Apart from many other spheres of life, demonetization in India has impacted the travel industry to quite an extent. Many travellers for instance, encountered difficulties in paying for accommodation and meals they had booked and planned for before November 8, 2016. With high denomination notes of INR 500 and INR 1,000 no longer being accepted, shopping lists became shorter and the thought of hotels and cab services refusing to accept cash made the notion of travelling a bad idea.
Here are some tips to help you travel hassle-free in this time:
1. Spot and compare the best deals online
Pre-planned or last minute vacation plans? Travelling isn’t going to feel heavy on the pocket if you plan wisely. Look out for the best deals online and compare through websites like ixigo.com to get the best rates for both accommodation and travel.
Example> By using websites such as ixigo.com. you will be able to compare flights and hotels across all the popular travel sites, helping you save even on last minute bookings.
2. Book packages
Opt for all-inclusive travel packages to your favoured destinations which will cover travel, stay and more once you reach. This will not leave you strapped for cash at the last minute as everything will already be paid for!
Example> A holiday package from Mumbai for 2 Days & 3 Nights for Goa would cost you about Rs.12000 and one to Kerala would cost about Rs.14000, including travel, stay and some sightseeing.
3. Tick the food joints and shops that accept cards and digital payments
Digital payments are now being widely accepted at most restaurants and shops in all the top tourist destinations. So, before you step out of your hotel, do thorough research and identify restaurants and shops that accept credit/debit cards or payments through digital wallets.
Example> No matter what city you’re in opt to eat at popular food chains such as Subway, Pizza Hut, Dominoes, etc. all of them accept digital, cashless payments.
4. Cash-free local commute
Wondering how you will travel once you get there? Use cab service apps like Ola and Uber that offer cashless transactions for cabs across most Indian cities. You can even use the ixigo cabs app to compare fares.
Example> Travel by Uber or Ola, on which you can pay using Paytm or Ola Money. You can also compare fares via ixigo cabs before you book.
5. Go for Prepaid Travel Money cards
Foreigners and NRIs travelling to India must get their prepaid travel money cards to manage their money and shop with ease. Travellers can transfer them into the supported currencies so that they can make cashless payments from their own funds or even withdraw their own money without the cost of currency conversion fees.
Example> Get a Forex/travel card from your bank before you start your travel. In India, for instance such cards are available through most banks such as Axis bank or State Bank of India.
6. Make payments for others in groups via cards
If you are in a group, split the bill and opt to pay for your friends with your card, either in return for cash from them or cash transfers to your mobile wallet or bank account.
Example> If you make payments in groups you can easily transfer your share through digital wallets such as Paytm, Citrus, Mobikwik, etc.
A combination of all or some of these tips shouldn’t make travelling in the age of demonetization tough at all! With flights and train tickets available online and the abundance of online travel agencies along with meta search players ixigo, planning and booking for your entire trip online has become very easy. Don’t let the cash crunch come in the way of your travel plans!