If you are backpacking on a shoe string budget, you might be interested in these five tricks to save money on accommodation by getting the cheapest deals (even in peak season).

Never book in advance: You’ll never get the best deal online or from an agent. And you’ll have no way of comparing what the actual ground rates are. Get to the location and then look. First things first. Never book in advance if you want to save money.

Walk a little extra: Remember the further you walk, the cheaper the room will be. And more often than not, the better you’ll like it too. This is step two. Once you reach the location, eat a little and sip some tea before you head out room hunting. Patience and a few extra steps will lead you to your magic cave in a pocket friendly price.

Don’t walk into hotels that look too professional: Instead, look for casual set ups. A small cafe or shack will have cheaper rooms on offer than the big two story concrete buildings.

Ask random people: If you want the cheapest deals on rooms, don’t ask anyone in the business. Instead, ask locals. Track down small tea shops, chat with the chai wala and he’ll call out to someone passing by who’ll know that room down valley which will work out perfectly for you.

Spend time in a cafe: For those travelling on really challenging budgets, I suggest you avoid looking for a room altogether. Instead pick a cafe you like and make friends with the staff there. Hang out, chit chat and rest assured that when the day is done, you will have a place to sleep and a blanket over your shoulders.

Clearly, as you can tell, I have, over the past one day, spent a lot of time hunting down budget accommodation. This includes a room that I could have rented for an entire month for Rs. 4000 (which is pretty cheap for this season). It’s not too far away from the cafes of Old Manali and boasts a great view. But I passed the offer.

Instead, I’ve found myself a Rs. 300 a night room at Cafe Gravity with not the best view but with a kind of greenish comfort that I am to miss on the way.

I am soon to leave for Spiti and my first stop over would be Batal.

Also, the Beas is beautiful as always. She says hello to you guys.


Published by Neetole Mitra