A look at the paltry prices I paid in India

Since the vast majority of my readers follow along vicariously, I thought it might be fun to share some of the prices I paid for things on a recent trip to India. Most goods and services in India are far, far cheaper than most other places in the world—some, will really surprise you. Leave a comment below and share which single items surprised you the most. At the time of writing this, there were 65 Indian Rupees (INR) per 1 $USD.

  • UBER Rides – I never used a cab, but rather rode UBER everywhere I went. I was blown away at how cheap a ride was. For example, my lunch would often cost more than a long duration ride to the airport. For example, A 17km ride from Mumbai (Bombay) airport to my hotel took nearly 1 hour and only cost 670INR ($10 USD). In contrast, an airport UBER ride in the States which was about 12 minutes long cost more than double that price for a 5th of the time and about the same distance in miles.
  • HOTELS – Because they were so inexpensive, I often stayed at 5 Star hotels. My best value was at the Crowne Plaza in Delhi in which I got upgraded to a suite. The cost for one night where I ordered room service and had to pay their extraordinarily high taxes came in around $140 (USD). Mind you, you could get a very nice hotel throughout India for less than $50/night.

Crowne Plaza lobby in Delhi India by MikesRoadTrip.com

  • DOCTOR VISIT – I felt a cold or flu coming on before an important presentation, so I thought maybe I could thwart it off by having a doctor prescribe some antibiotics or something. The office visit by a highly trained doctor was 500INR for locals and 1000INR for foreigners, a whopping $15 to visit a doctor. Mind you, this was not in a tourist area where rates could be higher, but still very affordable.
  • PRESCRIPTIONS – Everything the doctor prescribed could be purchased at a local chemist (pharmacist), there was antibiotics, stomach medicine and other items…everything came to about 700INR.
  • PRESCRIPTION GLASSES – I wear both contacts and prescription glasses. My RX number is pretty high and now find it difficult to read close up when I have my contacts or glasses on, so I thought I would try progressive lenses. With an exam, designer frames and RX lenses, they would probably cost $600-$800 in the U.S. In India, if you buy a pair of glasses, the exam is free, a $100 savings from the States. My total cost with a little negotiating and the taxes came to 8000INR ($123 USD).
  • ORIGINAL ARTWORK – I don’t often buy souvenirs, but do like to find nice gifts for friends and family. I went to an extraordinary gallery where they hand paint the most intricate pieces. I purchased 6 of these paintings for about 16,000INR (Negotiated down from 25,000) which came to about $250USD.

Artwork from India

  • FLIGHTS – I took several flights within India; from Delhi to Ahmadabad, Ahmadabad to Mumbai, Mumbai to Delhi, Delhi to Rann of Kutch. Flights for those routes cost between $25 to $70. Super cheap. I would highly recommend Vistara, best airline I flew while in India (note: opted for the premium coach, not much more, but really worth it).

Jet Airways plane in India by MikesRoadTrip.com

  • SHOE SHINE – There is a lot of dust in India, so getting your shoes shined every so often is a must. I got a pair of shined at a train stop and the individual told me to pay him what I thought was fair. I had asked a local what a fair amount would be and they said 50 INR. I paid the guy 100, which was about $1.50.

India shoe shiner by MikesRoadtrip.com

I should mention that in India some negotiation is required to get the best deal, you would NEVER pay the asked or advertised price.

Mike Shubic

Mike Shubic is a seasoned road trip travel video blogger, traversing the byways of the world looking for those hidden gems of the road. From unique destinations, unexpected discoveries, creative cuisine, intriguing inns to exciting attractions…the road is his page. The experiences are his ink. And every 300 miles, a new chapter begins. Whether you live vicariously or by example, Mike will do the exploring so you can have an adventure.