The Pros and Cons of budget travel in India

India is beautiful.

It will surprise you in either pleasant and maybe less comfortable ways. There are a lot of pros and cons of budget traveling in India. And, here are some examples of why you should visit it as one of your next travel destinations.

UPDATE: I recently made some changes in this article about the pros and cons of budget traveling in India, so it will have more accurate tips for 2020.

The pros of traveling in India

1. Cheap food & accommodation

You can either go to fancy restaurants, choose for high-end accommodation in India and pay a high price. Or you can, if you want to, go for cheap stays and eat local Indian food for a low price. The difference between cheap budget traveling and expensive is huge in India and this can be a benefit. Thus, if you can manage to be happy with a basic room and cheap Indian food. Either way, you’ll need to figure out what pros and cons of food and accommodation in India would convince you to go or rather stay home.

A restaurant with a view over Udaipur, India
A good and affordable restaurant with a nice view over Udaipur, India

2. Get astonished by the cultures & religions

Culture and religion is life in India. It’s everywhere and you get to see features of it everywhere and all the time. There are many temples and many Indians still wear traditional clothing and during the early mornings and late evenings, you can hear prayers in the background on the city noises. Culture and tradition in India still warm people’s hearts and it will also warm your heart if you put your mind to it.

The jain temple of Ranakpur, India
The main Jain temple of Ranakpur, India. One of the most beautiful temple complexes in the country.

3. Transport is good and affordable for traveling around

Traveling around India is easy. It can be cheap and there is always a bus or train to your next destination. If you prefer a bit more comfort, you can opt for a higher class AC train seat or a private driver. But taking a (sleeper) bus or a sleeper class train seat is good enough. And, it is one of the best tips for budget traveling in India because it will save you a lot of money.

Want to book an Indian train ticket? Here is the official link

Chair can train wagon in India - Pros and cons of travel in India
An unreserved chair car train wagon.

4. Treasures of natural beauty

India holds a few climates and when it comes to natural beauty, there are many options you have. Unlike the cons of traveling to other countries, in India, you can visit the desert, climb high peaks in the Himalayas, wander in jungles or you can explore big urban cities. If you want to spend some time on the beach, Goa is a great option. Within a country like India, you can spend a lot of time visiting every corner. And every corner will reward you with a different kind of natural beauty.

Monkeys at sunset in Pushkar
Monkeys looking over the sunset in Pushkar.

5. India will allow you to travel light

In India, you don’t necessarily have to bring a lot of travel gear unless you are planning on going hiking in the snowy peaks of the Himalayas. The rest of the country has a warm climate so you don’t need to bring a lot of clothing. Traveling with a light backpack allows you to get around more easily and if you run short of clothing or travel gear, you can always buy new essential goods in this huge country.

Travel light in India - Pros and cons of travel in India.
Always bring a light daypack in India. It will save you a lot of weight when you walk around for sightseeing. This photo was taking in the Jaisalmer Fort.

The cons of traveling in India

1. It’s a huge country

Getting around by airplane in India is the quickest option for traveling long distances, but it’s often cheaper if you take a bus or train. It’s one of the best tips for budget travel: take a bus or train instead of an airplane.

However, it might take you very long to get from one place to another by traveling over the land. If you are planning on traveling around India by bus or train, keep in mind that you will have to spend many hours on the road because of all the long-distances. This definitely can be one of the cons of budget traveling in India.

India is huge - Kumbhalgarh hills
India is huge and beautiful. This image was taken at Kumbhalghar, in the hills of Southern Rajasthan.

2. Getting used to spicy Indian food can be one of the cons

Indian food is abundant everywhere in India. You will need to be able to enjoy a lot of curries because they use their spices well. But for a foreigner, you might not be used to these spices in the same way. So this can be one of the cons of traveling in India. It might happen that you get tired of Indian food after a few weeks. Make sure to try out different curries and get some variation in your meals.

Tip: Malai kofta is a recommended less spicy Indian dish you should try out.

Indian food is delicious, but it might be one of the cons if you need some time to get used to the spices.

3. Overall hygiene

Traveling in India will ask a lot of you in the beginning. There are open sewers on the street and you will see garbage in some areas. The tap water is not safe to drink for a foreigner and the restrooms are not always super clean. The lack of hygiene in India definitely can be one of the cons. You will need to take care of your personal hygiene. Some tips: always wash your hands, only drink bottled water (only sealed bottles) and try to filter out the less pleasant sights with it comes to hygiene to fully enjoy your holiday in India.

A cow on a street of India
An Indian cow on an Indian street. You can make up your mind if you think that animals who freely roam the streets are one of the cons or pros of traveling in this country.

4. The cons of the loud Indian traffic

One of the cons of traveling in India is that the traffic can be loud. Honking is common and everybody honks for about any reason. It can become annoying after a while when you walk in the smaller streets. One of the best tips is to try not to get too annoyed because of the traffic. The traffic here is unique and it will really surprise you in pleasant and less pleasant ways.

Traffic in India
A busy street with loud traffic in Bikaner. The loud traffic can be considered as one of the major cons of traveling in India.

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Pros and cons of traveling in India
Pros and cons of traveling in India

6 thoughts on “The Pros and Cons of budget travel in India

  1. Yes, the traffic in India is very loud, in the sense that they have an over-tendency to press their horns while driving.

    But, I have to agree, the cuisine that you get in India is one of the best in the world. They have such unique food 🙂

    Hope to visit there again, as I have unlimited travel visas 🙂

    • Hi! I am glad to read that you agree! India is a country that surprises and affects the human mind. In both positive and negative ways. It’s a beautiful place with quite a few pros and cons. But it’s the contrast in those pros and cons that make it such an interesting place!

    • Hi there,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it. In fact, I agree because I also don’t mind spicy food.
      But in general, too spicy food might scare travelers who are not used to it. That’s why often in the more touristy areas in India the food will not be made as spicy as usual. Perhaps it’s not the biggest deal for all of us.

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