Trip to India: Advice Appreciated

Hi All

I am going to start planning a 4 week (+/- 1 week) trip to India next summer with my wife and 2 teens (will be 14 and 16 years old). Unfortunately it will be in the summer months (July-August). I am thinking of Delhi to Kolkata as well as several days in Nepal.

My hope would be to have a full-time guide but not join a formal tour.

I have heard that hiring a car and driver is common but would like to experience some train travel as well.

Any advice in the early planning stage would be much appreciated.

Please send along your thoughts.



New Member
Welcome to India.

But, July-August is not a good time to be here. It is the monsoon (rains) time and unhealthy period. Also a very hectic period for everyone here in India, because it is also the beginning of the academic year for the millions of students and their harried parents.

The best time to visit India is between October to March - winter here - but our winter is like your summer :)

You can travel in a combination of car/bus/train and I can draw you an itinerary but I will need your input for that -
1. Travel theme, for example - wildlife, nature, hills, coastal, religious, historical, popular, local shopping - I would suggest a combination of all for the best experience.
2. A few sentences about your likes and dislikes when you travel.
3. Days you want to spend
4. Dough you would spend - I mean budget ;) - max from landing in India to flying out.

BTW, do you have any Indian friends in Canada? Combining a trip with their visit back home would be a splendid alternative plan.

Please PM the things you wouldn't want in the search engines :)
Thanks for the early advice.
I was trying to determine whether July/Aug was really that bad (rainy) and it seems you spelled out other reasons not to travel in those months.
I would appreciate your insights once we plan a more detailed itinery.


New Member
In summer months hill stations like Darjling, Gangtok (I really liked that place) will be better place. There use to be entry restriction for Gangtok for foreigners. Now, I guess there is no such restrictions. From there you can enter Nepal by land route.



New Member
I will be visiting sometime next year after i go to indo, vietnam etc.
love the architecture, food etc but nothing beats walking in streets and doing what locals not a touristy type of person and i want to see the good and the bad, the true feeling of the country and not a holiday tour.

and play in a 'street cricket' game :)

cant wait
Keep a travel map/gprs/google earth on you laptop/iphone with yourself, and if possible book a guide so you know where you are going. Carry a camera/handycam and take pictures with the guide's advice.

Remember to dress according to the places you visit, if you visit a temple, don't wear short skirt, if you are walking in places like slums where there are poor people in large numbers then don't wear fancy clothes and diamond jewellery there in public or better avoid visiting such places such as places of worship and slums, just visit prime attractions like Victoria Memorial in Kolkata, Taj Mahal in Agra, etc and main roads, hotels, go for different exciting places taken by your guide and keep your first trip short, so you'll have an experience when you come here next time

Eat outside but don't eat too much street food, and dont buy cds and electronics from street side stalls as most might not work the next minute,day or so, buy things like food, electronics from good places or branded shops even if they cost some extra money, they will be worth it, though you can buy gifts like Shells, a Taj Mahal plastic/glass replica from anywhere as they are just as fine as they look.

carry first aid with yourself... walk in places where there are people but not in crowds or totally empty places. give every member of your family a mobile phone with your and each others numbers fully loaded with good balance so they can call you or your guide or you can call them if in case you get lost

and relax but be alert and don't forget to get up at time in the morning/night when your flight/bus/train arrives coz you may land somewhere else if you dont do so.

maybe i told him too much ;-)

and finally tell us about your experience here.

Abhishek Jha
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