This is a longer version of my answer for a travel question on Quora. Travelling doesn’t have to be a super expensive proposition if you’re smart and lean about your choices and know where to cut your expenses. Here’s how you can travel to literally any corner of the earth under Rs.1 Lakh (or about $1,500).
The example here is for a 7 days (6 nights) trip and the only place where you’ll possibly need a slightly higher budget is South America, since the average airfare cost itself is around Rs.1 lakh (though i know enough number of people who have managed to bag flights under 65-70K).
Flights: ~ Rs.50,000 (possible to say New York, via Kuwait / direct flights on United)
Visa Fee: Rs.10,000
Stay: Average $50 /night in hostels x 6 = $300 (Rs.20,000) (or $0 if you Couchsurf)
Food & Getting Around: Whatever’s left from your budget (Rs.20,000+)! $50/day for 2 meals is doable.
(most good hostels have HUGE breakfasts included).You won’t have anything left from your budget for sightseeing, but if you’re adventurous and love walking, that shouldn’t be a problem 🙂 if you Couchsurf, you have all that money for getting around and exploring more of NYC.
Europe – Central (France / Germany / Spain / Portugal etc.)
Flights: Starting from Rs.33,000
Visa Fee: Rs.4,400
Stay: Average €50 / night in hostels x 6 = €300 (Rs. 23,000) (or $0 if you Couchsurf)
Food & Getting Around: Depends on your likes and priorities, but it’s possible to spend about €50 x 6 days = €300 (Rs.23,000) on food, and the rest can be used for sightseeing etc.
Europe – Eastern (Estonia / Latvia / Sofia / Lithuania)
Flights: Flights to Helsinki (Finland) start from Rs.30,000 – then take a boat to Tallinn (Estonia) which costs roughly €50 return (Rs.3,000)
Visa Fee: Rs.4,400
Stay: Average €25 / night in hostels x 6 nights = €150 (Rs.12,000)
Food & Getting Around: Tallinn is a fantastic cheap and pretty cheap to eat / party / explore. You could do great with the rest of your budget at your disposal 🙂
Check out videos by fellow blogger Varun who is doing some super budget trips in Russia and vlogs in Hindi + blogs in English.
Jordan / Dubai / Israel / Turkey are all possible. I’d pick Jordan for the amazing diversity and value for money, terrific food and warm hospitality. With flights ~ Rs.30,000, you could stay in an AirBNB or guesthouse for a week across Amman, Petra, Wadi Rum & Dead Sea and still have enough money left for shopping!
With the introduction of low cost carrier FlyScoot, Australia was never more accessible and cheaper than today!
Flights should set you back by about Rs.35,000, visa another Rs.7,000 and hostels in Canberra (love this city!) / Sydney would cost you about 12,000–18,000 for 6 nights and you get to spend the rest on food and sightseeing.
If you manage to get flights under Rs.80,000 (usually the flights average around Rs.1 lakh, but it’s possible to get lucky and find sub-Rs.70K flights also!) you could even do South America for a week (Brazil). Besides stay, your average daily costs would be about Rs.2,000.
Minimizing cost on stay / hotels
Across all these options, Couchsurfingand hostelling would cut your costs dramatically, all the way down to zero (with CS).
If you prefer to book a hotel, make sure you book via websites like Booking.com where you pay nothing upfront and you have the option of canceling or changing your reservations upto 24 hours before your actual stay.
How to choose the cheapest flights
To check out where in the world you could fly for a specific budget, use any of these services…
Leading an experimental life as a digital nomad, I started traveling in 2007 while choosing to shuttle between Goa and Mumbai as 'home'. An epic life-changing trip to South America an year later gave birth to this blog, Exotic Gringo.