We at indiabycaranddriver.com are always pleased to walk that extra mile so our honored guests to India can truly savor the wide and varied bounty of a diverse and multi-cultural society in a way uniquely memorable-and always pleasantly so! For this reason-and for enhancing the comfort level of all your sojourns in and around India, we have put together a handy guide that helps you expand your travel horizons while also keeping you in touch with Indian customs and traditions that help you adjust better to our culture and have a fun-filled vacation. So, pack your troubles in a bag- chuck that out the window! Fill your eyes with wonder and your mind with local info as the land of Maharaja hs accords you a royal welcome, hand in hand with indiabycaranddriver's insightful guide to India.
Indiabycaranddriver's Ten Commandments for safe travel in India
- Do not buy travel tickets or book transportation with unauthorized dealers and persons. The safest way to having peace of mind and an enjoyable trip that is memorable for the right reasons is to ask your Travelers Hub tour operator to arrange for transportation.
- Do remember to check your travel documents before starting the journey and update all important telephone numbers in your diary, apart from storing emergency numbers (Police assistance, Ambulance service, local contact person etc.) in your cell-phone, if you choose to carry one.
- If you are on prescription medication, please ensure you have adequate supply of both prescription/s and pills for the entire duration of your India tour and perhaps a little extra to cover unforeseen delay periods during travel etc. Do remember to carry a doctor's certificate along with you to avoid possible problems with any customs checking procedures in India.
- First-time travelers to India may well be fascinated by the exotic array of spices, cuisines and affordability of street and hotel food, but it is inadvisable to eat spicy Indian food without sampling a bit f irst or affirming the extent of spice-blends used with the chef/service attendant.
- If unsure of your ability to communicate in regional scenarios for the entire length of the tour or if opting for a combination of tour packages, especially to remote areas, please feel welcome to request your travel agent for a language interpreter. Do not play Lone Ranger - as adventurous as the prospect may seem - foreign tourists can be regarded as far from that by unscrupulous elements and considered easy targets for mugging and far more heinous crimes.
- Mineral water is your best companion while in India's tropical climate and is your safest bet for keeping various contaminated-water related ailments at bay and also for brushing your teeth.
- If you intend making any changes to Domestic Tickets in India, do consult your trusted travel agent for the best advice.
- All foreign nationals can use credit cards, traveler's cheques or foreign currency for the payment of all their bills, though they may use Indian rupees in case they can furnish proof of having exchanged money legally.
- Please remember that banks in India function from Monday to Friday from 1000 hours to 1230 hours (some also function post-lunch, but you may need to consult your tour operator for specific bank details) while Government and administrative offices in India function from 0930 to 1700 hours on weekdays. So, please make arrangements for bank transactions and business dealings with either group keeping these timings in mind.
- Pack smart, travel light and determine weather, region-specific culture and etiquette, available cuisine (especially for those with specific diet restrictions) and range of activities prior to setting forth on the vacation of a life-time. To avoid the Holiday-from-Hell, we encourage you to try one, or more, of our custom-designed tour packages that eliminate the hassles of holiday planning (thanks to an in-house expert team of experienced to ur managers) and are guaranteed to pep you up with promise of happy times while in India!
Advanced Planning Tips
We at Indiabycaranddriver.com understand the modern traveler's need for comfort, convenience, concept-novelty and safety especially when you are touring new and exotic destinations, such as India. For this reason and to serve you better, we have put together some basic guides that bring you closer to preparing and experiencing India like a true-blue vacationer. The following segments cover some details your tour operator needs to know, guidelines for secure but fun holidaying, picking the right tour package and packing for enhancing the joys of traveling in India. Booking Basics help us customize the perfect holiday package for you!! Skim through the following check-list to boost your holiday spirits by being specific about vitals in your dream vacation-planning for Indian holiday spots. Cover basic ground for determining whether your travel consultant can professionally organize a tour package with all the ingredients you are looking for-and get set to have a holiday of a life-time!
If traveling with a partner or group, it pays to determine the needs and interests of each person and convey this to the travel agent. Even if you are travel by yourself, the more specific you are about your tour requirements and what appeals to you, the easier it is for the tour professional to accommodate a perfect holiday package for you. Besides, India being vast and varied in terrain, concept tourism offerings differ greatly, so it's advisable to know what you are game for -and also what the country offers before picking a particular tour package. Read up and know more about your destination and whether your tour operator can combine one or more interests in a tour package and the cost and time implications of each of them.
Please try and be as specific as possible about the kind of accommodation you are accustomed to and will require while in India and if traveling with a companion, their needs for lodging as well; beds for example, may vary from King size to Queen size in some hotels and if you are particular about this aspect, do mention it at the time of booking.
For persons with mobility limitations/health conditions that require vehicular support devices, such as lowered steps or wheel-chair assistance, it is advisable to enquire before-hand of the tour operator whether arrangements can be made f or the same when being received at the airport/railway station and transported to hotels.
Do make it a point to let your tour operator know about what time of the day you'd like to arrive/depart from India to avoid unnecessary jet-lag and having to waste precious holiday time.
Ask your tour operator about the other activities and popular tourist attractions of Indian destinations you will be visiting and whether any of these can be accommodated with your tour package at extra cost, should you wish to stretch your holiday possibilities.
You can also contact the local Tourist Boards of various Indian states as these have offices in Delhi, should you require additional region specific information and guidance about what their State offers.
Decide before-hand the amount of sight-seeing/touring on foot or local transport means (cycle/auto rickshaws, boats, buses, horse or camel rides etc.) you will be comfortable with.
Determine the distance of your hotel from the main town area, especially if you have a penchant for checking out local markets and cultural scenes for getting a personal glimpse into the soul of a city on foot. Although, Indiabycaranddriver.com does make the effort to include visits to specialty areas of each regional zone, such as cottage industries, crafter's galleries, plantations and souvenir shopping points, it is possible you may like some alone time. However, please do not wander far from your lodgings if by yourself and unfamiliar with the local language/Hindi- for your own safety- and always inform the tour guide, hotel manager and any other guest about your reconnoitering plan.
If you have an affinity for any particular Indian tradition or holiday offering that is not currently available with us, be sure that Indiabycaranddriver.com's aim is to provide you with the best of Indian touring experiences and we will work on your request at the earliest to bring together your dream vacation plan.
Just let us know what moves you (to India, that is) and the Indiabycaranddriver.com team will jimmy up the most dazzling sun-rise breakfast on an idyllic South-Indian rice-boat or a traditional desert-meal against the backdrop of iridescent sands when in Rajasthan's regal hotels, ferry you and your partner to the perfect hideaway beach in Goa or help you begin life anew-with that someone special: YOU-if all you need to re-charge is a grand-scale shopping spree, fine exotic dining and or being nourished, body-mind-soul with ancient Indian therapies like Yoga and Ayurveda…..and we do all of this with a knockout view of India!
Packing Tips Indiabycaranddriver.com gives you handy tips for putting together the professional nomad's Bound-for-India luggage, learning and outlook tour package.
For all those of you that are headed for the mystic and modern charms of an ancient culture, India may come as both a surprise and a bit of an enigma, but, much like an interesting woman that captivates, nurtures and enthralls while giving you a glimpse into age-old civilization strengths that have endured countless invasions yet accommodates an essence of enduring forever, India is a spirit that lives beyond her shores. India-bound? Then, pack for a trip that will change more than your perceptions about a tradition-bound, globally recognized rising economic power that is fast-emerging as the preferred destination for concept tourism as varied as its land and people: from w eddings to festivals, from wildlife to luxury travel and back-to-nature or history tours, we have it all. Indiabycaranddriver.com handy check-list covers all the essentials for packing right and packing light: see for yourself!
Ensure you have all the relevant documents necessary for the duration of your India-vacation plan before you leave home. Take time out to 'know' the tour plan details and additional activities that are included or can be accommodated upon request: pack garments, footwear and accessories appropriate for these.
Put away adequate reading, music or video material for spending your time unwinding with; this is especially helpful to persons visiting India the first time as it is known to give a sense of the familiar when in a foreign place, making for easy adaptation to surroundings.
If you intend to travel with jewelry or excess cash/other high-value items, please confirm with your tour operator about the availability of safety deposit boxes with the lodging site/hotel you will be putting up at.
As any experienced tour operator will tell you, Murphy's Law about things going wrong if they can, may very well apply despite the best precautions and preparations towards making the perfect vacation travel plan. For such instances, please pack a small overnight bag with basic change of garments, emergency medication and telephone numbers, toiletries, small hair-dryer, duplicate copies of important travel documents and extra cash (credit cards do not always work in all situations) to avoid distress over luggage arrival delays and other such similar situations.
Sensible packing of toiletries for India would include putting in hand sanitizers,(toilet rolls are not available at all transition points or in remote areas, where at times, even rest-rooms may be few and far between one major sight-seeing spot and another) your brand of sunscreen (may not be available everywhere in India), essential make-up kit, mosquito repellant of your choice, water purification tablets and bath-salts.
If shopping is high on your priority list, please remember to add in another bag suitable for carrying your larger purchases.
Buy/download print-outs of guides to exotic and unfamiliar destinations and consult these during your journey to stay updated about travel specific problems or hazards at the Indian location you are headed for, so you have a clear idea how to deal with something similar should it happen to you.
Pack clothes that are made of natural fibers to allow a certain level of 'breathability' for your skin; Indian being a tropical country is never short of sunshine and sweat in most regions except the hills. Nylon fabrics are best avoided unless visiting cold regions in India or planning a winter visit, while reading up about dress-codes prevalent in places on your tour itinerary can guide you about garments best given a miss.
Carry only those things you will need in India with you, such as enough cash to cover emergencies or occasional urge-to-splurge, traveler's checks and credit cards but exit home with extra baggage like social security cards, extra credit cards, shopping mall coupons, club memberships you won't need here.
Do remember to carry duplicates of credit cards and ATM cards, passport, traveler's checks, tour itinerary, airline/railway tickets and hotel reservation slips, contact information of local British consulates.
Packing for India tour destinations becomes easy if you familiarize yourself with the events and activities of the destinations you will be visiting as acculturation to customs and laws will clue you in to what is appropriate.
A linguistic tool, such as a cassette or guide book that gives you knowledge of the native language is a handy item that can help you out of a sticky situation such as calling for the police, contacting a hospital or asking for help should you get in trouble away from your tour group.
Above all, a sense of humor, bewildered awe and camera to capture irretrievable moments with adequate supply of film and batteries/chargers are possibly things you can't do without when packing for India