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Discover North India

Solo Travellers 45 years & over
Monday 22 October – Tuesday 6 November 2018

Other Notes

This page contains the details about the trip not already explained on other pages.

TRIP AVAILABILITY
If this trip seems right for you then we encourage you to book early and secure your place with a deposit.  Tour space is limited. Also, many services on this tour must be booked well in advance. To ensure your place, please check trip availability at your earliest convenience.

FELLOW TRAVELLERS 
You will enjoy this small group experience with a maximum group size of 16 travellers. This tour is exclusively for single-solo travellers.

THE PACE  [3 out of 5]
This is a medium paced tour with some full days and other half days of sightseeing.

You will require reasonable fitness, enough for the tolerance of daily walking, hot weather and some days with long hours of travel by road. There’s also some early starts for some the sightseeing inclusions.

ou need to let go of your western ways and let things happen as they do in India. These types of things are part of parcel of any travel in a 3rd world country.

Please advise us in advance if you have any health issues or are taking any form of medication as this is a strict condition of travel that this information is provided to us at the time of booking. All is confidential. 

ABOUT THE MEALS   
It’s regular that our trips include a number of group dining experiences.  There’s nothing better than to share a meal with new friends and discuss the day’s adventures.

Daily breakfast is included and lunches and dinners as specified by the itinerary.

The majority of meals are Indian cuisine. We have made arrangements for a select number of dinners to include western meals, however the majority are Indian cuisine.  If you do not like Indian food you will have limited choices in most destinations except most breakfasts have some western choices. There are meal options that are tasty but not overly hot in taste but spices are used in the majority of Indian meals.

Drinks, desserts and extra tea/coffee are not included with meals.

About the Food in India
The traditional cuisine of North India is Hindu vegetarian. Whilst meat is available at many top end hotels, we encourage travellers to eat the wide range of delicious vegetarian dishes available. In our opinion there may be health risks associated with eating meat in India due to differences in food hygiene standards. 

In many parts of Indian, Hindu vegetarian meals are the standard and they this means no fish, chicken, pork, beef or mutton (goat). 

We advise travellers against street food and that you only dine at places that are recommended by your guide or escort/leader.  By following best advice it’s far less likely that you will become unwell with any stomach complaints.

About the Water in India
Due to poor quality of drinking water in India, you must only drink bottled water and only bottled water from reliable sources. Also, use bottled water for brushing teeth. Most hotels have bottled water included in the room for the purpose of brushing teeth.

SPECIAL DIETS
As a standard, Encounter Travel limit special dietary requests to Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Lactose Intolerant and Diabetic. Additional intolerances to those fore-mentioned, are the responsibility of the traveller. For any additional special diet requests you must seek our advice and consultation.

  • We make special dietary requests on behalf of our travellers to our ground operators, cruise operators, and/or any third party that operate components of The Holiday where meals or snacks are provided as part of The Holiday inclusions. We cannot guarantee that all or any of the third parties will meet the request in part or full. 
  • We can offer guidance on each of The Holidays as to the suitability of The Holiday for you in relation to your special diet request.
  • Requests made after booking your holiday that cannot be met will not entitle you to any refund of monies paid. Any lacking or failure from any of our operators to cater for your special diet does not give claim to any compensation whatsoever. 

 

Other notes about special dietary requirements: 

  • Please also be mindful that many hotels, restaurants and cruise ships may not provide gluten free cereal, bread, pasta, pizza, cake and/or dessert. 
  • Special diet requests may limit the number of choices or variety for meals.
  • For airlines, please seek further advice at the time of booking. Please take note that a request for a vegetarian meal on a flight is provided as a vegan meal.
  • We recommend travellers with special dietary requirements consider their options to supplement meals and snacks in their holiday destination before deciding to travel. In some countries it is not uncommon that restaurants and food outlets pay less or no attention to special dietary requirements in comparison to what we may be accustomed to in Australia or other home countries.

Helpful Websites for Special Diet Translation cards:

 

GROUP TOUR LEADER
This is a private group tour with a local English speaking group escort and a driver. The driver may have limited or no English.

TRANSPORT
Transport is by private vehicle.  All transfers, sightseeing and excursions are by an 18-seater air conditioned mini-coach for up to 15 passengers. Where the group reaches 16 passengers, a 27-seater air-conditioned coach is utilised.

Throughout the tour there will be some leisurely boat trips.

About The Road Transport
While on the road, commuting from one destination to another, driving is generally at around 75-80 kilometres per hour on the main highways. The speed is slower on lesser roads and through towns, and it’s not uncommon to be travelling at only 40-50 kilometres per hour. It’s a slower pace than what we are accustomed to in countries like Australia, New Zealand and other western countries.  Furthermore, the driving style is different. There is a lot of overtaking of slower vehicles, more ‘honking of horns’ and at times what may feel like a precarious situation to westerners. Tour drivers are very experienced and well adept to managing this driving style. For anyone anxious about this, you should talk to us before you confirm your booking.

LUGGAGE INFORMATION AND RESTRICTIONS
Luggage is limited to one medium size suitcase per person up to 20kg, the sum of its length/width and depth not to exceed 140cm (56") plus an overnight bag (airline bag size) which may be carried on board the vehicle. If your luggage exceeds this limit, we ask that you make alternative arrangements for the excess to be forwarded to the termination point of your tour. We suggest you have wheels on your suitcase, as there are certain places where assistance is not available.

CURRENCY
The currency in India is the Indian rupee (sign: ₹; code: INR) (रुपया — rupaya in Hindi and similarly named in most Indian languages, but taka in Maithili and Taakaa in Bengali and Toka in Assamese). The rupee is subdivided into 100 paise (singular: paisa). 5 rupees 75 paise would normally be written as ₹5.75.

Currently-used banknotes come in denominations of ₹1 (pink and green), ₹5 (green), ₹10 (orange), ₹20 (red), ₹50 (purple), ₹100 (blue-green), ₹500 (yellow-gray) and ₹2,000 (pink-purple). ₹1 and ₹5 notes are less common than their coin counterparts, but they still can be found; the ₹10 note, however, is far more common than its coin counterpart. It is always good to have a number of small notes on hand, as merchants and drivers sometimes have no change. A useful technique is to keep small notes (₹10-50) in your wallet or in a pocket, and to keep larger notes separate. Then, it will not be obvious how much money you have. Many merchants will claim that they don't have change for a ₹100 or ₹500 note. This is often a lie so that they are not stuck with a large note. It is best not to buy unless you have exact change.

The coins in circulation are 50 paise (uncommon), ₹1, ₹2, ₹5, and ₹10. Coins of less than 50 paise are no longer legal tender. Coins are useful for buying tea (₹5), for bus fares (₹2 to ₹10), and for giving exact change for an auto-rickshaw.

Indians commonly use lakh and crore for 100,000 and 10,000,000 respectively. Comma placement differs, so one crore rupees would be written as ₹1,00,00,000. This format is not that difficult, but may puzzle you as it is different. You can rectify this when you start thinking in terms of lakhs and crores, after which it will seem natural.

PERSONAL EXPENSES
In addition to your tour inclusions you will have some personal expenses including meals, snacks and drinks not included with the tour package plus consider souvenirs and miscellaneous expenses such as laundry.  

Then setting a budget for personal expenses consider what meals are included and not included. This itinerary has a breakfast each day and some dinners and lunches are included. Therefore either lunch or dinner each day would be an additional expense. We recommend around AUD50 per day for personal expenses not included with the tour package.  You should increase this budget if you like to enjoy alcoholic beverages.

For anyone that enjoys some shopping there will be opportunities to purchase local items and these costs could be a small amount to a lot, all depending on personal preferences for travel shopping.

IMPORT LAWS & CUSTOMS
This information is provided as a guide and travellers should familiarize themselves with the laws and restrictions at the time of travel with relevant authorities for each country.

Free import
• 200 cigarettes or
• 50 cigars or
• 250 grammes of other tobacco products
• Up to 2 litres of Wines or alcoholic beverages
• 59 ml of perfume
• 250 ml toiletries
• Authorized personal goods
• An unlimited amount of foreign currency can be imported into the country. Sums equalling US10000in local currency must be declared upon entry. Foreign travellers cannot take more foreign currency with them than the amount they entered India with but sums less than US 10000 generally will not need to be declared.

Prohibited
The following items are banned from entering or leaving the country unless under certain circumstances or limitations.
• Illegal drugs
• Firearms and ammunition – unless permission has been obtained
• Knives and deadly weapons
• Pets and other live animals – unless permission has been obtained
• Birds and bird products –eggs and feathers
• Pigs and pig meat products
• Endangered plants
• Plants and plant products – unless permission has been obtained
• Radio transmitters
• Culturally important or valuable antiques
• Counterfeit money and goods
• Pornographic material

Restricted
• Species of wild life including ivory, musk and animal skins are prohibited from leaving the country.
• Unless taken by a native of the country, Indian currency is expressly prohibited from leaving India.
• Plants and plant products such as seeds or fruits are prohibited without prior permission.

*Travellers of Indian origin returning home or visitors entering the country from Pakistan, China or other countries may have different restrictions regarding the amount and nature of items that can be imported into the country.
*Travellers of Pakistani origin will likely be required to undergo additional customs procedures before being granted permission to enter or leave the country.
*All Indian currency is prohibited from being imported or exported out from the country by foreign travellers. Indian residents going on or returning from a holiday abroad can freely take or bring in up to Rs. 7500.

TRAVEL GUIDE QUICK FACTS
Visit our Travel Guide page on our website for destination information. You may also view our Destination Highlights.

These pages contain helpful details including the currency and weather information. 

STAYING IN TOUCH 
Email and SMS are the most convenient ways to stay in touch with family and friends while you are away. In most destinations and certainly in major cities you can expect access to internet services and also local telecommunication companies for SMS.

Be sure to have an email account that you can access from any internet service while travelling such as a gmail, hotmail or an icloud email address.

To be able to send SMS messages while away you need to check with your mobile phone provider that international roaming services are turned on.  You need to check with your provider the cost for sending and/or receiving SMS while you are outside of your home destination as usually this service is not included in mobile plan packages. 

Important Note: making and receiving telephone calls are usually very expensive and we don’t recommend you use your mobile phone for either.  Our tip – create a voicemail message that let’s callers know you will not bet taking calls but for urgent messages they can send you a text.  Just remember to re-record your voicemail when you return home.

CODE OF CONDUCT
The following is a code of conduct that must be observed by all participants/travellers:

Important Note: making and receiving telephone calls are usually very expensive and we don’t recommend you use your mobile phone for either.  Our tip – create a voicemail message that let’s callers know you will not bet taking calls but for urgent messages they can send you a text.  Just remember to record your voicemail when you return home.

  1. We require that all participants observe responsible consumption of alcohol and obey all local, state or country laws pertaining to the consumption of alcohol.
  2. Use or possession of any illegal drugs will be cause for immediate expulsion for the group. This includes marijuana and opium even if this is considered acceptable in the destination.
  3. We require all participants to obey all laws of the country.
  4. Participants are to respect the privacy of other participants and if a participant declines to provide any contact information requested by another participant, that this wish is respected.
  5. Participants understand that if they receive contact information from another participant of the group event that this is solely for their reference and is not to be provided to other participants of the event group without the express permission of the participant whose information it is.
  6. Participants are to refrain from offensive language or behaviour including sexist and racist remarks.
  7. Participants are to be courteous to other participants and respect differences of one another.
  8. Participants understand that should other participants provide personal contact information that this information is not to be used for unsolicited email or correspondence for the purpose of business exchanges or transactions unless with the express prior permission of participants.

Any behaviour contrary to the Code of Conduct may result in your removal from The Holiday.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

  • Travel insurance is a compulsory pre-requisite to join any of our holidays, unless the trip value is below $1000 per person.
  • We urge every traveller to take out travel insurance immediately after making a deposit for any holiday.
  • Please send your travel insurance policy details to us before or no later than the time you pay your final monies.  You must send us your insurer’s name, telephone number in Australia, emergency contact number for calls outside of Australia and the policy number.
  • We urge you to carefully read any travel insurance policy level of cover/inclusions.  All policies must include cover for medical expenses and sufficient cover for repatriation to your home country in the event of accident or illness.  In addition, we urge you to take out a policy that includes cover for cancellation, curtailment, loss of luggage and personal effects and that the policy has a high level of cover for personal liability.

 

About Credit Card Travel Insurance
You may have travel insurance included with your credit card. 

Before you travel:

  • Contact your bank to request the details of their insurer
  • Find out the level of cover included with your credit card insurance policy
  • Obtain the contact information for the insurer that you would need in an event of an emergency
  • Be sure to determine the credit card provider requirements that qualify you for cover.  Example: a minimum purchase value on the card for your holiday expenses
  • If travelling within Australia, check your policy covers you for domestic travel

 

DISCLAIMER
We have taken great care to prepare and publish the trip information and in good faith we believe it to be accurate.  However as is the nature of travel, plans may need to change from time to time and often unexpectedly. 

If trip details need to change due to circumstances beyond our control in most cases your final documentation issued prior to your departure will be updated.  However, it’s also possible that you may encounter itinerary changes while on holiday. It could be related to unexpected weather or road conditions or another example could be the unannounced closure of a facility such as a restaurant we planned to use. In these cases our ground operator for the holiday will make all best endeavours to provide an alternative of equivalent or similar standard.

At other times although not commonly, we may make itinerary changes after publishing the trip details on the website. This is usually directly related to enhancing the experience as a result of past traveller comments and from our own discoveries. 

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Encounter Travel
ATAS Accreditation No: A10439

Encounter Travel provides holidays for solo travellers. Since 2006 we've been creating tour, cruise and resort packages for solo travellers that like to share their travel experiences. Visiting destinations across Australia and around the globe our holidays include short tropical escapes, leisurely touring, cruises and active walking trips.   


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