Travel Information

Everyone wants to travel in style, but planning a trip can be extremely frustrating especially when one does not know where to start. We understand that and have compiled a list that can help you to plan ahead with a calm mind:

Seasons

India witnesses three major seasons: winter, summer and the monsoon. The winter months (November-March) are pleasant throughout India with bright sunny days. December and January are especially cold in northern India. Minimum temperature at times drops steeply during these months and there is snowfall in the hills.
Summer is usually from April till June, and the hill resorts such as Srinagar, Shimla, Kashmir, Darjeeling and North-east provide cool retreats.
The monsoon (rainy season) usually begins from west coast in June and proceeds to the rest of India during subsequent months. It lasts till September.
We strongly advise to dress modestly in the small towns as people here are slightly conservative. Metropolitan regions like Delhi, Bombay, Goa, Bangalore etc. accept western wear more commonly.

Clothing & Accessories

For summers and monsoons, judicious mix of plain cotton and blended cotton is ideal as they remain the coolest. Avoid carrying synthetic fabrics as they may not be comfortable in this terrain. A hat with a wide brim and collapsible umbrella come in handy in protecting you from rain or the sun.
During the winter months, sweaters, stoles and light jackets along with socks and woollen caps (if you plan to travel to hilly areas) are a must
We strongly advise to dress modestly in the small towns as people here are slightly conservative. Metropolitan regions like Delhi, Bombay, Goa, Bangalore etc. accept western wear more commonly.

Foreign Exchange

Any person can bring into India from abroad foreign exchange without any limit. However, declaration of foreign exchange/currency is required to be made in the prescribed Currency Declaration Form in the following cases:-

(a) Where the value of foreign currency notes exceeds US$ 5000/- or equivalent.
(b) Where the aggregate value of foreign exchange (in the form of currency notes, bank notes, traveler checks etc) exceeds US$ 10,000/- or its equivalent.

Currency

There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency or travelers cheques you may bring into India provided he makes a declaration in the Currency Declaration Form given to him on arrival. This will enable him not only to exchange the currency brought in but also to take the unspent currency out of India on departure. Cash, bank notes and travelers cheques up to US$ 10,000 or equivalent need not be declared at the time of entry.

Cuisines of India

You can get every major kind of Indian food in the bigger cities, and the smaller towns are slowly catching up. There is no single style of Indian cooking and therefore no single national dish. Styles of cooking and commonly used ingredients differ not only from region to region, but from one household to another.

Health

Minor stomach infections are the most common health trouble that the foreign visitors get in India. However, if you face any such discomfort, try one of the followings to ease out:

(A) Drink plenty of fluids and take some electrolyte salts if the symptoms persist.
(b) Drink lassi (preferably only those available in tetra packs) to help tone down the bacteria.
(C) Eat plain rice, or try a simple khichdi-an easily digestible mixture of rice and lentils.
(D) Drink plenty of coconut water. It is cooling, naturally sterilized and easily available.

Baggage

Airlines operating to and fro from India have strict policies for weight limits of luggage. Check in baggage limit for Business Class is 35 kgs or 77 lbs and Coach is 25 kgs or 55 lbs per passenger (with 2 bags permitted per passenger). The cabin baggage should not exceed 7 kgs or 15 lbs in weight per passenger. We urge you to check the airlines’ website link before traveling to determine current weight and size restrictions.

Tips

Tips are not compulsory but generally expected. You can decide the amount as per your satisfaction of the services provided. Where your driver or guide remains the same for two or three days you may tip them everyday or only at the end. It is completely your choice. For the remaining services, you may tip every day.

In order to help you know the general rates of tips per couple, some guidelines are given below. However, the range may be determined by your satisfaction of the services provided. People in India strongly prefer Indian currency.

(1) Driver / Guide for a half day assignment: Rs. 200 - Rs. 350
(2) Driver / Guide for a full day assignment: Rs. 400 - Rs. 700
(3) Escorts on group tours: the same as local guides (per couple)
(4) Escorts on custom tours: 25 to 50% more than local guides
(5) Bell boys at the hotel: Rs 20 - Rs 30 per trip per bag
(6) Waiters in a restaurant: Rs 50 - Rs 300 per meal (average 8 to 10% of the bill) unless there is a service charge)

Electricity

In India electricity runs on 220/240 volts. Therefore if you are traveling with electrical appliances bring along an international converter kit complete with a set of adapter plugs. These are available from better electrical and hardware stores in the U.S. and Canada.

Photography

Camera fees (still & video) are not included in your tour itinerary during monument visit. We recommend that you bring all photographic equipment with you including an ample supply of films. International brands of films are widely available in India, though the quality cannot be guaranteed. When photographing people, always ask permission and offer a small fee for taking their picture which your tour guide will advise you. The exception is when taking a general picture of crowds and scenes. Photography at airports is strictly forbidden.

Internet & Phones

Most of the hotels in India offer WIFI for a price; they also have business centers with PCs. Wireless phones can be arranged with prior notice for hire.