Travelling to India checklist/Advice/Essentials
Travelling to India Checklist/Advice/Essentials
We generally receive a lot mails requesting information on ‘What to pack/bring when travelling to India’. So we have tried our best to address these concerns in the below points in the form of a ‘Travelling to India checklist/advice/essentials’ page.
- What is the best time to travel to India for a Wildlife Safari?
The months of October through March are the best to travel to wildlife reserves in terms of weather conditions in India. With respect to wildlife viewing, visiting the reserves in April, May or June is excellent; the searing weather during this time however, can be a mood spoiler. Parks remain closed for visitors during monsoons.
- Do I need visas?
A valid visa is mandatory for everyone traveling to India. It can be acquired from local Indian embassy or consulate prior to your arrival. However, citizens of many countries are also allowed to apply for an e-Visa. For more information on e-Visa (https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html)
- Do I need an Insurance?
We would also recommend that you are covered by a travel insurance policy which includes basic injury, medical costs, emergency evacuation, repatriation, loss of or damage to personal belongings (due to theft or otherwise) and cancellation
- What sort of food can I expect?
India offers motley of cuisines to its guests with the culinary expertise of Indians varying from region to region. You can find both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes to relish. Savoring delectable local cuisines belonging to the particular part of country one is visiting is highly recommended. Finding international food such as Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Continental, Thai and French dishes is also easy especially when one is touring in and around major cities of the country.
- How is the weather?
India has a typically tropical climate, though the precise conditions differ slightly in the northern and southern regions. The northern part is relatively temperate while the southern chunk is hotter and more humid. The seasons can predominantly be categorized into summer, winter, and monsoon. Winter starts arriving in November with nights getting colder during December and January though days during these months are mostly pleasant. By the mid of March, winter has completely retreated and it is the time for the arrival of summer. The months of May and June are scorching throughout the country. As July checks in, it is the time for rains which usually last till the month of September.
- What is the minimum age for children?
If you are looking out for a destination for a perfect family vacation then India, without any doubt is an amazing place to be at. The age of your toddler should certainly not be a disappointing factor for planning a vacation to the thickets of the country since most of camps and lodges around the national reserves have a myriad of fun activities to be enjoyed by children. The lodges offer facilities for babysitting too.
As far as game drives are concerned, though there is no regulation on the age limit for children as such, it is generally advised to bring only children around 5 years or above to game drives. The younger ones can in the meanwhile have fun at the lodge for the reason that it becomes difficult to keep children below the age of 5 quiet and patient during safaris which can be a disturbing factor.
- What type of clothing should I wear?
If traveling during winters, wear warm clothing while if touring around the months of summers, light cotton clothing would be the best. In all cases, comfortable full sleeved tops and shirts are recommended. Also, being dressed in colors like white, khaki, beige and olive improves chances of wildlife spotting, plus the capability of these colors to lurk dirt is a great edge.
- Availability of safe drinking water in India?
It is recommended that you drink only bottled water in India. Some of the safest bottled water brands in India are Bisleri, Himalayan (by Tata Global Beverages), Aquafina and Kinley. There are many local brands available too which are specific to each state, but it is safe to stick to these well-known brands. Cost of bottled water in India ranges from Rs.15-30 per bottle. In occasions where you might not find a bottled drinking water, it is good to carry a personal water filter (such as LifeStraw Personal Water Filter).
- Things to carry / travel essentials for a safari trip to India
Do carry a pair of binoculars, especially if you would like to venture out for bird watching. Since most wildlife resorts and jungle lodges are located in remote areas, we would also recommend you carry enough medications, clothes, power banks, extra rechargeable batteries and memory cards, if needed. You could also carry enough cash to meet the expenses on the journey. Shops or resorts in remote areas may not have swipe options for cards.
- What about Electricity/Plug Type
Power sources in India have an alternating current of 230 Volts 50 Hz. Plug points or sockets have a grounded/earthed 3 Pin connections (Type D) or ungrounded 2 pin connections (Type C).
- What if I need medical attention during the trip?
Medical help is readily available in most parts of the country; however, carrying an emergency kit with basic medicines and first aid items through your holiday is recommended.
- Is there internet access at the lodges & camps?
Most of the lodges and camps around wildlife reserves are equipped with a computer and basic internet connection while finding an internet connection can be a bit difficult in the remote parts of India
- How to book a Jeep Safari online?
Very often we are asked the same question – How to book a Jeep Safari online in Corbett, Bandipur, Ranthambore or Bandhavgarh.
Most of the popular wildlife reserves in India are divided into multiple zones and when you book your safari online, the zone and the guide are allocated to you in a sequence. Each State Forest Department has an online booking portal that allows you to book safari slots/permits. This permit allows you entry into a specific zone of the park as per the prescribed timings. Charges for the vehicle (jeep/canter) and guide are to be paid separately. Jeeps can also be hired from the resort or at the reception office at the entry point. In some of the parks (e.g. Corbett Tiger Reserve), a Registered Guide/Naturalist must be hired from the entry point and should be paid directly at the end of the visit.
Not all national parks in India are uniformly run, so the safest option is to go for a reputable safari operator.
- Should I hire a Jeep (Gypsy) / Canter for the best safari experience
Each forest department has 2 different types of vehicles for safaris. The first option is an 8-seater Jeep or Gypsy (a maximum of 6 adults/kids + 1 naturalist + 1 driver can be accommodated in a Jeep). The Gypsy is the best option as a vehicle, as it can navigate faster and better with you having control over the driver and guide. The second option is a Canter – a 20-seater vehicle. The Canter lacks the flexibility and cannot move into narrow routes as the Gypsy would. Also, it tends to be a lot noisier in an environment that seeks complete tranquility.
- When should I book for my Safari
If you are booking your safaris online (without the assistance of a tour operator), it is recommended that you book your safaris first before making your hotel reservations. During peak season, it is recommended that you book 90-days in advance prior to the date of the safari. You’ll be asked to specify an ID proof number while making the online payment. Please note – Do carry the same ID proof for your safari as mentioned at the time of booking. Once you have received your confirmation, you can hand it to your resort/tour operator so they can make arrangements for the Jeep and Guide.
- How many people are allowed in a single jeep/canter to go on safari?
A single Jeep/Gypsy can accommodate a maximum of 8 passengers (6 Guests + 1 Guide + 1 Driver). A Canter can accommodate a max of 20 passengers
- Child age limit for flight ticket in India?
Children above 7 days and below 2 years of age (on the date of travel) are treated as Infants. A maximum of one Infant is allowed per adult on any domestic flight within India.
Travellers between 2 – 12 years are considered as Children. Children above 2 years will be allocated a separate seat.
- Baggage restrictions on internal domestic flights in India
Economy: 15kg (33lbs) per passenger
Business: 25kg (55lbs) per passenger
- Documents required for domestic flight journey in India?
– For Indian Nationals (OCI / PIO Card Holders) – a valid Indian passport / PAN Card / Voter ID Card / Driver’s License / Credit Card with your photograph / School ID card (for kids) / Birth Certificate (for Infants) / or any relevant attested document with your recent photograph
– For Foreign Nationals, their Passport is the only valid proof
- Can you help plan my entire trip?
Yes, of course, our offices and teams located out of Delhi, Mysore & Kerala can help you plan a pan-India trip. We can also arrange your train and flight reservations. If you would like to extend your trip to neighboring countries such as Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Maldives, Mauritius, Seychelles, Dubai etc, those trips can also be customized and organized by our teams.