Rajasthan-Experience

Delhi to Delhi 15 days.

 
  • Route: Delhi to Delhi
  • Length: 15 days
  • Transport: Cycle rickshaw, Private minibus, Metro, Train, Plane, Camel
  • Accommodation: Camping (with facilities) (1 nt), Heritage Property (8 nts), Hotel (5 nts)

Colourful and chaotic, mysterious and exotic - welcome to Rajasthan. Explore the fairytale cities of the desert, take in beautiful palaces filled with treasures of the maharajah and wander through forts with fascinating histories. Be immersed in this intriguing state - stay in traditional towns, meet the locals in markets and bazaars and taste delicious regional dishes. Add a touch of comfort and some very special hotels for a true Rajasthani travel adventure.

trip-grade

 

Discovery

Discovery tours are all about exploring & experiencing the world with like-minded people, dipping your toe beneath the usual tourist surface & discovering the real essence of a region. They are genuinely innovative, exciting & imaginative tours that offer that little bit more to travellers.

Style Facts

  • Enjoy a destination in depth and comfort
  • Tourist class hotels and family homestays
  • Both private and local transport
  • A number of included activities and meals throughout
  • Fully trained and experienced leader.

Plus

Our Plus tours allow you to immerse yourself within a destination or culture whilst travelling and sleeping in comfort. They are packed with highlights to ensure you get the most out of your valuable time away yet are also slower paced allowing you time to savour the culture, traditions and sights of your destination – the perfect balance.

On some trips we’ll push you out of your comfort zone to ensure an authentic experience, on other trips you will stay in amazing places where there is no ‘roughing it’ involved. There is plenty of choice so you can select a trip with as much activity or as little as you wish. Our small groups ensure a more intimate experience and that the impact on the local environment and community is kept to a minimum. Extra Comfort tours offer rich and rewarding adventures and are stress-free, safe and, most importantly, fun!

Style Facts

  • Innovative itineraries offering authentic travel encounters
  • A mix of active adventure, culture, wildlife, sightseeing and relaxation
  • Well appointed, quality hotels in central locations
  • Arrival transfers, transport (mostly private) and accommodation included
  • Many meals and adventure activities also included
  • Fully trained and experienced local leaders

 This tour is operated by our partners Peregrine Adventures

countries-visited

India

India Street Delhi Traffic

India has shared so much of its wonderful culture with the rest of the world, so a visit to this diverse country is a chance to experience where it all began. India has so much to offer: from the beautiful landscapes of the Himalayas, to the amazing temples and coastlines, rich culture, not to mention the food!

Although India might be famous for it's flavours, often the wildlife is forgotten about. India is home to the Asian elephant, Bengal tiger and the Indian rhinoceros. It is also a hot spot for smaller beasts such as the praying mantis.

India's music scene is beautifully crafted, and the range is quite incredible. The range of folk music spreads across the country and it is also the genre which Bangra music falls into. This is possibly the most famous music to come out of the country. Although regions have their own style of music, there are types that bring the country together as a whole. The national anthem of "Jana Gana Mana" translates as "Thou art the ruler of the minds of all people".

New Delhi, the capital is a lively place and hosts many festivals throughout the year, including the idiosyncratic International Mango Festival - where over 500 different types of mangoes are found. Mangoes are only the start of the wonderful taste India has to offer. The blend of herbs, spices and other vegetables can create the aromas known all over the world. Across the country there are different assortments that are associated with each region. In the north, milk is the main ingredient which creates the wonderful bread, and the samosa is popular here. Deep in the south is where rice dictates the main proportion of a meal. Into the east you will find the places where popular Indian desserts are from. Finally, in the west of the country, rice and coconuts are just two of the ingredients that make their dishes so distinct.

Foremost a visit to India is probably best remember by the welcome you are likely to receive this combined with the seemingly endless variety is what brings travellers returning time and time again.

daily-itin

Day 1 Delhi

 

Namaste! Welcome to India.

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 1pm on Day 1.

Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

An airport arrival transfer is included. This transfer is only valid if arriving on day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Intrepid. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel (note - we may not be able confirm request made within 15 days of travel). Once you have provided your details a transfer representative will be booked to meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.

India's capital is an exciting, busy, and often chaotic city but it's also one of the most interesting in the world with historical sites from different eras, museums and galleries, shops and endless bazaars!

There are plenty of things to see and do in free time. Visit the World Heritage-listed Mughal masterpiece of Humayun's Tomb. This was the first garden tomb in India, built way back in 1570. Wonder at the tall brick minaret of Qutub Minar, which was started back in the 1100s. Explore the mighty Red Fort of Delhi. Part palace and part fort, it plays an integral part in the history of the city with former residents ranging from royal families to British soldiers.

Join your group leader on an excursion into the sights and sounds of Old Delhi! Set off on the city's modern metro system, then get a taste of India's famed public transport with a cycle rickshaw ride through chaotic streets, such as the famous Chandni Chowk. Make a visit to the Jama Masjid, Delhi's oldest mosque and one of its most impressive buildings, then visit the Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple) to learn about the Sikh religion.

Included Activities

  • Delhi - Old Delhi walking tour
  • Delhi - Jama Masjid
  • Delhi - Sheeshganj Gurudwara (Sikh Temple)
  • Complimentary airport arrival transfer

Optional Activities

  • Delhi - Humayun's Tomb - INR250
  • Delhi - Qutb Minar - INR250
  • Delhi - Red Fort - INR250

Accommodation

Jivitesh Hotel or similar (1 nt)

Day 2 Agra

 

Take one of India's faster air-conditioned trains to the Mughal city of Agra (approx. 3 hours)

Agra is home to one of the world's most recognisable monuments, the Taj Mahal.

Hop on to your motorised rickshaw for a tour of the city - a truly fun and Intrepid way to see the monuments of Agra.

Visit the Taj Mahal - a masterpiece of shimmering white marble set amid beautiful formal gardens. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his wife Mumtaz, this 'teardrop on the face of eternity' (as it was described by writer Rabindranath Tagore) lives up to all expectations.

Visit Agra Fort on the banks of the Yamuna River. Built in 1565 by Emperor Akbar, the fort was originally designed to be a military structure. It was converted to a palace in Emperor Shah Jahan's time and eventually became his prison after he lost power in 1658.

Included Activities

  • Agra - Taj Mahal
  • Agra - Agra Fort

Accommodation

Raj Mahal Palace or similar (1 nt)

Days 3-4 Jaipur

 

Leave early on private vehicles to Jaipur. Our first stop is the deserted Mughal kingdom of Fatehpur Sikri (approx 1.5 hrs).

The magnificent deserted Mughal city of Fatehpur Sikri was built by Emperor Akbar in 1569, but was abandoned after 15 years due to the scarcity of water. A highlight of the settlement is Jama Masjid, a striking mosque featuring elements of both Persian and Hindu design. The main entrance of the mosque is the impressive 54-metre high Buland Darwaza, the Gate of Victory, constructed to commemorate Akbar's military victory in Gujarat.

Stop for a traditional thali lunch en route to Jaipur.

A friendly, busy town crammed with palaces and bazaars full of jewellery, textiles and folk-based arts, Jaipur is a firm favourite with travellers.

Take a walk to the city's crowded and colourful bazaars, which sell a wide variety of artisan goods. Semi-precious stones are the local speciality - be sure to wander by the stalls at least once.

Travel out to the old capital of Amber and explore the hilltop fort complex known as the Amber Fort.

Go to Jaipur's Royal City Palace - one of India's finest - and spend time exploring the various rooms and apartments.

Discover the extravagance of a Bollywood blockbuster, with all the Hollywood-style elements of action, romance, drama and music (sometimes all rolled into one), at the spectacular Raj Mandir Cinema.

Visit one of the five astronomical observatories built by Maharaja Jai Singh, the founder of Jaipur.

Included Activities

  • Fatehpur Sikri
  • Jaipur - Walking tour
  • Jaipur - Amber Fort
  • Jaipur - Bollywood movie at the Raj Mandir Cinema

Optional Activities

  • Jaipur - City Palace, Jaipur - INR300.00

Accommodation

Hotel Devraj Niwas or similar (2 nts)

Days 5-6 Mandawa

Drive from Jaipur to Shekhawati (approx 5 hrs).

A remote town in the centre of the Shekhawati region, Mandawa was a trading outpost for the ancient caravan routes that stopped here from China and the Middle East. Thakur Nawal Singh, the Rajput ruler of Nawalgarh and Mandawa, built a fort to protect this outpost in 1755.

Explore Mandawa's ornate havelis (private residences), some crumbling in decay and some wonderfully restored and preserved, making the town a fascinating outdoor museum.

Visit one of our Responsible Travel Projects - Asha ka Jharna is a special school for mentally challenged and hearing impaired children. This non-profit organisation provides special education, guidance and counselling to about 150 special children.

Included Activities

  • Nawalgarh - Asha Ka Jharna visit
  • Mandawa - Haveli tour

Accommodation

Desert Resort Hotel or similar (2 nts)

Day 7 Bikaner

Travel by private bus deeper into the Thar Desert to the fortified town of Bikaner (approx 5 hrs).

Once an important staging post on the great caravan routes, Bikaner still contains many bazaars within its impressive walls, as well as a superb fort and palace.

Travel out to the 600-year-old Karni Mata temple, full of rats considered to be the reincarnation of followers of the Hindu goddess Durga. Locals believe that it's particularly auspicious if one of these holy rats runs over your bare feet - so if you're squeamish, you might have to stay outside!

Visit Junagarh Fort, which was built by Raja Rai Singhji, the sixth ruler of Bikaner (1571 to 1612 AD).

In the evening, travel to a nearby farm and enjoy an evening of traditional Rajasthani food, music and dance.

Included Activities

  • Bikaner - Junagarh Fort
  • Bikaner - Karni Mata Rat Temple
  • Bikaner - Farmhouse visit incl. dinner & dancing

Accommodation

Karni Bhawan Hotel or similar (1 nt)

Days 8-10 Jaisalmer/Camel Safari

Travel along a remote desert road to the yellow sandstone citadel of Jaisalmer (approx 7 hrs).

Looking like a scene from The Thousand and One Nights as it rises from flat desert surrounds, Jaisalmer is a centre for nomadic tribespeople who come to trade in the narrow twisting alleys full of markets and ornately carved houses.

Discover Jaisalmer's narrow twisted alleys, which are full of markets and ornately carved houses.

Visit the Jaisalmer Folklore Museum. Located on the banks of Garsisar Lake in the Mehar Bagh Garden, its wide variety of exhibits offer a great experience for visitors.

Experience one of the main highlights of our adventure on a camel safari (approx. 2.5 hours) out to the pristine sand dunes of the Thar Desert and spend a night camping out under the stars in tents.

Included Activities

  • Jaisalmer - Camel safari & overnight desert camp

Optional Activities

  • Jaisalmer - Folklore Museum - INR10

Accommodation

Mandir Palace Hotel or similar (2 nts), Camping (1 nt)

Day 11 Jodhpur

 

Take a ride across the desert to Rajasthan's second-largest city, the busy and chaotic Jodhpur (approx 6 hrs).

Jodhpur is known for its antique shops and the best lassi in India. And yes, it is where those famous trousers come from.

Explore the colossal Mehrangarh Fort and take in the great views from its ramparts, which dominate the city's skyline.

Visit India's last great palace, the Umaid Bhawan Palace, which was constructed between 1929 and 1944. Named after the late Maharaja Umaid Singhji, the palace is still the residence of his successors.

Included Activities

  • Jodhpur - Meherangarh Fort

Optional Activities

  • Umaid Bhawan Palace - Museum - INR50
  • Palm reading - INR350

Accommodation

Mandore Guest House or similar (1 nt)

Days 12-13 Udaipur

Leaving Jodhpur, travel through the beautiful hamlet of Ranakpur (approx 3 hrs), home to a host of intricately carved white marble Jain temples. Then continue on to Udaipur (approx 5 hrs).

Explore the incredible complex of Jain temples - the main reason why Ranakpur is one of the most important pilgrim destinations for Jains in India.

Udaipur undoubtedly lives up to its reputation as India's most romantic city. Rolling hills, white marble palaces and lakes come together appealingly and it's a centre for artists, dancers and musicians. The shopping is also superb, with miniature paintings being the speciality.

On arrival in Udaipur, take a walk around town to help gather your bearings. Explore Udaipur's twisting alleys filled with silver, shoes, bags, leather goods and miniature paintings.

Visit City Palace, one of the largest royal palaces in India, and check out the unbelievable treasures within - from vivid murals to antiques and royal utensils.

Enjoy a half hour boat ride on the famous Lake Pichola and see marvels like Lake Palace and Jag Mandir Island (seasonal depending on the water level in the lake).

Be part of a musical concert combining seven traditional Rajasthani folk dances.

Join the famous Spice Box cooking school and spend a half day learning the secrets of Indian cuisine. With lessons on preparation and cooking, you'll be able to whip up a full Indian meal in no time.

Included Activities

  • Udaipur - Cultural dance show
  • Udaipur - City Palace guided tour
  • Udaipur - Lake boat ride

Optional Activities

  • Ayurvedic massage - INR1200

Accommodation

Heritage Property (2 nts)

Days 14-15 Delhi

Take a flight to Delhi (approx 1.5 hrs).

Travel by private vehicle to our comfortable hotel to spend the final night.

There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.

Accommodation

Jivitesh Hotel or similar (1 nt)

Also available to purchase

For many of our trips we have other services or experiences that are also available to purchase to extend your trip or to make your holiday a little easier. Below is a list of other travel products you can purchase in conjunction with this trip.

  • Single Supplement

what-else

Itinerary Disclaimer

Occasionally our itineraries are updated during the year to incorporate improvements stemming from past travellers' comments and our own research. The information given in this itinerary may be slightly different to that in the brochure. It's very important that you print and review a final copy of your Trip Notes a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Please note that while we operate successful trips in this region throughout the year, some changes may occur in our itineraries due to inclement weather and common seasonal changes to timetables and transport routes. This can happen with little notice so please be prepared for modifications to the route.


included

Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.

optional-extras

A selection of optional activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only. Prices are for entrance only and don't include transport costs to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination. Optional activities aren't necessarily endorsed or recommended by Imaginative Traveller nor included in price of this trip. If you do any optional activities, you do so at your own risk and it must be clearly understood that your participation is your own decision and doesn't form part of your contract with Imaginative Traveller. You may be required to sign/complete a waiver form or a receipt for some optional activities.

money

Money Exchange

The official currency of India is the Indian Rupee (INR).

The most convenient and cheapest way to obtain local currency in is via an Automated Teller Machine (ATM), which are readily available in most towns.

Foreign currency notes that are old, torn or faded can be very difficult to exchange, so please bring clean bills, and small denominations are most useful.

While traveller's cheques have security advantages exchanging them can be a lengthy process, commissions can be high and they can be difficult to change in rural areas, on weekends and public holidays. The use of credit cards is restricted, mainly to major hotels/establishments.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Tipping

Over the years we have found that many of our travellers find the need for tipping to be both tiresome and embarrassing, especially if they don't have the correct small change. To overcome this, we have established a tipping kitty system. At your group meeting, your tour leader may discuss the idea of running a group tipping kitty, whereby everybody contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips while keeping a running record of all monies spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members.

If you are happy with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many Intrepid destinations. We recommend that any tips are given to the intended recipient by a member of your group, rather than collected and passed on by the group leader.The following amounts are based on local considerations and feedback from our past travellers:Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up to the nearest INR20. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your leader. We suggest INR100 per day for local guides.Porters: Throughout your trip you may at times have a porter in addition to your leader. We suggest INR50 per day for porters.Drivers: You may have a range of drivers on your trip. Some may be with you for a short journey while others may be with you for several days. We would suggest a higher tip for those more involved with the group however a base of INR100-INR150 per day is generally appropriate.Local transport: For a half day city tour we suggest INR50 per day. For a full day city tour we suggest INR100 per day.Your Group Leader: You may also consider tipping your leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline $US 2-4 per person, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

Departure Tax

All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.

other-important-information

 

FESTIVALS IN INDIA

Please note travelling during major festivals such as Holi and Diwali can, at times, cause disruption the the published itinerary. Please see the 'Safety' section for more details.

CAMPING IN THE THAR DESERT

fixed tents are used on the camel safari. Tents have an attached bathroom, generally with cold water only. Tents contain beds and all bedding. No need for a sleeping bag on this trip.

Group-Size

Maximum of 16 travellers per group.

your-fellow-trav

 

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.

Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

Single-Travellers

Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own room (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information.

Accommodation

Mandir Palace Hotel or similar (2 nts), Desert Resort Hotel or similar (2 nts), Jivitesh Hotel or similar (2 nts), Heritage Property (2 nts), Hotel Devraj Niwas or similar (2 nts), Camping (1 nt), Karni Bhawan Hotel or similar (1 nt), Raj Mahal Palace or similar (1 nt), Mandore Guest House or similar (1 nt)

The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.Throughout the trip we request that our hotels prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination.If you've purchased pre-trip or post-trip accommodation (if available), you may be required to change rooms from your trip accommodation for these extra nights.

The hotel accommodation on this trip has air-conditioned rooms.

meals

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. On our camping trips we often cook the region's specialities so you don't miss out. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

Meals

14 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners

Budget for meals not included:

USD 300.00

transport

Cycle rickshaw, Private minibus, Metro, Train, Plane, Camel

group-leader

All Imaginative Traveller group trips are accompanied by one of our partener companies group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Imaginative Traveller endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders.

Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Imaginative Traveller we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

joining-point

Hotel Jivitesh

11 Pusa Road - Opposite Metro Pillar no. 87

Karol Bagh

New Delhi

110005

INDIA

Phone: 00911 4921 4444

 
 
Arriv-complications

We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.Please also make sure have a copy of the local operators Emergency phone numbers from our Emergency Contact section of these trip notes.

finishing-point

 

Hotel Jivitesh

11 Pusa Road - Opposite Metro Pillar no. 87

Karol Bagh

New Delhi

110005

INDIA

Phone: 00911 4921 4444

 
emergency

Emergency Contact

In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency Intrepid's India office can be reached on +91 1145 006 400 during business hours (9.30am to 6pm) or after hours on +91 9999 916 229.

We also have a dedicated 24 hour telephone number which should only be used once you have left the UK and in the event of a real emergency. Should you need to call the number, we will do what we can to help but please bear in mind that real progress or action may not be possible until normal office hours.

If your flight is delayed or cancelled, please let us know and then make your way to the joining hotel as instructed in these trip notes. If you cannot get through leave a message and a contact number as these will be regularly checked. Emergency Number: +44 (0) 7985106564

Emergency Funds

Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.

visa-information

 

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.

 

We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.

INDIA:

  • Australia: Yes - in advance
  • Belgium: Yes - in advance
  • Canada: Yes - in advance
  • Germany: Yes - in advance
  • Ireland: Yes - in advance
  • Netherlands: Yes - in advance
  • New Zealand: Yes - in advance OR on arrival*
  • South Africa: Yes - in advance
  • Switzerland: Yes - in advance
  • United Kingdom: Yes - in advance
  • USA: Yes - in advance
  • USA: Yes - in advance
 

There is NO visa on arrival in India for most nationalities. Indian visas can NOT be obtained in Nepal. Tourist visas are available in Single and Multiple Entry. Be sure to check the date you require a visa from and the length of time you will need to cover, especially if you change countries during your trip.

*Visa on arrival is available for select nationalities, including New Zealanders provided that specific criteria can be met. See link below for more information. 
http://india.gov.in/spotlight/encouraging-inbound-tourism-tourist-visa-arrival-tvoa-scheme

Issues

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

what-to-take

 

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.

Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT:

It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary to store your luggage separately (and unattended) from the group. The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers, for when it comes to travelling on local buses and trains it's often only the smaller bags that will fit into the storage areas. If your bag does not fit in these areas then often the only place to put it is on your bed or seat. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light.

Where Imaginative Traveller covers the cost of luggage storage for included day trips, we allow for one bag/backpack only, so it's advisable that you travel lightly and keep luggage to a limit of one item (plus your day pack). Extra luggage storage will be at your own expense.

WARM CLOTHING:

Temperatures can be low in the winter months, especially at altitude, so bring a set of warmer clothes including thermal underclothes and a fleece jacket.

WATER BOTTLE:

Consider bringing your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion ends up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please consider water purification techniques such as iodine or micropur and use the water dispensers which are provided at some of our accommodation. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day

IMAGES FROM HOME:

During our trip there will be many opportunities for you to meet and talk with locals. One way to start any conversation is with pictures. We recommend that you bring some photos / postcards of your family, home, city or country where you live, animals peculiar to your country etc.

PASSPORT COPY:

Please bring a photocopy of your passport main page and airline ticket if you will require airline reconfirmation at the end of your trip.

fitness

Health

All Imaginative Traveller travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Imaginative Traveller reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

safety

 

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip.

We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage.

Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your group leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Imaginative Traveller itinerary, and Imaginative Traveller makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

FESTIVALS - HOLI & DIWALI:

Travelling in India and Nepal during the Holi festival, a lunar festival next held in March 17, 2014 and generally held in March each year, can at times be dangerous - a lot of locals participate in consumption of intoxicating substances. The day has been associated with physical violence and danger. Your leader/guide will be advising you and your group on what places to avoid on this day and it may even be necessary for us to alter your itinerary for the day to avoid putting you or our group leader/guide in high risk situation.

Travelling during the Hindu festival Diwali (a lunar festival next held on 03 November, 2013 and generally held from mid October to mid November every year) can also be dangerous. During this time there are many displays of fireworks in the streets. It can be very noisy for several days and there is also a lot of pollution caused by the fireworks. As there are no restrictions on buying fireworks in India there are often injuries caused by people exploding them inappropriately. During this festival your leader/guide may be required to alter your itinerary to avoid any dangerous areas to avoid putting the group at risk.

PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY:

While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD:

Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware!

SEAT BELTS:

Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in the western world or from your home country and not all the transport which we use provides seat belts.

HERITAGE HOTELS:

On this trip you will be staying in some heritage hotels and traditional guesthouses - these are one of the charms of this trip, but occasionally their staircases, balconies and passages etc don't always comply with western safety standards. Please don't expect elevators in these properties as they are preserved in their original state.

FIRE PRECAUTIONS:

Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

SWIMMING POOLS:

You may stay at hotels with unfenced pools and no life guard on duty.

BALCONIES:

Some hotel balconies don't meet UK standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm.

CAMEL SAFARI:

Please note that helmets and professional riding equipment can't be provided on the camel safari.

travel-insurance

 

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

When travelling on a group trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

Please go to our website for more information:

http://www.imaginative-traveller.com/travel-insurance

 
responsible-travel

 

At Imaginative Traveller we love helping our clients experience the beauty and cultures of the destinations we visit. However, hand in hand with this we have always been aware that we have a responsibility to minimise any negative impacts that tourism can bring.

Responsible Travel is twofold. It's about taking people to the places they want to go in a safe and responsible manner but also about respecting and maintaining the natural and often delicate balance of the destination. Economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, but should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment.

Our Aims

  • It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit.
  • We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.
  • Whilst it is our aim to show destinations and cultures in a positive light, we do not believe in papering over the cracks or shielding visitors from the realities of life. This does not mean, however, that we condone or endorse certain situations or regimes that may be in place.

Our guidelines are meant not as rigid instructions but rather as suggestions to make our holidays more enjoyable – for everybody. As cultural and environmental sensitivities vary from country to country more specific guidelines can be found in our individual country and trip dossiers.

Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Imaginative Traveller travellers. Imaginative Traveller's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Carbon

Carbon Offset C02-e 689.00 kgs per pax.

 

give-us-your-feedback

Your feedback is important to us and to our tour guides and helps shape the quality of our trips. It tells us what we're doing right, what you believe could be done better and what improvements you feel could help future travellers choose and enjoy Imaginative Traveller. Just go to http://on.fb.me/16wYISa for our easy to fill out form. We’d love to hear what you have to say!

Updated 16/04/14

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