10 Fulfilling Indian Trips to Make Your Travel Dreams Come True

As things seem to pick up with India finally unlocking, there is a silver lining for travellers too. And while we hold on to being optimistic and seeing the glass half full, the promising future is all the more vivid now. So how do we make the most of this perfect opportunity for you?

We figured nothing can be better than extensively grafted DIY itineraries that cover the detailed intricacies of India, one state at a time!

The 10 Great Indian Trips!

With the Backpacker Package and Zostel Credits up and running, we couldn’t help but inspire you with avenues that motivate your quarantined feet and wandering hearts. Therefore, the 10 Great Indian Trips were born! Covering various states and their specialities across the country, these trips ensure that your travels are spent well and reach their full potential. A snippet of these trips below will give you an idea about them and for detailed itineraries, visit our Instagram page.

How do I get these itineraries?

We opened doors to future travels with Travel for Tomorrow- an initiative to help travellers dream of travelling at throwaway prices, and now, gifting them 10 exclusive trips, complimentary upon request with purchase of our Backpacker Package and Zostel Credits.

Kullu and Manali: The Offbeat Guide

Introduction- Unlike the conventional Manali experience which is rather touristy, this itinerary takes you through the small villages in and around Kullu Valley which may be less known, and that’s exactly what makes them special. As we cover the offbeat wonders of Pah Nala, Dobhi, Rumsu and Shuru, you’d be surprised to see what these places have in store for you. And while you traverse through these hilly wonders, do check out their respective Zostel homes, for maximum convenience.

What's in store for you- Unlike the touristy estate that Manali is, this itinerary helps travellers explore the hidden treasures of the valley. And to add to the adventure, beautiful adventures like cosy bonfires, starry skies, mesmerising sunrises & sunsets, hiking, and walks through the forestlands await you here.

Things to remember- The Kullu valley blooms with spring during April - June while snow takes over during October-February, making these months the best to take this trip. Also, state-run buses and private taxis best connect the mentioned villages and are reliable as well. If you’re taking your own car, that is a convenient option too.

Rajasthan: The Cultural Chronicles

Introduction- A colourful garland of cities dipped in hues of pink, blue, and golden, Rajasthan showcases a splendid affair with regality, making it a dream destination for travellers far and wide across lands. Covering the cities of Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner, Pushkar, Jodhpur and Udaipur, this itinerary will help you take a peek into the wonders of Marwadi, Rajputana, and Rajasthani cultures one ancient city at a time. As you travel across Rajasthan the Zostel way, each city is set to greet you with its own hostel, except Bikaner.

What's in store for you- If you’re influenced by the old-world charm of royal havelis, wish to attend a dynamic kaleidoscope of Rajasthani festivals and love living life in technicolour, this itinerary has your name written all over it!

Things to remember- As the state practically goes through the Thar Desert, it is advisable to visit Rajasthan between the months of late September and early March. And while you’re at it, state- run buses are your best bet for commute here.

Rajasthan Itinerary crafted by Zostel mavericks.
The Rajasthan Itinerary, crafted by travel mavericks at Zostel covers every colourful city this state has to offer.

Karnataka: Dreaming In Green

Introduction- With a perfect blend of culturally affluent monuments, burgeoning national parks, therapeutic beaches, and tranquil yoga practices, Karnataka never ceases to amaze travellers with its tranquility. A striking balance between the bucolic villages and contemporary cities makes this state virtually unmissable.

What's in store for you- Amongst the rolling hills and meadows, spice, tea and coffee plantations, and idyllic villages, Karnataka presents travellers with a bright palette of greens and blues that are pleasant to all your senses. As we take you through the wonders of Bangalore, Mysore, Sakleshpur, Coorg, Agumbe, and Chikmagalur, experiential Zostel stays await you through nearly 70% of the itinerary.

Things to remember- While the months of August to October are the best to visit Karnataka, the weather is pleasant here beginning August through March as well. Other than that, road tripping is synonymous to this itinerary. And if that’s not your plan, KSRTC (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation) will come to your rescue here.

Kerala: A Tropical Odyssey

Introduction- A treasure chest comprising the Arabian Sea, layered landscape, sinewy backwaters and the lush green slopes of the Western Ghats, Kerala is THE definition of serenity. If you dream of being a beach bum, treating yourself to the sounds of the ocean and gorging on authentic Keralan delicacies every chance you get, this trip will have your heart!

What's in store for you- Covering 6 of Kerala’s most wonderful destinations of Kochi, Vagamon, Alleppey, Varkala, Kovalam, and Trivandrum, Zostel makes sure you uncover different eccentricities of these cities with 3 of them offering Zostel stays.

Things to remember- The tropical land down South is the most enchanting between the months of September and March. And considering the close proximity of the cities we have picked, you might as well make this one a full fledged road trip. State buses however, are not that frequent and night commute is not advisable.

Kerala Itinerary for our travellers to savour upon.
Kerala Itinerary in all it's glory with all the best places combined.

Tamil Nadu: Culture With A Side Of The Sea

Introduction- As you traverse through some of India’s finest sculpted stonework, classical civilizations dating back to over two millennia and green hills that look out at the wide world, Tamil Nadu will prove to you to be one of the most distinctive yet underrated states in India.

What's in store for you- The seamless stir of modern and archaic hotspots exist co-dependently here and the 6 beautiful destinations we plan to take you through fit right up this alley! Ooty, Kodaikanal, Madurai, Pondicherry, Mahabalipuram and Chennai are home to some of the most pivotal edifices in Indian history, including Zostel stays in Chennai, Ooty, and Kodiakanal.

Things to remember- October to February are the best months to travel here, with little to no humidity and pleasant winter weather. With that being said, state-run buses are sure to make your travels more convenient here. And if budget isn’t a constraint, you can opt for a private car road trip as well.

Young, Wild and Free: Travel Edition

Introduction- After the traumatizing wrath that the first half of 2020 has put us all through, we figured our travellers must be in the need of a crazy frickin’ party, right? So we couldn’t help but curate a week-long party for you, with exclusive celebratory trails in each city.

What's in store for you- The towns of Hampi, Goa and Gokarna make for best boho party scenes amidst ancient ruins, beaches and flickering hills altogether. While Hampi overflows with ancient history, Gokarna is jammed with ample green spots to hike up to, and Goa on the other hand, boasts of endless beach get-togethers and booze. As we help you live your life to the fullest by recommending the best city spots to eat, visit and party, all you have to do is make the most of it with fellow Zostelers!

Things to remember- Make the most of this trip between the months of October and March when the weather is pleasant and the towns are at their liveliest. And do your friends a little solid by taking this trip with them for an ultimate party bender.

Uttarakhand: Of Unconventional Adventures

Introduction- The princely state of Uttarakhand takes you through the Himalayas of the Kumaon region, offering a relaxed and replenishing road trip experience to travellers and adventurers alike. So if you’re a sucker for rappelling, hiking, river rafting, waterfall dipping, fishing, & river crossing, this trip is in to satisfy you.

What's in store for you- With a cosy hostel in Mukteshwar, other places covered in the itinerary namely Jim Corbett, Kausani, Munsyari, Chaukori, Kasar Devi & Binsar, and Nainital have ample spots to camp out amidst nature. Apart from riveting mountain views, which is a common attribute shared by all the places, the simplicity of mountain life is what makes them special..

Things to remember- April to June and October to December are the best months to take this trip, with some villages also experiencing snowfall in the winter months. The territorial landscape of the region makes it ideal for a bike trip as well.

Uttarakhand and the Kumaon Region- major places covered.
The hiilly terrain of Uttarakhand calls for adventures and activities, covered well by this itinerary.

The Wonders of Himachal

Introduction- The proliferating valleys, sturdy mountains and alluring landscape of Himachal are no secret to travellers. An adventurous playground of sorts, it is home to some of India’s most venturesome territories that greet you with a diverse plethora of cultures, traditions and dialects. With this itinerary, we bring to you the old-time classics of this beautiful land, featuring some offbeat villages and experiences to please the seasoned traveller in you.

What's in store for you- The old-time classics of Himachal like Shimla, Manali, and Bir combined with offbeat villages like that of Kotgarh, Kotkhai, Theog, Cheog, and Mashobra make for this tasteful itinerary for travellers. The hikes, treks and trails that are scattered throughout its valleys find mention in almost every description along with umpteen Zostel backpacker stays in Bir, Mcleodganj, Manali and Dalhousie, and Zostel homes in eccentric villages.

Things to remember- When it comes to visiting Himachal, April-June and October-November are the most rewarding months, with winters bringing ample snowfall. And when it comes to the mode of transportation, state-run buses are your most budget-friendly and viable option. And if you happen to spend your holiday lavishly, you can opt for a road trip by your own vehicle too.

Sikkim: Off the beaten roads

Introduction- A relatively unexplored territory, Sikkim is all the more promising for backpackers when it comes to adventure, scenic beauty and a culinary fiesta. Considering that the north-eastern part of India is quite new for travellers to explore, Sikkim ups the game with a distinctive culture it is known for. The lack of accessibility of most regions here makes it all the more audacious for travellers who wish to broaden the horizons of their adventures.

What's in store for you- Apart from being virtually eye-pleasing, the terrains of Sikkim are also some of the most difficult to travel upon. State permits and special permissions are required to travel on these beaten paths but the degree of difficulty only makes them all the more appealing to hardcore adventurers and travel enthusiasts. Covering the trenches of Gangtok, Lachen, Pelling, Kalimpong, Darjeeling and Bagdogra, this itinerary is a clever mix of places explored and towns rarely touched by travellers.

Things to remember- The best time to visit Sikkim is between March and May and then mid-September to November. Landslides being frequent here, avoid travelling in the months of June to August. The frequency of public transport is minimal, therefore travelling from Gangtok in private taxi for tours is recommended.

Sikkim Itinerary crafted by the travel geniuses of Zostel.
The undiscovered land of Sikkim is every adventurer's dream come true, depicted well by Zostel.

Spiti Valley: The Journey of a Lifetime

Introduction- Spiti Valley is a place where adventure hides in every nook and corner, encircled by a blanket enthralling beauty. A summary of the adventures here would include words like India’s highest village, world’s largest this and oldest that, the milky way, snow leopards, a decadent mummy, frozen towns… basically magical stuff that you can seek here, and only here.

What's in store for you- Keeping in mind that unpredictability is one of the strongest suits of Spiti, a little help from experts won’t hurt. This itinerary will take you through the picturesque estates of Narkanda, Chitkul, Kalpa, Nako, Tabo, Kaza, Kibber and Chandratal, which are known for their unconventional cultures that are most likely to enchant you.

Things to remember- Temperatures drop to negatives very often here, even during the summers. It is advised that you carry enough warm layers of fleeces, socks, gloves, windcheaters, jackets, caps, and earmuffs at all times. Carrying sun protection (SPF, sunglasses) is also a must. May to September are the easiest months to travel here, unless you’re up for a hardcore snow adventure in winters. And if you plan to drive here or opt for a daring road trip, the Shimla-Kaza highway demands one to be extremely careful while driving.

P.S. liked what you read so far? Check out our Travel for Tomorrow offers to request the detailed and extensive version of these exclusive itineraries.

The Future is NOW!

I believe you’re doing your best to adjust to the ‘new normal’. A normal that has blessed you with a future where travel is possible. A future where you won’t flinch at the thought of doing what you love because you’re staying home. A future where you can look forward to exploring the glorious territories our nation has so liberally nurtured. A future where you can freely plan your next travels! And with such a promising future ahead of you, these itineraries will help you make the most of it. Click here for more information.

Travel for Tomorrow makes sure there are a great deal of advantages for fellow travellers who dream of easy travels in the future. Freedom to travel anytime and anywhere is a treasured gift accompanied by-

  1. Lifetime validity of the purchased packages and credits.
  2. Anytime redeemability of the Backpacker Package and Zostel Credits across all Zostel and ZostelX home locations (no exceptions).
  3. Hassle-free redeeming process for both sublets by either dropping a mail at reservations@zostel.com or over WhatsApp on +91-9599407770 from registered email ID or phone number.
  4. Easily transferable purchased dorm nights/credits if you’re booking for a friend or kin. Make sure to request the same through registered contact point only.

Writer, Kanak Kundlani.