Nepal, a mountainous country in Asia, is a favorite destination for people who love trekking, hiking, mountain biking and so on. Back in December, I went to Nepal and did Langtang Valley Trek. Nepal is a beautiful country – a must visit for backpackers i would say. 10 days in Nepal taught me 10 things to Travel Cheap in Nepal that I would love to share with you guys in this post.
Here are some tips on how to travel cheap in Nepal.
1. Find the Best Deals
Consulting several agencies and comparing packages and prices is an effective method of reducing travel expenses. The internet also provides you an easy way to compare prices. Take advantage of the online tools. Hotel search engines are becoming common, and they provide you the prices of different agencies like Agoda, Expedia and others. There are also search engines for tour guides and tour packages.
2. Avail of Airline Discounts
Many new airlines offer discounts to encourage more people to fly with them. Some will also book you in hotels, and provide other services at discounted prices. There are also airline miles you might have earned from past trips that get you discounts or free tickets. Some credit cards also provide miles for every purchase. Besides that there are certain offers at the year-end or so, watch out for those offers.
3. Do Not Travel Alone
It is always cheaper to travel with a group. Travel agencies and airlines give groups hefty discounts in airfares and accommodations. You also wouldn’t want to have a good trip to Nepal alone. It is better to have some company for a lot of different purposes. I never imagined that I could save lots of bucks by being in a group where we shared everything from Hotel room to late night dinner. If you are in a group without any agency, consider making a group leader and deposit certain amount of money to the leader. He will spend the money and will take notes on the expenses and at the end of each day, you guys can sit and do the required calculations.
4. Reserve in Advance
It is a business strategy for airlines to offer big discounts when reservations are made in advance. Taking advantage of this incentive will reduce travel expenses. Knowing and planning the trip about half a month before will make a big price difference.
5. Find the Cheapest Accommodation
Before traveling to Nepal, it is advised that travelers know exactly which establishments offer the cheapest accommodations. Sharing the cost of accommodations with another visitor is also good way of reducing the costs. Again, this is a matter of researching. I spent hours after hours researching about cheap hotels. You won’t believe that we got hotel rooms for 150 RS (>$2) in Nepal with WiFi. In Thamel, you can get Hotel rooms for 300 RS. Always bargain – you will get better deals.
6. Buy Cheap Trekking Gear
There is no sense in buying expensive trekking gear unless you are a professional trekker. The equipment will be left at your house once you are finished with the Trek. Buy something cheap but of good quality. You will find used Trekking stuff in Thamel. Do not compromise quality too much, because you wouldn’t want to get stuck in a mountain in Nepal.
For beginners, I would recommend the following Gears: ( I purchased my stuff from Amazon and eBay)
- Hiking Boots: For Trekking, a hiking boot is a MUST. You will see the difference when you use the boots when you have to walk hours after hours. Although hiking boots is a little heavier than sports shoes, you will get used to it. I would personally recommend Timberland hiking boot – comfortable, durable and light-weight.
- Trekking Pole: A good trekking pole is another MUST have for trekking. Whenever there’s uphill and downhill, the pole will help you a lot. Check BAFX anti shock trekking pole on amazon.
- Sleeping Bag: I still remember shivering everyday in my Trek despite having a huge blanket in my bed. Thanks god that I had my sleeping bag with me. When you buy a sleeping bag, make sure that it’s easy to carry, comfortable and durable. A 40-degree sleeping bag is good enough. Don’t go for the expensive ones. I would recommend Wenzel 40-degree sleeping bag on Amazon. A good value for the money.
7. Avoid the Peak Season
For travelers who want to save, it will be cheaper for them to travel to Nepal before the start of the peak season or when the season is winding down. This is because peak seasons tend to be cramped with people, and prices are also seeing a steady rise.
Peak Season: September – November
8. Bargain with Taxi Drivers:
Travelers going around the country should insist that taxi drivers run the meter to avoid overcharging. Double fares are the norm after 10 PM. This is another reason why having a friend and companion is a good idea. Whenever these drivers see foreign nationals, they tend to double the price. So, bargain to get the best deals.
9. Do Trekking/Hiking in a Group:
Guides and porters are expensive. Independent trekking is possible by sticking to existing trails. If you are with your friends, then don’t bother hiring any porter. If you are a solo Trekker, you can also follow other trekkers, because that will be free of charge too, and you might even end up meeting destiny. Do not overload your backpack with unwanted things. The less the backpack weighs, the better you will feel when you trek. Another thing is that, there are special trekking signs everywhere which will lead you the way and you will find lots of other Trekkers on your way.
10. Bring Food
The food along trekking routes tends to be expensive. Bringing food like cereals, chocolate bars, biscuits, dried fruits, etc. can help individuals travel cheap in Nepal. Normally, a packet of biscuit costs around 15-20 RS in Kathmandu but in trekking routes, the same packet of biscuits will cost you almost 50-60 RS. Also, the orange of Nepal are really awesome. Try that as well
There are lots of other tips but these are the TOP ones I’ve come across. I hope these travel tips will help you travel cheap in Nepal. What about you? Have you visited Nepal? Do you have any other tips to share? Do share your thoughts in the comment section below.