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Case Study: How a Family of Four Traveled India on a Smart Budget

Last updated :
March 10, 2024
/

minutes read

I. Introduction

Meet the Sharma family: Sundar and Meera, both young professionals, and their two children, Aryan and Anaya. Inspired by the desire to explore India's cultural richness, they embarked on an ambitious journey to visit numerous destinations within the country while sticking to a tight budget.

The Sharma family had three primary objectives:

  1. Experience India's diverse culture and heritage
  2. Create lasting memories together as a family
  3. Complete the journey without exhausting their limited budget

Budget travel is particularly relevant to young Indian employees and new graduates. As they begin their careers and face financial constraints, these individuals can still satisfy their wanderlust by following the Sharma family's approach to budget travel.

II. Planning and Preparations

A. Research on budget destinations

The Sharmas began their preparations by researching budget-friendly destinations in India. They considered factors such as accommodation costs, transportation options, and the availability of affordable activities. Some of the destinations they considered included:

Destination State Key Attraction
Hampi Karnataka Historical ruins
Varanasi Uttar Pradesh Spiritual hub
McLeodganj Himachal Pradesh Scenic beauty

B. Setting a realistic budget

The family allocated funds for different categories:

Category Allocation (in INR)
Accommodation 15,000
Transportation 10,000
Food and Beverages 7,000
Attractions and Activities 5,000

C. Importance of flexibility in planning

The Sharmas understood the importance of flexibility during their journey. They allowed themselves to modify plans as needed, such as adjusting their route or extending their stay in a particular location.

D. Travel insurance and necessary documentation

The family secured travel insurance and ensured they had proper documentation, such as IDs and necessary permits, to avoid any potential issues during their journey.

III. Accommodation

A. Booking budget hotels and hostels

The Sharmas booked budget hotels and hostels through various platforms like Booking.com, OYO Rooms, and Airbnb. They took advantage of early-bird discounts and promotions to further reduce costs.

B. Leveraging online platforms and discounts

They joined Facebook groups and forums dedicated to budget travel in India, where they found valuable recommendations on accommodations, discounts, and deals.

C. Staying with friends, family, or acquaintances

Whenever possible, the family stayed with friends, family, or acquaintances to save on accommodation costs.

D. Tips for safe and comfortable stays

The Sharmas prioritized safety and comfort by checking user reviews and ratings before booking accommodations. They also packed essential items like mosquito repellents and portable chargers for added convenience.

IV. Transportation

A. Exploring various modes of transport

The Sharmas utilized a mix of transportation options to minimize costs:

Mode of Transport Examples
Trains Sleeper class, general class
Buses State-run buses, private buses
Shared taxis Local shared taxis, app-based cabs

B. Booking tickets in advance

To secure the best prices, they booked train and bus tickets in advance through platforms like IRCTC and RedBus.

C.Leveraging government schemes and student discounts

The family took advantage of government schemes and student discounts for children when booking transportation, which helped them save money.

D. Experiencing local transportation

They opted for local transportation options like rickshaws, auto-rickshaws, and shared cabs for short distances, which were not only budget-friendly but also allowed them to experience India's unique travel culture.

V. Food and Beverages

A. Trying out local cuisines

The Sharmas relished local cuisines at dhabas, street food stalls, and small eateries, which were not only affordable but also provided a more authentic dining experience.

B. Eating at budget-friendly eateries

The family researched budget-friendly eateries on platforms like Zomato and TripAdvisor and sought recommendations from locals.

C. Tips for maintaining a healthy diet while traveling

To stay healthy during their journey, the Sharmas focused on eating freshly cooked meals, carrying hand sanitizer, and drinking bottled or filtered water.

D. Carrying snacks and water bottles

The family carried reusable water bottles and packed light snacks such as fruits, nuts, and energy bars to save on food costs during their travels.

VI. Attractions and Activities

A. Prioritizing must-see attractions

The Sharmas prioritized must-see attractions in each destination, ensuring they experienced the most significant sights without overspending on entrance fees.

B. Exploring free or low-cost activities

They sought out free or low-cost activities, such as visiting public parks, participating in community events, and exploring local markets.

C. Participating in local events and festivals

The family immersed themselves in India's rich culture by attending local events and festivals, which offered unique experiences and opportunities for bonding.

D. Creating a balance between relaxation and sightseeing

The Sharmas ensured they had enough downtime to relax and recharge between sightseeing excursions, which helped them maintain their energy levels throughout their journey.

VII. Managing Finances

A. Daily budget tracking

To keep track of their expenses, the family maintained a daily budget log, which allowed them to make necessary adjustments and avoid overspending.

B. Using cash and digital payments wisely

The Sharmas used a combination of cash and digital payments to manage their finances more effectively. They also took advantage of mobile wallet offers and cashback promotions to save on transactions.

C. Emergency funds and backup plans

The family set aside an emergency fund for unexpected expenses and developed backup plans in case of unforeseen circumstances.

D. Cost-cutting tips and tricks

Throughout their journey, the Sharmas employed various cost-cutting strategies, such as sharing meals, bargaining at local markets, and using public transportation.

VIII. Lessons Learned and Recommendations

A. Challenges faced during the trip

The family encountered challenges such as language barriers, adjusting to different climates, and managing their time effectively. They overcame these obstacles through effective communication, proper planning, and adaptability.

B. Personal growth and family bonding

The Sharmas experienced significant personal growth and family bonding during their journey, as they faced challenges together, learned about new cultures, and created lasting memories.

C. Tips for young Indian employees and new graduates

Based on their experiences, the Sharmas recommend the following tips for young Indian employees and new graduates:

  1. Start planning and saving early
  2. Conduct thorough research on destinations and accommodations
  3. Be flexible and open to adapting plans
  4. Prioritize safety and health during the journey
  5. Embrace local culture and experiences

D. Encouraging budget travel and cultural exploration

The Sharmas' story serves as an inspiration for young Indian employees and new graduates to embark on their own budget adventures. By embracing the principles of budget travel, individuals can explore India's rich cultural tapestry and create unforgettable memories without straining their finances.

Conclusion

The Sharma family successfully completed their ambitious journey across India while adhering to a strict budget. Through careful planning, research, and resourcefulness, they managed to experience the country's diverse culture and heritage without breaking the bank.

Budget travel in India is not only feasible but also incredibly rewarding. With a little effort and creativity, anyone can experience the country's wonders while staying within their financial means.

The Sharmas' story demonstrates that budget travel is an achievable goal for young Indian employees and new graduates.

By following their example and applying the lessons they've learned, aspiring travelers can create their own unforgettable journeys across India's magnificent landscape.

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Shuaib Azam
Shuaib is a Marketing & Growth lead at Hubble. When he isn't working on growth initiatives, Shuaib writes fiction and doodles space monkeys.

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