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