You must be thinking of that Europe trip on your bucket list. So expensive, right? Well, here’s a bucket lister Devang Sethi who has covered 6 countries and 9 cities in Europe over a period of 20 days. He has done so on an unbelievable shoestring amount that redefines budget travel. And all that was done with no compromise on the experience or skipping meals.
(turn on your volume)
As a child, Devang got to travel a lot with his family but it was 2014 when the, then 25-year-old bucket lister took to serious travelling, hiking and riding every month. It almost became a lifestyle for him that encouraged more of living in the present than the past. The most peculiar part about his travels is that they are all low budget travel with no comromise on experience.
He had been religiously travelling throughout the country but this time he chose to take his passion for travel to the next level. His friend had just come back to India after a 3-month internship in Europe. The stories he shared about the easiness of surviving in Europe inspired Devang’s bucket list of a tour across Europe as one of the best places to travel.
He had his own solo travelling experience from visiting the North-Eastern states, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. But this time it was beyond the country’s borders. He planned his trip well-in-advance to allow him to explore Europe without any trouble in hand.
For preparations, the bucket lister started off with research about the places he would visit, online. He traced hosts who would let him couch-surf. He found modes of transport that would be the most economical to facilitate his shoestring budget travel avoiding unnecessary expenditures.
The bucket lister chose to travel at night to avoid night-stay expenses. He avoided visiting costlier cities on weekends, walked and even got a day-pass for accessing buses, trams, and metros. He recalls Amsterdam to be the first and the most expensive of all the places he had visited. For the youth, he recommends carrying student-id cards for on-the-go discounts.
Devang kept his schedule flexible by at least 2-3 days and depending upon the extent that he had explored a city, he decided to stay or move on to the next. On his Europe trip, Devang has visited the countries of Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia, and Croatia.
He recalls of some unforgettable experiences such as the one where he canoed in the Adriatic sea on his visit to Dubrovnik, Croatia.
Devang, popularly known as the Punjabi Wanderer accepts that prior to the trip he was very much skeptical on the treatment he would receive abroad. Often he had been warned not to mention his nationality owing of a bad rapport. However, he wants to take this opportunity to bust that myth.
“Europeans love India, the people, the culture, the cuisine.”
He even goes on to narrate an incident where he was couch surfing at a German residence where the couple had most of the books only on Indian cuisine. The trip has changed his perspective about what people abroad think about India and its countrymen.
The trip was easier said than done. Devang shares the most problematic experience with documentation. He had to book the flight tickets, the hotel rooms, apply for the visa. He suggests getting over with visa formalities before hand because some countries have a visa-on-arrival but mostly don’t. And it takes a lot of time for the visa application to be processed and allowed.
“If you want to truly experience a foreign travel destination, try avoiding tour guides because they will only let you explore through tourist hotspots.”
He advises aspiring travel bucket listers to try connecting with local people and their culture. Some even accommodate travellers at their residences and facilities which are economical. He acknowledges the fact how couch-surfing and hostels made the trip so much economical and simpler for him.
The bucket lister wants to reiterate that travelling is not at all expensive and it is possible to have a rich experience on a low budget travel.
“I covered 6 countries in 20 days within ₹1.25 lacs of which 50k was just airfare!”
|Flight tickets||50,000||Delhi – Amsterdam (Finn Air), Dubrovnik – Delhi (Turkish Airlines)|
|Travel Insurance||1,800||United India Insurance|
|Amsterdam 2 nights, Berlin 2 nights,
Prague 1 night, Plitvice 1 night,
Split 2 nights, Dubrovnik 2 nights
|Couch Surfing||FREE||Saxon Swiss National Park, Budapest, Ljubljana|
Tours and Activities
|Keukenhof Gardens, Zaanse Schanz,
Walking tours in Berlin and Prague,
Concentration Camp tour in Berlin,
Pub crawl in Berlin and Split, Budapest Eye,
Postonja Caves, Split old town,
Dubrovnik city walls,
|Inter-city & Intra-city travel||17,000||EuroBus, FlixBus, Intra-city Metro, S-Bahn, Intra-city Bus|
On his next bucket list, Devang wants to witness the Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights in Norway.
Devang wants to keep travelling and focus more on the experiences rather than stressing about finances. His budget travel across Europe is an example as to how a true passion can accomplish any bucket list irrespective of obstacles. If you have a place in mind for your travel bucket list, share it with us and we will feature you as our next bucket lister