Do I need a visa to travel to India?
Yes, valid Visa is mandatory for all visitors. This must be obtained before arrival and we recommend that you contact your local Indian embassy or consulate when planning your trip.
Is it safe to travel in India ?
India is generally considered safe country for travelers for any corner of world. We will always be there to take care of you every step of your tour. In addition to this their are certain basic precautions to be taken during tour like it is a good idea to lock away your spare currency, travellers cheques, passports and precious jewellery in the hotel safe. Try not to walk around alone late at night, particularly in deserted areas or small towns, where everything closes early. To the possible extent, avoid travelling on the roads after dark. As anywhere else, never leave your luggage unattended or in custody of unknown person at an airport, train station, bus stands etc. Do not disclose your travel plans to strangers. Keep pretty cash in separate to meet frequent small expenses, tips etc.
Is India a good destination for traveling with children ?
India is an excellent destination for family travel. Here you can find diverse landscapes and culture, dressing style, language during tour. Beach holidays and wildlife adventures in national parks are good options, while many forts, palaces and monuments have sight and light shows that will capture children’s imagination. The country’s many colorful festivals, traditional dressing style also offer plenty of distractions. For teenagers, the many outdoor activities, such as camel safaris, elephant ride, horse ride, boat ride and trekking are the best sum up of adventurous activities. The greatest challenge for families travelling in India may be the distances that need to be covered between cities. Air travel and railway journeys are usually the most comfortable modes of travel, and are recommended for those with young children. While some youngsters might balk at the unfamiliar Indian food, Western fast food is widely available in standard & luxury restaurants/hotels/resorts.
What is the best time to visit in India ?
In India, scope for tourism activities prevails through out the year. The best time to visit India depends on your tour theme or purpose of visit. Winter (Nov-Dec-Jan-Feb) is the most preferred time for tourists in India. Tours for Heritage tourism, cultural tourism, wildlife tourism are mostly organized during this time. The Central India & Southern regions are good destinations in the winter months (November to March), as temperatures are mild and game viewing in the national parks is at its best. Winter temperatures in the north can be harsh, but this is an excellent time for bird watching, as migrant species arrive. Winter is also the breeding time for big cats. Summer weather (April to June) in the south is mild and this is the ideal time for beach holiday or cultural tours in this region. In the north, summers are an excellent time to visit the Himalayas. Although hot, summer is considered a good time for wildlife photography and safaris in the interior, as the jungle thickets dry out and game becomes concentrated at watering holes.
Summers are good for adventure tourism and hill station visits of North India and North East areas. For trekking it is the ideal time. North & Eastern regions like Leh-ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Sikkim etc are the mostly visited states & reigons during summers.
What kind of cloths should I carry during trip to India ?
In the hot Indian summers we recommend light coloured cotton tops, shorts and trousers with sun-hats. If you are travelling to any of India’s national parks, remember to pack some long-sleeved cotton tops for game drives. Practical colors to wear are khaki, beige, muddy-brown and white. In the cold winter months temperatures may drop dramatically in early morning & evening hours, so some warm clothing is essential. When visiting religious monuments and shrines you may need to cover up, so both men and women should pack some long skirts and pants. For women it is a good idea to throw in a scarf or shawl that you can use to cover your head and shoulders if required.
What type and standard of accommodation I can avail in India ?
India offers an incredibly wide range of accommodation, from backpackers’ hostels to former maharajahs’ palaces. Any accommodation recommended by &Beyond India has been selected for its high standards and attention to detail. Our consultants travel throughout India on a constant basis, paying regular visits to the properties that we recommend.
It is safe to drink tap water in India ?
It’s best practice is to avoid drinking the tap water. Packed bottle mineral water is ideal solution for drinking water. Packed mineral water bottles of popular brands like Aquafina, Kinley, Bisleri are easily available in urban & country sides. At the time of purchase, don’t forget to check it expiry date. At most of the Airports, popular Railway Stations, metro cities bus stands, tap water having cooling system are almost hygenic and can be used in requirement. Similarly at higher officials government offices, available tap water is also good.
What kind of food I will have at Indian hotels & restaurants ?
As you know in India tradition, culture, language, taste, dress changes in every 10 to 50 kms. Here you can large variety of food stuff at different parts of India with change in cooking technique, ingredients and spices etc. North India cooking is known for its meat dishes, which are usually made with chicken, mutton or lamb where as South India is popular for its vegetarian cuisine. Seafood is also readily available, particularly at the coastal parts of country. While Indian cuisine tends to be fiery, most restaurants will gladly prepare a milder variation of the meals on request. Restaurants offering western style food are found in most towns and cities, and large centers such as Delhi and Mumbai will offer a wide selection of cuisine, from Indian to Mediterranean, Chinese or even Mexican.
Can I easily have non-veg dishes in India ?
Chicken, lamb and mutton are available in most areas, particular in northern India, where the cuisine is dominated by meat dishes. Beef and pork are largely unavailable, as they are forbidden to Hindus and Muslims respectively for religious reasons. Seafood is also an important part of the Indian diet, particularly on the west coast.
Is it forbidden to consume liquor in India?
Gujarat is India’s only dry state, but drinking laws are in place throughout the country. Each state may have designated dry days when the sale of liquor is forbidden. Both local and imported brands are readily available in larger cities such as Delhi or Mumbai. However, be prepared to pay a liquor tax. Note that, as a rule, few vegetarian restaurants serve alcohol.
What kind of medical precautions I need to take before traveling to India ?
Malaria, Diarrhea, You may need to take malaria prophylactics or have some vaccinations before you travel. We recommend that you visit your doctor at least four week before date of departure.
Will I be able to get internet access easily during tour ?
Internet connections are available in most places in India and are generally reasonably fast, except for the more remote rural areas. Wi-fi access is available at most good hotels and a growing number of cafés in the larger cities.
What is the electricity supply in India and what plugs are used ?
The electricity supply is 230 – 240 volt, with three round pin plugs. Most western visitors will require an adaptor.
What kind of currency used in India & how can I do money exchange ?
The Indian currency is the rupee, which is made of 100 paise. Major currencies such as US dollars, British pounds and Euros are easy to exchange throughout India. Most international airports throughout the country will have money exchange counters, as should the larger hotels and resorts.
Can I use my credit card in India ?
The most commonly used cards are Visa and Mastercard, but neither American Express nor Diner’s Club are widely accepted in India. Outside the main cities, it is recommended that you carry enough Indian currency for purchases and tips.
How is ATM facility in India ?
ATMs linked to international networks are situated in most big cities, as well as an increasing number of smaller towns. Make sure that you have a four-digit PIN code for your card, as Indian ATMs require this.
Is it customary to tip and how much should I give ?
A service fee is usually automatically added to the bill in most tourist hotels and restaurants. If it is not, the tipping standard is usually 10% of the bill. It is customary to tip bellboys and porters, as well as taxi drivers and chauffeurs.
Is there anything I need to know about visiting religious sites ?
Remember to dress a little more conservatively – don’t wear shorts or sleeveless tops. You may need to take off your shoes or remove all leather items (don’t worry, the shoe minder will take good care of them). Check that photography is allowed before taking any snaps. Bear in mind that some sites might not admit women or might be reserved for followers of that faith.
Is it allowed to take photos everywhere in India ?
It’s recommended to always ask permission when taking photos of anyone, especially women. Always ask before taking photos at a religious site or ceremony, or of people bathing on the ghats, river banks or in rural areas. It is forbidden to photograph military installations, courts, security establishments, which can include some train stations, bridges and airports.
Will I be able to buy memory cards or film for my camera ?
Memory cards and film are available in most large cities and towns. However, the quality may vary and it is recommended that you bring your own.
Is it safe for a woman to travel alone in India ?
Single woman or small group of women can travel alone to any tourist destination in India by following some precautions. Here we recommend avoid traveling alone in night hours and lonely places with unknown person. For traveling distant places, tribal areas, night travels do take service of good travel agency. Do not get friendly with strangers who have no valid reason to talk to you. In case you have reached station in late night and have no prior booked taxi, it is better to spend night at railway station or nearby good hotel till morning rather than traveling with strangers & getting yourself in risky situation.
With Indus Excursion, we design itinerary is such a way that their is rarely any scope of night traveling. We prefer early morning drives rather than night drives as per convenience of guest. In case, situation compells to visit in night hours, we keep tracking the guest movements till he reached his hotel or destination.
Is it safe to travel with heavy cash in India ?
We recommend to carry small or moderate cash amount with you and try to make use of credit-card or ATM cards instead of carrying heavy cash with you. If you are traveling to a remote destination, national park, tribal areas, less known tourist destination than carry sufficient cash with you as you may not find ATM or card charging machines, currency exchanges in such places. Arrange your cash in two part in which keep heavy cash at safe place and do not reveal in public places like Airports, railway station, ticket counters, taxi stands etc. Keep petty cash separately to manage frequent expenses.
With Indus Excursion, all your hotels, train/flight tickets, taxi, jugle safari, guide payments etc. are pre-paid so you need not to keep cash to met such expenses due to which you can avoid to carry heavy cash & remain away from risky situations.
Is it safe to drive in India and the sub-continent?
Driving in the Indian subcontinent is a challenging and risky undertaking. Local driving standards are poor because many drivers are not trained and do not adhere to normal road rules. Local vehicles are not well maintained, may have bald tyres and many would not be roadworthy by the standards of your own country. Roads often are potholed, broken up or are only gravel and dirt. Due to its very nature, the risk of accident and personal injury to you is significantly higher than normal.
You will also have to contend with lifestyles and cultures that are very different from your own. You must come prepared to cope with unpredictable situations, local inadequacies and unforeseeable events. Even with our detailed organisation, things can go wrong. Many places where we travel are off the beaten track, may be economically and politically unstable and do not have the same infrastructure or health & safety standards as those in Western Europe or North America. It is your responsibility to read your own country’s government advice and warnings for each area that we visit and be satisfied that you are prepared to travel there.
The enjoyment and excitement of adventure travel is derived in the part from the inherent risks incurred by driving through the less well developed countries/regions listed on the itineraries and undertaking activities beyond the levels of safety normal at home or at work. Therefore, our expeditions are not suitable for people who expect to be indulged or demand for everything to go exactly as planned. For your own interest, and that of your fellow participants, please do not book an expedition if the above is not acceptable to you.
What type of expeditions do you organise?
We can offer two types of Expeditions – Group Expeditions and Tailor Made Holidays. Group Expeditions are fixed departures where we take a convoy of vehicles that is always led by at least one support vehicle and 2 crew members. For a bigger convoy, we provide a lead and a sweep vehicle. Tailor Made Holidays are those where you travel on your own. For such journeys, we make all necessary travel arrangements including hotel bookings, excursions and also provide satellite support in case you get stuck on route.
How much driving experience do I need to join an expedition?
Drivers must be a minimum of 21 years of age. We expect you to be a confident and competent driver, with plenty of driving experience. You should normally have held your driver’s license for a minimum of two years. Please also note that all of our expeditions include sections of gravel or dirt roads, as stated in the Expedition Summary. We never travel off road; it is simply that there are sections where the road is not paved.
Our expeditions call for all participants to be good team players, who are flexible and adaptable when things do not go as planned and will muck in as requested by the Expedition Leader. Self sufficiency is important and being able to manage yourself – your well being, hygiene & health – is vital, together with having a good sense of humour. Overland travel can be challenging and bring up the most unexpected of situations. This means that you will all be expected to work together as a team to resolve any problems we may encounter, but always subject to the authority of the Expedition Leader.
Can I bring my own vehicle?
Yes you can! However, if you are bringing your own vehicle, it must be pre-approved by us to ensure that is suitable for your chosen Expedition. Also, you must be the legal owner of the vehicle or have written authority from the vehicle owner, with the requisite paperwork showing ownership. You must also ensure that your vehicle has appropriate luggage space that is capable of carrying your personal belongings for the whole journey.
Whilst there is no restriction on what brand of vehicle you can bring, your vehicle must be capable of riding on and off road and be in a good working order to prevent any unnecessary hold-ups on the road.
Can you provide me with a vehicle?
Of course, we would love to! Adventures Overland can hire you a vehicle for your chosen expedition. Our rates are per day from the official start date to the official end date of the expedition. All our vehicles are shipped out to the start of an expedition (if applicable) and freighted back at the end. The freight is included in the price you pay for the expedition.
To hire a vehicle you must be a minimum of 25 years old, hold a full valid driver’s license and not be excluded from being able to obtain third party insurance for all countries where it is a legal requirement to have it in place. Hirers must also be able to demonstrate previous driving experience on vehicles of a similar size. All hire vehicles are subject to separate terms and conditions and an additional hire agreement must be signed by the driver. Please refer to our Vehicle Hire Page for further details.
Do I need any special vaccinations?
Vaccination requirements do change regularly. We strongly advise you to consult your doctor or specialist travel vaccination clinic and obtain the recommended vaccinations. Whilst we carry an expedition first aid kit with us, you must bring your own personal travel medical kit. If you have a pre-existing medical condition, you must inform us of this and also have written confirmation from you travel insurers that the condition is covered. If you take any prescription drugs then you must ensure that you have a sufficient supply with you (including contingency supply in case of loss), kept in their original bottles/container, together with a signed letter from your doctor.