India can be a daunting destination to many, but we are specialists in ensuring your first visit to India is absolutely magical. All our specialists have visited India countless times and have a great deal of experience in arranging vacations for the first time visitor to India.
Our top tips for a first time visit to India
Don’t try and cover too much: India is a vast country, and each area is almost like a little country. If you rush around too much, you will miss some of the more interesting facets to India, and often miss the magic. We advise to focus on one area, and as we know you will love India so much, you can then visit another region on another trip.
Start with Kerala: If you are a little nervous about traveling to India on vacation, then consider dipping your toes in Kerala. Kerala is located on the south-west tip of India and it doesn’t mean you need long drives to get around. It has a range of experiences such as the bustling markets of Cochin, the tea plantations of Munnar, the wildlife in Periyar National Park, the famous backwaters and houseboat cruises and the palm-fringed beaches of Marari and Kovalam. In short, it gives you a gentle introduction to what India is all about. Do look at our Classic Kerala itinerary which is perfect for a first visit to Kerala. If you want to add on the Maldives for a luxury beach resort, there are direct flights from Cochin so you can easily blend adventure and beach on one superb itinerary.
How best to explore Rajasthan: Everyone wants to see the Taj Mahal, and you should, as it is far better than you ever imagined. Rajasthan is awash with forts and palaces, bustling cities such as Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur. We do however feel you should blend your experience so that you mix the experience of seeing the cities, but also get into the countryside where they pace is more laid-back and you can see a different side to India. Our Rajasthan in Style itinerary is a popular first time trip, as too is our Rajasthan for Teenagers.
Ensure you stay in wonderful hotels: As it is your first time to India, ensure you have somewhere wonderful to stay at night. You can explore as much as you want by day, but we all know we like to retreat back to a great hotel for a cold glass of wine, fantastic food and a great bed. We have a range of hotels we feature and will help you select the style of hotel that is suited to you. From luxury palace hotels, to charming heritage hotels or colonial Grande Dames, we have seen them all and know that you will be supremely well looked after a day out exploring.
Getting off the beaten track: Even if it is your first time, India can provide the most remarkable experience. The more you explore and get off-the-beaten track, India just gets better and better. With amazing guides, hotels and drivers, we will ensure you return home smiling about your adventures.
Some common myths: India has always conjured up myths! We have all heard tales of ‘Delhi Belly’ but the hotel and restaurant standards have radically improved using ultra-modern kitchens and cooking techniques and the freshest of ingredients. There are some simple things you can do such as only drinking mineral water, using anti-bacterial hand wash and not being tempted by street food! As we use the best hotels, you really are in the best hands. The other myth that has developed over the past few years is that visas are difficult to work out. Most international guests (including UK and US citizens) can apply for an e-visa ensuring they will get their visa on arrival. The process is exceptionally simple and we will send you a comprehensive ‘how to guide’ to take you through the process. There is no need to send passports to a visa office, or have to visit the High Commission to get your visa. The other aspect of India which concerns guests is the poverty, and you will see elements of this in the major cities. We do have a number of charities you can contribute to, and even visit them on the ground to see what amazing work they do.