My girlfriend insists that it's better just to go to India "on the fly" and arrange the trips with local agencies down there including drivers and homestays. Though I am up for being spontaneous, I'm a bit concerned being that we plan to travel over the holidays (christmas and new years). How difficult would it be to book trips and homestays if we just were to arrive into the country? Does anyone have any good local agencies they have used?
We plan to spend about 14 days or so, would like to do the Taj Mahaj (of course) and Tiger spotting and the rest is up in the air (maybe get a quick Nepal trip either before or after in).
If anyone can recommend some agencies they have used it would be appreciated. I've looked at several different websites, travel agencies, and sent off numerous emails... it's all overwhelming, but I'm excited to go.
its always good to book ticket in advance.. coz everything at that time will be full. train , aeroplane, but you can find a ticket for a bus .. but bus will be tireing and long journey.. but you will get to see the country side. i just advice atleast book your tickets from there.. dont have to do much.. there are only booking avaible for plane and train. i personally dont like travel agency... they will first of all charge you alot. december is a good time to go to goa.. alot of tourist from all around the world go there... if you are still confused on what to do.. reply me back.. i will help you out.. by the way i am from bombay. if you plan to visit bombay do let me know.. i will arrange something for you if you dont find anything.. anyways till then take care...
You should do bookings in advance as much as posssible. The best places to see tigers are Kanha, Pench and Bandhavgarh in Madhya Pradesh here I can help you with resrvations.
It is very easy to hire a driver just about anywhere in India- no need to do that in advance. I agree with the other posts, agencies will charge way more for cars and drivers. Homestays, trains, and hostels will definitely need to be set up in advance. You might try looking at couchsurfers.com for people in India who will open their homes to visitors.
December is a really good time weather wise, which makes it high tourist season. India has just about anything you could want, so it just depends on what you're interested in, as to where you should go. Varanasi is awesome if you're into religion and culture, as is Bhodgaya for Buddhism. The state of Rajastan, including Jaipur, Udaipur, etc., is gorgeous, and so is the state of Kerala. So many choices......enjoy!
14 days huh ? Well, do you plan to come down south or just pretty much in the northern region ? I don't think you'll need to make reservations in advance for everything, especially transport - unless you plan to fly between destinations. Air tickets could be hard. But if you land in New Delhi & you are heading to Rajasthan (to see the palaces, they're worth it) or Agra (Taj Mahal), there are buses from the respective state tourism boards that operate on a daily basis & are well maintained.
Thank you so much for all your replies! I greatly appreciate all the advice. It is very helpful as this will be my first trip there and the second for my friend (but she went on an off season). I'll be sure to let her know. Many thanks.
Any advice on travel agencies? Places we want to go to are Taj Mahaj and Tiger spotting, possibly nepal.
If you do not want to be tied down by a fixed itenary set by a local agency who may not have your best interest in mind.Get a good India guide LP(lonely planet) ,Rough Guides or any other. Check out what you would really like to see and visit. Get more info on this forum or the thron tree or Indiamike and then make a inenary which suits you the best. The local tourist office will give you the best advice on accomodation and transport
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thats good gypsi, well when you get down in for hotel, ask the hotel manager or any locals who are working there. they will help you out alot. tiger spotting would be great. i havnt seen it tho.. but i am excited lol. apart if you are in the north. it will be chillin in delhi. try to take some warm cloths. taj mahal is a great place to see too. if you need more help let me know. you can shoot me a mail or pm in here.. i will get back to you as soon as possible