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How to Spend Less and Experience Better When Touring Tibet?

Last Update: May 10, 2022

Traveling to Tibet is an amazing experience, and one that will stay with you for the rest of your life. And travelling to Tibet need not be as expensive as many people think, with the options of taking tours that can help reduce your overall costs. But one concern for many travelers, with the glut of information on how to get to Tibet as cheap as possible, is whether this low-cost travel to Tibet can give a good tour experience, or is it just a cheap and cheerful package tour? Can you have a good travel experience when paying a lot less for your trip? Here, we can explain how you really can have that exclusive travel experience, while still saving money on the cost of the tour that you want to take. Follow our expert's advice, and make that low-cost dream trip to Tibet come true.

Tour Tibet in Winter from November to February

There are ways in which you can spend less on your Tibet tour and still get a great experience. The most obvious one is to travel to the Land of Snows in the low season for Tibetan tourism. This is when the cost of the tour is normally lower, as there are fewer tourists interested in traveling to Tibet. The winter months, from November to February, are the low season in Tibet, where the temperatures can drop drastically and you can sometimes (not always!) see snow on the plateau and around Lhasa. Flights to Tibet are generally cheaper in the winter months, as are the cost of the major hotels and the entrance tickets to many of the sites in and around Lhasa. Fewer tourists means that the companies are all fighting for your trade, offering discounts and vouchers, and providing offers in order to try and get more business in this slower time of year.

Winter is the time of pilgrimage for Tibetan BuddhistsWinter is the time of pilgrimage for Tibetan Buddhists.

The advantage of traveling in the low season is more than just the cost though. When the winter sets in, you will see more local Tibetans in and around the attractions of Lhasa, such as the Jokhang Temple and the Potala Palace. Winter is the time of pilgrimage for Tibetan Buddhists, who will travel hundreds of miles to visit their pilgrimage destination in the capital. With more local people around, and more pilgrims taking the kora routes around the major landmarks and religious sites, you can find out more about the religion and culture of Tibet. This can give you a much better and more realistic experience of these stunning sites and unique people.

Contrary to popular beliefs, Tibet is not as cold as you might think, and the weather can be warm and sunny throughout the daytime in most of the places you can visit in Tibet. It can get very chilly in the far west and at night, but overall, it is possible to visit Tibet throughout the whole year. And the scenery is just as wonderful, if not better, with the winter frosting coating the trees and hillsides, and the odd snowfall making this plateau landscape a winter wonderland. Join in our most recommended Tibet winter tour packages!

Join in a Small Group Tour

Small Group Tours are the popular option for those wanting to spend less on their tour without losing any of the experience of Tibet. Small Group Tours bring like-minded people together on one tour, where individuals join the tour and join other travelers interested in heading to the same destinations. The Small Group Tours share some of the more expensive costs of the guide, driver, and vehicle/fuel among all the members of the tour party. This brings the overall cost of the tour down from the price for the same tour as a private tour.

Join in our Tibet Small Group TourJoin in our Tibet Small Group Tour.

Not only will you spend less on the overall cost of the tour, you will also be able to share a room and get rid of that nasty single room supplement. And the Small Group Tours are perfect for making new friends. Many of our group tour members stay in touch with their party members, and make lasting friendships from sharing some of the world's most astounding experiences together. Check in our most popular Tibet small group tours at budget prices!

Do Use a Tibetan Local Travel Agency

Some Tibet tours are arranged by travel agencies that are not providing all of the services themselves. Instead, they use a third-party tour operator in Tibet to handle the actual tour, and as middle men, take a cut of the tour cost as their commission. This increases the cost of the tour that you actually pay for, as they add their commission on top of the real tour price. By using a local Tibetan travel agency, you can cut out the middle-man and pay only for the tour, and not for someone else's commission.

We can give you a more reasonable price for your tour of TibetWe can give you a more reasonable price for your tour of Tibet.

As a local Tibetan-based tour operator and travel agency combined, we can give you a more reasonable price for your tour of Tibet. What's more, we only use our own local travel consultants, tour guides, and drivers, all of whom are Tibetan locals and experienced as tour guides and tour drivers on the plateau. Only a local guide that was born and raised in Tibet can give you that authentic Tibetan experience, and show you all that their homeland has to offer. For the most trustworthy travel agencies, local is definitely the best.

Try to Squeeze More Days to Explore all of Tibet

Why take a shorter trip to Tibet to only have to come back to visit the places that you missed the first time around? The cost of transportation to get to Tibet will always be the same, whether you are taking a four-day trip to Lhasa or an amazing 15-day tour of the entire plateau, including a three-day hike around the most sacred mountain on the planet. By spending more time in Tibet to visit the places you are most interested in on one trip, you can save money on traveling back several times to visit all the places you want to go.

Opt for our 15-day tour to Mount Kailash and Lake ManasarovarOpt for our 15-day tour to Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar.

For example, instead of just spending a few days in Lhasa, why not take a longer 8-day tour that takes you all the way to Mount Everest? Choosing to travel for eight days can be made cheaper using the other options together, and gives you the chance to travel to the world's highest mountain as well as allowing you to experience the best of the Tibetan capital. Or why not go one better, and opt for our 15-day tour to Mount Kailash and Lake Manasarovar, stopping at Mount Everest along the way? Killing two birds with one stone, you get to experience the ultimate in Tibet's famous mountains all together in one longer trip.

Travel as a Local

Want to travel like a local? While you cannot just wander where you please in Tibet, and have to be on a pre-arranged tour, you can still travel like a local, and experience the more Tibetan side of Tibet's tourism industry. Stay in local small guesthouses that are normally cheaper and give you a more authentic Tibetan experience. Staffed only by locals, and in traditional Tibetan styles, these guesthouses are a truly amazing experience.

Drink tea in the teahouses of LhasaDrink tea in the teahouses of Lhasa.

Dine in the local restaurants frequented by the locals in Tibet, and drink tea in the teahouses of Lhasa and Shigatse. Living like a local can be as exciting as it is cheap, and you will not find the truly Tibetan ambience you are looking for in the more expensive hotels and restaurant on the plateau. Get your souvenirs for the family back home from the local vendors along the sides of the shopping streets and roadsides, and in the small local villages. And if there is something you want to know, just ask your local Tibetan guide, who knows all there is to know about Tibet, the people, the culture, and Tibetan Buddhism.

Find the Best Way to Get to Tibet

a. Get to Tibet by Train in Soft Sleeper Berth

How about getting to Tibet? There is no better experience than taking the train to Tibet, traveling over two massive mountain ranges as you climb up to the Tibetan plateau. The trains run from seven different cities in China to Lhasa, the Tibetan capital. Cheaper than flying, they are almost luxurious in their comfort levels in the soft sleeper cabins, and offer more comfort and privacy than flying to Lhasa. And you can enjoy the amazing scenery of the northern area of the Tibetan plateau as you cross to Lhasa, something you cannot see otherwise.

b. Take Flights to Tibet from the Nearby Cities

While trains are cheaper, they are also slower, and not everyone has the patience to travel by train. Adapting to life on board the trains, which can last for up to three days from some stations in mainland China, is not to everyone's taste. And the train is time-consuming in the time it takes to get to Tibet, which is not really ideal for those with less time to spend on travel. If you want to fly, try to book your tickets from the cheaper airports in China with flights direct to Tibet. Chengdu, Chongqing, Xining, and Xi'an all have relatively cheaper flights to Lhasa, which can be booked in advance and include your return trip to reduce the cost even further.


So, getting to Tibet can be a cheaper option for some, and it can be said that having a cheaper tour of Tibet does not necessarily make the experience less worthy. You can have a good experience in Tibet at a lower cost by simply choosing where you are going, when you are traveling to Tibet, and who you are traveling with without lessening the beauty of touring on the Roof of the World.

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