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How to Budget Your Backpacking Travel in India

Steps

Budgeting Basics

  1. Understand the conversion costs of buying products in India.Indian services and goods cost about a 1/10 of what similar would cost in the USA. If this ratio is greatly exceeded on any product or service it usually means the target market are tourists or the rich.
  2. Try to find the local alternatives to some products you normally use, it's a good opportunity to learn about traditional solutions and save money as well.
  3. Understand how long Indian paper money is valid.Indian money bills are used till fall apart. Keep away from torn, mended or highly eroded ones, as locals do, these can usually be deemed only at an 'Bank of India' government branch.
  4. Avoid, if possible, changing your foreign currency into Rs.1000 bills.Local small businesses find it hard to give change for even Rs.500 bills
  5. Understand how the prices are marked, and how they relate to the bottom line in rural India.All marked prices are bottom line, in rural India. There are no extra tax, vat, gratuity, tip, fee, charge etc...
  6. Know how to bargain for something in India.Bargaining is the nature of consumer business in India. Barber, tailor, Internet browsing center, mobile/computer shop or any service (Vs. packaged goods) is open for price negotiation.
  7. Understand what a Maximum Retail Price is in India.All packaged goods bear an M.R.P (Maximum retail price) which is the sale price at all city and village shops. There's no bargaining as shop's profit margin is only about 5% . M.R.P is surpassed at highway bus stops, train stations and airports.
  8. Use your right hand to pay and receive Indian money.Traditionally money should be paid and received with right hand only.
  9. Always carry a bag with you.As per latest recommendations by the Government of India, you will be charged for plastic bags and numerous places have been marked as "NO PLASTIC ZONE" and many other shops won't even use plastic bags.

Common Costs for Rural Areas (As of 2011)

  1. Budget for transportation.
    • 5 minutes Auto Rickshaw ride - Rs. 20
    • 24 hours train ride - Rs. 300 (In a sleeper car)
    • Fuel, Gasoline - 1 liter (0.3 US gal) Rs. 80
    • 30 minutes government bus ride Rs. 15
  2. Budget for food.
    • Printed bag - Rs. 10 (Shopping or used as a rice sack, cotton, colorful printing)
    • Food plastic container 400ml. - Rs. 15
    • Filter coffee kit - Rs. 60 (Personal, non electric, room use, stainless steel – size no. 5)
    • 1 cup of chai - Rs. 3- 6 (At a street stall/shop)
    • Cookie - Rs. 1-2 (Assorted, at a street kiosk)
    • Coffee grind 100gr. - Rs. 32 (From freshly roasted beans)
    • Fried split garbanzo snack 200gr. - Rs. 13
    • Tomatoes 1kg. - Rs. 5
    • Egg (unprepared) - Rs. 3
    • Wheat flour 1kg. - Rs. 25
    • Thali - Rs. 35 - 40 (Indian lunch combo plate)
    • Paratha - Rs. 6 (South Indian flat bread, served hot)
    • Omelet - Rs. 7
    • Rice biryani - Rs. 16 (Stir fried with vegetables & gravy)
    • Mineral water bottle 1 liter (0.3 US gal) - Rs. 12 - 15
    • Mineral water 20 liter (5.3 US gal) jug - Rs. 30 (Rs. 100 avg. deposit for jug)
    • Coke, Sprite, Mango juice 330ml. - Rs. 10 (Glass bottle, drink and return)
    • Coke, Sprite, Mango juice 600ml. - Rs. 20 - 28 (Disposable plastic bottle)
    • Grapes, green 1kg. - Rs. 60 (In March)
  3. Budget for other living expenses.
    • Room at a local lodge - Rs. 150 - 200 (sometimes available as non attached, starting from Rs. 70)
    • Room at an apartment complex - Rs. 45 (Long term, electric bill extra)
    • Monthly Electricity bill - Rs. 200 (4 member family household, using a light, fan, TV & fridge)
    • Sleeping mat, roll-able - Rs. 60
    • Mosquito deterrent - Rs. 50 (plug-in machine, 30 night refill)
    • Anti-Ant chalk - Rs. 15 (Effective ant deterrent)
    • Immersion rod 500w - Rs. 150 (For lodge room water heating)
    • Electric adapter - Rs. 30 (USA to Indian wall outlet system)
    • 2 rechargeable batteries +charger - Rs. 500
  4. Budget for hygiene expenses.
    • Laundry detergent 200gr. - Rs. 10
    • Toothbrush - Rs. 15 (Intl. brand name, 2 pieces per pkg.)
    • Toothpaste 150gr. - Rs. 70 (Ayurvedic, traditional style)
    • Soap 75gr. - Rs. 14 (Ayurvedic, traditional style)
    • Haircut (men) - Rs. 25 - 40
  5. Budget for entertainment.
    • 1 hour Internet use - Rs. 10 - 25 (Cyber cafe, negotiable rate, usage frequency based)
    • Movie ticket - Rs. 10 - 50 (Price drops along screening weeks in same cinema)
    • 4” X 6” photo print - Rs. 5 (From a digital camera SD card)
    • Postcard postage to USA - Rs. 25
    • 2GB micro SD card - Rs. 250
    • Micro SD adapter for PC - Rs. 20
    • Blank DVD - Rs. 15 (In a plastic sleeve)
    • Virus removal - Rs. 50 (In-Shop service)
    • Mobile phone - Rs. 1000 (Simplest international brand name handset, B&W)
    • Cellular air-time - Ps.10-Rs.1 (Depends on carrier offers)
  6. Budget for other expenses.
    • Standard ointments - Rs. 15 - 30 (No prescription, at mainstream pharmacy, rough cost estimate)
    • Homeopathy ointments - Rs. 30 (Private clinic)
    • Matchbox - Rs. 1
    • Pocket notebook, 100 pages - Rs. 18
    • Copy - Rs. 3 (B&W, copy-machine or printer)
    • Lungi - Rs. 190 (Tamil men wrap-around cotton, high thread count)
    • Boxer shorts - Rs. 40 (Sold packaged for Rs. 250 in a big Indian city)
    • Shirt - Rs.





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Date: 18.12.2018, 22:52 / Views: 92351