Kate Smith

I am  going on the Grand Tour of India in February would love to hear from anyone else on this trip

Just introducing our group of 4: me (Dave), Wendy and my brother, Tony and sister in law, Jude otherwise known as the 'retirees'.  Looking forward to meeting up for our India Grand Tour leaving Heathrow on 4th February '18.

Hi Dave great to hear from fellow travellers I am so looking forward to seeing India although a bit anxious that I have all the right paperwork etc I lookforward to meeting you and the rest of our group at Heathrow airport  in a couple of weeks 

Like you we have hopefully got all the paperwork together.  The e-visas were the most time consuming, although isn't good to be able to use I.T. to access sites, info and messages.  So much easier and quicker than stamping a letter and sending it by 'snail mail'   Had our final meeting with our travel agent and all our last minute queries have mostly been answered so now we are really looking forward to our journey through India. David

One issue that we have is the actual large case and hand luggageweight allowed per person.    Having been on Jet airways site we thought international flights allowed 23kg and 7 kg respectively but could not find details for the internal flight from Kovalum to Mumbai.  The trip notes "recommend"  20 kg on flights but when asking at travel agents they accessed the same company website but a different screen page appeared with a completely different figures but still no internal flight baggage weight allowance.  Has anyone got a definite figure? Not that we are intending to bring back a temple statue!

I am not sure about weight I did think it was 20kgs although with so many moves I am trying to pack light and just get clothes laundered in hotel My dilemma is anti-malarials trip notes say necessary pharmacy and GP say not necessary in the areas we are visiting 

I am not sure about weight I did think it was 20kgs although with so many moves I am trying to pack light and just get clothes laundered in hotel My dilemma is anti-malarials trip notes say necessary pharmacy and GP say not necessary in the areas we are visiting 

I am not sure about weight I did think it was 20kgs although with so many moves I am trying to pack light and just get clothes laundered in hotel My dilemma is anti-malarials trip notes say necessary pharmacy and GP say not necessary in the areas we are visiting 

We too have had the same conflicting advice about malaria risks but have gone with the final advice from our GP nurse and  the https://travelhealthpro.org.uk site; which was that the risk is low. So no need for jabs or expensive £3 daily tablets.  However, have gone for all other recommended jabs including boosters/top ups and a new one for us of Japanese encephalitis.  [Incidentally, we worked in Kenya for a charity for 6 weeks and had been told we needed to purchase the anti malaria tablets (total coat nearly £100!) only to get there and be told we didn't need them!] We have decided that we will take mosquito sprays, wipes, bands, net and plug ins as we also did in Kenya.

Signing off

'Confused of S. Wales' otherwise known as Dave

Have been told by my travel agent and confirmed in writing today that  luggage allowance on our Jet Airways, international and internal flights, is '2 cases x 23kg per passenger.' This is very generous, but we are only taking one case each due to possible difficulties handling them on overnight trains.  However, on return flight if we have lots of souvenirs (- the odd temple statue?) we may buy another case to put them in. 

Regarding transport I have checked with Exodous some Health and safety concerns which I think are pertinent considering the amount of time we will be on the road.  This is the reply I got back from Exodus: (Note the quotation marks are theirs) 

“We can’t give our assurance that every vehicle has been checked by an Exodus employee – especially not the trains (we use the standard government regulated trains) so we have zero control over them, the maintenance is done by the train operators.  We work with suppliers who comply to all local laws and regulations which includes maintenance checks for tourist vehicles and age limit of vehicles. Ironically, tourist vehicles in India are quite heavily regulated.

 

For the road transport we have a seatbelt policy that this is enforced by the H&S team and forms part of our suppliers contract, whereby road transport should have a seatbelt for each person. However, in some circumstances it cannot always be 100% guaranteed (Game drives, emergencies, malfunctions etc).”

I did this trip in 2014 and there were only three of us on the trip. It is very good and there is a lot of travelling and sometimes quite slow. We used a large hatch back car. Be prepared for long delays on the trains, we were about ten hours late arriving in Agra from Varansai. The trains are crowded so take as little luggage as is conveniently possible. I did not take Malaria tablets. Goa is superb for fish and I recommend using the beach shack Cecilia. It is run by two brothers and the cooking is done by their aunts. Superb fish and excellently cooked so we went there on two of the three nights we were in Goa. The first night we ate at the Hotel which had many Russian visitors.

Enjoy yourselves, it is an excellent way to see a large portion of India in one visit.

Barry

I did this trip in 2014 and there were only three of us on the trip. It is very good and there is a lot of travelling and sometimes quite slow. We used a large hatch back car. Be prepared for long delays on the trains, we were about ten hours late arriving in Agra from Varansai. The trains are crowded so take as little luggage as is conveniently possible. I did not take Malaria tablets. Goa is superb for fish and I recommend using the beach shack Cecilia. It is run by two brothers and the cooking is done by their aunts. Superb fish and excellently cooked so we went there on two of the three nights we were in Goa. The first night we ate at the Hotel which had many Russian visitors.

Enjoy yourselves, it is an excellent way to see a large portion of India in one visit.

Barry

I did this trip in 2014 and there were only three of us on the trip. It is very good and there is a lot of travelling and sometimes quite slow. We used a large hatch back car. Be prepared for long delays on the trains, we were about ten hours late arriving in Agra from Varansai. The trains are crowded so take as little luggage as is conveniently possible. I did not take Malaria tablets. Goa is superb for fish and I recommend using the beach shack Cecilia. It is run by two brothers and the cooking is done by their aunts. Superb fish and excellently cooked so we went there on two of the three nights we were in Goa. The first night we ate at the Hotel which had many Russian visitors.

Enjoy yourselves, it is an excellent way to see a large portion of India in one visit.

Barry

I did this trip in 2014 and there were only three of us on the trip. It is very good and there is a lot of travelling and sometimes quite slow. We used a large hatch back car. Be prepared for long delays on the trains, we were about ten hours late arriving in Agra from Varansai. The trains are crowded so take as little luggage as is conveniently possible. I did not take Malaria tablets. Goa is superb for fish and I recommend using the beach shack Cecilia. It is run by two brothers and the cooking is done by their aunts. Superb fish and excellently cooked so we went there on two of the three nights we were in Goa. The first night we ate at the Hotel which had many Russian visitors.

Enjoy yourselves, it is an excellent way to see a large portion of India in one visit.

Barry

Sorry, I find website slow so pressed Send too many times!

Barry

Thank you so much Barry for info on trip especially re anti malarials and the recommendations re restaurant Sounds like all the travelling is worth it Only other concern is the state of the toilets especially on trains and on long drives Have experience  of some awful facilities in the past but I was younger then 😊

We are the other couple going with Dave and Wendy. Unlike my lovely brother and sister in law we haven't a "oh there's lovely isn't it" photo. The most recent one of us 2 is the one attached showing a crumbling ruin - the one in the background not me! - with us in front. Anyway we're looking forward to meeting up with everyone and hope we have a great time and see lots of things. I've a feeling after 31 days we'll need another holiday to recover!!   

Crumbling Ruin?  - thats my house!

Worried I will feel like a crumbling ruin at the end of the holiday 😂

Thanks for photo at least I will have an idea of who to look for on Sunday I fly down from Glasgow in afternoon all being well (no more snow I hope ) Have no idea how many will be joining us  Look forward to meeting up 

It's quite a mystery isn't it ? Just how many people are going or should I say - still going. I mean after seeing Dave and my photos there's probably been a mass stampede to the refund desk! Mind you as you can see the family good looking genes went to Dave so i suppose its probably all my fault. regards eeyore

The only genes i got were my Dad's old Levi jeans.

I see there are 2 festivals during our time in India Maha shivarati and Holi which is the one where they throw paint powder all over each other which looks great fun 

Kate, As you seem to be well versed in these things I think it only right you should be the groups Cultural Ambassador making sure we all take full advantage of such cutural fests as Rangwali Holi  - mind you that sounds more like a description of my fathers jeans mentioned earlier by brother

To all fellow travellers on the India Grand Tour. Regarding Wendy and me in the photograph, I think all fellow travellers should know that was the day Wendy sprayed instant glue instead of hairspray and we walked round all day in the position as shown in photo.  So don't worry we won't be like a honeymoon couple!  Now turning to religious holidays we have a similar spattering of paint all over the body here, but in this household it is known as DIY.

Not sure about cultural ambassador would I need to pack an umbrella like the tour guides 😂 Glad Dave is used to paint splatters he won't get upset when we throw paint at him 

I believe there will be 8 ofus on the same flight from Heathrow and 7 others will join us in Delhi so 15 in total Look forward to meeting up and enjoying our Indian adventure

Thank you for that Kate. It is good to know that there will be enough fellow travellers to make a minibus full - and it will be good to meet other like minded 'explorers.' How did you find out that information, Kate?  Only a few days to go. We are really excited by the prospect of some amazing sights and cultural experiences- surely a trip of a life time and one to remember.  Hopefully the package, and I am sure it will be, will be in our memories for all the right reasons.  I am sure I will have forgotten something but I think Wendy and I are all packed and rearing to go.  I am just waiting for the answer to a medicine issue which may occur at the Border Control.  I have had differing answers so i thought I would go direct to the High Commission For India - but they haven't replied yet.  Looking forward to meeting up at Heathrow.  

I emails Niraj at Exodus to enquire re numbers  There will be 6 men and 9 ladies 2 over 70 1 under 60 and the rest inbetween I think Exodus has been fantastic with their organisation information sheets etc I had not heard of them before but would definitely recommend them as I am sure the trip will live up to expectation Getting excited now Namaste 

Thanks for that Kate. See you at Heathrow.  I feel that I should add, in the style of a 1950s spy thriller, "I will be wearing a  trilby hat with a pink carnation in my lapel and a rolled copy of The Daily Telegraph under my left arm .... "  which I won't.  You will probably recognise our group of four as the harassed ones manhandling cases looking for our passports which we mistakenly packed in our suitcases or some sort of similar problem.  it's the age that causes it - he says apologetically.

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