The northern part of India has many major tourist destinations. Himachal Pradesh is one of these destinations that is the most popular among national and international tourists. People of all travel preferences can visit this gorgeous destination. Himachal Pradesh is ideal for tourists traveling for religious and spiritual purposes as well as for backpackers and adventure enthusiasts. There is something for everyone in Himachal Pradesh.
If you consider backpacker travelers, Himachal Pradesh attracts thousands of backpacking tourists from all over the world. Most of these backpackers travel light and are always on the look for budget options. Traveling on a budget is not just being tight on money. For most people, it is somewhat of a challenge to travel with limited money.
An exciting and adventurous budget trip to Himachal is an experience to cherish for years to come. In recent times, many young travelers have challenged themselves by traveling on budget throughout Himachal Pradesh. One of the major benefits of traveling on a budget is that you get to see many places by saving money on luxury accommodations and air flights.
The trend of backpacking is on the rise in India as well with more and more millennials opting to fill their backpacks with camping equipment and basic gear. Some of the major benefits of traveling on a budget trip to Himachal are as follows.
-More Time: If you can save money on certain aspects of the traveling you can find more time to stay at one place rather than booking an expensive room and draining all your money.
-Socializing: You get a chance to meet more interesting people rather than the regular tourist crowd. You may find trekkers and backpackers who share your sense of adventure.
-Rich Experience: If you can deliberately challenge yourself to travel on a budget you may learn more about yourself than just traveling like a regular tourist.
It is quite understandable that not many people are interested in traveling like a backpacker. One of the main reasons is that most people take a limited time off from their jobs and they prefer to take a flight and book their hotels in advance as these things save a lot of time. Although the journeys are getting more and more comfortable and expensive at the same time, many people can't travel like a backpacker.
But for the people who are interested in challenging themselves can find many travel options that are not usually available in the popular Himachal tour packages. If you are planning a budget trip to Himachal there a few tips that you can consider before traveling.
Travel Tips for Himachal Pradesh
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The following tips and tricks will help you save money on your backpacking adventure:
1.Traveling in the off-season
Manali in winter, Himachal Pradesh (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
This trick is one of the best options you have to save a significant amount of money in the early stages of travel. Certain months for your trip to Himachal are more convenient than others. For example, the months of July-September and January-February are the best months to travel to Himachal Pradesh.
During these months, you will find significantly cheaper prices on your accommodations as well as on your transportation. Another benefit is that you do not have to face the crowds of tourists at any tourist destination. During the ‘Off-Season’, you can find many cheaper Himachal holiday packages sold by the tour operators which you may choose to save money.
However, if you are traveling as a backpacker, then all the planning and money management should be done by you. If you travel during certain months, you may end up saving thousands.
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2.Look out for discounts & deals
Air India flight in Himachal Pradesh (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
As a traveler, the major chunk of money goes into covering the transportation and accommodation costs. During the planning phase of your trip, you can check many online resources for cheaper homestay options as well as low fares for flights & buses.
When it comes to transportation, you do need to remember one thing, traveling on a budget is a double-edged sword. On one hand, you can save money but on the other hand, you end up spending too much time traveling by cheaper means. For example, it takes far lesser time to travel by air as compared to road transport.
But if you can find a balance, then a cheaper flight can help you save a lot of time to enjoy your vacation. These days due to the competition, there is always a possibility of finding a discounted ticket or a travel deal that can make sense to you. You can also find a discounted rooms in Himachal during certain months.
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Camping in Sarchu, Himachal Pradesh (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
Camping might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Usually, camping is done by the trekkers who are trekking on a long trail. It is quite a challenge for many people who are sort of beginners when it comes to setting up a tent.
Also, many travelers are usually scared of being out in the open with minimum sanitation facilities. This might put off a lot of people from experiencing this adventure.
However, if you have a little experience of camping or you wish to try it out, then you may save a lot of money on your budget trip to Himachal Pradesh. You might have to know the camping sites where tourists are allowed to camp. Also, you may ask people in Himachal Pradesh for the sites where good sanitation facilities are available for travelers.
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4.Traveling in a Group
Biker group riding through Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
This is another trick to save a lot of money because group travelers are usually given the best deals and discounts by the hotels and flights. You might also many great Himachal holiday packages from travel agents who can give you big discounts as a group.
If you are planning to travel as a group, you might find some security and comfort. However, you might find less privacy for yourself and you might find yourself limited to certain popular destinations. This is one major downside of traveling in a group.
But if you are comfortable traveling with a small group of friends then you might end up saving a lot of money. You can rent a large guesthouse or an entire house to stay in for a long period.
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Thukpa soup available in Himachal Pradesh (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
The money you spend on food might vary from person to person. As a tourist, you might want to explore different local delicacies available in Himachal Pradesh. This might make you want to go to large restaurants with an extensive menu. One thing to remember is that in Himachal Pradesh, you might find many homecooked meals in small homestays as well at local shops.
These meals are very cheap and will help you save a lot of money if you are comfortable eating at local shops. The cheapest vegetarian ‘Thali’ you can find in Himachal Pradesh is around 50 rupees and meat & chicken-based ‘Thali’ is anywhere from 100 – 150 rupees. It is quite a filling meal that will keep you satisfied for a whole day.
You might find many food stalls selling the famous ‘Momos’ which is another great snack to keep you full as you are traveling. You can easily find many small restaurants which good prices. Especially, during the winters, you might find food at really low prices.
If you get a chance to eat the local ‘Dhaam’ which is offered to everyone who attends a local wedding or any occasion celebrated in Himachal Pradesh.
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Nako Village, Himachal Pradesh (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
Going off-road can mean different things for different people. In a nutshell, it can mean skipping the major transportation routes with might involve hitchhiking or even taking public transport. Also, to many backpackers, it means to avoid all the major tourist spots and look for someplace hidden away from the regular crowd.
No matter how you define it, one thing is for sure that such destinations will not be included in any of the popular Himachal honeymoon packages. Mostly these little tourist spots are places in a local village which is hard to reach for typical tourists.
If you do enough research you may find many offbeat stays in Himachal where you can find cheap accommodation with home-cooked local food. These small homestays are a great way to save money while traveling. Although this kind of traveling is more to be seen among the foreign tourists. But, the young millennials have also found interest in going off-road.
Himachal Pradesh is full of hidden treasures and a small pocket of heaven sprinkled all over the state. There are hundreds of beautiful small villages that provide many offbeat stays in Himachal Pradesh. You can also experience the authentic local way of living that is quite different from the folks in the city.
Apart from all the official Himachal tour packages and Himachal honeymoon packages, there is a whole new aspect of Himachal Pradesh that is very different from the popular tourist sites. These little treasures are only found by a few backpackers who dare to challenge themselves to move away from the major tourist trails.
Some of the most popular destinations for people traveling on a budget are the following. These destinations are also popular among the regular tourist community and are also good for trying out budget traveling.
The above-mentioned destinations are good for beginner’s budget traveling. Some of these destinations have nearby towns where you can find even cheaper homestays.
It is good to prepare yourself mentally before starting on a budget. You should make a list of your most basic expenses and make sure you have enough money on you to fulfill those expenses. Once you have figured it out, make sure you use the internet which will help you in staying connected with all the possible travel options.
Best of luck on your backpacking adventure!