Affordable Destinations for Teenagers
With year-end festivities at a peak, it’s time for travelers to start mapping out their 2017 travel bucket list. And if teenagers have restricted the idea of travel to "only with the parents", they should be happy to know that India has a few ideal destinations that complement a teen’s saved-up-pocket -money budgets.
From family-run small bed and breakfast accommodations, hostels to budget homestays, here’s Booking.com's list of affordable travel destinations ideal for teen travelers in India.
Goa is the hotspot for most travellers seeking a budget trip. If this is your debut into the adult world of vacationing with your friends, let it begin on a laid-back beach vibe. Apart from its world-famous golden sand beaches and blue shores, Goa is home to many historical tourist points, like the quaint lanes of Vasco De Gama, or Old Goa which hosts historical sites such as UNESCO listed Basilica of Bom Jesus or the 16th century-old Portuguese church, Se Cathedral. Travelling within Goa is easy, as apart from renting scooters for a Rs. 500 a day, one can always opt for a pilot who drives you through the state. Aside from hotels, one can explore accommodation at hostels, or apartments rented out by local families, who will also take care of one’s meals if requested.
Nestled in the Himalayan foothill, Darjeeling makes for an amazing summer destination. Apart from travelling in the UNESCO heritage site Toy train introduced in 1881, the city is home to monasteries like the Ghum Monastry. Tiger Hill is perfect for camping and treks, escorted by local guides. Besides sipping hot, freshly brewed tea, local cuisine will not cost one more than Rs. 400 to Rs. 500 a day. Adventure sports for teenagers includes kayaking, paragliding, or jungle safaris to Sandakphu, Phalut and Singalila national park.
Surrounded by dense coniferous and oak trees in Uttarakhand, Auli is the Himalayan ski destination. Apart from hosting devotees of the Badrinath temple, the hill station also has a stunning flower valley, national parks with snow leopards and red foxes. While the hill station can be reached using cable cars, the experience above once reached is unmatchable. Certified trainers ensure safety measures are taken for first time skiers, be they adult or teenagers. While hotels in Auli town can get expensive, the Joshimath town at the foothill has affordable motels for budget travellers. The locals are warm and homely, so parents can rest assured that their kids are being taken care of.
Hosting a large Tibetan population, the suburban vicinity of Dharamshala is just a bus journey away from Pathankhot in Punjab. Popular amongst trekkers, the hill station houses monasteries and temples and offers unmatchable views of the Himalayan ranges. Those travelling solely to trek might consider the Triund trek, which includes accommodations and guided tours of the valley and uphill, all at nominal costs. A visit to Mcleodganj, which is the capital of the Tibetan government in exile, is also a perfect opportunity to savour authentic Tibetan delicacies like thukpa and momos.
Long weekend? And not sure where to head? Take a train and head straight to Gokarna, a beach destination close to Bengaluru. With Om beach at its centre, the destination serves as a peaceful place with local fishermen offering free fishing trips on their boats. Budget homestays make it easier for teenagers to explore the culture of the locals while indulging in warm home-cooked meals. The place offers various water activities like banana boat rides, jet skiing and speed boating for the thrill seekers. You may also witness campfires across the beach and groove to some local music.
Explore the remnants of the Vijayanagara Empire based in Hampi, a quaint town dotted with architectural masterpieces. Located within the ruins of Vijayanagara, Hampi hosts monuments dating back to 1500 AD. Apart from heritage walks across temples, the historical town also offers coconut basket boat rides and hosts little flea markets serving local cuisines and handmade toys. Tongas are the best way to commute within the village area from one temple to the other.
On the way towards Manikarna is the serene village of Kasol. Popular amongst most backpackers, this village in Kullu on the banks of River Parvati, offers everything one seeks on a trip to a hill station. From taking long treks to Kheer Ganga, to indulging in authentic Israeli delicacies cooked by the large expat population living in the town, this Himalayan destination is good to celebrate a long weekend.
Teen adventure seekers will love Rishikesh for its white water rafting, bungee jumping, kayaking and camping opportunities. Camps on the banks of the Ganges offer full-board packages that include one or two river rafting trips, stay in tents with all meals.
NB: Booking.com offers the widest range of accommodations including bed & breakfast, homestays, hostels, guesthouses etc for travellers looking for budget accommodation.