Passport & Visas.
Visas are required for all nationalities except Indian passport holder and you must obtain an Indian visa prior to leaving home as it cannot be obtained on arrival. Passport must be valid for at least six months before you commence travel in India. Travelling to Sikkim requires a special permit; the application may be made when applying for a standard Indian visa at the local Indian High Commission. An Indian visa is valid from the day it is issued, not the date of entry. For example, a 6-month visa issued on January 1 will expire on June 30, regardless of your date of entry. There is a minimum two-month gap period between consecutive tourist visas. Tourist visa valid for 6 months can have a maximum duration of 90 days per visit, depending on citizenship. Please check the maximum duration per visit on your local embassy.
Try to Cover less and enjoy more.
Amongst the top important tips that we can advise for traveling in India is to include fewer destination and stopovers on your itinerary so you can spend more time to explore, appreciate and enjoy each place, rather than be on a dash to cover too many in a short span of time. India is big both geographically and in population. Making your way may not be always easy and can be tiring when walking around busy markets, monuments and important sites on your trip. You must budget your relaxing time in your itinerary to have proper rest, recover from the fatigue and enjoy each destination on the trip to the fullest. Besides when giving more time to explore fewer destination, gives you also the opportunity to connect with the locals and get to know more about their culture, habits and practices which is the true experience of India most visitors look out for.
There’s a saying that “If you want to experience diversity and transform yourself, visit India.” With its rich history, spiritual practices, colourful festivals, stunning architecture and landscapes, India is truly an incredible country to be experienced least once in lifetime. However, feeling culture shock in India is inevitable and known to be very common to travellers, especially those visiting India for the first time. Some of the surprises would be the chaotic roads, crowd, high noise level, slower pace of travels within the city due to traffic conditions, touts and beggars, spiritual practices and different weather condition in different region as India is big and highly populated. Be open minded to the change and accept that it will be different from home. Once you have accepted the change, and your expectation tuned, you will see and experience India from a different perspective, giving a much better appreciative and deeper insight of the Incredible country.
Staying at Wildlife Resort:
Most eco, wildlife and jungle resort are eco-friendly to protect the local environment. All resorts provide hot/cold water; though in some resort you may have to leave the hot water tap on for some time before you shower with hot water. Also, note when staying in an eco-friendly hotels or resorts, a TV may not be provided in the room as they offer plenty of options for daily activities such as cooking demonstrations, nature walks, cultural shows, yoga class to name a few. It is advisable to check with the hotel for any extra activities they offer at the time of check-in.
Understand the Culture:
When visiting temples, churches, mosques or any other religious sites in Sri Lanka, there are certain dress codes and behaviour, which is acceptable and expected. Most holy places, regardless of faith, will ask visitors to take off their shoes before entering. It is inappropriate and disrespectful to visit any place of worship wearing tank-tops, shorts or short skirts. The basic rule is to cover your shoulders (easily done with a scarf or a shawl) and your knees. It is also recommended to avoid anything see-through, too tight or too short.
Bring Traveler’s Diarrhea Tablets.
Unfortunately, one of the common experiences that many travelers to India encounter is the feared “Delhi Belly.” The best way to be careful is with your food and water, however sometimes because your body will not be used to the array of different food, water etc. you may catch the “Delhi Belly”. Therefore, it is good to carry traveler’s diarrhea medication with you.
Go Beyond the Cities.
Although India’s has big cities like Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, each having historical and UNESCO World Heritage sites and monuments that are interesting, it is definitely worthwhile to travel beyond the cities to the rural India and visit some of India’s smaller villages. The pace of life here will be slower, cleaner atmosphere and air and you’ll get a different insight into rural part of Indian culture, religious practices, habit and daily course of life which is a different experience all together and many refer them as the true India.
Best Time to benefit from Ayurvedic Treatment.
The rainy season, during the monsoon from June to September, is an ideal time for Ayurvedic treatment because the atmosphere remains cool, moist, and dust free. This helps the body’s pores to open up, making it most receptive to herbal oils and therapy. At least a couple of weeks are needed to complete a full course of Ayurvedic treatment. However, it’s possible to get simple treatments in less days.
Best Time to visit Himachal Pradesh.
For those who love nature and adventure, there’s nothing quite like planning a trip to Himachal Pradesh. Summer is the best time to visit Himachal Pradesh if you are into adventure sports such as trekking, camping, paragliding, kayaking, hot air ballooning and white-water rafting.
Many people consider summer to be the best time to visit Himachal, especially places such as McLeod Ganj and Dharamshala. Summer here lasts from March to June and the climate is pleasant. Carry light weight clothes if you’re travelling to Himachal Pradesh in summer but do remember to carry a light shawl as rains can cool down the temperature significantly.
Keep your footwear outside Temple or Mosque.
Most of the religious places like Temple or mosque will ask you to take off your footwear before entering. So, it is a good idea to wear shoes that you can easily slip on and off, like sandals. Most of the religious places has shoe & sandal racks with caretakes responsible to manage them. One can keep by paying a nominal amount for their monitoring service.
Get a SIM Card for your phone.
Being able to use a phone while traveling around India makes things so much easier while you remain connected, which is very important. You can use data to call home via Skype or Watsup. Data is also very handy when you are traveling and need to use Google Maps or simply stay connected with the world. When you land in India, getting a SIM card with data for your phone should be one of your top priorities. You can buy one right at the airport TOTAL HOLIDAY OPTIONS Executive will help you buy one.
Wifi is available at many hotels, hostels, restaurants, and cafes across the country. It’s not always reliable and fast, but you’ll find it in most touristy areas.
Visit Local Pharmacy if you fall ill.
Some travelers, if they are ill, will ignore the problem and hope they get better because they are too nervous to go to a local pharmacy. However, this just means that your illness will be getting worse for no good reason, as there really is nothing to be afraid of. Talk to our Guide or Executive regarding your illness and they will take you to the to the pharmacy and you will discover that they are cheap and friendly. You will be able to get antibiotics or any other pills you need. If need be to visit a doctor, it is often very affordable and good quality, so don’t hesitate and pharmacy help rather than risk your health.
Learn How to Bargain.
Bargaining is a normal part of shopping in India, barring the branded shops and showrooms. You will feel a little bit strange and menacing at first if you are from a culture where bargaining is not the practice. The important thing to remember is that it is not a fight, it is a friendly mediation.
The vendor will probably quote a price that is higher than the actual and it is expect that you to give a counteroffer that is lower. Then, you can go back and forth and reach a price that works for both of you. If it works, it’s a deal and you buy. If it does not work, you thank and start walking away. Many sellers may change their mind and offer you a lower price as they would not want to lose the sale.
Carry Sunscreen lotion, goggles, hat, Hand Sanitizer, regular medicines in your essential daily travel kit.
While going out on a sightseeing, carry these essential items to make your travel safe and comfortable as you will need to use them frequently during the day.
Train & Flight may get delayed due to weather conditions.
There are possibilities of travel by trains, flights and even road travel getting delayed due to reasons like dense fog, snow fall during winter and unexpected weather conditions. It is important to keep this in mind and to allow extra time for delays so that you don’t get stressed out. Take a good book to read while you wait and just sit tight, the thing you are waiting for will happen eventually.
Don’t travel without Travel Insurance.
You really should not travel anywhere without travel insurance and India is no exception. If you get ill or injured, any medical treatment you require will be covered by your insurance and reimbursed. Some insurance policies will also cover you for theft, lost luggage, cancellations and anything else that can go wrong during your trip. This will give you peace of mind knowing that no matter what happens you will be taken care of.
We do not patronise any shopping malls or emporiums. However, there may be instances when the tour guide may take you shopping on request, we strongly suggest you bargain and use your own discretion while purchasing as we will not be held responsible for any grievances regarding the same.
Currency Exchange, Credit Card and ATM:
India currency is Rupees (INR). Notes are printed in the denominations of 1000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 20 . We suggest that you keep small denominations notes for small payments like tips, meals and travel. Hotels and other tourist establishments will quote you a price which is either US dollar or Euro and collect the equivalent in Indian rupees at the prevailing exchange rate. Money can be exchanged at hotels, banks or authorised money changers. It is illegal to exchange money with unauthorised money changers. Major credit cards are accepted in ATM’s in most places which are easily accessible.
Responsible tourism is about making travel better (both for the guest and host):
Promoting responsible tourism has always been a priority for Total Holiday Options India. It is our commitment which is supported by the travellers who choose to travel with us. We believe that without involving locals and respecting their culture and customs it is almost impossible to have a memorable holiday. Travel is all about experiencing another culture, cuisine, customs and sights. To support the local community some of our initiatives are organising cooking class at home or with farmers, dining with locals, prefer local hotel chains to support employment and encourage various leisure or adventure activities with authentic ground operators.