Boutique India Tours
Accompanied tours by Dr Chintamani Rath PhD
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Frequently Asked Questions

Question: How many persons do you take on a tour?

  • Answer: My tours are accompanied tours – I will travel with you from New Zealand or receive you at the arrival airport in India (as we arrange prior), drive you to your booked accommodation, drive you across India along your itinerary (and fly with you on domestic flights if that's included in the itinerary) and finally see you off at the departure airport or travel back with you to New Zealand. Therefore, the fee you pay me will include variable costs like your stay and the cost of your activities (food, water and your personal expenses are not included in the fee you pay me although they are your variable expenses – see the "What You Get" page on this website) on the one hand and fixed costs such as vehicle hire, fuel for the vehicle and my stay on the other. The fixed cost will be shared equally amongst all the persons in the group. Needless to say, the larger the group, the lower each person's share of the fixed cost and therefore the lower the individual's own total cost.

Question: Can children come along on the tour?

  • Answer: Most certainly yes, children are very welcome on the tour! Children below 16 years of age will need to stay with their accompanying adult or adults and I will happily arrange for suitable accommodation for those who will bring children with them. Of course, common sense rules will apply and the accompanying adult or adults will be responsible for the child or children's behaviour.

Question: What level of physical fitness is required for a Boutique India Tours tour?

  • Answer: Your tour can be as easy paced or as adventure filled as you wish. I have had individuals in my groups who were elderly and with knee replacement surgeries without any issue. Most monuments do have a number of steps and some old sites like caves have uneven steps. However, tourists, including aged tourises, generally do not find these overly challenging. I will of course discuss and make you aware of these aspects at the time of crafting YOUR tour and keep modifying ideas until you feel comfortable to sign up.

    Please note, however, that at this stage, unfortunaly, I cannot assist people restricted to wheelchairs or mobility devices on these tours.

Question: How much deposit is required for booking a tour?

  • Answer: To secure your booking, I require full non-refundable payment at the time of booking. This is because I need to book accommodation and transport immediately after the booking. India is a very sought after international destination and the best places and services are often fully booked from months in advance. Please be sure to purchase travel and medical insurance as soon as you remit the money to me, since the payment is non-refundable.

Question: What's Included In Your Package Cost?

  • Answer:

    • All costs of domestic transportation within India, including coach, train and domestic flights.
    • Cost of accommodation.
    • All tolls, taxes, monument fees, guide frees and activity ticket charges.

Question: What's Not Included In Your Package Cost?

  • Answer:

    • Cost of Indian visa.
    • International travel to and from India.
    • Medical, travel, and other insurances.
    • Food, water, alcohol, tobacco, fruit juices, soft drinks, tea, coffee and other beverages.
    • Personal expenses, such as shopping, laundry and phone/internet bills.

Question: How do I pay for my tour?

  • Answer: You can pay by bank transfer or via any money transfer service. I cannot accept cheques.

Question: By when must I pay for my tour?

  • Answer: Realistically, regard being had to the demand for appropriate accommodation, transportation, etc., I will need about six months to be able to book these services on your behalf. So, you need to pay me about six months prior to the start of the tour. If you pay later, I may have to book the next higher priced accommodation etc, in which case I will have to pass on the extra cost to you.

Question: Will you offer a refund if I am unable to go on the tour?

  • Answer: The payment is non-refundable. In order to avoid inconvenience, I most strongly recommend that you purchase appropriate travel and medical insurance policies immediately upon payment. This way, if you are unable to travel, you can claim from your insurer.

Question: When should I consider a tour to India?

  • Answer: A number of factors have relevance in considering tour dates:

    • The weather should be comfortable, although I will be happy to craft special tours for you should you wish to experience India at any time of the year, because India is absolutely fabulous all round the year. Most tourists like to visit India between mid-October and mid-April.

    • India is in the northern hemisphere and has six seasons in most places, with variations in the mountainous, desert, costal areas:
         
      • Mid-February to mid-April Spring. Pleasant until mid-March, then starts to get hot. 23 March is the spring equinox, with equal day and night hours.
         
      • Mid-April to mid-June Summer. Hot to very hot.
         
      • Mid-June to mid-August Rain ("Monsoon"). Gradual decrease in heat, but still hot until mid-July, then wet, hot and humid, with the heat decreasing when it rains, which is often with heavy downpours. 21 June is summer solstice, the longest day of the year.
         
      • Mid-August to mid-October Post Monsoon. Tapering off of the rains, but still hot and very humid. 23 September is the autumnal equinox, with equal day and night hours.
         
      • Mid-October to mid-December Autumn. Becomes more and more pleasant.
         
      • Mid-December to mid-February Winter. Nice and cool, colder in the hilly regions (the high mountains will be snowbound and closed) and in the interior areas which are far away from the sea. 21 December is winter solstice, the shortest day of the year.

Question: What will the weather be like?

  • Answer: See above.

Question: What will we eat on tour?

  • Answer: This will depend upon the choice of the group as a whole. India is a very diverse country: the food is diverse as well, with different parts of India having different cuisines. You may choose as a group to savour the local cuising, in which case I will take you to good, clean and hyegenic restaurants where you can order off a menu (I can of course assist with your selection). Alternatively, European/western food is available in all high end restaurants; if you opt for that, that's what it'll be :). Generally speaking, we will have breakfast in the dining area of the place whenre we will stay – for the most part, you will get to choose your own breakfast from European/western breakfast such as toast, butter/jam, tea/coffee/juice etc. or from local cuisine. For lunch and dinner I will take you to a carefully chosen restaurant. About street food – of course you are welcome to sample street food wherever we go, I will assist by guiding you to the best possible places, where there is a high turnover of customers, meaning the food is always freshly prepared. We will ofcourse discuss this vital point when we are planning YOUR tour.

Question: What about drinking water?

  • Answer: You can purchase inexpensive and safe bottled mineral water for drinking; this is available everywhere in India. I will also stock up our coach or train with a reasonable quantity of sealed drinking water for drinking by all in the group, free of cost.

Question: What happens if I fall sick in India?

  • Answer: India has world-class medical facilities, so you can rest assured that your healthcare needs will be taken care of by qualified doctors wherever we are on the tour, unless the tour takes us to remote areas. In case of severe healthcare conditions, if you need to terminate the tour and fly back, I will do my best to arrange the flight out, as well as suitable transport to take you to the airport. To pay for the expenses, I very strongly recommend that you purchase appropriate travel/medical insurance policies as soon as you pay me, in order to avoid inconvenience – please be aware that as non-residents of India, you may be paying international medical consultation charges.

Question: Where will I stay during the tour?

  • Answer: I offer comfortable accommodation in hotels that are air-conditioned, clean and well-maintained. The rooms will have double queen size beds or twin beds as well as en suite toilet and shower facilities. Rooms to accommodate three, four or more persons are also available. If you wish to have a room all to yourself, you will be required to pay an additional fee (single supplement).

Question: What kind of local transport will be used?

  • Answer: Your itinerary could cover a large geographical area when there will be long drives from one location to another. Comfortable, air-conditioned coaches will be used that will stop at suitable locations for food and toilet as needed. Where possible, we will also stop at scenic locations to have a stretch and take photographs. If we use trains, we will book comfortable, air-conditioned berths or seats.

Question: What items, and how much money, should I carry for the tour?

  • Answer: Once you book your place on the tour, I will provide you with detailed advice about these and other relevant matters and, of course, I will be delighted to keep on answering any query you may have at any time.

To learn more or to book a tour, call or message me at 0064 27 576 9876 (this is also my Whatsapp number) and I will get back to you as soon as possible.



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