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pexels-photo-54278Apart from Flights and hotel , the sightseeing costs or the local travel cost could also leave a deep hole into your pocket, if not planned wisely. Local travel costs would include airport/train station pick up & drop as well as sightseeing costs to travel within the city or in many cases that may also include inter city travel. Lets see how one can go about saving on local transport.

Complimentary pick up and drop– First and foremost thing is to check with your hotel/villa/apartment if they provide pick and drop to the airport. If its free, no two ways of thinking about anything. If it is chargeable ,check the price with them to compare it with other transport providers.

Transport Options at the airport– Most airports are out of city and at a considerable distance, hence you should do your research well about the options you have once you arrive at the airport for drop to your hotel/apartment/hostel.Most of the airports offer cheaper modes of local transport to the city like Metro, Rail and buses to the city. Check them out especially if you are a solo traveller or a couple, it may definitely be cheaper to travel by metro/bus than to hire a taxi.

Install Local taxi App– I do this all the time since we have got the option of Ola and Uber in the metro cities at least.Try booking the taxi using local taxi app.

Buying the sightseeing pass/city travel pass/hop on hop off bus tour – Before you are already on your trip, do your research about the various options for city pass, sightseeing pass as well as inter city travel pass for the number of days that you may need. If it makes sense then buy beforehand for example Eurail pass you can buy from the travel agents within your country and many a times they offer better discounts than what is there on the Eurail website.

Secondly, as soon as you reach your destination airport, go to the tourist counter and check the available passes before even booking the cab. You may have offers for the local transport along with sightseeing passes. Or you may really not need to buy any sightseeing pass but just the city travel pass for 2-3 days which may take care of all of your local travel and sightseeing including your to and fro travel from the airport. In Europe, The city travel pass includes almost all modes of public transport.

You may also Opt for Sightseeing tours by Hop on Hop off bus as the bus covers most important tourist places within the city and you don’t have to struggle with searching for the locations. However, the bus only travels between the tourist locations and has fixed pick and drop options. You may have to still make arrangements for pick up and drop to the airport plus any additional city travel.

There is no fixed formula which one works better as every country is different, distances vary, no of tourist places vary and the costs of passes vary. Some places could be easy to do on foot,there a museum pass will help. Some cities could be really big and there you may need to take sightseeing pass as well as city travel pass. In some cities you may not able to cover everything and hence you may choose to take selective pass option.

Our recommendation–  Get as much information as possible, compare the options of local travel and sightseeing based on no of people traveling, comfort, time available and cost. However, it is given that especially in Europe, America, UK  you may find it cheaper to use public transport. In India and other south asian countries leaving Singapore, though public transport is cheaper but it may not be as convenient and hence renting a car would be nice and comfortable for short distances or within city travels.

localLocal Transport Options in India

Intercity travel

Flights & Trains

Use either flights or trains when distances are beyond 500kms.  Compare the costs and time to travel. For long distances flights are the best however to save on costs you may also opt for trains but reservation of berth is mandatory  to avoid last minute pain in case you haven’t bought Indian rail pass. The online train reservation opens two months before the date of travel.However, if the distances are not huge, there are buses too as an option.If you have to travel from North India to South India or East to Eest, book a flight well in advance. You will save time and money both. Check makemytrip, Goibibo for the deals. For train travel, check out irctc.co.in for reservations and train ticket bookings . NRIs and foreigners can buy rail passes to save costs.

To travel by train opt for Indian Rail pass 

Indrail Passes not only provide excellent value for money but also  enhances the charm of holidays from abroad. It offers the foreign tourists/NRIs to travel as they like, over the entire Indian Railways without any route restriction within the period of validity of Indrail Pass. The tourists can choose Indrail Passes according to their itineraries.

The Indrail Pass holder is not required to pay any reservation fee, super fast charges and safety charges etc. No additional charges are paid for catering service provided in Rajdhani/Shatabdi Express trains.

Indrail Passes are very convenient for tourists as they provide flexibility for travel over Indian Railway.

The fares of Indrail Passes are in US Dollars only but  payments can be made either in US Dollars or Sterling Pounds.



Period of Validity I AC Class First Class      AC-2Tier
AC-3Tier     AC Chair Car
Sleeper Class
Second Class (Non AC)
Adult Child Adult Child Adult Child
1/2 Day* (12 hrs.)  57  29 26 13  11   6
01  Day*  (24 hrs.) 95  47  43  22 19 10
02  Days (48 hrs.) 160 80  70 35 30 15
04  Days 220 110 110  55 50 25
07  Days 270 135 135 68 80 40
15  Days 370 185 185 95 90 45
21  Days 396 198 198  99 100  50
30  Days 495 248 248 126 125 65
60  Days  800 400 400 200 185  95
90  Days 1060 530 530 265 235 120


* These Indrail Passes are hourly based and validity starts from  the time of the departure of train.

* These passes are valid in one class lower than the class for  which  they are issued when travelling  by  Rajdhani  Express trains i.e. Half day(12 hrs.), One  day (24 hrs.) or Two days (48 hrs.).  Indrail  Passes  of 1st A C are  valid  in 2 AC and  First Class Indrail Passes  are valid in 3 AC of  Rajdhani Express.

Rest of the Indrail Passes are valid in the class for which they are issued of all trains.

Second /Sleeper Class Indrail Passes are not valid in Rajdhani/Shatabdi  Express trains.

Indrail Passes are available for sale at major Railway Stations  over Indian Railways  viz – Agra Cantt, Agra City, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Aurangabad, Bangalore City, Howrah, Chennai, Chandigarh, Chennai, Gorakhpur, Hyderabad, Jaipaur, Mumbai, New Delhi, Puttaparthi Town Booking Agency, Rameshwaram, Secunderabad, Trivandrum Central, Vadodara, Varanasi, Vasco da gama  and  Vijayawada.

Buses are the main and the low-priced source of transportation . There are private busses (luxury, semi luxury and standard) as well as government busses for local as well as intercity travel. Check redbus.in to book the intercity bus travel. Opt for private busses, well known and reliable tour operators for intercity travel. And for local travel, government owned busses can be opted for if you really want to travel cheap. The negative is some routes of the buses are very crowded, mostly during the peak hours, in morning and evening, they are jam-packed and hence comfort factor is zero. For local travel either take luxurious busses run by government if any or best is to take the taxi using local apps.
Renting taxis are the best option to explore the city when you are carrying heavy luggage, though not as cheap as public transport. Taxis can be, either hired or booked in advance through the travel or cab agents. The fare is charged on the basis of distance covered and this is why, make sure, before travelling, that the meter is working properly. My suggestion, book on local mobile app. Fixed-rate taxis (pre paid taxis) are also available on airport, bus terminal and railway station if you fail to book in advance or don’t find any taxi through your mobile app. Check for local apps like Ola and Uber for booking cabs.

Auto Rickshaws
Auto rickshaws are another means of transport which is comfortable and depending on the city or place in India, it can be a cheaper option or an expensive option. Take advice from your travel agent or hotel. Autos are preferred for covering short distances within the city. Before getting into the auto rickshaw, check with the driver of the auto rickshaw meter is working fine. Out of stations and Airports , opt for pre paid autos if you wish to take Auto instead of a taxi.

Other Means of Transport
Besides the above means of transport, there are some other facilities for the transportation which includes maxi cabs, mini private bus, suburban railway network, etc. If there is metro in the city, use that to avoid the delays due to traffic and they turn out to be cheaper as compared to taxi or auto at times.

About the author

The author is a Marketing Management graduate,currently living in Bengaluru India.Has traveled to more than 24 states in India and has been to 30+ countries apart from her extensive travel within India. She has the experience of traveling alone, traveling with her kid, and traveling in groups, with family or friends. She believes, traveling, photography and writing makes her life not only beautiful but also meaningful. Visit her blog at https://www.traveljaunts.in/blog-travel-jaunts/ for more

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