Travel tips and suggestions

India is a vast sub – continent of varying customs, traditions, races and peoples. It is the difference between cultures, history, architectures, natural beauty and wild life that are main attractions for travelers. It may cause confusion and frustrations. Their best standards may not match yours. Prepare yourself to accept them as their own terms and you will be rewarded with rich and unforgettable experience. India is one of the most industrialized nations in the world. The large movement of population from rural areas to cities for employment has created shortage of accommodation that has led to growth of slums and shantytowns. This causes a cultural shock. Nepal may not have these problems. 

Do some background reading. Log on to our website and click on Cities & Attractions. FODOR’S INDIA is one of the guidebook with a lot of insight information. Your local bookstore and library may have other books and guides. 
Passports and Visa
A valid passport and entry visas are required. Make sure that your passport and visas are valid for at least three months after the end of your trip. Visa for India must be obtained prior to departure. If you travel to Nepal and return to India, you will need multiple entry visa for India. Usually, Nepal visa is obtained upon arrival in Kathmandu. For Tibet, Bhutan, Myanmar, Sikkim, the required visa travel permits will be obtained by overseas operators.If you want us to obtain your visas, the handling fee is 35.00 per passport per visa plus the visa fee and federal express charges. Forms must be completely filled. Call respective consulates for details and application forms.

Health Regulations & Tips
We are not aware of any vaccination certificate requirements. Please consult Public Health Services and / or your physician for their current recommendations. Review your health insurance policies / coverage if you are covered for overseas treatment, hospitalization and medical evacuation. Get a physical. It is better at home than on road. Get any needed immunizations. Have your prescriptions filled. Take extra doses separately. Carry prescription in original. Have your doctor use generic names of your medicine as trade names vary from country to country. Get a letter from your doctor outlining your current treatment and illness, if any.

Credit Cards
Major credit cards are accepted by hotels, airlines, restaurants, handicraft emporia, boutiques, jewelry stores, department stores.

Packing – General
Pack light. Lay out all the clothes and all the money you want to take. Then pack half the clothes and take twice the money!

Remember to take along items of daily personal use for e.g. camera, sun and reading glasses, binoculars, comfortable walking shoes, thick socks, hat, rain coat or umbrella (during rainy season) and prescription medicines.

Free baggage allowance is 44 pounds on domestic and two pieces on international flights. Please contact airlines for current policies.

Packing – Wildlife, River Rafting, Adventure and Trekking
Do not take bright colors clothing. Clothing should be Khaki or soft similar colors. Dress in layers so that you could remove or add when required depending upon weather, hiking shoes and sandals, bathing suites, back- pack, Rucksack bottled / mineral water, snacks, towels, tissue papers, paper napkins, toiletries, water – proof bags, caps, mosquito repellents, body lotion, tooth brush and tooth paste, pads and pen to record your memories etc.

Dress casual. Take wash and wear. A formal dress or jacket for evenings is recommended. All hotels have laundry service. Refer to weather chart and take woolen clothing if required. You can buy some exotic clothing as you go along.

Avoid drinking tap water. Mineral water is recommended. Available at hotels for $ 0.75 to $ 2.00.

India and Nepal are a shopper’s paradise. Shopping could be a pleasant experience. You may get best selection and bargains in hand crafted jewelry, precious and semi precious stones, marble, carpets, rugs, durries, silks dresses, brocades, papier mache, handicrafts and leather goods. Shopping is suggested from reputable emporia. Most of them will ship your merchandise in time but it is advisable to bring your purchases with you or ship yourself. Do not contact us with problems of shopping and shipping. Consult your tour guides, Delhi, Jaipur, Agra, Varanasi are good places for wider selections and prices in carpets, jewelry, marble, silk and leather goods etc.

Tipping Suggestions
Bellboy $ 1.00 per bag. Waiter / Waitress 15% of the bill in restaurants and room service. Chambermaid $ 1.00 per person per day. Driver Bus $ 3.00 per person per day. Driver Private Car $ 10.00 per person per day. Guide Bus Tour $ 5.00 per person per day. Guide private car Tour $ 15.00 per person per day. Tour Escort/ Manager - at your discretion.

Immigration and Custom
It is easy. You will have to fill in disembarkation forms upon arrival. Use the “Green Channels” for passengers with no dutiable articles.

What you can bring
Item for personal use like clothing, jewelry, musical and sound recording instruments, 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars, wine or liquor up to .95 liters. Bring your preferred wine and liquor, as they are expensive in hotels.

Prohibited Articles
Drugs, Live Plants, Gold coins, Gold and Silver bullion.

Currency Regulations
No restriction provided a Currency Declaration form is filled upon arrival. This enables you not only to exchange but also to take the un- spent currency out on departure. Cash up to us $ 1000.00 need not be declared. Exchanging of foreign money other than through banks or authorized moneychangers is illegal. Most hotels can exchange money. Please obtain exchange receipts and retain them till departure. Call respective embassies for current regulations and information.

Indian and Nepalese Currency
The units are Rupee and Paisa. One rupee equals to 100 Paisa. Paper money is in denomination of Rupee 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50,100, 500 and 1000. Coins are in 1, 2, 5 and 10 Rupees. Nepal also has similar Nepalese Rupees and coins in similar denominations. Call banks for current rates of exchange.

Take along extra pictures. You will need it for trekking and national park entry permits.

Telephone and Fax
Check the hotel surcharges and rates. There are “Phone Shops” from where you can make international or in country calls or send fax. These shops have much cheaper prices! Talk to the guide who will help you find a shop for you.

India and Nepal are lands of color, sunshine and mountains. Bring your still / video cameras and lot of film – rolls. Photography inside Taj Mahal has recently banned. Photography at airports is prohibited.

The electric current is 220/250 volts 50 cycles. You may need converter for your personal electric instruments such as hair dryer, traveling iron and electric shavers. Most hotels do provided hair dryer and irons in-room or on request by housekeeping department.

Indian and Nepalese cuisine
It is suggested that you try only one item with each meal for the first few days. Your system will get used to after a while. Stick to only cooked meals or fresh fruits whose skin you can peel off. Do not eat anything from roadside vendors.

Meal Cost
Approximate costs are full – breakfast $ 15.00 to $ 20.00. Buffet Lunch $ 25.00 to $ 30.00. Dinner $ 35.00 and upwards.

Medicine and Medical Help
Bring your own medicines if you are taking any. Brand names may differ as all medicines are manufactured locally. If you ever need a doctor, please ask the hotel to recommend one. Most hotels have some physicians on call at all times.

They are there due charitable nature and religious considerations of the society. There are shelters for them and instructions to help and teach trades, but professional beggars find begging more lucrative. If you wish to help, do so through a recognized charitable organization and not by giving alms, please.

Item can bring back

Souvenirs, silk, carpets, wool, cotton, artifacts, peacock feathers, gold and silver jewelry, semi precious and precious stones in limited quantities, wood carvings, paintings, marble inlays and other items manufactured in India and Nepal.

Banned items
Animal and snake skins and articles made thereof, antique art objects.

Departure Taxes
At present it is about Indian Rupee 750.00 from India and Nepalese Rupees 300.00 from Nepal.

US Embassy, New Delhi (India)
Shantipath, Chanakyapuri
New Delhi - 110021 Tel: +91-11-2419-8000
Fax: +91-11-2419-0017

Canadian High Commission

7/8 Shantipath
PO Box 5209
Chanakyapuri New Delhi 110021
Tel: +91-11-687600
Fax: +91-11-6876579

For general information, maps and reading materials, contact

India Tourism (Government of India Tourist Office)
New York: 1-800-953-9399 or 212-586-4901,
Los Angeles: 213-380-8855,
Toronto: 416-962-3787.

For India Visa requirements, please contact

Indian consulate.
New York: 212-878-7800
Washington, D.C.: 202-939-9839/9850
Chicago: 312-595-0415
San Francisco: 415-668-0683.
For links, click here Indian Embassy and Consulates

For Nepalese visa requirements, maps and reading materials, please contact
Nepalese Consulate
New York: 212-370-4188 or Washington, D.C.: 202-667-4550
For links, click here Nepalese Embassy and Consulates

For updated rules and regulations, contact Consulates and Embassies of respective countries. These are only suggested tips. Exotic Journeys does not assume responsibilities for accuracy nor is responsible for errors and inaccuracies.

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