Monday Travel Hack: Kathmandu, Nepal. Save over $250.

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Nepal boasts amazing cultural and biodiversity in addition to 8 of the top ten tallest mountains in the world. Many go to Nepal to go trekking and that’s not an inexpensive endeavor. If you are planning on going and want to do it cheaper, here’s one way to save some money on getting there.

Photo: ilkerender, used under Creative Commons License (By 2.0)

First, lets find pricing for March travel to Kathmandu. February – April is the 2nd best time to go Nepal. It is the end of the dry season and the weather is generally nice. The best time to go is October/November. However, since it is already October, lets travel hack for March.

$1,497 to Kathmandu on Air India

The cheapest flight we found on ITA Software was $1,497 on Air India. Using tips that we provided in our Low Cost Carriers article, we found carriers that fly to Kathmandu and quickly, we found some easy gateways — Dubai, Delhi, Bangkok as likely candidates to use as a gateway for low cost carriers to Kathmandu.

To fly into Delhi, we found a nice option with Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, for $1,108.

$1,100 to Delhi on Etihad Airways

There are actually cheaper options with Kuwait Airways and Aeroflot. However, the flying experience is better with Etihad. We are all about saving money — but not about saving money for money sake if flying for 20 hours with a sub-par product (Kuwait Airways is $200 cheaper than Etihad and Aeroflot is $100 cheaper). From Delhi, there are at least two low cost carriers to Kathmandu – JetLite and SpiceJet. We found the best pricing with SpiceJet for 6,946 Indian Rupees (INR) or $141 USD at $1USD to 49 INR.

6,946 INR or $141 USD from Delhi to Kathmandu, Nepal on SpiceJet

By using a low cost carrier to get to Kathmandu from a gateway city, a traveler would save $250 or more. This is easier than trying to search endlessly for cheap flights to Kathmandu.

Tip for Mileage Redemption:

  • Redeeming miles to Kathmandu, Nepal is somewhat difficult with oneworld, SkyTeam or Star Alliance miles because of limited flights. But redeeming miles into Delhi and then buying a ticket with a low cost carrier means you can get you award ticket. Delhi is a much easier destination to redeem miles for.

Key Takeway:

  • Use a low cost carrier to get to the final destination to save

Background Information:

India:

  • Visa: US Citizens – Required prior to arrival. Pricing varies. You will need a visa even if you are just transiting since low cost carriers do NOT interline with any carriers that fly into India. If you are planning to stay in Nepal more than 15 days but less than 60, you will need to apply for Re-Entry Exemption (it is an option when applying for a Visa). India being India has a rule that travelers on a tourist visa cannot re-enter India after they leave unless the gap is greater than 60 days even if they have a multi-entry visa. While reports have people going through without issue, there are an equal number of reports of people having issues. To be safe, get the re-entry exemption.
  • Currency: Indian Rupee – $1USD = 49 INR

Nepal:

  • Visa: US Citizens – Visa on Arrival available starting at $25 for 15 days.
  • Currency: Nepalese Rupee – $1USD = 78 NPR

Recent Monday Travel Hacks:

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If you have a destination in mind and find the airfare to be expensive, maybe we can help. Send us a message on our Facebook Page with the destination and maybe you will be our feature for a Monday Travel Hack!

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