2016 was an year of new beginnings for us. We married each other, travelled to four countries, and kickstarted our blog to share travel ideas and stories with you all. While we always harboured dreams of traveling and seeing the world, we procrastinated on it citing a gazillion reasons up until last year. In 2016, we vowed to not let finances, job expectations, daily luxuries come in the way of our dreams and managed to pull off almost 75 days of travels through the year.
With a new year upon us, we all have an opportunity to reboot and indulge in things we’ve always wanted to. So, if you’ve been secretly making a bucket list for yourself, maybe NOW is the time to tick off some of those. To ease things for you, we’ve put together a short list on the top countries to travel to in 2017 on a budget.
With the end of the financial year, most parts of India start crumbling under heat. So, with an opportunity to escape the heatwave, summer (April/ May) is a fantastic time for Indian travellers to jet set.
Portugal has long been ignored from a typical ‘Euro’ trip itinerary. Often shadowed by its glitzy neighbour Spain, Portugal remains a largely unspoilt destination.
Weather: Balmy, Breezy; Average of 20 degrees
Budget: The economy of Portugal has been crumbling of late, bringing the prices severely down. April/ May is off-season as well.
How To Get There: Take the new promotional Air India flight to Madrid and take a train/ bus over to Portugal. Turkish Airlines, AirFrance are decent budget alternatives.
Think of the vast Sahara desert, blue-dotted intricate streets, coloured carpets, and mouth watering food – that’s Morocco for you. Just a short ferry ride from Spain/ Portugal, it is the perfect add-on in case you’re visiting either of these European nations.
Weather: Sunny but pleasant. Average of 21 degrees (best season in Morocco)
Budget: Shoe-string budget. Flights maybe costly there but the food and stay options are as cheap as Thailand.
How To Get There: Couple it with a Portugal or Spain trip and take a short ferry ride. Direct flights from India are costly.
3. CENTRAL EUROPE
The confluence of Prague, Vienna, and Budapest makes for a fascinating European itinerary. While a mainstream travel option, these cities offer plenty for every type of traveller.
Weather: Breezy and Cold
Budget: Can be managed on a backpacker budget of 75$ per day; Luxury options available as well
How To Get There: The cheapest way is to take Aeroflot from Delhi into any of the cities. ‘Fly Dubai’ from Mumbai is a cheap alternative.
While August doesn’t have a handful of holidays, Janmashtami/ Independence day along with a couple of leaves can make for a good 10-day holiday opportunity. If you’re in Maharashtra, September’s Ganesh Chaturthi holidays provides you the window to escape the hustle and bustle.
1. RUSSIA or GEORGIA
August is the perfect time to plot a trip to Russia or its cross-border enemy, Georgia. While Russia offers scenic train journeys, toy-like churches, and plenty of Vodka, Georgia offers the most gorgeous hills you might ever see!
Weather: Sunny but pleasant; Well-sandwiched between the long winters.
Budget: A bit higher than backpacker budgets (Expected spending of 100$ per day)
How To Get There: Fly Aeroflot from Delhi for as little as 25,000 INR return. Book it directly from their website.
Bali is among the most popular destinations visited by Indians but Indonesia extends far beyond Bali. The likes of Raja Ampat, Yogyakarta, Lombok are off-the-beaten path and waiting to be explored.
Weather: Sunny but the best time to visit Indonesia
Budget: Backpacker budget; One of the world’s cheapest economies. (50$ per day)
How To Get There: Fly Air Asia from Cochin/ Chennai/ Bangalore or Malindo Air from Mumbai.
3. SOUTH AFRICA
With a rugged coastline, free walking wild animals, gob-smacking views, and crazy adventure opportunities, South Africa is one of the planet’s best places for a holiday.
Weather: Perfect for safaris (Animals come to watering holes in search of water!)
Budget: Mid-range budget (75$-100$ per day)
How To Get There: Air Seychelles, Ethiopian Airlines, and Kenya Airways fly from Mumbai at dirt-cheap prices to Jo’burg.
With the Dusshera/Diwali festivities kicking in India, October is packed with plenty of holidays providing the ideal opportunity to travel without having to dig into those leaves.
1. JORDAN/ ISRAEL
Last October, we went to Jordan and were left in awe of its magnificent landscapes and rich history. Its neighbour, Israel, is equally beautiful and packs a punch when it comes to history.
Weather: Breezy & Sunny
Budget: Mid-Range to Costly (Expect to spend around 125$ per day; Budget tips here)
How To Get There: Etihad Airways is both the most luxurious and cheapest way to get to Amman or Tel-Aviv.
While the political situation in Turkey remains unstable, there is no doubting the fascinating country that Turkey is. Stare at the paintings in Hagia Sofia, cruise by the Istanbul river, or take hot air balloon rides in Cappadocia – Turkey is a haven for travellers!
Weather: Breezy & Sunny
Budget: Backpacker Level (Around 75$ per day)
How To Get There: Turkish Airlines flies directly to Istanbul from prime Indian cities
Italy is a destination that requires no introduction. From Venice to Rome to Milan, Indian travellers have always been a predominant group in Italy. But, Italy also has some stunning places like Cinque Terre, Umbria that remain fairly unexplored.
Weather: Balmy, Sunny
Budget: Backpacker Level (Italy is still reeling from an economic crisis; Expect to spend 60$ per day)
How To Get There: Saudia is the cheapest flight that takes you to Rome.
2017 Winter may seem far away now but get planning early as most of the world is travelling and prices sky rocket for this period before you know it. With so many holidays on offer, it remains the most popular travel season across the globe.
Christmas season is a wonderful time to head over to Croatia that has found its place in travel annals thanks to Game Of Thrones. From red-roofed buildings, majestic coastal forts, lip-smacking seafood, and pretty Christmas markets, Croatia ought to find a place in your ‘must-go!’ list.
Weather: Cold, Snowy
Budget: Mid-range (Expect to spend around 100$ per day incl car rentals)
How To Get There: Aeroflot from Delhi is the cheapest option from India to Zagreb; Turkish Airlines is a decent cheap alternative
Burma barely feels like a working nation as it is still figuring out its very basics. But, for a traveller, Burma is awash with tons of stuff to do. Take a cruise on the Irrawady river, wake up to sunrise in Bagan, or float over the pagodas on a hot air balloon… Burma is surely not going to disappoint you.
Weather: Bearably hot (Burma can climb upto 50 degrees and December is the only time to visit without burning yourself)
Budget: Backpacker to Luxury (Burma can be extremely costly if going for resort-stays et al, and extremely cheap otherwise; Range from 50$ to 200$ per day)
How To Get There: Air India flies to Yangon from Kolkata/ Delhi, on a budget
3. CAMBODIA & LAOS
A long-standing favourite among backpackers, Cambodia is one of the cheapest places to visit on Earth. Couple it with sometime in offbeat Laos to ring in 2018 in grand fashion while keeping your wallets tight.
Weather: Sunny but pleasant (Can get hot occasionally)
Budget: Backpacker Level (50$ per day)
How To Get There: Tiger Air & Air Asia are the best options, from any South Indian city.
Here’s hoping 2017 brings a lot of travels for all of you. Do reach out to us if you want any help in planning a budget trip to any of the suggested destinations. Hop over here for some general hacks on cracking budget deals.
Happy New Year, once again!