How to plan a budget Kerala trip? Skip to main content

How to plan a budget Kerala trip?

Kerala is one of the most popular choices for people looking to wander around the southern part of India. With its coffee plantations and hazy roads, a budget Kerala trip is what brings happiness and refreshes your mood from your daily lifestyle. In this post, we will discuss how to reach Kerala from anywhere in India, the places to cover, and what season would be the best for your upcoming Kerala trip.

A brief introduction to Kerala

Kerala is an Indian state falling in the southern part of the country. The population of the state stands at a little higher than 3.5 crores or 35 million. The state is 21st largest state by area in India and borders the Indian states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The language popular among Keralites is Malayalam and therefore if you learn a few words before your Kerala trip, it would help you on the road.

How to reach Kerala?

Kerala is easily accessible by all types of transport modes. So, you can use either land, water, train, or air for your Kerala trip. 

How to reach Kerala by road?

Kerala can be reached by road via buses readily available from border states such - as Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Both the states provide the sleeper bus service as well as seater bus service that will carry you to the starting point of your Kerala trip. The categories range from ordinary to AC to luxury Volvo buses.

The most popular cities from where you can board a bus are Bengaluru in Karnataka and Chennai in Tamil Nadu. You can book the bus on the spot or in advance from government websites.

Karnataka bus booking website - Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation

Kerala bus booking website - Kerala State Road Transport Corporation

Since both the corporations abbreviate to KSRTC, you would generally find Kerala buses mentioning Kerala in the bracket explicitly as KSRTC (Kerala ).

How to reach Kerala by air?

Kerala has four operational airports and since it is a small state, you can choose to land anywhere near your first planned destination of the Kerala tour and travel to other places by buses.

List of airports in Kerala

Kerala has the following airports:

  • Calicut Internation Airport - Located in Malappuram Malappuram. The closest popular city to this airport is Kozhikode.
  • Cochin International Airport - Located in Kochi. The closest popular city to this airport is Kochi.
  • Kannur International Airport - Located in Kannaur. The closest popular city to this airport is Kannaur.
  • Trivandrum International Airport - Located in Thiruvananthapuram. The closest popular city to this airport is Thiruvananthapuram.

How to reach Kerala by water/sea?

Since Kerala is a coastal state towards Lakshadweep islands, you can use the sea route to reach the state. There are two ports available for civilian ships where you can arrive en route to your Kerala trip. However, by the time of writing this post, one port is under construction.

  1. Cochin port - Located in Kochi. The closest city to this port is Kochi.
  2. Vizhinjam Port - Located in Trivandrum. The port is under construction as of now.

How to reach Kerala by train?

Reaching Kerala by train is an incredible experience and the state is well connected with railway lines. If you have got some extra time on your Kerala tour, the train experience could be a good choice to opt for. You can book your train tickets from the official Indian railway website - IRCTC.

Best time to visit Kerala?

Kerala is a bit hot land and a lot of the places are too humid. Due to this, avoiding summer is best if you are planning a Kerala trip or Kerala holidays. 

The best time to visit Kerala, therefore, would be after summers and monsoons i.e. September to February or latest by March. 

Places to visit in Kerala

Kerala has a lot of places to visit and the geographical location satisfies mountain lovers, beach lovers, or if you just want to spend a night on a houseboat. In this section, we can explore some of the most popular Kerala tourist places. If you need to know a few offbeat places, do let us know in the comment section.


Whether you arrive by land, air, train, or sea, there is an extremely high probability that your Kerala  tour will start from the famous Dutch-style city of Kochi. 

Chinese fishing nets in Kochi
Chinese fishing nets in Kochi

Kochi is the financial capital of Kerala and therefore the city roads will be packed during rush hour. So avoid going out during office rush hours on weekdays. However, weekends are quite calm on the road and relief for people on their Kerala trip. 

Top tourist places in Kochi - are Fort Kochi, Princess Street, and Santa Cruz Cathedral.


If you are on a budget trip in Kerala, your next stop should definitely be Alleppey which is around 50 km away from the Kochi bus stand and will cost you just 60 INR on an ordinary bus. It is famous for its backwaters and houseboat experience.

Alleppey house boat
Houseboat in Alleppey

You can stay overnight on the houseboats that are equipped with facilities such as air conditioners and loudspeakers.


Munnar is a hill station located in the Western Ghats mountain range. Munnar is an extremely popular destination, especially among solo and group travelers. Due to this, you will find a lot of hostels in Munnar. If you want to beat the humidity you will face in Alleppey, Munnar will be a nice touch to your Kerala trip.

Munnar Fields
Munnar Fields

With a lot of tea and coffee plantations, you can buy excellent tea dust or tea from here.

Top tourist places in Munnar - Mattupetty Dam, Kundala Lake, Eravikulam National Park.


For beach lovers, your budget Kerala trip cannot be completed without visiting Varkala. Although Kerala has beaches in many other places, the vibes of Varkala are unmatched. The most famous of them is the Varkala beach visited by 2.1 lakh people including 50 thousand foreigners.

Varkala Beach and Red Cliff
Varkala Beach and Red Cliff

Varkala beach is one of the "must-go" places in your Kerala tour. 

Top tourist places in Varkala - Varkala Beach, Varkala cliff, Janardhana swami temple, Aaliyirakkm Beach.

Apart from these places, there are many more places to visit in Kerala like Wayanad and Thiruvanthapuram. However, the places covered in this post are the most visited and loved by the tourists on their Kerala tour. For any suggestions, let us know in the comment section.


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