Taking a trip to India is often quite difficult, especially if you don’t have a pharaonic budget that allows you to stay in luxury hotels, eat in high-end restaurants and travel in a private car. Nothing impossible, of course: you just need to organize yourself well, be provident, follow some simple but fundamental advice and then leave.
Organizing a DIY trip to India is not easy, but the experience pays off any effort! So, you can get Air India Express booking to get budget-friendly flights. We are certainly not the ones who have to tell you why India, despite its charm, its spirituality and the magic it hides, can preserve some uncomfortable surprises if not taken with the right attitude.
It is a very poor country, in which hygiene is in short supply, where some diseases such as dengue and malaria are endemic, it has impressive traffic, scams are often around the corner and you risk having to run into a strict and verbose bureaucracy.
Given the size of the town, the level of services also changes from area to area: the north and the east are poorer and therefore a bit more demanding, while the south is developing a lot thanks to the IT companies that are colonizing its main cities.
But don’t worry: in recent years we have been to India many times, crossing it from north to south and therefore we feel ready to explain how to best organize a DIY trip to India.
When to go to India and avoid monsoons
Be wary of guides and sites that provide general advice on the best months to visit India. The country is not only large, but the presence of high mountain ranges, along with coastal areas, rainy seasons and much more, makes it necessary to go specifically, evaluating when to organize a trip to India by scanning the climate and the presence of any monsoons. state by state.
For this reason, in our article the monsoons and the climate in India: when planning a trip, we have prepared a practical and streamlined guide so that you can understand which is the best month for your adventure!
Get a Visa for India
To enter India you need a visa, the ways of obtaining it changes all the time. We will therefore report some general rules, which obviously need to be rechecked and verified because the procedures are always very rigid and bureaucratically useless.
Obtaining a visa for India is not a feat at all, on the contrary, you just need to arm yourself with a little patience to understand how they work and things.
It is not possible to obtain “on arrival” visas, so it will be necessary to arrive in Indian territory with the visa already in the passport. In 2017 there was at least two big news in terms of visas for a trip to India. The first is that “classic” visas have almost doubled in price and now cost around 80/90 euros. The second is excellent news: the e-visa is born!
Visa to stay in India 2 months or less
You can get a brand new visa online, easy to obtain, cheap and above all, you can get it without going to the embassy or contacting any agency.
The e-visa has some limitations: you can only stay in India for two months, you will only have two entrances to the country, you cannot visit areas like Sikkim and you cannot change your arrival airport if you change your flight at the last minute. The cost of the e-visa is around 50 euros.
How to get the India e-visa? Fill out the form you find on the official website of the Indian Government, carefully and in all its parts. Make sure you have at hand when applying for the e-Visa: passport valid for more than 6 months and with 3 free sides, a scanned passport photo, your return flight plan and a hotel reservation for the first night in India. After filling out the form you will have to pay by credit card and within 5-6 working days your visa will arrive by email.
Visa to stay in India for more than 2 months
If you want to stay in India for more than 60 days (and less than 180, you won’t be able to more) you will have to apply for a visa in the most classic way, i.e. by going to the Indian Embassy in Rome (if you live in Tuscany down) or to the Indian Consulate in Milan (if you live in northern Italy) after having carefully filled out (if you are a journalist … avoid writing it on your visa!)
The form you find on the official website of the Indian Government. Make sure you have at hand when applying for a visa at the embassy or consulate: the completed and printed form, your passport valid for more than 6 months and with 3 free sides, two-color photos 5x5cm, your flight plan A / R and booking a hotel for the first night in India.
If you do not want to go to the embassy or consulate personally you will have to rely on an agency: when we had to apply for a visa while we were traveling in the Balkans we turned to Indian Visa Milan, remaining very satisfied.
How much does it cost to travel to India?
You all know: India is a very cheap country. You pay in rupees: the value of the rupee is around 0.013 euros. That is to say that 70-75 rupees are equivalent to one euro. A double room in a cheap hotel (with decidedly Indian standards ) will cost you between 7 and 10 euros (some states are cheaper than others), which goes up to 14-18 euros if you want air conditioning.
Obviously, you can go up in price, and therefore quality, as much as you want, even spending several hundred euros per night. Eating at a restaurant down the street or to the goodwill cost 02.01 euro each. A slightly higher level dinner is around 3-4 euros, maximum.
Transport costs very little: in the larger cities, the ticket for city buses costs about 15-20 euro cents. To move from city to city you will spend about 2 euros for about two hours of travel. Water is a fairly expensive commodity in India: a 5-liter bottle costs about 1 euro.
Are you like us Indian cinema fans? You will go to the cinema for 150 rupees, about 2 euros!
Is there anything that costs a lot in India? Yes. Beer for example: if after months of traveling in the country you cannot do without it, you will have a nasty surprise.
In Tamil Nadu for example a beer in a bar costs about 260-300 rupees, a disproportionate amount compared to the rest. And it won’t be easy for you to find it. Of course, the laws on the sale of alcohol change from state to state, or even from city to city, resulting in different prices.
To sum up: during the last visit we spent 5 months in India and in two we spent, all-inclusive (except visas and flights) 750/800 euros per month, an average of 25-27 euros per day.