Have the experience of a lifetime. India will cut to the core of your soul and overwhelm your senses in a way like no other place on earth. A smorgasbord of incredible sights,sounds,smells and tastes, it’ll be a sensory overload. If you’re open you’ll meet some of the nicest people on earth and your heart will expand. India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world. You can just feel the history in the land. There is an incredible mosaic of languages and cultures that exist in peaceful unity in India. It may not be the easiest country to navigate , but it will certainly be one of the most life transforming experiences you ever have. Here are a few tips that will help you in making this a truly memorable adventure of your life.
Only eat freshly cooked food. Cooking kills all bacteria and parasites. Don’t eat salads, juices or anything raw. Uncooked food will inevitably be washed with contaminated water. Never eat street food. Avoid spicy food, especially chilies. Don’t overeat. It will weaken your digestion and immunity which makes you an easy target for bacteria. Probiotics boost the good bacteria in your stomach, improve digestion and increase natural immunity. They are a must before traveling to India and especially during your travels.
Only drink bottled water. Recommend brands are Bisleri, Kinley & Aquafina. Stay well hydrated. Drink at least 2-3 liters per day. Electrolytes are a must. Avoid ice in drinks. Don’t brush your teeth with tap water. Bathe in holy rivers at your own risk.
Most of our tours avoid the three months in which the rain-laden monsoon winds sweep across the sub-continent and make riding unpredictable and hazardous at times. On our North India tours in the foothills of the mighty Himalayas temperatures will be around 20 degrees in the day, plummeting to low single digits during the nights. The Rajasthan desert tours could see mid-20 day temperatures and cooler nights. The southern tours around Goa and in Kerala would see day temperatures hovering around 30 but with higher humidity levels. The nights could again be much cooler and comfortable.
You will need to carry cash. Be careful when exchanging money. Airports give poor currency exchange rates. Use an ATM instead. Use a Citibank ATM to withdraw more than 10,000rs at one time. Almost all other ATMs across India will not let you withdraw more than $150 (10,000rs). Always count your change carefully! No matter who you are dealing with, always watch out for “miscalculations”. Don’t give money to beggars. This can attract an army of beggars after you.
Allow plenty of time to get to the airport. Things can often change at the last minute such as sudden traffic delays. Print or download your e-tickets or you WON’T get into the airport. The military guards at the entrance to the airport will not allow you to enter unless you have valid ID and itinerary. Security screen your bags before going up to the check-in desk. Be sure to line up at the correct screening machine for your airline. Make sure your bags don’t weigh too much! Domestic Indian flights have weight limits of 15kgs for checked bags and 7kgs for carry-on bags. All bags are strictly weighed and excess baggage fees are around $5-$7 (350-500rs) per kilogram. Have your ticket ready for getting off the plane. If your flight continues on after your destination, you’ll need to show your boarding pass to get off the plane.
Know that “yes” can mean, “I don’t understand”. Sometimes a driver or shopkeeper may want to please you or simply won’t understand what you’re saying and so they say, “yes” . Be cautious, don’t be fearful. Indian people are the friendliest and most helpful people you will ever encounter. India has an amazing way of mirroring back at you whatever attitude you’re carrying. Learn to understand the famous “head wobble”. This subtle gesture conveys a lot of meaning depending on the context and degree to which the head is wobbled. Be open to understanding the many different accents. India has 17 main languages and a huge range of English accents. Memorize a few key phrases. Start with “Namaste” which means Hello. Be amused by funny communication rather than angered. These people are doing their best with a second or third language and so show them some compassion.
RIDING AND DRIVING CONDITIONS
India is a vastly diverse country and the terrain varies from the rugged roads and tracks to smooth winding tarmac. The riding and driving conditions vary greatly. A full briefing is given every day so you know what to expect.
You will be required to have a current valid Passport before you can enter India. You need to make sure that it has a minimum of 6 months till expiration when applying for your visa. Please carry photocopies of your passport with you. Refer to the Check Lists section on your tour page.
Visas for India are easy to get and are not expensive. Depending on which country you are travelling from some can be gained upon entry to India however please check your particular visa requirements well in advance of your travel as each country has different requirements. Please carry photocopies of your Travel Visa with you. Refer to the Check Lists section on your tour page.
You will need to have a current full drivers licence. If you are driving a car you will need a full car driving licence. If you are riding a motorcycle then you will need a full motorcycle licence. You will also require an International Driving Permit issued from your own country which you need to have whilst driving or riding in India. We will require you to carry the original Driving License and International Driving Permit at all times during the tour. Refer to the Check Lists section on your tour page.
It’s essential that you have adequate travel insurance when travelling to India. When participating in one of our motorcycle tours you must have specific cover to ride a motorcycle in India. If you are driving a vehicle please also check. Check and fill up the Travel Insurance Details correctly to ensure your safety and well-being. Print a copy of the form and bring it along with you. Refer to the Check Lists section on your tour page.
When riding a motorcycle on our adventure trips safety is paramount therefore you must wear a crash helmet, body armour or protective jacket, motorcycle riding boots and gloves at all times. Refer to the Check Lists section on your tour page.
MEDICATION AND MEDICAL CONDITIONS
If you are taking any kind of medication it’s advisable that you bring a supply with you. You must inform us prior to your trip of any medical conditions or allergies that you have. Check and fill our Medical Form correctly to ensure your safety and well-being on the tour.
You may or may not require vaccinations for India depending on the vaccinations you already have. It’s essential that you consult with your doctor or GP before travelling to India. It’s likely they will ask which area in India you are travelling and at which time of year you are travelling.
You can bring your mobile phone with you and it should work within the network coverage areas. Please ensure you have international roaming. You can obtain a pay as you go mobile in India however you need sufficient ID (Passport) and need to provide 2 passport size photographs.
India works on a 240 volt system and your standard 2 pin travel adaptor should work in most cases.
TIPPING AND BELL BOYS
When in restaurants the normal tip is around 10% of the bill but only if the Service Charge is not included in the bill. If someone is carrying your bags to and from your room 20INR.