India Visa Requirements

All foreign nationals need a Visa to get into India. The only exceptions are if you are from Nepal or Bhutan. Apply as early as possible to ensure you receive your visa in good time. Most nationalities are required to grind through the lengthy and complicated process of applying for an Indian E-Tourist Visa. If traveling for less than 30 days, you may be eligible for the new visa on arrival for India. For now, only citizens from Finland, Luxembourg, New Zealand, South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Philippines, Japan, Laos, Burma, Cambodia, and Indonesia are granted a visa upon arrival.Get tips for how to complete the Indian visa application form. See the India ETA and visa-on-arrival application form.

 

Health

    • Always buy comprehensive travel insurance before you depart.
    • Drink sealed, bottled water to stay hydrated. This is readily and cheaply available. Avoid ice in your drinks. Warm drinks such as tea and coffee are safe to drink.
    • Stick with foods that have been cooked or that you can wash and peel yourself. Avoid salad and fruit which cannot be peeled.
    • Wash your hands frequently and travel with antibacterial hand gel. Other recommended travel essential items are: insect repellant, high factor suntan lotion and a simple first aid kit.

 

Keeping Safe

    • Although India is a very safe destination for travelers you are advised to lock your luggage and keep all valuables on your person.
    • Walking alone at night is not advised.
    • Avoid illegal substances; the penalties in India are harsh and strictly enforced.
    • Female travelers should dress modestly. Bare shoulders and bare legs are generally unacceptable.
    • Drink responsibly. Alcohol can severely impair your judgment and leave you vulnerable.
    • A well insured of guest, car and driver.
    • Facility of roll over protection bar and bull bar
    • Fire extinguisher facility
    • First Aid kit
    • Equipped with tool box and spare parts
    • Auto seat belts for all seats
    • Drinking packed water available in car
    • Driver with mobile phone
    • Safety induction with passenger before starting the tour
    • Cheapest car rentals as a part of transportation service . · Our drivers are trained in defensive driving organized by 4WD India Training program.
    • Our drivers can have good command over English language.
    • All drivers of Lets Go India Tours have valid driving license and Badge for driving.
    • Seat belts will be worn strictly.
    • The vehicle will not run over the speed of 100km/hr on National highway (2 way) and 90 km/h on State highway.
    • Two hours break will be taken after every 4 hrs journey.
    • Won’t drive at high speed near villages/town or intersections.

 

Helping You On Your Way

    • Embrace Indian culture and learn a phrase or two to help you during your stay. The roads will be chaotic and if the sound of a car horn gets too much, lose yourself in a bollywood movie or find a quiet spot in one of the many beautiful gardens or visit one of the many famous monuments and museums.
    • When in a shop, don’t worry too much about haggling for the best price. You won’t get it. If you want it and you can afford it, why not buy it?!
    • Just because it doesn’t look clean, doesn’t mean its going to kill you! Be cautious but also be gracious to India’s kind people.
    • Be wary of unlicensed guides at major attractions. If you require a guide, many licensed guides are available when you buy your ticket.
    • Relax and enjoy your trip, India isn’t just like home but then that’s why you came!
    • Carry only those things you will need in India with you, such as enough cash to cover emergencies or occasional urge-to-splurge, traveler’s checks and credit cards but exit home with extra baggage like social security cards, extra credit cards, shopping mall coupons, club memberships you won’t need here.
    • A linguistic tool, such as a cassette or guide book that gives you knowledge of the native language is a handy item that can help you out of a sticky situation such as calling for the police, contacting a hospital or asking for help should you get in trouble away from your tour group.
    • Packing for India tour destinations becomes easy if you familiarize yourself with the events and activities of the destinations you will be visiting as acculturation to custom sand laws will clue you in to what is appropriate.
    • Pack clothes that are made of natural fibers to allow a certain level of ‘breath ability’ for your skin;Indian being a tropical country is never short of sunshine and sweat in most regions except the hills. Nylon fabrics are best avoided unless visiting cold regions in India or planning a winter visit, while reading up about dress-codes prevalent in places on your tour itinerary can guide you about garments best given a miss.
    • Sensible packing of toiletries for India would include putting in hand sanitize rs, (toilet rolls are not available at all transition points or in remote areas, where at times, even rest-rooms may be few and far between one major sight-seeing spot and another)your brand of sunscreen (may not be available everywhere in India), essential make-up kit, mosquito repellent of your choice, water purification tablets and bath-salts.
    • Pack smart, travel light and determine weather, region-specific culture and etiquette, available cuisine(especially for those with specific diet restrictions) and range of activities prior to setting forth on the vacation of a life-time. To avoid the Holiday-from-Hell, we encourage you to try one, or more, of our custom-designed tour packages that eliminate the hassles of holiday planning (thanks to an in-house expert team of experienced to our managers) and are guaranteed to pep you up with promise of happy times while in India.
    • Staying in India is not a big problem. There are a number of 4-star and 5-star hotels in India, measuring up to the international standards. They will provide you the comfort and luxury comparable to any other in the world.
    • Indian people are quite hospitable and friendly. Do not feel offended if they stare at you. It is just curiosity on their part. Most of the people will also go out of the way to help tourists and properly guide them.
    • Make sure to remove your footwear when visiting a place of worship or mausoleum. Some temples in India will not even allow you to carry leather articles inside. You can deposit them in the temple cloakroom and collect it on your way out.
    • It is not entirely unsafe to travel in India. You just have to take some precautions like avoiding isolated places, not going out after it’s too late, etc.
    • Don’t feel offended if Indians ask you some personal questions like how much do you earn, are you married, do you have kids, etc. They are just a little curious and mean no offence. It is just their way of getting friendly.
    • Do not try to explore Indian roads by your own. Mazy streets are often very puzzling. Lets Go India Tours have excellent arrangement of cars and English Speaking Driver’s For Your Whole Trip.

 

GET INDIA READY GUIDE

The following nine page ‘Get India Ready Guide’ will answer most of,your questions (that may or may not have occurred to you). It’ll help as you prepare for your trip to India.It covers money exchange in India, getting a sim card and wifi in India, tipping in India, what to pack for India, dressing appropriately for India, quick train travel, car travel tips, avoiding giving offence in India and more. Should you still have questions, please do not hesitate to e-mail us at Info@letsgoindiatours.com, You can also contact any one of us that has been planning your trip to India.


USING YOUR ATM/DEBIT CARDS

ATM’S are very easy to find now, even small towns have multiple ATM’S. This is certainly a safer option, in fact most widely used.Remember – Indian ATMs charge a fee of INR 100 – 150 (USD 3/ EUR 2 approx)) per transaction. In addition your home bank could charge you a fee. The maximum amount Indian ATMs discharge is between INR 15000 – INR 25000 at a time (USD 300/450 – Euros 250/350). If possible, always carry a back-up card. Often our guests have been in a situation where one card would not work at any Indian ATM. It’s recommended to withdraw larger sums at one go.

 

CREDIT CARDS

Credit cards (outside of big cities) find very limited acceptance. Upper-end hotels and restaurants will accept credit cards.Sometimes (and often in Kerala) shops will allow you to swipe you credit card, pay a small fee and withdraw money. They make a fake purchase of for e.g. INR 5000, charge you a small fee and give you the cash.Carry your credit cards, they can come in handy. But understand they will not be accepted widely.

 

GETTING AN INDIAN CELL PHONE AND INTERNET CONNECTIVITY DURING YOUR TRIP

Internet connectivity while traveling within India is fairly easy to find. You cannot take it for granted that smaller hotels/hostels might not have wifi. However, in general you will not be too far away from an internet or wifi source.


PURCHASING A SIM CARD IN INDIA/BUYING AN INEXPENSIVE HANDSET

First, it is not absolutely necessary to have an Indian number while traveling.
Having said that it is useful to have a phone and an Indian sim card.You need the
following to get a sim card (please carry before hand)

    • A passport sized photograph (ideally with 2 copies)
    • Copy of your passport
    • Copy of your visa (very important)

Prepaid (pay as you go) sim cards are available everywhere. Typically each street would have a store that sells sim cards. You will not miss the ‘Vodafone/Cell phone recharge/Airtel’ boards. Just tell them that you want to purchase a new sim card. The hotel reception will always be able to point you in the direction of the closest store to get a sim card. If you first arrive in Delhi, you can purchase a sim card/and an inexpensive handset at the airport itself. A sim card usually is free or costs under INR 100. Recharging it with credit worth INR 500 is sufficient. If you do not have a phone, basic phones can be purchased for about INR 2000 (USD 40, euros 30).

 

INTERNATIONAL IPHONE OR OTHER SMARTPHONES

If you have a smart phone, and intend on carrying it to India, it comes in handy. Your smart phone can become your wi-fi device and you can send e-mails back home/and to us when you are in a wi-fi area. Some of our guests even subscribe to an international roaming data plan. We’ve had a lot of guests that did not bother buying an Indian sim card, as long as they could send/receive emails from their phone. It honestly works like a charm. Even if you do not activate a data plan, you can use your smartphone as a wifi device.

 

INTERNET CONNECTIVITY

Again, an iPad or an iTouch is very useful. Most destinations have plenty of wi-fi cafes (it is usally bait to bring customers in) and you can connect and send and receive e-mails.Cyber cafes are easily available too. It would be safe to assume that you would be close to an internet connection virtually every other day. To summarize, Having an Indian Sim card is useful, but you can circumvent it. In our experience, having an internet device, especially a smart phone with international roaming or an internet device like your smartphone to send and receive e-mails is most useful.

 

TIPPING IN INDIA 

We get asked a lot on how much to tip in India at different instances. This can be used as rough guide on how much you should be tipping in India and at which instances.

 

TIPPING AFTER MEALS AT A RESTAURANT 

If eating a small meal, breakfast or snack with bill amounts less than INR 300, then a 10% tip is expected/appreciated. If you have small bills handy, you can tip in multiples of INR 10 notes. On bill amounts ranging between INR 300 to INR 1000, you can tip around 7% to 10% of bill amount. For example an INR 100 tip on an INR 1000 bill is a very good tip, though you can also tip about INR 70 and that would be fine. On bill amounts above INR 1000, tip amount of 5 to 7% is sufficient. Restaurants in Delhi and Mumbai often charge a ‘service charge’, not to be confused with ‘service tax’ (which is a government levied tax). When a ‘service charge’ is levied no tip is expected.

 

TIPPING AT HOTELS 

Tipping at hotels in India is slightly confusing and annoying at times.As a rule we encourage whenever possible i.e. you see a central tip box then tip cumulatively. Cumulative tip should be between 5 to 7% of the hotel tariff per night into number of days. So if you are at a hotel that is INR 2000 a night and staying for 3 nights, then you should tip about INR 300-400 overall. When staying at expensive hotels reduce this to between 3 to 5% of tariff amount. Exclude restaurant tips from tips to hotels.If you do not find a central tip box you can ask if they have one, or tip one central person at the reception and indicate this is a tip for everyone. If you are young – budget travelers who want to tip even lower for hotel rooms, that is usually okay.

 

WHY TIPPING AT HOTELS CAN BE ANNOYING 

Not as a rule, but often bell boys will wait outside your room expecting a tip. If you ask for a small task from room service, the staff might wait outside the door expecting a tip. More so, when there is no central tip box.We recommend avoiding tipping individually. This might mean telling a bell boy a polite thank you with a smile and walking away. If in an uncomfortable situation, small notes of INR 10 to INR 30 are a good enough.

 

TIPPING DAY CAR HIRE DRIVERS & Guide AND AIRPORT TRANSFERS 

Lets Go India Tours Have Excellent Arrangement Of Cars and English Speaking Driver For Your whole Trip,Your Driver will Organize Your Tours Itinerary,and Get you From A TO B, AND Answer General Question You Have bout India ,They will not Accompany you In to Monuments Or Inside Attractions But Can Recommend Certified ” Local Tour Guide” to you when you feel it is necessary. So when you feel we can help you Get Ready Good Guide Not as Expensive as Others. Our Guide will Show You All Monuments and Explain You Monuments History, The Guide Fees is Almost 1,000 Rs Per Day, But You Can Pay as a Based On Your Happiness and Guides Services Quality.

 

DRIVER’S TIPPING 

It is Customary to Tip Your English Speaking Driver For His Total Days Of Service, Generally 10 % Based On Your Happiness and Based On Quality Of Services.

 

INDIAN ATTITUDE TOWARDS TIPPING 

India, culturally, does not have a strong tipping tradition. Yet in most tourist towns, tips are expected and you are frowned upon for not offering one.?? We do recommend tipping at various instances as explained above, but tip higher only when you are very happy with the service.?? We also encourage tips higher than the range specified if you feel an individual went out of his way to help you and you extremely satisfied.

 

WHAT ARE INDIANS LIKE?

    • Apart from the touts, Indians are nice and friendly people.
    • They are helpful, they are curious, they are every smiling, and they like to talk.
    • If you spot a cute kid, it is OK to take a picture usually they will not refuse. They will smile back. Show them the pictures on the camera. They will be happy and excited.
    • It is also OK to take permission and photograph women in saris.
    • Do not hesitate to engage in conversations with Indians you meet, once comfortable they love to talk. Often on a train you will make some Indian friends.

 

Indian Traffic

Facts about Indian Traffic and roads

Indian Traffic moves on the left and right driving. On Highway s(Expressways ) normally speed limit is 90 KM/H. there is many small highways speed limit is 60 to 80 km/hr, Maximum road have tolls so driver have to stop on Toll barrier pay toll and continue. Country side have small farm track, single roads there is no tolls.
Every where on Highways you can see markers in English and there local language but if you are on Single road or country side than it is rarely find any marker. But the good thing is Driver know maximum and if it’s new Driver than Indian people are friendly to help for direction as well.

Now Indian roads are mixture I mean some road very good condition and big highways. some mega highways , and some single road but now every day road condition improving because mostly every where making big and good road. It is very hard to give exact account condition so that’s why some people call chaotic overall Indian road mixture and experience.

In cities around and in side city it is very common traffic Jams and Hard to find Indian road free of traffic. In cities you can face animals on road normally like- cows, Dogs, Bullocks, Camels, donkey,  And also encounter lots of variety of transport, scooters,  motorbike, Horse carts, camel carts, cycle and rickshaw and there is no any other special track for all above so all are use same road or same track. Sometime it is very hard work for driver to drive in city.

Good thing is on Indian road you can find fuel station after 5 km. Driving at night on Indian road is not easy work because can be any animal or other vehicles or any pedestrians can enter or can be any big stone on road. There is no road lights after 5 to 10 km out of any cities so Drive at night is not good idea in India and we not allowed to our driver to drive at night but for example like airport transfer, pick up and drop in same city and for dinner or any night program in same city,


Money in India

    • Official Currency: Indian rupee (INR)
    • ATMs: Easily found in tourist areas
    • Credit Cards: Only accepted at large hotels and for online bookings
    • Tipping: Service charges are added in some hotels and restaurants.

Receipts in India can be a bewildering breakdown of various service charges and taxes levied — at different rates — for food, drinks, and services. Prices in shops should be inclusive of tax, however, hotels, bars, and restaurants will most likely tack on additional charges. Always ask for an itemized receipt in case you are entitled to a VAT (government tax) refund in the airport upon departure.

ATMs in India are fairly reliable, although machines located in small towns may often run out of cash or have queues an hour long at times.

Tip: Large banknotes (the 1,000-rupee note) can be difficult to break; many people simply don’t have enough cash to provide change. Enter amounts into ATMs strategically to receive smaller denominations, horde your small change when possible, and use large banknotes for covering accommodation.

 

Electricity in India

    • Power: 230 volts / 50 Hz
    • Outlets: EuroPlug (round with two prongs); BS 546 (round
      with three prongs)

Despite a history of British rule, outlets in India don’t follow the same configuration used in the United Kingdom (square with three prongs). Outlets vary from place to place, with newer tourist establishments offering universal outlets that accept all the popular types of plugs.

Unless your electronic device was purchased in Europe, you’ll probably need a plug adapter to connect to power. Most electronics with a charging transformer (e.g., laptops and mobile phone chargers) will already work at 230 volts, otherwise you’ll need a power converter to step down the voltage.

Power in India can be ‘unclean,’ meaning that sags and surges may travel the lines and damage sensitive devices. Be mindful of the frequent power outages and try not to charge your electronic devices unattended.

 

Getting Around India

India isn’t just big, it’s huge! Changing regions means taking either a domestic flight, train (the most popular option), or a bone-rattling bus ride.

Once in a new town or city, you’ll have an unlimited number of options — and offers — from taxi drivers and auto-rickshaws, the Indian equivalent of a tuk-tuk. Driving in India can be a real challenge; hiring a private car with driver is a better option than renting a car.

Tourists are most likely to get scammed while on transportation in India. Always refuse to go inside any shops even if your driver stops at one. Don’t believe your driver when he pretends there was an earlier miscommunication and asks you to pay more.

 

Accommodation in India

There’s a surprising amount of paperwork involved with checking into hotels in India, as your visa information will be recorded and photocopied. You’ll need your passport each time.

Tip: Always ask for a receipt when asked to pay your guesthouse or hotel bill halfway through your stay. A popular scam involves the front desk losing track of your earlier payments.

 

When to Go to India

Each year India experiences two monsoons with heavy rainfall and plenty of scorching hot temperatures in between. Snow in high-elevation places such as Manali can block mountain passes during the winter months. Although India is large and natural features can affect weather, the months between June and October are considered the wettest time to visit as the southwest monsoon cools down the country.

October is generally regarded as the start of the busy season as rains let off and more tourists begin to arrive.

 

Communicating in India

Official Languages: Hindi and English.

A staggering array of languages and dialects are spoken across the Indian subcontinent, however, English is ubiquitous throughout India and is used by the government. Once you master the rate of speech and accents, you’ll be able to communicate easily as you travel throughout the country.

Even with the prevalence of English, knowing a few words in Hindi will come in useful and can enhance your trip experience.

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