7 Budget friendly family destinations in India


From luxury hotels and resorts to low-cost yet comfortable economical accommodation options, from high-end malls and designer studios to bustling streets and bazaars, from luxury world-class coaches to much reasonable Rajdhani and Shatabdi express trains, from a continental cuisine in a 5-star restaurant to the mouth-watering street food - India is truly a land of contrasts. Where at one end India offers an unending choices to luxury travellers to pamper themselves in an unprecedented way, it also takes care of budget travellers, students, and backpackers by providing a plethora of options to have a comfortable and memorable journey.

Here is a list of 7 budget-friendly destinations in India where you can spend an unforgettable holiday that is also light on your pockets.

Discover the royal charm of Udaipur 

Discover the royal charm of Udaipur. From 7 Budget friendly family destinations in India

Located on the foothills of the Aravalli ranges in Rajasthan, Udaipur was once the royal capital of princely state of Mewar under the Rajput rule. Home to many opulent palaces, beautiful temples, and above all, many picturesque lakes, Udaipur deserves to be called the City of Lakes. One of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the country, the place is a heaven for honeymooners and is rightly nicknamed the Venice of East. Although visiting Udaipur can be costly, there are many inexpensive hotels and restaurants also that are easy on pockets for travellers to Udaipur. 

Explore the scenic beauty of Nainital

Explore the scenic beauty of Nainital. From 7 Budget friendly family destinations in India

A popular summer retreat nestled in the lap of Himalayas in Kumaon region of Uttarakhand, Nainital has been blessed with abundant natural splendour. The postcard perfect beauty of this hill town, with its serene Naini Lake shadowed by snow-capped peaks of Himalayas, attracts thousands of tourists every year. Be it the fun of boating in the picturesque Naini Lake, exploring various species of animals at the Nainital Zoo, watching the magic of setting sun at Hanuman Garhi, or indulging in the adventure fun of crawling through natural caves at the Cave Garden – most of the activities can be done at a very reasonable cost. Besides this, with an availability of plenty of budget-friendly accommodation options and eating joints, a holiday in Nainital can well fit in the budget of backpackers and family travelers.

Experience a traditional village stay in Manali

Experience a traditional village stay in Manali. From 7 Budget friendly family destinations in India

Surrounded with majestic snow-clad mountains and thick woods of pine and deodars, Manali is a beautiful hill resort tucked away in the Dhauladhar ranges in Uttarakhand. Known for its breath-taking beauty, with the gurgling Beas River rolling down the mountains, the enchanting Solang Valley, and the serene village of Vashisht, Manali is visited by an uncountable number of tourists every year. Some of the great holiday activities for families in Manali include exploring the rustic charm the ancient Hadimba and Manu temples, taking a holy bath in the hot water springs of Vashisht Ashram, or just strolling through the crowded Mall Road, enjoying an ice cream in the cold weather. Though the city has a number of luxury resorts and 5-star hotels, a stay in homestays and cottages in the areas of old Manali and Vashisht village that fall slightly off the main Manali city is something one should definitely experience. These provide a feel of a traditional mountain village with stone and timber houses tucked in tranquil environs, where you can see sparkling streams flowing down, listen to the singing birds, or just spend time relaxing. Here, you can relax and experience adventure activities - whatever your choice that day. 

Get awed by the colonial charm of Ooty

Get awed with the colonial charm of Ooty. From 7 Budget friendly family destinations in India

Another family-friendly holiday destination in India is the picturesque hill station of Ooty, located in the state of Tamil Nadu. Here you can find the rolling blue hills of the Nilgiris, sprawling tea gardens, serene lakes and beautiful temples. Once a summer resort for Britishers, the city still holds a colonial charm with its old churches and heritage buildings. If you are a nature lover and looking out for some of the best places for nature exploration in Ooty that can be seen without costing you much, head toward the Ooty Botanical Gardens, Rose Garden, Pykara Falls and Fern Hill Garden. Other free activities in Ooty are visiting the Anamalai temple, exploring the tea gardens and factories, taking nature walks, and visiting a chocolate factory - sure to be a hit with your kids. Take a boat ride on the Pyakara Lake, as well as the famous heritage train ride from Ooty to Coonoor. In regards to accommodation options and restaurants, the town is teeming with lots of homestays and cottages that provide comfortable and inexpensive stays.

Pluck some strawberries from a strawberry farm in Mahabaleshwar

Pluck some strawberries from a strawberry farm in Mahabaleshwar. From 7 Budget friendly family destinations in India

A beautiful hill retreat tucked away in the Sahayadri mountain ranges in Maharashtra, Mahabaleshwar is a great escapade for people seeking a relaxing time with families. Known for its picturesque strawberry farms, captivating Lake Venna, and the ancient Panchaganga Temple, the place is visited by many holiday seekers, nature lovers, honeymooners, and pilgrims throughout the year. From watching the sunrise and sunset from various vantage points, experiencing the fun of boating in the enchanting Venna Lake, plucking strawberries from a strawberry farm, shopping for homemade jellies and jams, or relishing delicious shakes and sandwiches at a cosy café – all activities in Mahabaleshwar can be experienced at very reasonable prices - with the only exception to paragliding, which carries a higher price tag. This is a great weekend destination to give you a break from the city. 

Indulge in the fun of toy train ride in Darjeeling

Indulge in the fun of toy train ride in Darjeeling. From 7 Budget friendly family destinations in India

One of the most striking hill stations in India known for its lush and sprawling tea gardens, the world-famous toy train ride, and spectacular views of the Kanchenjunga mountain range, Darjeeling is a paradise for families, nature lovers, couples, and adventure enthusiasts. From indulging in nature walks, exploring tea gardens, shopping at the bustling Mall Road, enjoying the adventurous toy train ride, to catching the mesmerizing views of the glowing peaks of Mt. Kanchenjunga from the Tiger Hill during sunrise, everything can be enjoyed inexpensively. Also, with its plethora of options for hostel stays, holiday homes, and cottages, Darjeeling makes it to be one of the most famous destinations for backpackers and family travelers.     

Navigate through scenic backwaters on a ‘Kettuvellam’ in Alleppey

Navigate through scenic backwaters on a ‘Kettuvellam’ in Alleppey. From 7 Budget friendly family destinations in India

Known as the ‘backwaters capital’ of Kerala, Alleppey has been blessed with ravishing beauty. With its serene backwaters, coconut-fringed beaches, lush paddy fields, and ancient temples, Alleppey is a heaven for an umpteen number of tourists - both national and international - who come here in search of peace and serenity. What attracts most tourists to Alleppey is experiencing a unique stay on a houseboat, navigating through the interconnected canals and lakes of backwaters, taking in the charm of splendid scenic vistas. Experiencing a houseboat stay for a night and spending rest of the your time in Alleppey in a nice comfortable homestay can be a good choice for tourists on a tight budget. The homestays also provide fresh homemade food at very reasonable prices.