If seeing other people’s European holiday pictures is giving you major FOMO, then maybe it’s time to press ‘pause’ and tune out, because there’s nothing like a break from routine life to recharge your batteries—good for your health, mind, body and soul. And guess what, it doesn’t have to be a luxurious indulgence that leaves you feeling guilty!
Try some of these amazing budget getaway ideas that we’ve handpicked especially for you. Choose whatever you’re in the mood for and get ready to hit that pause button and start planning by the time you’ve finished reading!
- Houseboat in Allepey
Often dubbed the ‘Venice of the East’, Allepey is known for its sprawling countryside and gorgeous lazy lagoons. It is the ultimate destination to just relax and enjoy some downtime, taking a break only to sample that delicious coconut-laced seafood.
If you’re with a bunch of non-seasick gals then rent a houseboat (starts at ₹ 6,000 per day for 1 BHK and includes three meals). Or else budget around ₹ 250-700 per night for accommodation in addition to ₹ 200 per meal.
- Beach-bumming in Goa
When in doubt, just head to Goa. You can’t really go wrong and there are so many options for everything, you can just go wherever the coastline leads you. Get lost on the never-ending beaches, or immerse yourself in Portuguese architecture; dive into local markets or just dive into some prawn curry. Whatever your fancy, a weekend in Goa is always special.
PS. If you’re feeling adventurous, then hire a motorbike and spend the day exploring!
You can stay in decent accommodation in beach huts which start at ₹ 500 a night and eat great shack-meals for as low as ₹150-200. (Keep aside ₹250-500 for bike rentals)
- A French Soiree in Pondicherry
Feel like adding a little French flair to your life for a weekend? Look no further than majestic Pondicherry. Walk the cobblestoned streets during the day and unwind with a cocktail at the innumerable beach cafes in the evenings. And yes, indulge in the glorious French fare at every opportunity you get. What more could a girl ask for!
You can do a comfortable cottage stay for about ₹ 300 or a budget hotel at ₹ 500. Plan ₹ 200-300 for that delish Indo-French cuisine.
- Camping at Rishikesh
Here’s one thing on your bucket list that you want to cross off earlier rather than later: white-water rafting at Rishikesh. This exhilarating trip always tops the charts among the adventurous budget holiday destinations in India. Even if you’re not a trekker, you will come back from this thrilling weekend with a new love for the outdoors.
PS. You could also visit the breathtaking Valley of Flowers from here and take in a visual sight that you will never forget.
The stay is super reasonable (₹ 150 per night) and you can keep aside the same amount for meals as well. The river rafting comes to ₹ 400-1300 per person. You could also try ‘Beach Camping’ which includes a stay for one night, three meals and river rafting.
- Peace and quiet at Dharamsala
Take a trip to another world… even if it’s just for a weekend. A colorful hill station, Dharamsala is like mini-Tibet. Lined with numerous monasteries and temples to visit, the views of the hills and valleys are just magical. If you’re a trekker, then be sure to try the one to Triund and camp out if you really want to soak in the bliss. If you’re looking for adventurous, cheap and charming, Dharamsala is a clear winner.
The budget approximately ₹ 130-150 per night for accommodation and about ₹200 for some Tibetan/ Chinese cuisine at the lovely little cafes.
- Historically stunning Hampi
This one is a real treat for the history lovers and an eye-opener for anyone who hasn’t been exposed to glorious Indian architecture. Relive the Vijayanagar history by just wandering about Hampi or maybe sit on the huge boulders to marvel at all that surrounds you. Try and visit first week of November to catch the vibrant Hampi Utsav!
Experience Hampi with a Homestay or Guesthouse (₹ 50-200 per night) or go for budget hotel accommodation at ₹ 300-800 per night. Keep aside ₹ 200 for three meals a day.
- Boat ride through Varanasi
If you truly want to experience the cultural flavor of India, get on that boat and take a ride through Banaras or Varanasi. Take in the most incredible sights from laundry to religious rituals and see fire crackers light up the river (try and go during Diwali). And most important of all, don’t miss out on the famous Banarasi thandai and Banarasi paan!
You can stay for ₹ 200 a night and get street food for as little as ₹ 30 a meal or local food at restaurants for ₹ 150 per meal.
- The Hills of Darjeeling
Chugging up to Darjeeling looking over the idyllic hills makes it a once in a lifetime experience. Take in the gorgeous fresh air and sip Darjeeling tea for the perfect R&R weekend. Make sure you rise early and gaze at the sunrise at Tiger hills and be prepared to be mesmerized by the magnificent Kanchenjunga. A weekend well spent.
Take the Toy Train up to Darjeeling from New Jalpaiguri for ₹ 250. Staying on twin-sharing basis is for about ₹ 800 per night and food can be budgets at ₹ 300 for a meal for two.
Written by Mallika Setalvad on Sep 21, 2017