As a flashpacker, I’m always on the lookout for pocket friendly countries to travel in (Read: Confession: I’m Not a Backpacker). So as I watched the rupee fall over the last few weeks, I went into panic mode; countries like Bahrain and Canada, which I visited earlier this year, are now almost twenty times more expensive to travel in! I desperately turned to
my best friend Google to determine if this was the end of my dream to travel the world on a meager income (Read: How I Afford my Travels and How You Can Too). Turns out, the rupee can still take us far enough on roads less travelled!
The currencies of these 7 countries have either depreciated or remained steady against the rupee, and there are plenty of other compelling reasons to visit them:
2 Icelandic Kroner = 1 Indian Rupee
Iceland is possibly the most surprising result of my research; I had sub-consciously bracketed it among countries that are too far and too expensive, albeit gorgeous. In this land of pristine glaciers, ice-covered volcanoes, hot springs and the midnight sun, travelling is only as expensive as that in a big Indian city like Delhi. Part of the Schengen zone and accessible via any major European city, this surreal Artic country is best visited during its mild summer weather.
2 Sri Lankan Rupee = 1 Indian Rupee
I finally got around to discovering the island nation of Sri Lanka in our own backyard earlier this year (Read: Sri Lanka: First Impressions), and can’t recommend it enough. The dazzling blue Indian Ocean, the white sand beaches, the charming hill country, the lush tea plantations, the quaint villages deep in the hinterlands, the friendly locals, the sumptuous local food – Sri Lanka has something to woo every traveller. Go now, and go again (Read: Top 5 Offbeat Things to do in Sri Lanka).
1 South African Rand = 6 Indian Rupees
Best known for its wine and wildlife, South Africa promises to be as affordable as it is exciting; it is slowly climbing to the top of my own bucket list (Read: My Travel Bucket List for 2013). From arid desert landscapes and world famous national parks, to its wine countryside and mountain pockets, to fascinating cultures and languages, South Africa could be the answer to pocket-friendly long term travel. I hope you and I both make it there soon!
INDONESIA, THAILAND, VIETNAM
1 Thai Baht = 2 Indian Rupees
182 Indonesian Rupee = 1 Indian Rupee
339 Vietnamese Dong = Indian Rupee
Southeast Asia is where I first caught the travel bug. I spent weeks travelling through the interiors of Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, marveling at their surreal mountain landscapes, discovering tribal villages that have had little contact with the mainland, and soaking in the serenity of undiscovered beaches (Read: Koh Mak Islan: Of Hidden Beaches, Broken Boats and Beer). Considering the sheer size and diversity of each of these countries, there will always be reasons to go back and go off the beaten path, and luckily for us, the rupee hasn’t depreciated much against their currencies.
I can’t help but include India in this list; despite how much you may have already travelled in the country, there will always remain nooks and corners that will surprise you. My recent rendezvous with coastal Karnataka (Read: You Can Shake The Sand From Your Shoes, But Not From Your Soul) and the hinterlands of Goa (Read: Wake Me Up When September Ends) has left me craving to continue wandering through the mountains, shores and deserts of India, experiencing life away from the cities. I hope my blog can inspire you to feel the same way!
Where in the world are you setting off to? What countries would you add to the list?
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I’m the founder of this award-winning travel blog about offbeat and sustainable travel, and author of the bestselling travel memoir, The Shooting Star.
In 2011, I quit my full-time job, and gradually gave up my home, sold most of my possessions, stored some in the boot of a friend’s car and embraced a nomadic life.
Connect with me on Instagram to hear more about my adventures and personal journey.