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First trip to India>Private tour or Plan myself

los angeles
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First trip to India>Private tour or Plan myself

Hello,

I'm visiting India for the first time and can't decide if I should book a private tour or plan the trip myself. I'm an avid travel and typically don't use travel agencies or book tours, but India is so vast and chaotic I'm wondering if it's best to go the private tour route. My itinerary is this>Delhi>Varanasi>Khajuraho>Agra>Jaipur>Bundi>Jodhpur>Jaipur>Jaisalmer>Udaipur>Pushkar

I will be there Oct. 15 - Nov. 4, including Diwali and Pushkar Camel Fair. Because I'm going to lots of places is it best to have a company handle all my transport from location to location? Thanks in advance for any advice. Namaste!

New Delhi, India
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1. Re: First trip to India>Private tour or Plan myself

Namaste!

You can look for hotels yourself. There are few good hotel listed on tripadvisor in the price range of USD 30-50/night. The big thing is transport. You need to book trains & car. For that you need a agency.

Book train from Delhi-Varanasi-Khajuraho-Agra.

A car from Agra onwards. A sedan car will work.

:)

Jaipur, India
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2. Re: First trip to India>Private tour or Plan myself

Hi,

Take a train from Delhi to Varanasi,Khajuraho, Agra. After that hire a car for the remaining part of the trip as it will be handy.

Please note,the above route mentioned by you is not in correct order, the right way would be

Agra - Jaipur - Bundi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jaisalmer - Pushkar - Jaipur or Delhi wherever you have got your next connection.

Thanks

New Delhi
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3. Re: First trip to India>Private tour or Plan myself

Dear visitors

Your welcome for first visit to our colorful country. I don't think you can't handle your tour itinerary yourself. The route you listed is very easy to cover yourself. You just need to book accommodation in each city as per your itinerary and trains or flight to book in advance do to tourist season and pushkar fair time little bit more crowd

You can run your itinerary smoothly as Delhi to varanasi by flight / Train and to khajuraho by flight / Train after khajuraho you can take a reliable independent chauffeur for your entire itinerary.

Dewali on 3rd week end of October and after 11 days is puskkar fair main crowd is start so as per festival and fair you can PM to few DE and get a good idea for itinerary and quote.

Please don't worry about anything if you want to book hotel and driver yourself you will do it.

Hope it will be help you.

cheers

Vermont
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4. Re: First trip to India>Private tour or Plan myself

Be sure to decide on dates and book your lodging for Pushkar early - they do fill up.

Trains too need to be booked in advance - for the most part, you can't just walk into the station and get a ticket.

We have traveled to India ten times, 6 weeks at a time, and have always set up our own itinerary, list of hotels, transport required, and gone through a wonderful agency in Delhi which makes the bookings for us. We use car and driver primarily and only travel by plane or train for long haul routes where cars make no sense. This for us works fabulously for us and we find it to be a wonderful way to travel in India. Others prefer the DIY go it alone all the way route and they wouldn't travel any other way. It really depends on what you are comfortable with.

los angeles
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5. Re: First trip to India>Private tour or Plan myself

Thanks everyone for the advice. I'm happy to book my own hotels, that's the easy part :)

My main concern is booking a driver and guides. Would love recommendations if you have any good folks.

hfot2, can you share your Delhi travel agent for booking transport?

Agra, India
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6. Re: First trip to India>Private tour or Plan myself

There are some recommendation of drivers and guides on TA. You can book your self easily. If you want good service and want to hire a taxi from travel agent then you don't pay him driver's nights and guides charges, pay them directly. Driver's charge 300 INR per night. Guide charge 950 INR half day (1 - 2 monuments) and

1140 INR full day (3 - 4 monuments).

Regards

Arun

Vermont
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7. Re: First trip to India>Private tour or Plan myself

julnot "hfot2, can you share your Delhi travel agent for booking transport?"

Sure - it's Swagatam Tours Private Ltd. See here: http://www.swagatam.com/

But we don't book "tours" - they do private bookings for us as I described above. Apparently they also do bus tours for Indian tourists but we've never used them for this sort of thing. They are not cheap but, in my opinion, you get what you pay for and they are worth every piase. We use them for booking everything and I'm not sure it would work for you to book your own hotels and just use them to book transport.

They have fabulous drivers, by the way. We just returned to Rajasthan after our first trip with them there 10 years ago; we had a wonderful driver whose name I passed on to a friend from Chicago and she too found him to be great. I've recommended them to numerous traveling friends and all have had great experiences with Swagatam. A driver can make or break your trip - we've had great drivers.

Edited: 12 June 2014, 03:14
Agra, Uttar...
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8. Re: First trip to India>Private tour or Plan myself

When you are on a platform like TA you need not to bother about services. Pick any one from here and you will get nothing but the best services. Reason behind this is all the people who are posting here are serious professionals and know their job.

Contact 2-3 people here, compare prices and services and then choose the best one for yourself.

Australia
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9. Re: First trip to India>Private tour or Plan myself

We returned from a 14 night tour of India (our first trip) and cant stop raving about it.. Originally we were going to arrange ourselves but decided to go thru an agent.

We booked through Ganpat of Incredible Tours to India and didn't really know what to expect.

Well, What can I say.  WOW The whole 14 days was absolutely amazing.  It ran like clockwork. We chose our own hotels thru TA which Ganpat was only too pleased to book for us.

Our driver was always on time.  We never had to wait for him.

All of our guides met our expectations.

We visited, Delhi, Varanasi (I'd say here is a must – We stayed at the Ganpati Guesthouse overlooking the Ganges.  Rooms 12 and 13 are the best), Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur and then flew down to Kerala.

Ganpat met us at Delhi airport and introduced us to our Driver Govind (who so great he should be a guide). Everything Ganpat promised in his itinerary, he delivered (even the mobile phone with a prepaid sim)

We had a flight which was cancelled but it was no trouble for Ganpat to arrange an alternative flight for us.

While in Jaipur we met up again with Ganpat and had dinner with his family and friends.   Great night great company What an enjoyable night. www.incredibletourtoindia.com

If you would like further info please do not hesitate to PM me.

Agra
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10. Re: First trip to India>Private tour or Plan myself

If you go through a tour operator better to choose the one who are suggested and recommended on this forum...otherwise this can be organized by yourself too.....book the hotels online and the rest can be done by scratching the forum a bit and there are members and DE who will help you out.

Thanks

Rashid Agra