How to Live on the Cheap in India » A Guide to Prices

People always ask me and Carrie how can we possibly afford to travel for eight months (hopefully).

Did we win the lotto? Are we secretly crazy rich? Nope .. .it’s the low prices in India that allow it to happen: as well as the existence of budget guesthouses. Here are a small sample of some average prices we have encountered thus far. (as of January, 2009)

  • Hotel room – $4 – $6 per night for a double bed (which is actually 2 single beds put next to each other)
  • Six hour bus ride – $3 – $4 per person
  • 12 hour overnight train ride – $6 per person
  • Laundry in Agra, IndiaLaundry – $0.20 for socks to at most $0.50 for pants
  • Meal at a local eatery – $1.50 total for a shared full meal and usually a bottle of mineral water
  • Meal at a nice, touristy eatery – $5 total for two plates of food, drinks and a bottle of water
  • 20 oz bottle of soda – $0.60
  • 2 liter bottle of water – $0.50
  • Toilet paper roll – $0.80 – $1 (yes, TP is one of the most expensive and hardest things to buy)
  • Samosa in IndiaSamosa or some other little fried snack on the side of the road – $0.10
  • Hour of Internet – $0.50 – $1
  • Movie rental – $0.50 (according to Avani)
  • Local phone call – less than one cent per minute
  • Taxi ride (usually an auto-rickshaw) – $0.50 – $1.50 depending on distance. For $1.50, they may drive for nearly 45 minutes
  • Pant tailoring – $0.50…or at least that’s what Carrie paid to have the hem of her pants taken out with some of the best stitching I’ve ever seen.
  • Beer – $1.25 – $2, depending on if you buy it at a restaurant or at a beer store