There is a common question I receive is “How expensive is it to travel to Tibet?”. Well, it’s much difficult to answer this question because it comes down to what kind of a Tibet tour package you want. What the best I can do is to highlight the different options that you’ll have.
Here is the extra fee which is not included in your Tibet tour package which you booked from a travel agency:
1 China Visa cost:
The price of China visa depends on your nationality but it should be around 100 USD.
2 Flight/ train fee:
Usually, your flight/ train fee will not be included in Tibet tour package. But the travel agency may help you book it if you would like to pay for an extra service fee. The costs of flight or train may vary greatly according to the season and your departure city. In a word, the price of the train will be much cheaper than flight.
The costs will be included in your Tibet tour package as below：
1 Travel Permits cost:
Most of the foreigners need a Tibet Travel Permit (TTP) when they enter in Tibet. Besides, if you want to go for Ali area, you need an Alien Travel Permit (ATP). Most of the agencies charge between 350 RMB and 700 RMB per person to arrange Tibet Travel Permits. In fact, it will be included in your Tibet tour package that you booked from a Tibet travel agency. As a result, it’s good for you to do anything except for sending a clear image of your passport and your China visa to the agency.
2 Travel Insurance cost:
It costs about 70 USD/person and also will be included your Tibet tour package that you booked from a Tibet travel agency. There is no doubt that you need to purchase insurance. If you get sick in Tibet without insurance, you may end up spending more than what you can afford.
3 Hotels cost：
The cost of hotels depends on your budget. If you are a budget travel, you will choose a hotel without stars or a guesthouse for between 60 RMB and 100 RMB per person. Otherwise, if you want to stay in a comfortable night, you can choose a hotel with attached bathroom for 250 RMB and 450 RMB. Higher hotels start need at around 600 RMB.
4 Meals cost:
How much it cost on meals in Tibet? Well, it depends on what kind of food you want to eat. Generally speaking, you will pay 10 USD per day for your meal if you eat local Tibetan food or Chinese food. If you prefer to eat prefer at restaurants serving international cuisine, you may cost 20 USD per day. Besides, Most of the travel agency will provide only free breakfasts for you. You arrange for lunch and dinner by yourself.
5 Tour Guides cost:
Each of foreigners must have a tour guide with them when they enter in Tibet area. Even though the guide will not have to be by your side 24 hours a day, you still need to pay for the tour guide each day you are in Tibet. Usually, an English-speaking tour guide rates in Tibet is about 50 USD/ per day. But it’s much more expensive than it when you need a tour guide who speaks in French, Japanese and much more. What’s more, when you join in a group tour, you can share the cost of the tour guide with other travelers in this group. It’s good for you to reduce a bit budget of this Tibet travel.
6 Vehicle and driver cost:
As you see, most of the travel agency will provide a private vehicle for you. The costs of the vehicle and driver are the biggest expenditure you will have when traveling to Tibet. In Tibet, the vehicle is not charged on a per day basis but depends on the destination and the duration of your trip. Besides, the cost of Vehicle and driver is not per person, but per vehicle. There is no doubt that you can divide the vehicle cost by up to 4 people for Land Cruisers and even more for vans. What’s more, Vehicle rates are much cheaper during the low season compared to the very busy summer high season. You can contact a travel agency for an exact quote.
It is worth mentioning that the price will be much cheaper if you join on a group tour which can share the cost with other travelers in this group. However, the price is pretty much the same if you are at least three partners.
In a word, it not clear say that how expensive is it to travel to Tibet. In generally, you may plan a budget of at least 800 USD/per person but the international flight is not included. Hope it can help you and if you have other problems, please feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org.