India Travel Tips

Capital City - New Delhi
Time Difference - India is 5 ½ hours ahead of GMT
Flying Time (Based on non -stop direct flights on Jet Airways)
London to Delhi – approximately 8 hours
London to Mumbai – approximately 9 hours
Electricity Voltage - 230-240 Volts. Sockets are of European two-pronged round pin variety. Power cuts are common in more remote regions and occur occasionally in major cities too.
Currency -The units of Indian currency are the Rupee and Paisa (100 Paisa equal 1 Rupee). Paper money is in denominations of Rupees 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000. Coins are in denominations of Rupees 1, 2 and 5.
Visas - Most visitors need a visa to enter India. They are available for different lengths of stay and need to be obtained in advance. Be sure to check validity dates carefully and allow sufficient time for processing.

Holidays 

- Religious Holidays - all of the worlds’ major religions are represented in India. Here are some of the more important holidays:
· Holi (Hindu spring festival) - Feb/ March
· Diwali (Hindu New Year) - Oct/ Nov
· Eid (Muslim end of Ramadan)
- Dec National Holidays
· New Year's Day - 1 Jan
· Republic Day - 26 Jan
· Independence Day - 15 Aug
· Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday - 2 Oct
· Christmas Day - 25 Dec

Tourist Board - India Tourist Board, London 020 7437 3677
 

Weather in India

India has three major seasons - winter - summer and the monsoon, winter months (November-March) are bright and pleasant, with snowfall in the northern hills. Summer time (April-June) is hot in most parts of India, and it is then that the numerous hill resorts provide cool retreat. During the monsoon, rainfall is heavy along the West Coast between June and September, and along the East Coast between mid-October and December.

India Weather chart - Max T=Maximum Temperature Min T=Minimum Temperature Ave R=Average Rainfall
  

 

Map of India

India Travel F&Qs

1) Do I need a visa to travel to India?
All nationalities require a visa to enter India. Regulations and costs change frequently and differ according to nationality. For the latest information on your specific visa requirements you should contact your local Indian Embassy or Consulate. Visas are usually valid for either 1 month or 6 months from the date of issue and are valid for multiple entry regardless of whether you intend staying longer or re-entering the country. Tourist visas cannot be extended. Note: Be wary of applying for your visa too soon as all visas are valid from the date of issue, not the date of entry to India.

2) What Medical Precautions should I take before traveling to India?
It is recommended that you get a medical check up before traveling to India. Do consult your doctor about any vaccinations you may require. If you are on any regular medication, please bring enough with you to last the trip. While doctors and chemist stores are easily accessible in India, your specific brand of medication may not be available here.

3) Is there much English spoken in India?
English is spoken at almost all tourist centers, but you can also request us to book Government-trained and approved guides who also speak German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Italian or Russian. Tour guides will help you not only in your sightseeing, but also help you understand India better.

4) When is the best time to travel?
With clear sunny days and mild to cold nights, October to March is generally the best time to visit the sub-continent. The monsoon rains break in coastal Kerala in May or June and travel inland to reach Delhi in July, lasting till early September. May and June are extremely hot except in the hills. The coastal and mountain areas get more rain than the central plains.

5) How easy is to change money in Banks (ATMS)?
Banks can be found in most cities and sizable towns where it is possible to exchange cash and Travelers cheques. Many hotels also offer currency exchange and may offer a faster service at similar rates. ATM's can be found in most major cities (i.e. Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Mumbai). Credit cards are usually only accepted in larger shops and more expensive hotels and restaurants. We recommend that you take either US$ or GB£ currency and travellers cheques, however it is possible to exchange other major currencies. Most major currencies can be changed in rupees in India, but please remember to bring the local payment amount in USD cash, as other currencies cannot be changed into dollars once in India, and we cannot accept Indian Rupees for the local payment. Leftover India Rupees can be exchanged before leaving India on production of your original encashment receipt. It is not possible to change back more than is shown on your encashment receipt.

6) Is tipping expected in India?
Some hotels include service charges on their bills. In such cases tipping is not necessary. Where this is not done, at tip of 10% is customary. If you are in a big group and the food bill is high, the tip on the total can come down to 5%. The porter who takes your baggage to your room is usually tipped Rs.5 per bag or Rs.10 to Rs.20 per trolley. (These estimates are for 5 and 4-star hotels and are proportionately less in 1, 2 or 3 star hotels.) Tipping of taxi drivers is not customary.

7) How bad is the begging in India?
Begging is a way of life in India. Ultimately donations are a travellers personal choice, however, in line with initiatives and government policy in many of our destinations, our recommendation is NOT to give money, pens, gifts or sweets as this encourages a begging mentality and is largely ineffectual. If you choose not to give, simply say no with a smile and keep on walking. If you learn nothing else of the local language, learn to say ‘no thank you’!

8) Is it safe to drink tap water?
It is not recommended that you drink the local tap water in India; however bottled water, carbonated soft drinks and fruit juices are widely available throughout the country.

9) Are all Indian food spicy?
Another myth is that Indian food is always hot. In fact North Indian food, whilst often very rich and indeed spicy, does not contain as much chilli as South Indian food.

10) Can I make calls or send emails easily?
Email - Internet cafes can now be found in most cities and sizable towns. Finding a café is not usually a problem, but internet speed can be. Connection times are often painfully slow although this does vary from city to city. The average cost for an hour is approx. US$2.
Phone - The Indian phone system is fairly good. Look out for shops/booths labelled with a yellow "PCO STD-ISD" sign which can be found almost everywhere (except in remote areas). A 3-minute call (to the UK) will cost approx. US$10 from a hotel and approx. US$5 from a shop/booth.

11) Is my money safe? Are you insured against financial failure?
The flights and air holidays booked are ATOL protected since we hold an Air Travel Organisers License(ATOL 3676) granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the CAA will ensure that our clients are not stranded abroad and will arrange to refund any money you have paid to us for any advance booking. For further information visit the ATOL website at www.atol.org.uk

12) Can you sell me travel insurance?
It is one of our terms and conditions that all customers take out travel insurance before leaving for their trip with us so please contact us for a quote. You are of course free to make your own arrangements independently.