Money Saving Tips for Kullu Manali Shimla Tour - Himachal Trip Plan

Money Saving Tips for Kullu Manali Shimla Tour - Himachal Trip Plan - Destination Overview
  • Location: Himachal Pradesh,India -
  • Nearest Airport: Shimlla Bhuntar Kullu
  • Nearest Train Station: shimla, Chandigarh
  • How to reach: Approachable from Delhi, Chandigarh, Air connection through Kangra & Bhuntar Kullu Airports

Himachal Trip - Money Saving Tips -Kullu Manali Shimla Tour

Planning for Himachal Trip, Below Money saving tips will help you to better plan the Himachal Trip and help save your money

Perfact Itinerary for Himachal Trip - which Covers Most

You need to Plan Itinerarary in such a way that you cover all big 4 twins of Himachal, which are Shimla-Chail, Kullu-Manali, Dharamshala-Mcleodganj, Dalhoujie-Khajjiar. Any plan to Himachal Pradesh must cover these 4 twins. These stations offer extensive sight seeings and excursions, which are bit off road and unknown at the same time breathtaking. for example Dharamshala-Mcleodganj offers extensive sight seeing into Bir, Billing, Tashijong, Barot etc..You must dedicate at least 3 days at each twin destination to cover all. If you have short time, then 2 days at each will cover these, but you will need a taxi at your disposal. Holidaytravel can help you to design your perfect itinerray with extensive sight seeings.

Best Itinerary which covers most points is as below

  • Delhi - Chandigarh - Shimla
  • Shimla - Kufri - Chail
  • Shimla - Mandi - Kullu
  • Kullu - Manali - Solang - Rohtang
  • Manali - Mandi - Bir
  • Bir - Billing - Palampur
  • Palampur - Dharamshala - Mcleodganj
  • Dharamshala - Mcleodganj
  • Dharamshala - Dalhousie
  • Dalhousie - Khajjiar
  • Khajjiar - Pathankot - Chandigarh

Plan Your Itinerary - To include all Near by Points, Stations

Before travelling to Kullu Manali & Himachal, you need to plan a lot to avoid over expenses related to travelling costs. If Himachal planning is not done properly regarding your kullu manali holiday, then you will for sure lose money.

Always understand the roadmap of your travel and try to stick to public transport and tune your tour according to the public transport timings, there are luxury Video Coaches running between delhi to Manali. Book them in advance.

Avoid the Jams at Rohtang

Seprentine Traffic Jams are seen during Snowfall while travellig to Rohtang Pass. You can see thousands of vehicales lind up in the hair pin shaped beds. Hence of you have small kids with you, avoid travelling to Rohtang pass during snowfall or winter time & save money. Vehicals stuck in jam are also charged extra for the waiting time, hence avoid trip to rohtang if there are chances of snow.

Stay Away from Hippies

In Manali, you can come across many hippis and foreigners with lousy & dirty outfit, even drugees, It is always better to avoid people as your money might be ripped off.

If you are a foreigner, always be in a group, in recent times, Dozens of tourists went missing in kullu manali area.

Stay Away from Drugs & Pot

Stay away from Hashish smoking crowds in Manikaran, kasol, mingling with them may lead to inviting trouble, It is estimated that up to 9,000 foreigners could be hiding in the hills, depending on the drugs trade for their living. Police have been pursuing gangs from Mumbai and Europe, with limited success. A powerful Israeli mafia is also thought to be involved in much of the drugs trade.

Keep Your Records

Alaways Record your information, Always when traveling off town, bring a notebook, or whatever’s comfortable for you to write on. Use it to record information about your activities, list important phone numbers, locations, write about your trip etc. When you come home, the notes in it will be a great reference source when are planning your second trip back!

Drink Bottled Water bought at Reputed Big shops 

Standards of hygiene in restaurants are also different from home. A general rule is to drink either filtered or bottled water, avoid anything that has not been cooked or that may have been washed in unclean water.

Favor Busy Dhabas & Restaurants

Favor busy Dhabas and restaurants that are popular with locals or other travellers. Holiday Travel has listed many popular Dhabas on this portal to guide you with the best ones. While in Himachal, You must try the Pahari Food, Kangri Dham, Meat Chawal, on the popular joints. It is worth looking for popular joints by asking locals specially cabbies.

Do not Buy Herbs from Street Vendors

Do not buy saffron (kesar), musk (kasturi), or shilajit from street vendors; most of these products are fake. Buy from government-authorized shops only.

Bargain Hard with Travel Companies

Always compare packages offered by various tour travel companies, You will be surprised that you gain a lot after hard bargaining to make your packages affordable for kullu manali. Always do negotiation with travel companies will also offers you some great deals which will make affordable for kullu manali.

Always compare local Himachal based Travel Agencies rather than Mumbai/Gujarat or Delhi based companies, the Himachal based travel companies have better idea of local terrain and packages and help you when you are stranded.

Book Hotel Stay with Breakfast

Always try to book a package with Hotel Stay with Breakfast and Dinner ( for first few days) this way you will be able to save a lot of money as well energy looking for a food joints.

Choose City Centre or Well connected Hotels,Resorts

Choose Hotels in the city centre with access to all facilities, if you choose far off hotels, charges may be high for food and transport.

Avoid Peak Times and Festivals for Himachal Trip

Avoid trip planning to  Himachal specially Shimla & Manali at peak time, everything is costly in this peak season summer holidays right from accommodation to food to shopping to taxi auto fares,

April to June is the best time to visit Manali but do keep in mind that in summers (April-June) people from most Northern parts of India travel to manali, to avoid crowds, you can prefer to stay in Old Manali, which is far off from the hustle bustle of crowd.

Best time For honeymooners to visit Manali is in winters from Mid-November to February to enjoy additional heavy discount & see less crowd of tourists & enjoying privacy.

If you are looking for adventure sports then, hit for skiing December to February season is the best time and for rafting May to September would do good. All of you who seeks Paragliding in Manali, it’s always dependent on weather on the current day of the year :)

Avoid Diwali, Dushehra, Durga Puja holidays (October) to visit Kullu Manali as again it is peak season, unless if you want to see the world famous Dusherra Festival time in Kullu Valley.

Prefer HPTDC Hotels

HPTDC has many Heritage and Iconic hotels in Shimla Kullu Manali, The main advanyage is location as these are located at best sites in Manali, The services and food of HPTDC is also good, HPTDC offfers off-season discounts upto 30% at the time of monsoon and winters (usually mid November-February), Hence to enjoy your kullu manali trip, Always travel off season and stay with heritage HPTDC hotels.

Save Money on Taxi

if you travel by air, You will land in Bhuntar Airport Kullu, The Nearest Airport about 50 KM away. From Kullu, you can hire a taxi to reach Manali in 90 minutes approximately. The fare of taxi could be Rs 600- Rs 800, depending upon the bargaining skills as well as season time.

If you are a large family, more than 4 persons or family with Kids, it is always more economical and enjoyable to take taxi, Go for Innova Taxi which has A/C vents also for the last seat. Keep rotating travellers between last and middle row to avoid Nausea as persons sitting in last row tend to suffer from Nausea..

Volvo Buses for Himchal Trip

If you are solo or just a couple, Save money by taking the HPTDC Volvo Buses also run from Delhi at 6 P.M. everyday from HPTDC Office, Janpath and reaches Manali next morning around 8 AM. The fare is around Rs 990 on side. The similar buses leaves from Manali every evening 5.30 PM and reaching Delhi by 7.00 AM next morning.

Try off beat Places for Holiday & Honeymoon

Holiday and Honeymooners must opt for Off beat beautiful Places, for example if you are visiting Manali, Try to stay in Naggar Castle in Naggar Village in your trip with a night stay at Naggar Castle. It offers incredible breathtaking views.Naggar is just 30 odd KM from Manali. For honeymoon it’s one of the best place to stay and must visit for couples looking for ideal romantic point.

Avoid Buying Chingu

Chingu. Local shops are aplenty selling chingus ( a type of blanket) claiming to be warm in winters and cold in summers. Be wary of these. They will show you parcel ready chingus. Do not fall prey to them.

Book these hotels to Save Money in Manali 

HPTDC - Kunzum Manali: Located on the busy Manali Mall road, All Facilities are near by, recommended for families with Kids. Range is Rs 1700 – Rs 3000

HPTDC, Hadimba Cottages / Log / Hamta Huts: Ideal for honeymooners, Located at an isolated location ideal for Honeymooners to spend lovely moments together.

Johnson’s: Located near Circuit House very popular for it’s cuisines. The rooms are really comfortable and worth the money. Even if you do not stay there, do get in there to enjoy the meals. Range is Rs 2200- Rs4000.

Picaddily Resort: Located in the Mall road & though Budget, but not a budget hotel at all, You will be surprised to see the quality offered at cheap rates.

HPTDC, Rohtang Manalsu & The Beas: This hotel is a bit away from hustle bustle of town but very moderate budget hotels. Range is 650-2000 and you can always stay here to enjoy the privacy.

If you can not get HPTDC hotels, but still want a bargain deal, You can still find lots of budget hotels in Vashishth, Old Manali, Manali – Naggar road near Beas Bridge. Few choices include The River View.

Manali Restaurant Tips

Grozy, located just at the start of Mall road shops is also quite good in food quality.

IL Forno is by far the best place for Pizzas in Manali.

Ther-e-Punjab or Shan – e -Punjab (original one) is also a good food joint

Johnson’s,located near Circuit House is very famous for it’s cuisines. A meal here is a must for us whenever we go to Manali.

Chopsticks, located at Mall road, has a great variety of Chinese dishes topped with great taste.

Shimla Manali Winter Travel Tips - Travel Himachal in Winter

Always carry heavy woolens,Snow Jackets, inner thermals while travelling to winter.

If you are adventure seeker, Invest in your foot wear and take trekking shoes which can safe guard you even in snow, Some good Brands are Solomen, Merrell Men’s Moab, Asolo Men’s TPS 520 GV Boot, Lowa Men’s Renegade  etc

Do not exert yourself too much and try to keep your body hydrated on the day when visiting snow points.

Better Acclimatise in Manali & Take at least one complete day rest in Manali before venturing further heights. i.e. snow points in Solang or Gulaba. DO NOT go to snow points on the very first day you reach Manali region.

In Winters (except xmas – new year week) HPTDC runs about 30% off season discounts [also valid for Naggar Castle], if you like to stay in their hotels. All other private hotels can offer as much as 40-50%

Other Ways to Save Money in Manali

Manali Motorcycle Diaries

The second most common way is to hire a motorbike. There are many places where you can hire a motorbike (easy to find if you ask around), and is the most common mode of transport for foreigners. Both cruiser bikes like Bullet and sport bikes from Honda, Bajaj, Yamaha etc. are easily available, though Bullet is the most commonly seen one on the roads. Rates hover around Rs. 500-600 per day in the peak season, but much discounted at other times. A good place worth a look will be in Bike rentals Manali office in Vashisht 9816044140, have a good selection of Royal Enfields and Pulsars. Also 'Tinku' Bike mechanic near old Manali bridge is an honest shop for bike rentals.


Beware & save money on Rohtang Trip

Some times the local people along with police does not allow the non-four wheel drive vehicles from going beyond Snow-Point(a place 16 km before Rohtang Pass)and force to hire their owned 4WD vehicles at exhorbitant prices which can be up to 1500-2000 INR per person. This happens in the winter times when there is heavy snow fall. The tours organized by HPTDC does not go up to Rohtang pass and terminate at Snow-Point. Shared taxis are also available.


Waterfalls in Manali & Around

Rahala waterfalls: About 16 km from Manali at the start of the climb to the Rohtang Pass, are the beautiful Rahalla Falls at an altitude of 2,501 m.


Rozy Falls: On the way to Rohtang amazing water fall worth seeing. this water fall looks amazing between the high hills.


Zana Falls: 15 km from Naggar and 35 km from Manali, at Zana Village, beautiful Water Fall is worth visiting. The valley provides amazing views. There is one water fall on the road side and two other water falls which are not much explored by tourists and are amazing. Moreover Traditional Himachali food is available here at small hut like shops.

Deo Tibba Base Camp Trek: This trek is a technical trekking trail in Manali. This trek is a famous trek among the experience climbers. This trek gives a magnificent view of Deo.


Friendship peak Trekking: This is one of the majestic mountains in the beautiful valley of Kullu. This mountain is situated at around 5289 meters above the sea level. Best way to go for this trek is from Beas Kund and Dhundi.

Hampta Pass Trek: This trek is one of the most famous trekking trails in the Manali region. This trek is suitable for those who have some prior trekking experience and are reasonably fit. This trek is passes through forests.

Cheap Food Tips in Manali

Madras mess is a popular mess which serves south Indian meals Unlimited meals Rs:80


Local Himachali Dish-Sidu is right at the tea shop behind bus stand in municipal market. One can eat Sidu (which is like filled Idli or filled rice baked bun) with Chutney to experience a slice of Himachali Cuisine in Manali with tea/black tea/coffee. This is the only 1 there is visible yet hidden but worth a gem before leaving Himachal.

Drinking Tips in Manali

The locals drink two kinds of alcoholic beverages: Lugdi (plains) or Chang (Himalayan), a kind of crude beer made from fermented rice or barley and Sharab (plains) or Arak (Himalayan), an alcoholic drink distilled from Lugdi/chang. Arak can also be made from jaggery or apples or any other fruit.

It might be an interesting experience to visit a local home when the ladies make arak (quite regularly). You can sit in the fields where the ladies make it, have hot water from the distilling to wash with and "test" the product at frequent intervals.

Because there are apple orchards all around Manali, it's often possible to find apple cider. Besides this, there is alcohol available in bars, larger restaurants and the larger hotels.


Home Stay Tips in Manali

Nature Treat Hut, ? +91 9816056934, e-mail: URL Nature treat hut is situated 6kms south of Manali. Place called Jagat Sukh a small Village with Traditional Wooden Houses of Himachal Pradesh also near to Gayathri Temple which is one among two temples in India. It is surrounded by Apple orchard and wide view of Himalayan mountain range. It is far from crowd and in the lap of Peaceful Nature and the kullu local food can be tasted. edit

Ramgarh Heritage Villa, ? +91 8527 141 626, e-mail: Located in the small town of Raison, midway between Kullu & Manali. A heritage bungalow built in 1928, during the British era, with high ceilings, spacious bedrooms and fireplaces, and surrounded by apple orchards & kiwi plantations. It is managed by the descendants of the same family that built it. Behind the home-stay is the village of Benchi, who's residents work on the orchards. The village offers a glimpse of the Himachali countryside with its by-lanes overlooking the Beas and the Dhalaudhar range. Advance booking is required & can be done via India Untravelled. edit

Tips to Stay safe in Manali

Manali is a safe city but during seasonal time a surge of visitors keep visiting this beautiful place and some people exploit this opportunity for their own benefits. So a note of cautious is given while roaming around the city.

If you get lost and don't have enough directions get around the city then just ask for Manali Market. From there you can easily head to any destination of your choice.

Don't exchange currency in illegal market. Always ask for receipt after doing currency trade with exchange dealer.

A word of caution about paragliding in Manali. Many pilots of these parachutes are un-trained and obtain licences in the usual way any licence is obtained in India. Many a tourist visits the Lady Willingdon Mission Hospital with broken bones, sometimes protruding out, after accidents. Some para-gliders crash into innocent bystanders who end up with spinal injuries and paralysis. Serious, complicated cases with multiple organ injuries and heavy blood loss are stabilized to the extent possible and referred to either Chandigarh or Shimla. Sadly, some don't make it. Blood availability is very very limited in this hilly area. So think very carefully before deciding to paraglide in Manali.

Go next

Budget Hotel Guide in Manali

Kapoor Resort, Hadimba Temple Rd (About 0.5 KM from Mall Road), ? +91 9736386854. Check-in: 12noon, check-out: 12noon. Room + breakfast + dinner @ 1200 Rupees per night for 2 persons . edit

Flamingo Resort, Kanyal Road, Simsa (About 2 KM from Mall Road), ? +91 9816051236. Check-in: 12noon, check-out: 12noon. Room + breakfast + dinner @ 2300 Rupees per night for 2 persons . 2300. edit

Drifters' Inn & Cafe, Manu Temple Road, Old Manali ( (about 300mts before Manu Temple), ? +91 9805033127. Check-in: 12noon, check-out: 12noon. Drifters is really high on value for money. Rooms and toilets are clean and cozy. edit

Hotel Shandela, Club House Rd (Near electricity office, The Mall), ? +91 9418388208, e-mail: Rooms overlooking the forest on one side. A favourite with World Challenge expeditioners. PH. 01902252426 edit

Tiger's Eye, Club House Rd (Above Drifter's and towards the right in the village). Clean and warm rooms.. Nice wooden floors. Comfortable bed. Hot water. Pretty courtyard. 400 rupees. edit

Blue Guest House, Castle Road Naggar, Brahman Kothi, Naggar, Kullu Manali, +91-9817287347, +91-9816421109 (Mrs. Lata Sharma), +91-9816377076 (Mr Chander Shekhar Sharma), Hot water, CTV, view of Kullu Valley and Beas River and roof-top restaurant. This is a family run guest house and the couple is very courteous. The guest house is priced between 200/- and 500/- per night and located on the way up, about 0.5 km before the Castle. Manali is 30 mins by local bus.

Mid-range Hotels Guide in Manali

Silmog Garden, ? +91 1902 252862, 094182-05147, e-mail: Near Mall Road Manali. For Families and Couple with Homely food and comfort. Hotel has facilities like Wifi Internet access, Power Back, Restaurants, Television, Credit card, 24hours Hot water with Solar Heated Water Backup, Parking. edit

Snow Valley Resorts, ? +91 1902 253 228, 253-027, 098160-03027, e-mail: Log Hut Area. This is a handsome place sprawled over the most posh area in Manali log hut area and is surrounded by apple orchards and deodhar forest. All rooms have facilities like 32" LCD TV, mini fridge, tea/coffee maker, wooden flooring. edit

Himachal Cottage Villa, ? +91-9417150502, e-mail: Village Bashkola, Kullu-Manali. Set of three cottages near orchards. edit

Himkund Cottages Rangri. 09817094200, A collection of three cottages 2-3 rooms in each cottage, which are well decorated.

Honeymoon Inn, e-mail: Left Bank, 59-room hotel with extensive lawns and indoor facilities. edit

Manali Heights,  +91 9316101103, e-mail: Log Hut Area, Manali Heights is a resort set near the Dhungiri forest, amidst ancient Deodars. edit

Shingar Regency, ? +91 09816921378. 44 rooms, walking distance from the main market, in very pristine surroundings around Hadimba Temple. edit

SunPark Resorts, Left Bank Aleo New Manali, ? +91 1902253037. Check-out: noon. 3 star property with facilities such as discotheque, coffee shop. 2000. edit

Tree House Cottages, Village Jong, Katrain, Dist. Kullu (H.P.), +91-1902-240365, +91-98160-78765,, [1].

Honeymoon Inn Manali (Honeymoon Inn Manali), Left Bank, Aleo Manali, Manali, Himachal Pradesh 175131, ? +91-11- 43101103, e-mail: Honeymoon Inn is 1.5 Km. from the main bus stand on the left bank of the river on the road going towards Nagar. edit

Expensive Hotels in Manali

Mapple The River Crescent Resort, ? +91 9816921378, e-mail: URL Manali's latest 4 star addition situated at Rangree on banks of the River Beas. 50 AC rooms, centrally heated with all amenities. edit

  • Manu Allaya. 
  • Johnson Lodge. Tastefully done up property with a popular Bar and Restaurant. 01902-251523, rooms @ Rs 4000. edit
  • Rock manali National Highway 21, Manali, Himachal Pradesh 175131.
  • Span report Manali, Himachal Pradesh.
  • Holiday inn
  • Solang Valley resort VPO Palchan, Manali - 175131.