How cheap can we really travel?

Stretching our sinking Aussie dollar has become our holiday obsession. We enjoy seeing the results of our frugal existence and then in turn feel justified when we indulge a little bit.

After our crazy low hotel bill in Ho Chi Min City, we set ourselves a challenge to beat it and include food and drinks this time.

Here are the results of the 5 cheapest days of our lives.

Our first hotel stay in India was in Trivandrum in the Capital of the South Western district of Kerala. We had heard first hand accounts of how ‘full on’ India can be and so decided to ease into the country by taking an hour long flight from Colombo to a 5 star hotel/resort.

The hotel was near the airport, beach and not too far from the central railway station. We booked two rooms and indulged in room service, the large pool and restaurant meals each of the two nights. After this splurge and relative isolation from the outside world, we decided to get on the train in search for a more authentic Indian experience. We searched for a homestay online but didn’t book just in case it was not what we were after. We checked out of our luxury accommodation and kept tabs on our spending over the next five days.

All amounts are in Indian Rupee and the Australian Dollar totals have been rounded and calculated at a modest exchange rate of .45AUD

Day 1 – 17th April

  • Hotel buffet breakfast
  • Shuttle | hotel to train station
  • Train | Trivandrum to Alappuzha
  • Lunch on train
  • Taxi | Alappuzha train station to accommodation
  • Dinner
  • Shopping (toiletries/water/soft drink)
  • Night accommodation
Total   $4911INR  $110AUD

Day 2 – 18th April

  • Breakfast
  • Morning tea
  • Lunch
  • Tuk tuk rides x 2
  • Dinner
  • Accommodation
Total $1874INR   $42AUD
Takeaway lunch at the bus stop.

Takeaway lunch at the bus stop.

Day 3 – 19th April

  • Breakfast
  • Water 3 x 2 litre
  • Lunch
  • Tuk tuk x 3
  • Toilet paper 4 rolls (comparably the most expensive thing all week)
  • Dinner
  • Accommodation
Total $2166INR $49AUD

Day 4 – 20th April

  • Village tour |  included breakfast and lunch
  • Coconut beer (donated to our guide)
  • Dinner
  • Accommodation
Total $4190INR $94AUD
Traditional Kerala 'sadya' lunch in the backwaters.

Traditional Kerala ‘sadya’ lunch in the backwaters.

Day 5 – 21st April

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Accommodation
Total  $2290INR  $50AUD


In 5 days we spent a grand total of $15,431INR which equals $343AUD.

In a pleasant twist of fate, our homestay was fantastic. Our host’s children played everyday with our girls, which is priceless. The warmth they showed our family, the conversations we had with the father and the laughs we all had are moments in our life that we will remember far more than a nice swimming pool.

The girls were treated like    members of the family.

The girls were treated like members of the family.

We would travel back to India just to have another homely, comforting and inexpensive holiday such as this.

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