money for you.
  • Look for last minute tickets: Last minute tickets, if available, are always cheaper. Ask for it on the airport/ air service provider’s websites and bingo you have the cheapest flight to travel.
  • Buy refundable tickets: This one always helps. If you miss your flight, cancel your plan or happen to find a cheaper last minute ticket, refund your previous one and save.
  • Don’t try to reload the same page for airfares or use incognito window: Every site tracks the number of clicks and viewers on the page. If you ask for the same fares again, they may hike the prices. Using Incognito window ensures your searches cannot be tracked and original prices are displayed.
  • Free credits can get you a free ticket: Air India is always preferred for free credits. Spicemax is offering premium seats starting for just Rs. 500. GoAir gives you free points at every go, like their Facebook page for latest discounts.Buy products from their online partners to get credits that can lead to a free ticket.
  • Flights with stoppages: Take connecting flights without any second thought, flight without stoppages are expensive.
  • Fly cheaper on: Flying on Friday, Saturday, Sunday is always a bad idea. Traveling on Tuesday, Wednesday saves a lot of bucks. Flight tickets are cheaper at odd hours of travel (early morning or late night), but it is uncomfortable.
  • New airlines are the cheapest: Follow the social networking sites of GoAir, Spicejet, Indigo, AirIndia. Spicejet has started the new innovative services which is SpiceFlex, Spicemax and Bag Out at cheaper rates. Air Asia, Air Carnival and Zav Airways which are constrained to some cities, but are new airlines that are cheaper.
  • Tracking and booking: Use Award Wallet to track credits and cheap tickets. Use Skyscanner, Kayak to compare airfares. They help you choose the airline that provides you with maximum comfort and minimum price.

2. IRCTC Platform – How To Get A Railway Ticket (For Sure)

Here are some smarter ways to break the perceptions associated with the Indian Railways. And trust me, nothing can be cheaper than this!

  • Buy general ticket for short distances: Buying tickets in general bogie is cheaper than others. If you are not a comfort freak then go for it.
  • Women and senior citizen benefits: If you are a women and traveling alone or with children then you have reserved berths and extra discounts. Senior citizens also get discounts of 40% in the fare.
  • What to do when all the seats are reserved?: Unable to find tickets to your destinations? Then you could book yourself a ticket in Waiting list— the traveler can travel in the train, but does not have a berth alloted on his name, uncomfortable but suitable for short distances. Or if it’s an overnight journey, book an RAC ticket— the traveler gets to share his berth with another traveler.
  • Tatkal tickets: If last moment flights aren’t that cheap, book yourself a tatkal ticket.
    PS: It’s difficult to get a tatkal ticket for popular destinations. Refer to the hacks below to book ensure you are able to book one for yourself.
  • Using more than one system: Use  2 or 3 laptops/computers to book tickets faster. Make different accounts and try to login at exact 10:00am to hit the seats opting in tatkal zone.
  • Refreshing helps: Use refresh button again and again which will load pages very fast. Just make sure you have a fast internet connection. Using refresh button during payments is never advised.
  • Using application: IRCTC application is faster than the website, download and login before hand.
  • Using prefilled form: All are worried for seats in peak time. Prefilled form is a crack you all want to use. Use tools like Magic Autofill or Autofill IRCTC extension. Look at the video to understand the steps.

3. Hew A Car Ride – A Comfort Driven Journey

Pick coupons from Grabon
  • Share cars to save money: Share vehicles using Tripda with cheap and best cars in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur.
    PS: Female drivers are available for security and ease.
  • The world over approach: Blah Blah Car has always worked in sharing cars to transit cities in the world. Now, it is available in India as well but in limited cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Chennai.
  • Free rides: For present scenario, download Ola application and TaxiForSure for first two free rides. Download their application to avail the rides. This is  applicable within the cities only.
  • Use Applications: Always use application to book a cab, you might get a free ride. Calling and booking a cab is always expensive and tracking your way is also difficult.
  • Buy credits for free: You can add credits to your wallet, and can get a free ride by simply sharing the link of the application of cab providers.

Now they have started a new facility of cab sharing that saves around 50% of your money. Try it using Ola and Uber.

  • Local Hack (Take a lift): Give a hand to the vacant commercial cabs of Ola, Meru, Quickcabs, TaxiForSure. They take to smaller routes without tracking the fare hence, is cost effective.
  • Use coupon codes: Use grabon.com for coupon codes for cabs. Subscribe & follow their pages for more offers.

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Real travel stories. Real stays. Handy tips to help you make the right choice.

4. Cut Down The Fares Of Renting A Car

Coupons at Shop Pirate

Don’t need a chauffeur, wanna drive yourself?

  • Drive yourself: Renting a car at just Rs 300 for 12 hours is simply done by logging on to voler.com or zoomcar.com.
  • Transit between the cities at cheaper prices: If you want to roam around in Mumbai, Pune and Goa then go to Selfdrive.com.
  • Coupons on the go: Visit the website for latest discounts on car renting at Shoppirate. in.

5. Manage A Cool Bike

Rent a bike from Rentomojo

Cars are not for you? Then simply hire  a bike!

  • Renting a scooty: Rent a scooty at just Rs 350/day at Rentomojo.com available in Mumbai, Pune, Banglore, Delhi. The ride is great for people who want to explore the city themselves. You can take someone along to share the expense.
  • Long tour on a bike: Rent a bike at cheapest prices on Indiabikingtours (you can rent 350cc bikes as well). You can pick other bikes with higher cc at good prices.
  • Luxury bike riders: Thinking of a luxurious bike at affordable prices? Then visit Wickedride. You can rent famous bikes you have been aspiring to ride.
  • Healthy cycling: Traveling inside the city on a cycle really helps in sightseeing and  can add to your fitness regime while traveling. Rent a cycle  from artofbicycletrips.com. In Delhi, you can hire a bicycle at Rs. 10 at Mg Road metro station and Vishwavidyalaya metro station.
  • Renting and looking for more: Stoneheadbikes gives you options of renting bikes, accessories and book motorcycle tours on the portal. Something less cheaper is on its way.

6. Hop On A Public Transport

Download shuttl application for free rides
  • Local trains: Mumbai locals are the most popular form of transportation. The entire city uses locals to commute. Monthly passes are available for cheaper transit.
  • Metro rails: Metro is a cheaper and a faster way to travel. In areas where locals are not so common, metro plays a very major role. In cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Navi Mumbai, Bangalore, Jaipur, Kochi. Use metro cards for cheaper travel.
  • Bus connectivity: This is not as fast as locals or metro. You could choose from low floor, volvos or AC buses. Bus passes are  available for normal buses, but AC buses are not providing these facilities. Cost for these passes varies depending on the state in which you are traveling.
  • Shuttle services: Ola has started their shuttle services in Gurgaon and Bangalore at just Rs 15/-. Shuttle is also providing shuttle services at Rs 15/- with AC services. Shuttl is giving first five rides free for now. Like shuttl is available in Delhi, rBusis available in Mumbai. You can even ask for lift from LiftO.

Suggested Read: 17 Places In India You Can Cover On A Shoe String Budget

7. Affordable Auto Ride

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  • Shared autos: India has shared autos popularly called as ‘Gramin Seva’, which can help you cover shorter distances in very cheap rates.
  • E-rickshaw: These are battery operated, shared rickshaws. They cover shorter distances, are affordable and comfortable as well.
  • Autos: There are various applications that can help you hire an auto based on your location. G-Auto is government run service which provides you autos at low cost and are safe. It is available in Ahemdabad, Delhi, Gandhinagar, Rajkot and Surat. Autowale.in is available in Pune 24×7 to provide you their services. In Chennai Autoraja can be of great help. Mgaadi can help you get an auto in Bangalore. Jugnoo which has recently started in Delhi is providing auto services with three free rides for new users. Ola autos are also helpful in many states.
  • Coupon guide: There are a number of coupons available to get free or discounted rides. Coupondunia and grabon are of great help. Do visit the respective sites of the applications for discounts.

8. Planning to cover a lot of cities on your trip to India?

Compare and combine flights, trains, buses all in one search. Plan your travel at ease in the cheapest ways possible. Log on to Routofy.com, Zophop and Ridlr. These apps are available in almost every city.

This one’s going to be ‘bookmarked’ for the killer hacks it packs! Don’t keep them to yourself. After all sharing is caring!

Further Read: 21 Enthralling Trails For Backpacking In India That Will Instantly Get You Going

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Category: Budget Travel, India, Travel Tips

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