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Elegant Journeys Video Testimonials

Guest Comments

Graeme and Sophia R (USA) - “Vivek, I wanted to write and thank you and the Elegant Journeys team for taking such good care of us during our wonderful vacation in India. The tour through the Golden Triangle and Rajasthan truly was a vacation of a lifetime with our stays at the Oberoi hotels making us feel like royalty. From Delhi to Agra, Jaipur to Udaipur, nothing was too much trouble. If only we could live like this every day! While our visits to the Taj Mahal, elephant ride up to the Amber Fort, and walking in the foot steps of James Bond and Octopussy will live long in the memory, it was the people that made all the difference with the superb hotel staff, excellent guides in each city and our wonderful driver, Vishak, really making our visit truly memorable. Like many, we admit to being a little concerned and skeptical prior to our arrival in Delhi - in part due to finding nothing but glowing reviews about Elegant Journeys on the internet - but we needn't have worried. From the moment we saw our names on the driver's board at the airport arrivals hall to saying goodbye as we passed back through security on the final day, every detail was taken care of. We didn't have to worry about a thing - just relax and enjoy everything India has to offer. I know people scanning the internet for background information on tour companies in India will read this and think (frankly as we did) that it's all just too good to be true, but it's not. You took care of every detail and provided us with the experience of a lifetime that will forever live in our memories. Please pass on our sincere thanks to the team and we look forward to seeing you again one day for another Indian adventure!” Read More

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TRAVEL GUIDE

Exploring the world can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life. However, planning a trip can be extremely frustrating especially when one does'nt know where to start. We understand travel needs of all and deliver the best through meticulous planning. Given below please find some information which will help you in planning your India travel:

PASSPORT AND VISA

There is a visa required to enter India. A foreign citizen needs a signed passport valid for at least six months from the date of arrival in India with two blank pages for stamping by the Immigration Officer and a current visa to enter India. For more latest information on Passport & Visa requirement, please CLICK HERE to visit the website of the Government of India. Additionally, travelers need to have visa with specific permission if they are visiting a restricted area – Ladakh, Sikkim, Andaman & Nicobar Islands etc.

e-TOURIST VISA: CLICK HERE to read detailed information on requirements and how to apply online.

IMPORTANT: In case your travel includes a visit to Nepal or Bhutan and requires you to return to India to take your international flight home or touring in India, you would have to apply for a double or multiple entry Indian visa. In addition, you would also require a visa to enter Nepal & Bhutan.

CUSTOMS GUIDELINES

Any traveller can bring foreign exchange into India from a place outside India. However, Declaration of foreign exchange/currency has to be made before the custom officers 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 cheques etc.) exceeds US$ 10,000 or its equivalent.

 

Please CLICK HERE to refer Q.29 and Q.30 for detailed latest information on Government of India website.

WEATHER

India has three major seasons: winter, summer and the monsoon. The winter months (November-March) are pleasant throughout India with bright sunny days. In the northern plains, the minimum temperature at times drops steeply and there is snowfall in the hills. In southern and eastern India, however, December and January are pleasantly cool, never really cold.

It is during the summer months (April-June) that hill resorts such as Shimla, Kashmir valley, Darjeeling and Mount Abu provide cool retreats.

The south-west monsoon usually breaks about the beginning of June on the west coast and reaches elsewhere later. With the exception of the south-eastern areas, India receives the major share of its rainfall between June and September. The south-eastern areas receive most of the rainfall from the north-east monsoon between mid-October and December-end.

Traditionally, India has been most popular in the winter months. However, with easy availability of air-conditioned hotels, transport and leisure facilities (such as dining and shopping, the summer months have become equally popular.

HEALTH

We recommend you consult your Physican or Health consultant for any inoculation/vaccination for your travel itinerary, because we don't provide any medical advice.

INSURANCE

We strongly recommend purchasing a travel issuance to cover each traveler for any trip cancellation/interruption, personal or baggage loss and medical emergency or evacuation etc.

 

Note: Elegant Journeys does not sell any insurance.

WHAT TO PACK / CLOTHING

While selecting a suitable wardrobe prior to your travel to India, we suggest that you choose clothing that is adaptable to the Indian climate. For summers and monsoons, the most practical would be a mix of plain cotton and blended cotton. They are the coolest in summers. It is advisable to avoid synthetic fabrics that do not “breathe" as these may not be comfortable. A hat with a wide brim comes in handy in protecting you from the harsh sun. During monsoons, a collapsible umbrella is advisable, as there can be sudden, unexpected showers. During the winter months, sweaters and light jackets are a must.

It is preferable (especially for ladies) to dress modestly. We strongly advise you not to wear shorts, mini-skirts or tank tops, particularly in the smaller towns and cities as people here are conservative. Most Indians dress in a modest manner.

When visiting places of worship, women are not allowed to enter with bare shoulders, short pants or short skirts and we recommend wearing a long skirt, dress or slacks. A scarf is acceptable to cover shoulders if women are wearing a sleeveless top and it is not necessary to cover your head. Men should also be suitably dressed when visiting a holy place. Shorts are discouraged. All visitors will be required to remove their footwear before entering the precincts of the temples and the mosques.

For dinner at the hotels, we recommend smart casuals to suit a tropical climate.

ELECTRICITY

In India electricity runs on 220 volts.

 

If you are traveling with electrical appliances bring along an international converter adapter.

PHOTOGRAPHY

When photographing people, always ask permission. The exception is when taking a general picture of crowds and scenes. Photography at airports is strictly forbidden.

INTERNET

Most of the hotels in India offer Wi-fi or wired services for a charge and they also have business centers with PCs.

CUISINES OF INDIA

The visitor who imagines that Indian food consists of rice and curry is in for a few surprises. For rice, which is the staple diet in only a part of the country, forms but a fraction of a meal in any restaurant, and as for the word 'curry', it is largely unintelligible to most Indians, being a term coined in the West. Certainly, gravy based dishes are prominent throughout India but they are far from being similar to one another. And, of the score or so of commonly used spices in an Indian Kitchen, only fresh green and dried red chillies are pungent. Request a restaurant to omit this ingredient, and you have authentic Indian foood without the pungence. And that's the way many Indians like their food – with no chillies.

Just as there are no single style of Indian cooking, there is no one national dish. Styles of cooking and commonly used ingredients differ not only from region to region, but from one household to another.

BAGGAGE ON DOMESTIC FLIGHTS

Domestic Airlines allow one free piece of checked baggage weighing 15 kg (33 lbs) in Economy Class and 20 kg (44 lbs) in Business Class. Checked baggage exceeding the allowable weight is subject to excess baggage charges at the airport.
 
Hand luggage is limited to one piece of 7 kg (15 lbs) for each passenger in Economy and Business Class. Size restrictions also apply.

All Baggage – both checked and cabin are physically checked and x-rayed at the airports.

Domestic Airlines do not permit any inflammable items, dry cell batteries and sharp implements are strictly prohibited to be carried in cabin baggage. Please ensure that such items are packed in your checked bags.

GRATUITIES

Gratuities are not compulsory but generally expected.

The amount is determined by your satisfaction of the services provided. While thee decision rests entirely with you, we recommend the following gratuities per couple (noted in Indian Rupees).

 

Local Guides:         INR 1000 – INR 1500 for full day sightseeing   

Drivers:                 INR 250 – INR 500 for airport transfers
                            INR 500 – INR 1000 for full day sightseeing
                            INR 1000 – INR 1500 for an overnight trip (each day)

Hotel Porters:         INR 50 per bag

Housekeepers:       INR 250 – INR 500 for each night

Room Service:        10-15% unless already added

Restaurants:          10-15% unless already added

( Approximately $2 = INR 100 - INR 120)

PERSONAL EXPENSES

Personal expenses such as room service, phone calls, internet, beverages, laundry/dry cleaning, airline excess luggage charges, tipping and visa fees are not included.

MEALS ON TOUR

Most hotel accommodation includes buffet breakfast.

Generally, lunch & dinner are usually not included except during overnight stay at Jungle lodges & Houseboat in Kerala.

You are free to have lunch & dinner at any location outside your hotel. During day tours your local guide can give you recommendation for good restaurants in the city.

Gala Dinner on Christmas and New Year’s eve – Most hotels have Gala dinner celebration on these special occasions and extra mandatory charge has to be paid to the hotel.

ARRIVAL INSTRUCTIONS AND TRAVEL DOCUMENTS

The regulations at most international airport do not permit passengers to be met inside the secure areas (such as the immigration and customs).

Your driver would be waiting for you in the visitors meet and greet area INSIDE or OUTSIDE terminal building (after baggage claim & customs). He will be holding a placard with your name written on it - please acknowledge his paging board to recognize you.

 

Your all travel documents, including final tour itinerary with local representative contact–list and any internal flight or train tickets would be handed over to you on arrival in India.