How to visit Spiti on a budget will definitely interest you if you are a budget traveler visiting Spiti for the first time or someone who is looking to get their budget traveling journey started.
With inexpensive homestays in rustic villages, robust and affordable HRTC buses, Spiti is one such place where you can easily make a budget trip.
And this blog is going to be all about how to visit Spiti on a budget. I’ll help you with all the costs you’ll incur on your budget trip and give a few tips as well.
How To Visit Spiti On Budget – Complete Cost Breakdown
So as I said earlier visiting Spiti on a budget is actually quite easy. Spiti being a remote high-altitude place is not your typical tourist place. And Therefore, you tend spend a lot less in every aspect. Apart, from Kaza and Tabo, there are not a lot of cafes, hotels, guesthouses in Spiti valley.
So due to lack of luxury options, making a budget trip is quite easy. of course, if you are someone who wants luxurious getaways, then Spiti is definitely not the place for you. By the way if its your first time to Spiti, here is a blog 27 practical travel tips for first time travelers.
Here is brief overview of how you can visit Spiti on budget.
|Cost Of Stay For A Budget Trip To Spiti
If you want to make a budget trip to Spiti valley, then you should stay in homestays instead of Hotels, hostels or guesthouses. You can easily get a decent homestay in a typical Spitian village like Demul, Kibber with food at around Rs 500-700.
|Food Cost For A budget Trip To Spiti
If you are staying in Homestays, then mostly the meals will be included. But even if you are not try eating local food at Dhabas. Food is quite inexpensive yet lipsmacking at such Dhabas. You can easily manage your food expenses at around Rs 150 per day if you eat the Dhabas.
|Public Transport Within Spiti For A Budget Trip
If you use HRTC buses for traveling to different villages of Spiti, then you will be spending just around Rs 100 per day max.
|Public transport to enter and exit Spiti
Public Transport to enter and exit by ordinary buses will cost you around Rs 3000 from Delhi and back.
|Total cost of Spiti on a budget
So, you can easily manage to travel to Spiti on a tight budget by spending around 10-12k including food, stay, public transport within Spiti, and public transport to enter and exit Spiti from Delhi and back.
Cost Of Stay For A Budget Trip To Spiti
Thanks to a robust rural tourism infrastructure, you don’t have to spend a fortune to stay in a decent homestay. Almost each and every village of Spiti at least has a homestay for travelers which is very great.
|You can easily get a homestay in villages of Spiti at around Rs 500-700 including food. Nowadays you can there are even guesthouses in famous places of Spiti which are quite inexpensive.
For instance, during my Spiti visit I got a room in homestay cum guesthouse in Mudh village only for Rs 250. Of course, the room was basic, but definitely worth it.
In this way you should be able to spend a day in Spiti with around Rs 600 or even less including food if you sacrifice a bit of luxury. By the you should definitely check out these 11 beautiful Instagrammable places in Spiti.
Food Cost For A Budget Trip To Spiti
Usually if you are staying at a homestay in a typical Spitian village, then the chances are the food price will also be included along with the stay.
|But even if the food is not included along with the stay, it is not that expensive if you stick to eating food at the local dhabas.
Your food expense should be around Rs 150-200 per day as long you stay away from the cafes which are anyways limited to popular tourist places in Spiti like Kaza, Tabo, Kibber etc. In rustic Spitian villages you’ll have to mostly eat at the homestays itself.
Feel free to check out my detailed blog on the safety aspect of traveling to Spiti and let me know your thoughts
Public Transport Cost Within Spiti For A Budget Trip
So if you are planning to visit Spiti on budget, then using HRTC buses for commuting within Spiti is your best bet. HRTC fares for commuting within Spitian villages are very cheap.
|Kaza is the administrative capital of Spiti and you get public transport buses to all the Spitian villages. Also the villages are quite nearby Kaza. Therefore, you’ll hardly end up spending around Rs 100 max per day.
Just one thing to note, buses from Kaza to places like Demul, Lhalung, Langza, Kibber etc will depart in the evening and return back to Kaza in the evening. By the way, the multiplier for the fare is Distance*1.75, so you can calculate the fare for yourself.
By the way, here is detailed blog on the best routes for Spiti. This will surely be very helpful for first time travelers.
Public Transport Cost To Enter and Exit Spiti For A Budget Trip
So to visit Spiti on a budget I would definitely recommend using public transport to enter and exit Spiti.
|So if you travel by HRTC ordinary buses from Delhi and back to enter and exit, then it will cost you around Rs 3000 no matter which route opt i.e the Lahaul route or Kinnaur route. This way you’ll be able to save a lot of money on entering and exiting Spiti.
Also, avoid taking volvo buses if you are trying to make a visit to Spiti on a shoestring budget, because Volvo buses charge much higher than the ordinary buses which will definitely increase your budget.
Here is the HRTC’s website where you can book tickets online.
Total Cost of Spiti On a Budget
|So to give you a rough idea on the total cost of a trip budget to Spiti valley, It is possible to make the trip from Delhi and back at around Rs 10-12K for 10-12 days including food, stay, transport.
Add another Rs 1.5 to 2K if you are going to travel to Spiti from other cities in train (sleeper class).
Please note that this is just a rough estimate you can easily manage to make trip in less than what I have mentioned. Or you might even end up spending more. It is usually differs from individual to individual.
But this what you should expect if you are planning to visit Spiti on a tight budget.
8 Useful Tips On How To Visit Spiti On A Budget
If you want to make a budget trip, then follow these 8 Useful tips which will help to cut down your budget. Some of these are a result of my own experience, while others are a result of me traveling to extensively to Himachal in general.
|1. Stay in Homestays Avoid famous hostel like Zostel in Spiti|
|2. Stay in lesser frequented places rather than famous ones in Spiti|
|3. Eat At Local Dhabas instead of Cafes in Spiti|
|4. Travel with like minded people instead of Solo To Spiti|
|5. Do not include Chandratal if you want to Travel on budget To Spiti|
|6. Travel by public transport instead of Cabs or Self Driving Cars To Spiti|
|7. Travel by train (Sleeper class) if you are coming from cities other than Delhi|
|8. Visit Spiti in Summer instead of Winter for Budget Trip To Spiti|
1. Stay In Homestays Instead of Famous Hostel Chains Like Zostel in Spiti
Ideally, backpackers hostel are meant to help backpackers and solo travelers make a budget trip, but gone are those days.
|Popular hostel chains like Zostel charge around Rs 600 per bed in dorm room (only stay) in Kaza which is quite expensive. The price of food at their cafes is on par with prices of food in city cafe.
So in my opinion, if you want to make a budget trip to Spiti then you should avoid staying at hostels in Kaza, instead you should try to stay at homestays in Kaza or the lesser known villages of Spiti like Demul, Lalung etc. of course, only after you are well acclimatized.
Usually you can easily get a homestay in such villages including food at around Rs 600-700 which is anyways better than paying Rs 600 at a hostel dorm and that too without food. Plus you get to learn a lot about local culture when you are staying with the locals.
2. Stay In Lesser Known places instead of Famous ones in Spiti
So this one is quite obvious, if you stay in lesser known places instead of famous ones Spiti, chances are it will be quite light on the pocket. And one of the best things in Spiti is that almost every village has a homestay.
|So in my opinion. you should not stay in famous places like Tabo or Kaza in Spiti and instead stay places like Demul, Lalung, Tashigong etc. But please make sure that you are well-acclimatized before staying at these places because some of them are higher than Kaza.|
By the way, you should definitely check out these 31 insane places to visit near Spiti which are equally beautiful.
3. Eat At Local Dhabas Rather than Cafes In Spiti
Another obvious one when it comes to traveling on a budget to Spiti valley. Well, if you are staying at homestays for most of the times, then you probably will be eating along with the hosts itself.
But for those who are not, try to eat local dhabas (A small roadside food joint) instead of cafes. if you are for some reason you are staying at a hostel in Kaza, then do not eat in their in-house cafe, because that would cost you a fortune.
|The local dhabas across Himachal serve inexpensive yet lipsmacking. This will make sure that you are not spending a fortune on food. If you eat a local dhabas for the whole day in Spiti, it should not cost you more than Rs 150-200 for the entire day.|
4. Travel With Like Minded People Instead Of Solo In Spiti
Despite me personally almost exclusively traveling solo to himachal, I would suggest you to travel with a small group of like minded people. Reason being you can share several costs if you are traveling in a small group.
For instance, suppose you want to visit make day trip to famous villages of Hikkim, Komic, Langza, it will be very difficult for a solo traveler on budget to hire a private cab. And the buses to these villages only go in the evening from Kaza.
So you don’t have to think twice about hiring cabs if you are traveling in group. Plus your stay cost will also get divided if were to travel in group. This why it is easier to visit Spiti on budget with a small like minded group of people rather than traveling solo.
5. Do Not Include Chandratal If You Want To Travel On A Budget To Spiti
Firstly Chandratal is one of the lakes located in Lahaul valley and not Spiti valley. And secondly visiting Chandratal meaning you’ll have to spend a lot of money at least Rs 1500 for stay and food for one night. Also, there is no direct public transport.
Chandratal is usually always included in Spiti circuit trip due to its close proximity to Spiti, but as I mentioned earlier there is no direct public transport to Chandratal also staying there in commercial camps is very expensive.
You can make a budget trip to Chandratal if you wish to but you’ll have to walk a lot or trek from Kunzum La and camp on your own. That would be of course very difficult at such a dizzying altitude. And should be not be attempted by those who are not used to such altitudes.
So if you are on a tight budget then you’ll either have to endure a lot of hardships to visit Chandratal. Else get ready to see your budget shoot up by at least by Rs 3K.
6. Travel By Public Transport Instead Of Cabs Or Self Driving Cars
If you are planning to visit Spiti on a tight budget, then you should make use of public transport only for commute both for entering and exiting Spiti as well as traveling within Spiti.
|I personally, traveled to Spiti by Zoomcar along with a few friends which costed us around Rs 10K just for commute from Chandigarh and back.
But if you travel by public transport that is ordinary HRTC buses, then you’ll end spending Rs 4k max both for entering and exiting Spiti as well as commuting within Spiti from Delhi and back.
7. Travel To Spiti By Train If You Coming From Cities Other Than Delhi Or Chandigarh
So this one is for those who are not from Delhi and Chandigarh. In my opinion, you should travel by sleeper class if you truly want to make a budget trip to Spiti.
|If you travel to lets say Delhi from Mumbai by flight or 3rd tier AC train, then it will cost you around Rs 3500-5000 for return. But if you travel by Sleeper class in train, then you’ll be only spending around Rs 1600 for you commute to Delhi and back.|
So overall, this will reduce your expenses to Spiti by at least a 2.5k.
8. Visit Spiti in Summer Instead of Winter
Winter Spiti trips have become quite popular these days as Spiti continues to be the one of the most sought-after trips in India. But, if you want to make budget trip to Spiti, then there is no better time than summer.
The main issue you might face if embark on a winter trip to Spiti is the transport. During peak winter, it snows quite heavily around Kaza. And public transport from Reckong Peo definitely does not run all the way to Kaza. So might have to hire 4×4 to make it Kaza.
This could turn out to be an expensive affair to say the least. So if you to visit Spiti on a budget, then I don’t think winter is the time do so.
To conclude, I hope that now you have a fair bit of idea on how to visit spiti on budget. Spiti is one of those places where you can actually start budget traveling if you have never tried before. You just have to stay at homestays, eat at local Dhabas, travel by public transport and that’s it.
In case of any queries, feel free to drop them in the comments below.