If you are looking on how to plan a cheap solo trip to Himachal, don’t worry II have got your back. Being a budget solo traveler myself I am always on the lookout for traveling as budget friendly as possible.
Having traveled extensively in Himachal, be it rustic villages of far-flung valleys or popular touristy places, I can certainly help with planning a budget solo trip to Himachal.
How To Plan A Cheap Solo Trip To Himachal – Average Costs, Tips And Cheap Circuits
Himachal is one of the most budget-friendly destinations when it comes to Himachal. Robust public transport, budget accommodation and food options make it quite conducive to plan a cheap solo trip to Himachal.
Here is a brief of overview of what to expect in terms of costs for a cheap solo trip to Himachal. By the way, if this is your first time to Himachal, here is detailed list of things to pack for a trip to Himachal.
|Accommodation & Food Expenses
For a cheap solo travel trip your food and stay expenses should around INR 600 to INR 800. Not matter whether you are staying in a homestay, hostel etc.
So for a week trip to Himachal. Your Food & Expense cost should be around INR 5k to INR 6K.
Make sure you travel by local buses and avoid cabs if you have to commute. This will save you a lot. On average if you are traveling within 50km radius. Your per day commute be around INR 100 to INR 150
|Flight Or Train To Delhi or Chandigarh for Getting to Himachal
Make sure you travel in sleeper class if are looking for a cheap solo trip to Himachal. Avoiding flights can save you at least INR 2k to INR 3k if not more.
|Buses to Get to Himachal & back
Try traveling by ordinary buses if you wish to get to Himachal. Volvos tend to be on the more expensive side to be honest. If you travel by ordinary buses to travel to Himachal. It should not cost more than INR 2k to INR 3k both ways.
|Total Solo Trip budget For Himachal
So now adding up all the costs mentioned above. You should be roughly spending around INR 10K. Which in my opinion is certainly a cheap trip.
Average Accommodation For A Cheap Solo Trip to Himachal
As a solo traveler opting for hotels can be a bit costly when in Himachal. So better budget options would be a dorm bed in a hostel or a homestay.
Hostels are widespread in touristy and popular places and have even started find its way to lesser know places. A dorm bed in a hostel should cost you around INR 250 to INR 500 depending on the area you intend visit.
For instance, in places like Manali, Mcledoganj, Bir you should be able to dorm beds for as a low as INR 250. But again upcoming places like Jibhi, Shangarh you might have to pay around INR 350 to INR 500.
Usually meals are not included in hostels. You either have to eat at their in house-cafes or you could eat wherever you wish to.
Budget homestays also prove to be real good options when it comes to traveling solo in Himachal. Firstly they are usually the safest forms of accommodation, plus have an added advantage of staying with a local.
These budget homestays you usually are priced around INR 700 to INR 1200 per day as per facilities, location. And they usually have all the meals included which is an advantage when compared with hostels.
Budget hotel room or guest house is something that you’ll find in popular tourist resorts like Manali. During off season you can get such rooms for around INR 500 to INR 700.
Average Food Cost For A Cheap Solo Trip To Himachal
Popular tourist resorts like Manali, Kasol, Mcloedganj, Jibhi, Bir have tons of fancy hippie cafes to entice you with their scrumptious delicacies.
But if you want not to end up paying a fortune for food on your solo trip, stay away from them as much as possible in my opinion. I am glad that I learned this quite early.
Just a single meal at such fancy cafes would cost you around INR 300 to INR 500. Just imagine your food expenses if you were to just at cafes.
For instance, In kasol I ended up spending INR 650 per person for just one meal. Of course, we ordered a bunch of dishes, but their prices were even higher then we are used to paying in the cities. I hope you get my point.
Better way would be to either stay in budget homestays which include all your meals or to eat the Dhabas if you are staying in hostels or guesthouse.
A hearty meal at a Dhaba will cost you around INR 80 in most places in Himachal. So you can have all the meals for whole day at around INR 250.
Cheaper price, does not mean compromise in hygiene or taste. The food is simple but quite delicious. Usually Dhabas in Himachal serve your normal Roti-Sabzi and Dal chawal that too unlimited.
For instance while staying in a hostel in Banjar, the in house cafe of the hostel was way over my budget. So I opted to eat out at Dhabas which used to cost me around INR 200 for all the meals which were quite delicious.
So your food expenses you should not exceed more than INR 250 if you are looking to plan a cheap solo trip to Himachal. By the way, here is a detailed blog on food in the homestays of Himachal.
Average Commute Cost In Himachal For A Cheap Solo Trip
There are very few states in India which have public transport as robust as Himachal has in the form of HRTC. You’ll find buses going to even remote villages in the far-flung areas if there is road wide enough.
Therefore always commute in local buses when traveling solo in Himachal for a budget friendly and cheap trip to keep your commute expenses in check.
Robust public transport is one of the reasons why I am able to travel even to the remotest corner of Himachal without having to shell out ridiculous amount of money for private cabs.
Currently the cost in HRTC is calculated by 2 times the distance. So if you were to travel for 50 km in an HRTC bus, your fare would be around INR 100.
For instance lets say you wish to go Keylang in Lahaul valley via Atal Tunnel. A Private cab will cost you around INR 3000 just to drop you at Keylang. But it will just cost you around INR 150 if you were to go by bus.
Best Routes for Cheap Solo Trips To Himachal
Based on my travels and expenses incurred on my solo trips to Himachal, Here are some routes that are perfect for a budget solo trip to Himachal.
Manali is one of the cheapest destinations you can travel to solo in Himachal. There are pelthora of budget options in the form of hostels, guesthouses, hotels.
You can get a dorm bed for as low as INR 200 in Manali. You can even get budget hotels and guesthouses at INR 500 except for the peak season time. There are plenty of budget eateries in Manali as well.
For instance, I managed to get a decent room for INR 500 near Mall Road and ate at Dhabas to keep my expenses down.
Spiti valley is one the cheapest routes in Himachal. With budget homestays available in almost every village of Spiti coupled with a decent public transport connectivity you can certainly travel cheap in Spiti.
For instance, I payed around INR 500 per day including food and stay in one of the basic homestays in Lhalung.
If you opt for such homestays and travel by public transport you can easily end up spending under INR 10K from Delhi to Delhi.
Parvati valley in Kullu district of Himachal is another of one those routes which is apt for budget traveling. With budget options widely available in places like Kasol, Chalal, Tosh, Kalga etc, you can certainly travel cheap.
Basic accommodation can be availbale for as low as INR 300 for a solo traveler in places like Tosh, Kalga. The food is the only thing you should watch out for. Try to eat at Dhabas if possible.
For instance, In Tosh we were able to get very basic accommodation for Just INR 200 Per person. Of course, the food was a bit expensive but we did not have any other choice as there heavy snow all around.
On a day trip to Kalga, when I enquired around I found a place where they offered stay for INR 300. So if you stay at such basic accommodations, eat out at Dhabas you can easily sustain for
With commercialization yet to touch the picturesque valley of Sainj, traveling solo to Sainj is usually well within budget.
Hostels have just start to pop up now in Shangarh but the rest of the valley only has budget homestays. Therefore, you can easily manage to stay in a budget homestay at INR 800 to INR 900 per day including meals.
By the way, here is an ultimate Sainj valley itinerary to experience the rustic charm of lesser-known valleys of Himachal.
Tirthan and Banjar valleys
If you are looking to experience the rustic Charm of Himachal within budget, look no further than Tirthan and Banjar valley.
Hostels and homestays are your best bet as a solo traveler. Jibhi remains the most popular destination in the area with plenty of hostels. But budget homestays have popped up in rustic villages of Tirthan and Banjar.
Barot and Lohardi
If you want to travel solo to lesser crowded places in Himachal without having to spend a ton of money, Barot in Chuhar valley and Lohardi in Chota bhangal are perfect options.
I personally paid INR 500 for a room per day and just another INR 170 for all the meals per day during my two week stay in Lohardi and Barot. Public transport buses run at regular intervals to both Barot and Lohardi.
So all in all you can restrict your food and stay expenses at around INR 700 per day. And 7-day delhi to delhi trip should not cost more than INR 8k.
Bir & Mcleod Ganj
I personally haven’t been to Bir and Mcleod Ganj and Dharmsala area in Kangra but like Parvati valley it is heaven for budget solo travelers.
With plenty of budget hostels and guesthouses you can easily restrict your expenses to around INR 700 – INR 800 per day. Just manage to stay away from the fancy cafes.
Tips For Planning a cheap Solo trip to Himachal
Here are a few tips which will help you to travel cheap in Himachal based on solo travels to Himachal. I am sure you’ll find them useful.
- Stay in budget homestays and hostels for a cheap trip to Himachal
- Avoid eating at fancy cafes and eat at Dhabas instead.
- Avoid volvos to get to Himachal instead opt for Ordinary buses.
- Travel to Himachal solo in off season. Basically avoid May-June and new year period.
- Travel by Train (Sleeper class) to get to Delhi or Chandigarh instead of Flights
- Avoid hiring private cabs, Request your homestay hosts to take you around and pay them fuel expenses.
- Travel with other solo travelers you might meet on your trip
To conclude, I hope I was able to help you on how to plan a cheap solo trip to Himachal. Just to sum it up, travel in public transport, stay in budget hostels and homestays, eat at Dhabas and you should be good.
In case you have queries relating to solo trip cost for Himachal, do drop them in the comments below. I’ll make sure to answer them and help you out.