The first and the most important tip for budget travelers is to Plan Yourself. Don’t buy any package from any travel agency or online. Gone are the days when you did not have any information about the place and culture. With loads of data now available on internet, you can easily decide your itinerary. In fact, if unsure you can take the itinerary from any known travel site and do the bookings yourself.
Now, if you are planning the trip to Gangtok and the prices from tour operators is pinching your pocket, then try our tips for budget travel to Gangtok:
Tips to Travel To Gangtok In Limited Budget
Commute: The nearest railway station is New Jalpaiguri. It is well connected to every major station like New Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai etc. From here, you can take a shared taxi for as less as Rs. 200 to Gangtok. You can get bus to Gangtok from Tenzing Norgay Bus stand near Siliguri Railway station. It costs Rs. 150 to Gangtok. The nearest airport is in Bagdogra, try looking for some deals on MakeMyTrip and other websites. When in Gangtok, the only mode of commuting is taxi. The shared taxis cost almost 75% cheaper.
Stay: Try and book your stay near M.G.Road. As this is the heart of the city, most things will be approachable and you will not incur much on local commute. Also, you will be able to find many budget hotels in this area. Obviously, the rates do depend on the season you are travelling in, however on an average a decent room can cost you approximately INR 1500 per night. If you book online you can get some discount.
I personally love booking hotel rooms online. During my stay I was able to book a decent room online in Rs. 800(I was travelling alone). You can try home-stay also. But if you home-stay you will incur more cost in commute. If you are travelling in off season, then the rates drop by 40%. Traveling just before the season starts is a good ideal.
Food: If you really want to enjoy the vacation, try local foods. Food is not very expensive in Gangtok. Even the street food is yum. A full meal will cost you around INR 150 per person. In case, you go for North Indian food, it may cost a bit more. Another good thing is no taxes on alcohol. So you can drink to your heart’s content without hurting your pocket.
Sightseeing: Try to club as much as possible on one route. Like you can do local sightseeing in one day. Shared taxies are available for sightseeing also. Then, you can so Changu Lake, Nathula Pass and Baba Mandir together. As most of the spots won’t take more than 30 mins, you can comfortably cover many in one day. Do keep in mind, some places are open only on few days and need permit. So plan accordingly.
Shopping: The main areas for shopping are M.G. Road and Lal Bazaar. Try your bargaining skills at Lal Bazaar. You can souvenirs and handmade gifts at reasonable prices from here.
This time, try to plan your trip as per your convenience and within your budget. If you need any advice, do post your questions and we shall be happy to respond!!