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What to do ..... Do it alone.... or with a tour operator ???

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What to do ..... Do it alone.... or with a tour operator ???

Hi All

I'm in a pickle and in need of some much needed advise. We are going to Goa in Jan for a month, during this time we want to take a week out and do the golden triangle.We have been looking on the web at the different companies, and prices and I am just stuck as to what to do. We dont have a huge ammount of money put aside for this as it is just an added extra to the holiday. We did originally think about doing the whole thing ourself, then I got a wobble on and thought maybe we would be better going with a company. Now I am not sure what to do. We have been to India on and off for around 13 years but have never done a train journey and this is the way we want to travel from Goa to Delhi. I have, with the help of reveiws on here, looked at hotels, we dont like big deluxe hotels that companies seem to use, but I have seen some wonderful small quirky hotels and these are the type of hotels we like, but the companies I have looked at havent mentioned any of these. Is that good or bad ?? So my dilema is do we go it alone or do it with a tour ? Where do I find prices for trains ? Do they do a mulit journey ticket ? Could I find guides easily when we get to the different places, and maybe a driver ? In the past we have hired a driver to take us to Hampi, but we were based in Goa and had the time to be able to ask around for a driver, this isnt something we will be able to do. So I guess what I'm asking is for some advise I think. I'm rambling now so I'll stop and post. Thanks in advance. Karen.

Venice, Italy
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1. Re: What to do ..... Do it alone.... or with a tour operator ???

Please contact at www.palaces-tours.com

Thanks Doll

Mumbai (Bombay...
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for Mumbai (Bombay), New Delhi, Kochi (Cochin), Chennai (Madras), India
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2. Re: What to do ..... Do it alone.... or with a tour operator ???

Train tickets can be booked at www.cleartrip.com or the official railways site www.irctc.co.in. The official railways site is unfriendly for first time users.

Please read this page which is an excellent introduction to train travel, and it will tell you exactly what you need:


I would suggest you book the train tickets online yourselves, ahead of time, so that you can be sure of availability. You can also book hotels by writing direct. Afterall, it is only 3 hotels (Delhi / Agra / Jaipur) and it's not like you are doing a long itinerary.

As for transport, your Delhi hotel will rent you a car; they are not wildly expensive, you can get around the Golden Triangle quite comfortably with that.

- Deepa

Lincoln, United...
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3. Re: What to do ..... Do it alone.... or with a tour operator ???

If you want to check out the Tour Operator option, if you go on the Rajasthan forum you will find a number of highly recommended Tour Operators based in Rajasthan. You get a quote from one or two of them and see if it suits your budget.

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4. Re: What to do ..... Do it alone.... or with a tour operator ???

Hi Tippie,

I recently visited India with friends and needed a lot of advice at the planning stage. I found Raju at Incredible Real India really helpful. We ended up touring from Rishikesh to Chandigarh and down through Rhajastan with an excellent and good humoured driver, in a very comfortable car. I selected smaller hotels for our accomodation but Raju booked everything for us - places to stay, trains, planes, and the driver. It was a wonderful trip and very reasonably priced. Check out Raju's website at www.rajuindia.com

All the best,


Agra, India
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5. Re: What to do ..... Do it alone.... or with a tour operator ???

Hi Tippie,

Looking at your preferences....what would be most suitable is that you book your trains tickets, (Link to do that has already been mentioned in a post above).

Book your hotels online, even the small hotels take online bookings these day.... So all you need to do is to hire a car for your trip, there are several car rental companies which can offer you such services.....if you need guided tours I am sure the company which provides you transport can offer you guides at different destinations also.

Happy Traveling.....


London, United...
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6. Re: What to do ..... Do it alone.... or with a tour operator ???

Do it yourself! I went to India recently and we booked most of our train tickets in advance on Cleartrip. It's user-friendly (you don't need to know train numbers/names etc) and you just email out your booking and that's your ticket.

You might be better off flying from Goa to Delhi and then start your train journeys around the triangle, otherwise you'll be on the train for a long time between Goa and the north.

7. Re: What to do ..... Do it alone.... or with a tour operator ???

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