So for those asking, here is our plan for where we’re going in India! We’ve quite a while until we go, and we’re only there for 2.5 weeks. See the bottom of the post for a map of the main destinations.
Planning our trip to India
We didn’t really plan where we wanted to go in India very much before we decided that’s where we were going to. I can’t say we’re brilliant at long term travel plans (for example when we were in France I was literally trying to find somewhere to go while Rob was driving, and one night we didn’t have an hotel booked until after 7pm…) but we have at least organised our flights to and hotels in India.
India is so vast and varied, it really is difficult to decide where to go, especially if (as we did) you’ve impulse bought the flights to New Delhi. So we are time constrained and location bound. We, like most people, will be flying into Delhi and we’ll explore Rajasthan, particularly the iconic Golden Triangle, and Varanasi. I think if we have the chance to do another trip to India, we’ll go south, and visit Kerala. Maybe Goa. Maybe – there’s something about Goa I’m not super keen on, I’m not sure what.
Assistance with our trip to India
We have used a company to help us with the itinerary. They helped us by offering a basic route, and then Rob has worked tirelessly to tweak it to cover the places he wants to see. With our time-frame and budget, we have been quite limited and we can’t see everything we want to see. India is, afterall, a huge country! The company we used could have taken care of all arrangements for transport and accommodations, but we have booked our own flights, both internal and in / out of Delhi, and we’ve organised our own hotels.
The company we were in contact with had tried their best to gather information about extra beds for the kids, and they made contact with every hotel to check if they would be sleeping in a proper bed or a mattress on the floor. However, in the end we decided it was something too important to leave to chance or someone else’s word, and also not ideal to have to sleep in a window seat or on a sofa without proper covers. So we’ve booked our own hotels. We’ll see how it works out during our trip!
Planes, trains, and automobiles
We’re not really travelling through India by foot (haha, I just liked the phrasing for the post title).
We considered nine-hour drives in India, we really did, but something about it didn’t quite appeal… We considered going by train, too, since it’s such an iconic method of travel through India. However, we didn’t really fancy trying to get two little boys asleep on a sleeper, or lose the night walking a packed train with two wide awake, excited kids. So we have a couple of internal flights booked and we’ll take the hit on the cultural and scenic experiences during this trip to India over convenience.
A car and driver
We discovered that a popular way of getting around India is to hire a car and driver. Self-drive rental cars are relatively uncommon, due to the poor condition of roads and the frequent disregard for road rules in India. We have hired a driver for the majority of our stay in India, but we’ll use hotel shuttle buses occasionally, too. We’ve done our best to cut down the time we’ll be spending travelling in the car, due to the lack of car seats, and bored children who are not strapped in is a recipe for disaster. We feel we can’t take our car seats as we won’t always have a car and don’t want to be carrying such a heavy package regularly. We are considering a blow-up bumper seat or something like that. I’d love to hear your recommendations if you have any, or experience with car travel in India with kids.
Vaccinations and Visas
We contacted our doctor and received lists of the vaccinations each of us has received over the years. We seem pretty much ok apart from Typhoid and Hepatitis A. We’ve been informed that due to a vaccination prioritisation throughout the world, we’re unlikely to be able to get these jabs before we leave. So we have to take our chances. There are steps we can take to reduce the risk of contracting typhoid, for example, frequent hand-washing in hot, soapy water is apparently the best way to control infection. We’ll need to avoid drinking untreated water, eating raw fruits and vegetables, and choose hot foods whenever possible.
All visitors need a visa for India, except citizens of the neighbouring countries of Nepal and Bhutan. Most people are eligible to get an electronic E-Visa for tourism, business and medical purposes. These visas are valid for 60 days, from the time of entry.
We have been watching as much about India as we can manage! We’re working our way down the BBC iPlayer search results for India: such as the BBC Click episodes, as well as other documentaries like Himalaya with Michael Palin.
The boys are familiar with the Taj Mahal thanks to Go Jetters, and we’ve found this puzzle book which James loves.
[amazon_link asins=’0989061523,812913697X,0143331914,1945792167,1461062691′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’babyfoote-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’f140548c-f718-11e7-b7bc-db99c715411e’]
It will be Holi while we’re there, and I hope we’ll be able to experience the colourful celebration of Spring. We had a little trial when we did a colour run when Noah was a baby – it was lots of fun but seems to have been on a much smaller scale than the articles I’ve read about Holi seem to show.
Planning what to pack
My Pinterest board is coming on a treat with packing tips and posts about what to wear in India. I also have a couple of posts about things to do in India. Please send me pins if you see anything you think might help me! Obviously I will be taking in to account the country’s conservative standards of dress – I have had some practice in Thailand, though I understand that I won’t be wearing shorts in between the places that require even more modest clothes.
Map of our trip
So, here’s the map of places we’ll visit in India. If you know of any unmissable sights or things to do in any of the locations we’ll be, please let me know! Follow along via Instagram too.