MOST COMMONLY ENCOUNTERED QUESTIONS
Many people have expressed their concerns to me about visiting India: the heat, crowding, becoming ill and beggars are high on the list of worries, mainly from people who have never been there.
Firstly, let me relieve some of those concerns, followed by other questions you may have. I have travelled extensively in India over many years. Through careful attention to the daily details, choosing quality accommodation, employing trusted local guides, providing genuine interaction with local people and taking you to off-the-beaten-track destinations, I can make your Indian adventure safe, enjoyable and memorable.
Do I need a visa for India?
All foreigners need a visa to enter India.
There is a choice of e-visa >>> https://www.indiaonlinevisa.org/
or old-school visa pasted into your passport >>>
India is certainly hot in the summer months with temperatures soaring into the high forties celsius. This is why KASU TOURS are only planned in the winter months between October and March when the weather is mild, pleasant and dry.
The average daytime temperature in February is 25 °C to 27 °C, dropping to 10 °C to 12 °C at night. The days are usually sunny with clear skies.
Yes, many parts of India are very crowded, especially the cities. But many parts are not crowded and that is where most of our tours will be: in the less crowded places. The short time we will spend in cities with the teeming population can be exhilarating and fun seeing how the place functions with so many people.
It is possible to stay well in India with a few simple rules: consult your doctor for appropriate preventative medicine before leaving; only drink bottled or purified water and only cooked food; either peel fruit or wash in clean water; only eat street food if it is cooked at a high temperature just before you eat it; do not touch animals; be meticulous with hand washing before eating.
Will I get sick from the food?
India offers a fantastic variety of delicious food and we take many precautions to ensure that you do not become sick. We will mostly be eating in reputable hotels and restaurants, some of them world class.
We will provide you with plenty of guidance as well as bottled water.
Many people are aware that most Indian toilets are ‘squatters’. However, in recent times the western style ‘sit-upon’ has become widespread where tourists are likely to be. All of our accommodation has western style toilets and even India Rail has them on trains as well as Indian style…. you just have to go to the correct end of the carriage for the one you prefer. It could be a good idea to pack a small amount of toilet paper for train travel as India does not use it and it is sometimes difficult to find on trains.
Many people are concerned with the possibility of encountering beggars, and how to cope with severe poverty up close.
Beggars are a sad fact in India, especially in the big cities and anyone with a heart can’t help but be moved by them.
Having said that, our tours take you to places where there are virtually no beggars. You are much more likely to be the subject of wonderful Indian hospitality in the small towns and villages we visit: an invitation to chai, to the local temple or even a wedding.
Again, you are unlikely to encounter touts (people paid to try to get you into a shop) on Kasu Tours as they tend only to occur in places with a constant flow of tourists. As we take you to off the beaten path places, you will not encounter touts.
What is the accommodation like on the tour?
The accommodation has been chosen for quality, comfort, and especially character. I have tried to stay away from generic impersonal international style hotels in favour of friendly staff, heritage havelis, former palaces, luxury camping and homely modern village living. All of the hotels we stay at have wifi.
How much spending money will I need?
As most of the meals are included in the tour price all breakfasts, 12 lunches, all evening meals except one, plus plenty of bottled water, there will be very little to spend on food. The meals not included in the tour cost will be quite inexpensive – allow about $10 for those meals you pay for yourself.
In addition, all workshops, demonstrations, entry to monuments and museum, guides, drivers and taxis and some tips are also included. Click here for a full list of inclusions in the tour cost.
The the rest is up to you: unless you are a complete stoic, shopping is almost impossible to avoid as there is much temptation all around. We will mostly shun big city stores as we will be visiting the makers and they usually have quite a bit of stock on hand to choose from. For those who can’t resist purchasing beautiful handmade goodies, we will include a visit to the Post Office to offload the excess baggage.
How many people are on the tour?
There will be a maximum of six guests on the tour.
What kind of clothing should I take on the tour?
Pack light clothing suitable for travel as the weather will be mild. You may want to pack something a little more formal for some of the outings, and something you don’t mind getting dirty for some of the workshops. Some of our accommodation has swimming pools and we will be spending our last two days on a beach, so you may want to pack a modest bathing suit.
Evenings can be cool as we will be traveling at the end of winter, so a light jacket or a shawl would be sufficient.
You will need comfortable walking shoes or sandals and a hat.
Modesty is important in India, so clothing that is not too revealing is best. As we will be visiting places of worship, legs and arms will need to be covered – so a long skirt or trousers and sleeved shirts.
What about Sim Cards and wifi?
Its best to purchase a travel sim card before you embark on your trip as it is quite difficult now for foreigners to purchase them in India.
Most of our hotels have good wifi reception.
For those who enjoy alcoholic beverages:
Selling and consuming alcohol is permitted in most parts of India, but not in the state of Gujarat where our Cloth and Stone tour takes place. Gujarat has been a dry state since 1958, so alcohol is difficult to find and you will need a permit to consume it. Permits to consume alcohol are available at Ahmedabad airport and it is ok to bring in duty free from home or buy it at Ahmedabad airport. Having said that, most of our hotels will not permit drinking on the premises, so better not buy any.
Do I need travel insurance?
Travel insurance is unavoidably necessary and is the responsibility of the individual. KASU TOURS will require a copy of a current Travel Insurance Policy with the required inclusions two weeks before departure. For more details on travel insurance, see the Terms and Conditions page.
Duty free – Australia
If you make a purchase of items that together total AU$300 within 60 days of your departure and you take the item with you on the trip (eg a new camera, mobile phone, clothing etc) these items could be eligible for a tax refund under the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS). There is a handy app available on the website that may give you priority at the claims counter.
Read all about TRS claims here >>
A percentage of profits at KASU TOURS is donated to selected charities we work with in India.
Any other questions?
Please write to me via the CONTACT page. In my response, I’ll give you my phone number so we can have a chat about any questions or concerns you may have.