If you are a traveler looking for a budget touring in India , there are a few rules that can help you get the best out of your travel.
Here are the 25 most important things that you need to keep in mind to create/experience a successful Budget Tour of India that meets your requirements:
1. Give yourself enough time to plan your trip. If your trip involves multiple destinations or travel by train/flight allow yourself atleast couple of months to book before your travel dates.
2. Trains and Flights can get delayed in India. This is especially true for certain months. Make sure that does not tamper your schedule. Moreover the price for your flights can vary at different times, so keep that in mind when booking a domestic flight.
3. Set your expectation right. If you will get bothered by slightest thing in accommodation, only go for 5 star and above kind of accomodations only.
4. Book your trip before arriving in India or if you have to book after coming then research couple of places or call some local agents to get a quote . Don’t fall for small roadside travel agents, have a detailed itinerary with hotels and services and amenities clearly written down.
5. Don’t fall for quick fix things in India. Bookings in India takes time if someone is telling you otherwise its not true. This is especially true when it comes to getting trains last minute or getting bookings during busy season .If someone is telling you that he will get you a train journey in a day or two , chances are that person is telling you a lie. If possible you can check for train availability on your own at www.irctc.in
6. If your Budget Tour for India does not detail the hotels , their website url and kind of vehicle that you would use then you pretty much have no clue about what you are buying into. So get all possible details .
7. Remember price for your India Budget Tour can be changed by changing the set of hotels or quality and kind of vehicle used – so make sure you make an apples to apples comparison.
8. Allow yourself enough time to communicate your needs to your agent effectively. The more open and communicative you will be , more you will get out of your India Tour thru your agent.
9. Remember it takes a lot more in India to deliver a great budget tour than anywhere else in the world, so be ready to spend a little bit more for some top quality.
10. Best Hotels, Trains, Tours, etc. everything gets booked well in advance.
11. Don’t be surprised if your Hotel gets changed at the last minute in an individual budget tour. smaller 2 star and 3 star hotels with limited rooms may opt to give their hotel to groups even after confirming your booking and might offer you an alternative place. Although this does not happen that often but its good to keep that in mind. Generally your agent will let you know before your tour starts.
12. Make sure if any of your hotel is changed for whatever reason you are able to get an equivalent property within the same price range.
13. The best way to travel in a new country is to be aware and safe but not to be afraid. Expect some unexpected in terms of road conditions, social conditions , new people,etc . Otherwise generally expect to get more familiar with things after first couple of days.
14. The most important thing that helps everyone when traveling in India is that most people speak in English. So ask for help /directions if lost . Call your agent and talk with him/her if you have concerns , he will be the best person to assuage any feeling of uncomfort.
15. Remember India is a huge country and not all tourist places are connected via airports/flights . Moreover some places are connected better with trains.
16. Train travel in India is interesting as well as long journey . First AC is nearly as expensive as air tickets and not available for all trains.. 2nd AC is the second highest category for trains. 3rd AC is fine as well just has more people than 2nd AC but with same amenities.
17. Generally all overnight trains would have a Sleeper booked for you . During the day time the lower berths ( bottom and middle) get converted into seats ( its unfolded) and anyone can sit on these seats .
18. Its hard to opt for a particular seat ( lower, middle or top berth ) in a train. Moreover side berths /seats are little smaller and can be little uncomfortable for a big /tall person.
19. Remember most of the drivers engaged in travel business do not speak english fluently. they are well versed to understand your requirements, be safe and attentive to your needs but cannot talk in english with you. The very few english speaking drivers can be atleast 50% more expensive than average.
20. Generally speaking Group Tours tend to have better guides than individual tours. The best guides are either very expensive ( comparatvely speaking) or not very many . Expect a mixed bag of guides across a trip when doing a multiple destination Budget Tour of India.
21. The cost of Guides can range anywhere between USD 16- 22 a day.
22. It helps to have a local phone at your disposal while touring.
23. Don’t always rely on hotel reviews from just one website. Try and make sense of things by taking different perspectives in mind.
24. Talk to your travel agency , explore their knowledge, see how honest they are, how much the know of a place, before making a decision.
25. Lastly make sure you are paying via a secured website if using a card. Moreover Card ( although can be little expensive sometimes over wire transfer) is still the safest way for sending money. For wire transfer make sure you are aware of the charges levied by your bank. Remember the receiving bank in India does not charge anything, so make sure your bank in your country is helpful to this regard.