Cool for the Summer: How I Tackled the Financial Heat and Traveled in Budget!

Summer. The very word conjures up images of sandy beaches, chilly hill stations, and calming waters. What lurks unseen in the background is a hefty vacation price tag that puts a dent in our savings as well as our travel dreams. However, the rising heat gave me no choice but to escape to the cozy yet chilly hills of Suryanelli on a crazy but wallet-friendly adventure! 

A budgeted trip doesn’t in any way mean sacrificing all the fun. It is about going around the usual vacation hullabaloo and finding hidden gems that don’t hurt your bank account. While the allure of resorts, luxury dining, and all-inclusive trips is undeniable, a tighter budget allows you to seek an amazing world waiting to be experienced. 

Destination: Off the Beaten Path

The usual tourist spots are the usual tourist spots for a reason. However, there are hundreds of roads less taken leading to breathtaking and uncrowded destinations. One such road led to the beautiful village of Suryanelli, nestled between mountains, surrounded by beauty and serenity. 

Just a few kilometers away from Munnar, we found this lesser-known travel destination through a travel forum. This charming little village offers stunning hiking trails and a thriving flora and fauna that is sure to steal your heart away. 

Plan to the T

Budget travel demands planning since spontaneity is what I can’t afford. The planning for affordable accommodation and reasonable transportation started at least a month ago. Signing for email alerts and newsletters from frequent travelers became a hobby. You can find a ton of useful tips on travel and budget, through personal newsletters. 

Moreover, thorough research on the activities you wish to do during the trip and shopping on different websites for the most affordable rate is a must. At the same time, don’t skimp on things you wish for to keep the budget under control.

Think Outside the Hotel

Hotels are pricier, and Airbnbs are limited. However, they are not the only options. Homestays and travel hostels have become the preferred mode of accommodation for the modern traveler. Additionally, homestays allow you to connect with the locals, experience their culture more authentically, and taste mouthwatering home-cooked meals. Hostels, on the other hand, offer a great alternative for travelers on a budget.  

One such travel hostel helped me save thousands during my trip, helped me meet interesting people, and left me with memories that I will cherish for life.  

Seek the Local Vibe

Every place has something unique to offer, be it a hidden cafe, a local festival, or a street performance. Travel forums, personal travel blogs, and locals have immense knowledge regarding these hidden gems. Seek them out to experience what the place truly has to offer. 

Cool for the Summer: How I Tackled the Financial Heat and Traveled in Budget!

Put on your shoes and hit the pavement to wander through local markets, museums, plantations, and whatnot. One such night walk from our hostel made us stumble upon a field filled with fireflies!

Food Glorious Food 

Travel is all about trying new things, especially food! Why would you travel hundreds of kilometers to have the same burgers and meals you find in your city? Local restaurants provide delicious and authentic food at a quarter of the price you pay at a fancy one. While a proper local restaurant is hard to find, it isn’t impossible. 

A 20-minute walk through the winding and stunning streets of Munnar ended at a local eatery with exquisite food. 

Embrace the Journey

Buses and trains are not boring, not when they offer stunning scenery along the way! And they are also cheaper and safer! For this trip, I opted for public transportation such as buses and autos to travel within the place. The local rickshawalas were more than happy to show me a few spots only the locals knew.  

Not only did this save me money but also allowed me to soak in the local vibe.  And sometimes getting lost (a little) on a bus route can lead to the coolest discoveries.  

In Short, 

My summer adventure in the budget was enriching, unexpected, and everything I dreamed of and more. The best thing is that it didn’t leave me with a flattened wallet. While I did splurge a little, it didn’t leave me with a mountain of debt. If travel is all you wanna do, then it is possible even with tight purse strings!  All it takes is meticulous planning, creativity, and leaving a little room for the unexpected!