FAQs Single Travel Service

How does Single Travel Match up  work?

Very Simple. If you do not have anyone to travel with , you can contact us and let us know that you are looking for a travel partner. If you have fixed dates,  and a trip in mind, you can book this and we can find you someone for that trip or  you can mention your dates that you are looking to travel and we will send you a note when we find someone for your dates.

Once we have found a person for you – we send you a probable itinerary and price for it and you can book it from thereon.

How do I request a single travel match up?

This is easy  depending on whether you have fixed dates or are flexible you can send in a request  for a trip from our website or email us at contact @ idiscoverindia.com . As soon as we find a match we would let you know.

What If I already have a set Itinerary in mind. Can I get someone to share my trip?

Yes it’s possible. If you have a set itinerary in mind then you can book this trip on single person sharing cost and then have us find you a travel partner. If we are unable to find you a travel partner 35 days prior to your trip or till the time you want us to search ( not less than 2 weeks from your start date) we  will give you a chance to cancel the trip without any charge. Yes right.

However you book and find a person to share the trip, you need to cancel at least 45 days in advance from your start date. At all times there is a cancellation fee of  15% of the total trip cost ( not individual cost but trip cost ).

What if I am unable to find some match for my trip, what are my options?

Well if we are unable to find you an option in prescribed time – which is upto 35 days before you start date , you have 2 choices – you can practically do this trip on your own on FULL price or we can cancel this for you  at no extra cost or  you can try and wait till your cancellation kicks in and still keep searching for a travel mate.

Can I cancel once I have opted for single trip?

Yes you can cancel anytime for a total cost of  15% of the total price of the trip. With less than 35 days remaining you cannot cancel the trip. Only the extras ( that are not covered in trip cost and are charged extra- like domestic flights or guides,etc)  are reimbursed and that too as per their individual cancellation policy.

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All about Single Traveler Match-up service

IdiscoverIndia.com recently launched its service to match up single traveler. So what that means is that if you are traveling in India alone , you can opt to travel with another person ( share your trip including room) with another person of same gender and save upto 40% on trips costs.

Send your Custom Trip Request

Yes thats true. Trip for one person or 2 don’t vary that much in price, infact the difference could be as less as say about USD 25 in a 10 day trip. It is for this reason that couples find independent travel a lot more cheaper in India and single travelers inadvertently choose to travel in groups.

However you can now enjoy the flexibility of independent travel by just sharing with one other person and opting for our Travel Match up Service.

Find out more in FAQs on Single Travel Service

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The First Family- Myra, Aditi & Amit

Aditi and Amit got married in 2006. This was a wedding of two distinct castes and cultures. A  Rajasthani  getting married into a Punjabi  family . The wedding  itself was  held in Bhilwara , Rajashtan , amidst the grandeur & tradition of a  classical  Rajasthani  setting  , ornamented with Punjabi fervor for music and party. Amit , in a  traditional Indian style , rode a horse to the bride’s  house ( although he had vowed not to sit on one , he succumbed under the weight of this enormous tradition  ) where the bride awaits  at the top of the entrance thru the main gate of the house ,  looking down at the groom, atop a porch at the main  gate . At the gate  the groom has to step down his horse and hold a  traditional sword and hit a  bag suspended by the bride from the top of the gate . The bride plays around a bit , trying not to allow the groom to hit the bag  easily but then eventually gives in easy , keeping in mind not to trouble and embarrass the poor groom further.

Two years later  on a beautiful day of September comes a bundle of joy in form of their  daughter that they named  Myra.  Ever since Myra’s birth , she is a bundle of energy and full of  fun and antics has clearly bagged the position of “the posterchild of the company” . Popular with both the people at work and guests who visit Amit and Aditi , Myra has brightened and elevated everyone’s mood around. Her antics keep us entertained  the days she visits our office . Myra is 2 now and has already  taken to the task of entertaining all guest and friends  alike.  Having already spotted a Tiger on her first visit to National Park when she was a little over 1 year old , Myra is all poised to  continue the spirit imbibed by her parents of  adventure and exploration of our culture, history , Flora & fauna.

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Places to visit in India

India is a vast country with various options to travel. The easy way to decipher what places to visit in India for a traveler would be to plan a trip based of the various travel sectors or legs /routes so to speak. The various trips/itineraries on our website are nothing but an indication of the very same routes – optimized keeping in mind the needs of a traveler. However what I suggest is you Chat with our travel expert , who can help you decide where to go, otherwise we have put together some of the major highlights of India travel.
Here is a summary of what we consider are important places to visit in india for a first time visitor.

To begin with there is the quintessential Golden Triangle – consisting of cities of Delhi (capital , Agra ( for Taj Mahal ) and Jaipur ( the capital city of state of Rajasthan) . The Golden Triangle forms the shortest (anywhere from 4 days) and the busiest sector to travel in India.

The state of Rajasthan in North West is the most traveled state in India with its wide range of Forts, Palaces, Wildlife and Desert together forming a formidable travel options for the India lovers. With Culture, History and Food and Fervor – the place is popular with both International as well as Indian travelers.

Mumbai, the financial and Cinema capital of India is the city of choice in the Western part of the country. Goa is more popular with beach & party goers. Goa which is a state and not necessarily a town or city as one would think, offers a typical beach holiday with a touch of local Goan culture found thru its architecture and food. The city of Aurangabad with its world Heritage site of Ajanta and Ellora Caves from 5th century forms the other most popular destinations of Western India.

Central India – with its forest and Wildlife sanctuaries, temples – forms another popular route for wildlife lovers. The Tiger safaris of Bandhavgarh, Kanha or Pench and the erotic temples of Khajuraho are the popular places to be covered in this region of India.

The southern State of Kerala is known for its breathtaking backwaters, tea estates, rubber and spice plantations, Ayurveda and massages and last but not the least it’s pretty & quiet beaches. The capital Kochi or Cochin, the beach towns of Varkala or Kovalam, backwaters in Alleppey or Kumarakom and the tea and rubber plantations of Munnar along with the wildlife and spices of Thekkady all together are the quintessential places to travel in Kerala.

The state of Tamil Nadu will take you thru this southern state renowned for its temples, music, southern cinema and a culture and history very distinct from North. The capital city of Chennai to the ancient temple town of Mahabalipuram to Kanchipuram, Trichy , Tanjore , Madurai they all symbolize tourism in Tamil Nadu. Additionally there are hill-stations Bangalore in the southern state of Karnataka and Hyderabad – the capital of other southern state of Andhra are the other popular destinations – perhaps more from a business point of view.

East of India – with limited tourism infrastructure is a growing interest amongst travelers. Kolkata, Sunder bans, Darjeeling, Gangtok , Kaziranga Wildlife sanctuary, the tea gardens of the state of Assam are the major tourism spots in the region..Anyways I say again - Chat with our travel expert , they can help you decide where to go, as some places might not have been mentioned here for lack of space.
At the end I wil conclude by saying that in India , there are numerous places to visit depending on the time of the year however the two essential things to consider is the time at hand and costs.

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The IdiscoverIndia.com Story

IdiscoverIndia.com’s story began in 2005. After having worked in USA for 6 years ,  Amit Kumar returned to India and found an impregnable desire to start something on his own. An avid traveler that he is, he decided to travel and explore his own country, which he had not done previously. He traveled to various parts of the country- trying to understand the place where he was born but never had a chance to explore before. It was here that the idea to start with a travel company germinated. He put out a post on Craigslist looking for a techie and got a reply from another  Indian who moved back from USA , got in touch with his ex-girlfriend (now his wife) who was a creative director at an ad- agency  and together they all started working on Amit’s idea of what IdiscoverIndia.com was to be.

When IdiscoverIndia.com started the idea was to create more of a marketplace for travel and allow people to book on their own, interact with various travel agencies and to have them decide on their own.  I discoverIndia.com was just supposed to be the facilitator of the transaction thru its technology, tools and content. It was visioned to be more of a technology company, stay away from the dirty work of organizing travel and just stick to leveraging technology. However this was to be changed soon.  While on our various trips exploring various towns and cities of possible tourist interest in India, It was realized soon that one of the problems in India was of that of a large unorganized market of travel providers with no standard for delivering or marketing India.  There was a huge gap in fulfilling customer needs.  There was a large unorganized market that was unable to fulfill the needs of the customer .

The Traveler although was able to gather information and process it from various sources but was unable to execute on it. it was hard going from one place to another, select the hotels and book them, book train and air tickets  and then  there was no support system  or person to go to in case something goes wrong. Moreover the foreign agents who sold India travel their own countries were either too expensive or did not have enough information. There was a dire need for an honest, hassle-free, trustworthy and transparent facilitator which could provide all desirable needs at an affordable cost.

The more we tried to find that provider in others the more we realized that with all the work we have put into collecting information ourselves, evaluating different hotels and agencies, chalking out interests of travelers and digitally representing information in form of our guides and travel tools and services, it was only about time that we   ourselves dirtied our hands and provide that experience of India travel to those seeking to discover India.

There was a need of international travelers and we decided to cater to that. The homework was already done , there was substantial know-how and expertise developed  in -house and we tied it all together to successfully launch our new avatar in 2007 as a tour operator.

Today IdiscoverIndia.com is a specialist India tour operator, with an associate office in USA, catering to the needs of discerning traveler from various countries. We are passionate about opportunities India provides to travelers and the service we provide to our customers. We treat all our customers with equal amount of respect and level of service irrespective of where they are from and what type of travel they wish to undertake (read budget or luxury). We are proud and honored of all the trust and faith that our various customers have bestowed on us in past few years. And we thank you all and wish to serve you and your friends at all times.

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When to Book an India tour or Travel Package?

Well over the last few years I have noticed that people invariably have a problem getting the hotels that they  want.

There are 2 main reasons for it :

1. There are not very many good /great  accommodation ( read hotels ) in India . The quick ones get booked way before you can imagine  and this is true for all categories. A good or a great hotel( relatively speaking) will get booked before you can think of at most places.

2.  Add to the less number of rooms available the problem of bulk bookings. When Group tours book rooms in bulk , the individual traveler gets hit the most.

So here is my guide  to when to book. This is mainly for travel between October and march – the season time :

1. If you are doing any train travel in India or any long train journey is in your itinerary  then 3 months before your start date you should book your trip.

2. For travel in 2 star or 3 star you can book atleast a month anad a half in advance.

3. For 4 and 5 it depends. But generally  I would say atleast 2 months before your start dates . For December even earlier , I would say 3 months before.

For the year 2010 however, November is so busy that right now is the time to book.  The scheduled Commonwealth Games in October have pushed the groups to start their tours in November and this has resulted in great rush.

Hence the current  Alarm is for all those traveling in November or December 2010  to India. THE TIME TO BOOK FOR YOU IS NOW….without any delay.

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The most diverse India tours in 2 or 3 weeks

OK so I have been thinking about this for a while and I think I have a fair idea about what it can be.

Actually for me India travel is incomplete without a visit to Agra. So this should be considered for the first time visitor or who is not sure when they can visit again.

Trip 1:

New Delhi ( 2 days)- Varanasi ( 2) – Khajuraho ( 1) – Orchha ( 1) – Agra ( 2) – Ranthambore National Park (2)- Jaipur ( 2)

Now to this I would love to add a trip to desert to make it all complete  and a short trip to backwaters. So say add: 3 nights in Kerala  and 2 nights in Jaisalmer. However it is not easy to do that , as to get to these places you might have to add some additional place or might just want to consider doing more places around. But then just on its own the above describe 12 night trip would be my favorite.

In addition what can we do :

For Wildlife lovers : I could possibly add Bandhavgarh and Kanha national park – if I had 5 more days

For Cultural and Historical lovers :

I coud possibly add Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Udaipur

or possibly do a trip  to norther state of Punjab and spend about a week there

For those who want to relax:

Kerala without doubt would be my favorite choice for a week of relaxation and scenice beauty

Frankly in India we are spoilt for choices. Where to go and when  changes pretty dramtacially with change in seasons. However  all been said the above  India tours are my favorite for winter months  – which is the best time to travel to India.

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Travel for Women in India

Over the years I have asked myself how safe is it for women to travel in India ? Is it really as unsafe as people seem to read about it in media. Well a simple answer is YES & NO.

Its not unsafe like you can’t do it alone. But given all the circumstances, it is hard for women  to do it the way they can do it in western countries. Its hard for lack of structure more than anything else. Its hard coz after all women have different needs and can be a victim of preying eye.

Again, while talking about all this we must understand things are relative. what happens in USA cannot be compared to what happens in Brazil or to what happens in India.  If Detroit is an unsafe city in India, we really do not have a similar neighborhood in India  but then again  touring Detroit  during the day migh tnot be that unsafe for a women , who on the contrary could be pretty hassled going thru the nuances of  travel in India on her own.

More about India travel

Even though the elite is largely equal society , when you talk abou tthe whole country , there is a large difference in how people treat women – both good and bad.  I think  in general an understanding of  cultural dynamics  and adapting one self  accordingly goes a long way in avoiding trouble.  In other instances  having an organized trip, helps a great deal in cushioning the impact of outside environment.

So what could be some basic Do’s and Don’t for women traveling in India:

1. Personally I believe travel  Air conditioned train wherever possible. Avoid Buses if you are doing it on your own. Again nothing could possibly happen – but if a train is available then why not.

2. Use your discretion. try and understand people and their behavior. Just be cognizant of your surroundings , as long as most of the meetings are in daylight and open , you are fine. Evenings once again just watch what others are doing and then as long as there are people around its fine.

3. Just don’t put yourself in a situation where you do not have full control. say drinking too much to an extent that not knowing  or being drunk to the order that you are unable to hear out someone giving you a sound advice.

4. Lastly inform someone if you are going to meet someone . Inform your driver, or you rhotel, leave your number, ask them to call you  to check on you. its as easy.

5. Lastly about your clothing. Just  make sure you are dressed ok . a little conservative will attract fewer eyeballs and attention.

So it was not that hard. A few pointers can make it fairly easy for woen travelin in Inda. But then this is the same set of advice that one would expect to get when travelling to any country , right ?

Here is alink to our site ,where you can read more about how we ensure safe travel for women in India:

http://www.idiscoverindia.com/women-traveler.html

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Travel is such a personal experience : No wonder places run by owners are doing well

You know every now and then when I sit back and look in the past and am amazed how far we have come. After returning from USA and with just an idea of forming IdiscoverIndia.com and putting a team together , we have come a long way. Our initial idea was more of a travel marketplace but soon we realised that the market was still  not ready for it and instead actually needed a realiable, secured  and high quality travel provider – and thus originated IdiscoverIndia.com in its current form.

Over the last few years I realised there was one factor that drove  travel business – besides advertising ofcourse :)    – it was the personal involvement  of the owner/entrepreneur . The personal touch – meeting people one on one – makes a lot of difference. I personally meet anywhere between 20-30 guests in a month  and it takes a lot of my time. But I must say – it is not only one of my favorite time of my job but also gives me a lot of insight into how we are as a service provider.

Over the years I have spoken with so many travelers, and all of their reviews and suggestions have eluded to one thing ” the individual involvement of people on the travels  contributes immensley to one’s experience”.

Whether its the people they meet on the way, the staff at the travel agency or the hotel, the guide , the shopkeeper- everybody adds to the experience provided by the place. “PEOPLE” are the single most important factor.

I recently went on a trip to Kanha , where I stayed at Kanha Jungle Lodge- and my belief in how owners/ stakeholders in tourism drive the pleasure quotient of travelers was  very evident there. Both the care takes – the husband and wife team – provided that special touch which brought life to my stay. The personal touch, the conversations , their interest in having me over and serving me , such hospitality – it all contributed to my experience. I am gonna post some links .

What drives your travel business? I wanna hear from others.

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Launching new service for Single Traveler in India

OK so this is not public knowledge right now and is still being tested and only done on invite. If you are a single traveler  and want to travel with someone so that you have company and more importantly yo can save tons of money – you have a solution . IdiscoverIndia is currently offering a service where they set you up with another person to share a trip with you . So no need to travel in big groups, just decide on the trip you want to undertake, and your dates. And you pay 60% of the cost ( yes so instead of 50% that you would have paid had you been with someone you now pay 10% more which is the fee) and Save NEARLY 40%.

This is HUGE! As single travel and travel for 2 is actually not very different ( at the most the pirce  woul dnot vary by more than 5%) , you now have flexibility to seek your own dates of travel and still SAVE!!. We areleady have a few people who have done this and are loving it. So let your friends know!

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