How to plan a super-tight budget trip to Kasol?

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Kasol nestled in Parvati Valley is the dream place to go to for all travellers, young and old alike. However, it is always a concern on how to manage a trip, especially if you’re a college student or even a young working professional. Here I want to tell you that it is TOTALLY doable.

Major Costs of any trip include

  1. Traveling Costs
  2. Lodging Expenses
  3. Food/Entertainment Expenses

So, with this break-up in mind – let’s understand how to budget for a Kasol expedition while also ensuring the maximum bang for your buck

Travelling Costs for Kasol

Let’s assume your starting point as Delhi for the sake of understanding.

By Train

That's my car on a trip to Kasol
That’s my car on a trip to Kasol

The nearest railway station to Kasol is Joginder Nagar railway station. Preferably choose the sleeper class (INR 280) or 3-AC at the max (INR 755). You should hire a shared cab to reach Kasol . This will cost you around INR 200.

Per person cost for reaching Kasol from Delhi by Train – INR 1100-INR 1600.

By Road

Take a bus from ISBT, Delhi to Bhuntar. Prices start from Rs 588. Pro tip here – take an overnight bus to avoid the need for AC buses. From Bhuntar, you can take a shared taxi and will cost anywhere from RS 100- Rs 250, depending upon the car, your haggling skills etc. There are prepaid taxis also available at the Airport. Alternatively, you can even catch another bus from Bhuntar, which is heading to Manikaran and get off along the way at Kasol. Cost for this is RS 60-90

Per person cost for reaching Kasol from Delhi by road – INR 800

Local commute

The best way to explore Kasol is on foot. Take a lot of day hikes or treks around the region. Enjoy the tranquillity of sitting on the banks of Parvati river. Travel through your imagination while sitting at one place. No vehicle is required for exploring Kasol

Per person cost for local Kasol travel – FREE!

Travelling from Kasol to nearby areas

Yes, it is possible to cover multiple places, even on a budget. Must visit places include Tosh and Kheerganga (at a minimum). For this, you’ll need to reach Barshaini, which is an hour away from Kasol. This can be done by a shared cab.

Per person cost for reaching Barshaini from Kasol – INR 100

Other places of interest can be Chalal, Rashol and Pulga- which are all situated on trails

Per person cost for trekking – FREE!

Thus, total round trip amount you would spend on your travel = INR 2000

Lodging Expenses in Kasol and nearby regions

Stay in hostel dormitories for saving money and making new friends. One can get many a dorm for as cheap as INR 200 per bed per night. This rate will be higher in Tosh and Kheerganga, though not by much and you should be able to fetch a room at around INR 400-500 per person per night.

So, for a basic 4 day Kasol trip covering Kheerganga, Tosh and of course, Kasol – lodging expenses per person to be INR 1500

Miscellaneous expenses when in Kasol

  • Eat cheap doesn’t mean the food won’t be delicious. However, it totally depends on your tastes and appetite how much you spend on this. For 4 days, a minimum of INR 3000-5000 is doable.
  • If you’re wanting to visit a rave – it is advisable to search for less mainstream party where you might be able to save up on entry fee expenses
  • Also, it is advisable to avoid indulgences such as alcohol if you want to adhere to a strict budget –but, that is totally your call
  • I would also suggest to not shop to keep your costs low – but, you should definitely soak in the culture and explore the many trails of Parvati.
Delicious food in Kasol
Delicious food in Kasol

Things to keep in mind for your travel hacks

  • When you’re budget vacationing, certain comforts go out for a toss. Learn to cherish the memories instead of material things.
  • Travel in off-peak seasons – Just before the seasons starts and when there is a lull in tourist activity, you’ll get cheaper rates. But, the trade-off is that certain must-visit places (read: restaurants/ cafes, rave parties) might not be happening during the time you choose to visit
  • Stay in Hostels – a win-win situation as you get to stay cheaper and also make new travel buddies! Also, hostel buddies will tell you of the cool off-beat places they’ve visited. So bonus!
  • Always choose the off-beat things to do – Oftentimes major attractions in any place tends to be expensive, have entry fees and also is not the most soul-satisfying experience.
  • Book in advance – prices tend to go up the close you book to your travelling dates
  • Be flexible – this is the most important quality to have as a budget traveller.
  • Bring food with you – you can even purchase food at local grocery stores and make sandwiches for yourself to carry on your treks etc.
  • Learn to Haggle – this is the MOST IMPORTANT SKILLS as a budget traveller! Whether it is taxis or anything else – it is important to bargain your way out!
Pizza in Kasol
Pizza in Kasol

Conclusion

Enjoy your time, even if money might be a constraint. In the hills, especially in small hamlets- it is easy to simply immerse yourself in the beauty and aura of the hills and doing other activities is not that much of a priority. So while, the initial hesitation of visiting a new place and not having enough cash in line might be a concern – you’ll soon discover that having experience of nature is what matters the most. Happy Travelling.

Are there any hacks you use to save money on your trips? Share Below!

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About Author

Shefali spends most of her time day dreaming about her next big vacation. A happy-go-lucky personality, she is an amalgamation of all the places she’s lived in and experienced! She is always confused as to where to call home, having lived in Chandigarh, Shimla, Dehradun, Mumbai, Hyderabad in India and Vancouver, Abbotsford in Canada. Her love for travel is only challenged by her love for reading and eating delicious food! In order to sustain her dreams, she brought out her inner geek, got an MBA and has a job in the corporate world crunching numbers. Do follow @notravelplans on Instagram for updates on her next great adventure.

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