Q: How can I book a tour to India? Is there a list of yours I can choose from?
A: First we recommend that you go through our website which includes various tours that we have been selling successfully. The tours are listed under different categories like Cultural Tours, Adventure, Special Interest tours etc. If however you feel that these tours need to be fine-tuned to coincide with your flight schedule, and if you need to add or reduce a night in any city, then you must send us your request and our travel experts will get back to you shortly with necessary changes and the cost.
Q: What if I do not like any of the tours listed on the site? Can Gallivant Tours & Travels tailor-make a tour for me?
A: Yes, you can suggest the place you wish to visit and we will be happy to suggest a program according to your needs. Further you will also have to inform us some other factors like duration, number of people traveling together with occupancy, choice of hotels you prefer, meal plan, sightseeing required, etc. As soon as we have these details from your end, we will design a tour especially for you and get back immediately. These details serve as outlines for our Travel experts, who are working to tailor make a tour for you.
Q: Will the information provided by me to Gallivant Tours & Travels remain confidential?
A: Any correspondence exchanged between you and Gallivant Tours & Travels will be kept confidential and not out sourced to any third party under any circumstances. Moreover your profile (Name, Email id, address, Telephone number) will be used only to communicate with you in regards to the services you are buying or availing. At no time will this profile be misused.
Q: Can I book only the accommodation since I am coming on business?
A: If you are only looking at accommodation options and not a fully fledged tour or a holiday, then you can just write to us as firstname.lastname@example.org and we will provide you with the best options available.
Q: What is the currency used in India?
A: The currency of India is the Rupee. At its current rate (i.e. on 05-Apr-2011) US$ 1 = Rs. 45. 50. You are not allowed to bring in Indian currency or take it out of the country.
Q: How much do I pay as Airport Tax?
A: Most of the International tickets issued in India or out of India are now inclusive of airport tax. In case it is not included, the amount is Rs. 500/- per person on final departure from India to all the countries in the world except when traveling to Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal where the tax amount is Rs. 150/- per person.
Q: Do you include Travel Insurance?
A: We advise you to arrange travel insurance in your country.
Q: What is the time difference?
A: The time difference in India is + 5 and half-hours. This is the time difference throughout the year.
Q: Are credit cards accepted in India?
A: Credit cards are widely accepted in Indian cities and larger towns, particularly VISA, Master Card and American Express. Credit cards can also be used to get cash advances in Indian rupees.
Some important travel tips which will make your travel a bit easier :
All foreign nationals have to pay their hotel bills in foreign currency only, in cash, travelers’ Checks or credit cards. However, Indian rupees are accepted if supported by proof of certificate of encashment in India of foreign currency or travelers’ checks.
Do not purchase air/ rail/ bus tickets through strangers or unauthorized travel agents/ tour operators.
Do not hire any type of transportation from unlicensed or unapproved operators. Leave this to us to organize. Self- drive cars are available for hire from recognized International firms.
While shopping, sightseeing or going to and from transportation terminals avoid touts and brokers. Be aware of unscrupulous shopkeeper; if you feel that you are being abused do not make Gallivant Tours & Travels to consult the proper authorities.
Taxi and auto-rickshaws fares keep changing; therefore, they do not always conform to readings on meters. To avoid confusion, insist on seeing the latest fare chart available with taxi/ auto-rickshaw drivers and pay accordingly. Taxis and auto-rickshaws do not have meters in all cities, but where they do, insist on the meter being flagged in your presence. In case the driver refuses to cooperate, seek the assistance of a policeman. Where there are no meters, ask assistance at your hotel and agree on the taxi fare in advance.
The dry summer heat can drain you completely. Drink lots of water and fluids. The sun is strong. Remember to use sunscreen on exposed parts of the body. Wear sunglasses to screen out harmful rays.
Tipping – In tourist restaurants or hotels, service charge is often added to bills. In smaller places, where tipping is optional, you need only tip a few rupees, not a percentage of your bill. Most major hotels include a service charge. Waiters, room service boys, housekeepers, porters, and doormen all expect to be tipped. Taxi drivers don’t expect tips unless they go through a great deal of trouble to get to your destination, but if you hire a car with a driver, tip him about INR 50 / INR 100 per day, depending on the distance traveled.
- Always drink bottled water.
- For the first few days it might be advisable to clean your teeth in bottled water.
- Eat fruit you can peel.
- Always wash fruit well before eating it.
- Always keep a tube/spray of mosquito repellent with you.
- Always carry a kit of the basic emergency medicines you might need for diarrhoea, fever etc. Also, band aids and an antiseptic ointment.
- If you do catch a bug, do not panic. It will go away in a few days – but try the following tips to keep it down:
- Drink lassi – a yogurt drink. It will help tone down the bacteria.
- Eat plain rice, or try a simple Khichdi – an easily digestible mixture of rice and lentils.
- Drink plenty of coconut water. Its cooling, and naturally sterilized!
- Drink plenty of fluids and take some electrolyte salts if the bug persists.
Social Interaction – If you are fair complexioned, blonde or red-haired – and especially if you are female – chances are that you will be stared at continuously, specially in the smaller towns. Don’t be offended – they mean no harm, it is just curiosity. Avoid crowds, especially if you are female. Try to avoid shaking hands. Greet people with a ‘namaste’ (hands pressed together at chest level as if in prayer). You will be appreciated for using the Indian style of greeting.
Time – Everything in India takes time – longer than in most places. So always give yourself extra time for whatever you may have to do – even it is just a visit to the Post Office or changing money. Indians joke about the concept of “Indian Stretchable Time” (IST). Certainly, if you’re a super-punctual sort, India can be frustrating. Make allowances for this.
Others – Keep extra photocopies of the relevant pages of your passport. This will be required for Indian permits. When asking for directions, ask shopkeepers, not pedestrians. Crosscheck with at least two people. Taxi and auto-rickshaw fares keep changing, and therefore do not always conform to readings on meters. Insist on seeing the latest rate card (available with the driver) and pay accordingly. Insist on the taxi/auto meter being flagged down in your presence.
Beggars – Do not let them hassle you, and do not encourage them by giving them money. Avoid eye contact.
Sightseeing – Dress codes for religious places can include covering your head, being barefoot etc. Ask, so that you don’t unwillingly give offence. Some temples do not permit any leather articles at all on their premises. Certain areas of temples are not open to Non-Hindus.
Most museums in India are closed on Mondays and Site Museums, those near archaeological monuments, on Fridays. Photography is not always permissible, and at many places it is permitted only at a fee. There is usually a higher fee for using a video camera.
English is spoken at almost all tourist centers, but you can also request Government-trained and Approved guides who also speak German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Italian or Russian.