India: how much money to take and how to haggle
One of the advantages of traveling to India is that prices are much lower there than in other countries and although it will depend on the traveler, weeks can be spent with very little money . As in all countries, prices vary depending on luxury and amenities, but in general we will not need so many rupees although we will have to know other characteristics when traveling such as the exchange rate, credit cards or traveler’s checks .
The official and only currency that is accepted throughout India is the “rupee” and can be changed in all major cities although, as always, it is advisable to change, at least, a little at the airport upon arrival in the country where, according to the current change, they will give us about 70 rupees for each euro. In the exchange houses, even if they are formal and legal, you can even haggle as they will not change the exchange rate but the commission they charge for doing the operation.
One of the first questions that appear is whether you can use a credit card in India and the truth is that although we can find many ATMs and places where it is accepted, it is most likely that it will be impractical not to go with cash . One of the best options to find out in our bank how much they will charge me to get money abroad and withdraw little by little to not walk with large amounts of cash since they will give us dozens of bills and will bulk up.
If the hotel in India we chose is large and multi-star it will not be inconvenient to pay by card, but in most of the smaller hotels and hostels we will have to take the tickets out of the pockets so as not to have any inconvenience. In some cases, depending on the establishment, we may be asked for part of the payment in advance as a means of protection.
If you have thought about carrying a traveler’s check, we will have to forget about that idea because, as in many other countries, this type of payment is practically unknown and we will lose a lot if we find who will change it.
It will also depend on the traveler and the type of trip how much money to take to India . You can find hotels for less than 5 euros a night and you can eat for less than one euro; although we must bear in mind that these are the lowest prices and therefore the quality will be reflected in it. A comfortable and comfortable room with air conditioning for two people has an average price of between 12 to 20 euros.
The prices of both accommodation and food change depending on the city: While in Agra we find hotels for 5 euros a night for two people, in Mumbai (the main economic city) they will not fall below 20 euros.
The food can be found cheap in the streets, starting from 70 to 100 rupees (that is for a little more than one euro) but it is recommended to go to restaurants where we will have to pay three or up to four times more but we will eat better and in a place cleaner.
The entrance to the monuments has a different cost if you are an Indian or a foreigner . An Indian, on average, pays 20% of what a foreigner will pay to, for example, enter the Taj Majal whose price is 750 rupees (about 12 euros) and this will be reflected even in transport since we will not see Indians haggling prices.
India would not be the same if it is not bargained, it fights for prices and it is assumed that we will run out every time we buy something . How much to pay from a taxi to currency exchange is discussed Also for this there are techniques that we will learn on the second or third day of our trip but if we know them before they are welcome.
Most of the time the actual price of a product or service is 30% of what they tell us it costs. For example, to get on a tuk-tuk we will talk to the driver to explain where we are going and he will tell us that it costs Rs 100 and we will have to fight until he gets down to 30. If the person does not come down we will have to leave him without discussing and find another one to find a better option although if after three or four attempts the price does not vary much we must resign. Only at sites such as monuments, train stations or shops at airports will we not discuss how much to pay, which will be appreciated since we want to rest.
In summary to know how much money to take to India we will have to make a calculation of the cost of food, accommodation, entrance to monuments and transportation to get an average. While some carry 300 euros per person for two weeks others are more intrepid and go with much less, although all this will also depend on the comforts we want and how extensive our trip will be.