Travel Tips for planning a travel to India

posted in: Asia, India, Tips | 59

Of late, a lot of my readers have expressed a wish to visit India and as I have been answering their queries, I realized there were some common travel tips for planning a travel to India. I happened to read this post on Travel Tips India, which gives some useful travel tips for India. The one tip that I felt was most important was the “planning” aspect of your trip to India and hence, I felt the need to detail it out further.

Travel to India
Gateway of India, Mumbai

Here are my 5 big pointers on what to keep in mind when you decide, Incredible India is the travel destination for you.

 

1) Expanse of Incredible India

Getting past the crowd to capture the Taj Mahal at dawn
Getting past the crowd to capture the Taj Mahal at dawn

India is a huge country, with places of interest, spread all around. From the Taj Mahal in the North to the beautiful historic cities like Hampi in the south. From the ecotourism places like Cherrapunji and Majuli in the North East to the forests of Gir in the West. You will find that there are places that beckon you from every corner – so much, that you are actually spoiled for choice.

Travel to India - Hampi
Chariot Temple at Vittala Temple, Hampi

However, doing them all in one trip is just not going to be possible. The distances between these places is huge and my advice to people traveling to India picks a region or a destination that is your must-visit  Research attractions and cities around that destination and then, plan your itinerary. Trust me when I say that there is no dearth of interesting places – be it nature or heritage, in any nook and corner of India – some places were quite famous and some unexplored.

The most famous circuit – The Golden Triangle, consisting of Agra, Delhi and Jaipur, is one such example of a travel circuit with cities that can be covered in one single trip to India.

2) Travel by Interest and Blend them in

Travel to India - Gokarna
Gokarna

India is called Incredible India for nothing. It offers destinations for any kind of traveler – from the history buffs to nature and wildlife lovers and some for the beach bums and the crazy adventures. It is a good idea to blend in a few of these in your travel to India so that you get a wholesome experience of this country.

For example, you plan to see the historic city of Hampi in South India, add in some wildlife or adventure sports of Dandeli or the beaches of Goa and South India to give you a different experience.

Travel to India - Dandeli
River Rafting at Dandeli.                                                                                       Image Credits: Sarangib

If you are a couple or a group of travelers with diverse interests, adding in this blend will really help you have a lot of fun together and create some lasting memories of India.

3) Commute within India

India has got a good network of roads and railways that connect various cities and towns. You will also, find a lot of low-cost airlines offering you travel between the major cities in India. Depending on the duration of your trip and the budget, you could plan your travel to India using any of these modes.

If you have selected destinations that can be reached within a few hours, a road trip would be highly recommended. A road trip helps you experience the smaller towns along the way while helping you discover the beautiful landscape of India. You can hire a cab for a reasonable price at all towns for this kind of travel. Alternatively, you can even book online through reputed online travel companies.

There are plenty of tourist buses too, that can help you in this form of travel. However, you may not be able to stop at places in between on your own.

The Golden Chariot
Coach of the Golden Chariot

Railways are convenient, especially if you are traveling to slightly far-off destinations in India. They help use your limited time wisely, as you can opt for night travel. You can opt for 2nd Class or 3rd Class AC for a comfortable travel. Booking train travel needs you to plan well in advance as the booking opens 120 days in advance. You can even opt for the special luxury tourist trains like the Golden Chariot, Palace on Wheels or Deccan Odyssey which offer you a unique cultural experience. Here is a guide that can help you prepare for an experience in Indian Railways.

Low cost flights are extremely handy for the travelers to India who are focused on the large cities and do not have a lot of time. These too, can be booked online through various travel sites.

 

Tuk Tuks in Jaipur, Rajasthan - Travel to India
Tuk Tuks in Jaipur, Rajasthan

Once in the city, you can opt for the local transport – auto rickshaws, taxis, and buses. These are readily available and are extremely affordable. For details on the same, you can seek the help of the hotel that you are staying in – for each city or town has a different minimum fare.

4) Accommodation within India

Depending on your budget, you can opt for high-end hotels and resorts to mid-sized budget ones and even smaller guest houses. In the smaller towns and hill stations, one can opt for home-stays. It is advisable to look out for specialty stays in the places that you are visiting as they can help you experience the place better. For example, if you are heading to the coffee kingdom of Coorg, you can opt for a home stay at the coffee estates. This will help you enjoy and experience the local culture, cuisine, and lifestyle much better.

Backwaters of Kerala - Travel to India
Backwaters of Kerala

Similarly, if you are headed to Kerala, an overnight at the backwaters of Kerala would definitely be advisable.

Booking these stays is quite easy these days, thanks to the Internet. You will find almost all types of this accommodation available online, with easy booking facilities. Remember to book well in advance for your travel to India, as some of these stays can get full during the peak tourist seasons.

5) Timing your travel to India

India is a tropical country and visiting in summers (April – June) can be quite harsh for the visitors to India from the West. There are hill-stations and beautiful beach destinations that one can opt for during this season. However, visiting heritage destinations can really take a toll on you, given the rising mercury.

July to September is the monsoon season. Most of India will have a wet weather, which can be a deterrent when sight-seeing. Also, certain tourist attractions are closed during this season.

October to January, right up to Mid February is the best time to travel to India. With pleasant weather and numerous festivals during these months, traveling through India is a beautiful and a memorable experience.

It might also, be a good idea to plan a trip around a festival. Possibly head to Mathura for Holi or Puri for the Rath yatra or even Ladakh for the Naropa Festival. The dates for these are easily available on the internet.

Here is hoping that this post makes a good checklist for you, especially when it comes to the planning part of your travel. Check this post for some additional tips on what to wear in India.  Do comment in and let me know your views too 🙂 And remember to pin this too.

www.thrillingtravel.in

Popularly referred to as a Restless Ball of Energy. My Mom refuses to entertain my complaints about my equally restless daughter & assures my husband that I was born with a travel bug.

I am a Post-Graduate in Marketing by qualification and a travel blogger by passion. Besides travel, I enjoy photography and if you don’t find me at my desk, I would be out playing badminton or swimming or just running. I believe in planning for every long weekend through the year. And when I cannot travel physically, I travel virtually through words on this travel blog.

My travel stories have also, got published on various websites and magazines including Lonely Planet India and Jetwings.

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59 Responses

  1. Arvind Kumar

    I am planning a trip with my friends. I was wondering about my check list and some ides. You made it easy. Thanks for sharing this post,

  2. Monika

    Can u please help me to find
    nearby best places to visit in Bangalore?

    • Ami

      Thanks Monika for dropping by. There are tons of places to visit in and around Bangalore, some of these are on my blog itself. Just search from Bangalore and you will get a few places. 🙂 Let me know if you need any specific information by sending me a mail through the contact form 😀

  3. Arun

    Great post Ami with wonderful tips!
    India being so huge, we really need to pick a location based on our interest. Really liked the Gokarna picture!

  4. pythoroshan

    Lovely indepth article that will surely be useful to thousands of tourists… who am i kidding? It will be just as useful to thousands of Indians toO! Definitely sharing.

  5. Parul Thakur

    I am in awe of your pictures. You have to share some tips. And the post? Well, great tips and I agree that India has so to see that one must go easy 🙂 And that golden triangle circuit, I need to do that too. Fabulous post Ami!

  6. Abhishek Kumar

    Great tips and a very informative post. A fellow travel blogger from India (currently based in Bangalore), I can tell you it was an absolute delight going through this post of yours 🙂

  7. Patricia - Ze Wandering Frogs

    Cool tips! Traveling by train in India was a great experience, and a good way to discover the countryside. Totally recommend booking in advance though, it can get rather busy and hard to get otherwise!

    • Ami

      I agree, booking in advance is so important for the railways in India. Thanks for dropping by

  8. journalofnomads

    Ami, you nailed it again! 🙂 Very informational and useful post for when our journey to India is coming closer!

  9. Marta - Learningescapes

    This is really useful and brings back memories of my trip a few years ago: we completely underestimated the distances and ended up visiting only part of what we wanted, but we made the most of trains and came back with memories i can only define as ‘incredible’. It was the most beautiful and interesting trip we ever took.

    • Ami

      Thanks Marta. Now that you have experienced this, you know what to look for the next time 😀

  10. Vyjay Rao

    Nice tricks n tips for people planning to travel in India. India with its vastness can be indeed mind boggling for the uninitiated and your post does help in demystifying some of this.

  11. 2traveldads

    Traveling and blending interests is brilliant, especially in such a large country as India. Also, taking this approach will ensure that nobody starts to take any historical sites or jungles for granted. Mixing it up is so important!

  12. reflectiveponderer

    Agree with you. India is HUGE and I always tell people to focus on their interests and then plan accordingly. This post will be very helpful to lot of people for sure:)

  13. Kevin Wagar

    The trouble with huge countries like India, China and Canada are how to choose which area to explore! I wish I could take a year and experience all that India has to offer!

  14. Scott

    Thanks for the practical tips. India is like the US — people just forget how great the expanse is. Some fantastic ideas on where to start.

  15. Rob Taylor

    I’ve reference this article a few times now as we plot our travels. Yes, India is huge and I’m trying to understand just how to visit. And I’ll keep pouring over articles until I feel confident to visit and enjoy!

  16. Omar Miranda

    India travelling is difficult and very stressful. India’s population is too much. You share valuable tips on India travel. Your tips are very useful and beneficial. Thanks for valuable tips share with me.

    • Ami

      Glad that you find these tips useful. Hope you visit India soon and discover it for yourself. It will definitely be an experience of a lifetime.

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