One of our primary goals is to help keep each destination in pristine condition. Essentially, we would like the destination to be unchanged after each visit. This will allow future groups to experience the same great sights as you have, and it will help to preserve natural resources as well. We believe that tourism provides a much needed insight into cultures, and this can help to bring about peace between countries and people. However, in order for this to happen, the toured lands need to be respected and free from abuses, litter, and other misconducts. By respecting the local rules and habits, you will help to preserve a foreign land while also bringing it closer to your own.
Information About Sightseeing
Perspective is everything, and to help keep your travel enlivened and fair, your Tour Manager will change the seating periodically. This will help you and your fellow travelers to always have the best point of view, and it will also allow you to broaden your mind with different views.
If your tour coincides with a local religious holiday, then it may be changed as to not offend the locals. As religious holidays vary from region to region, it can be difficult planning a tour around the numerous festivities. However, should a monument or attraction be closed, we will ensure to find a suitable replacement that will satisfy your needs. This also applies to any monuments or attractions that are undergoing construction or are hindered by the weather. While we cannot cancel a tour due to any construction or weather, we promise to find a satisfactory replacement that is just as culturally important and exciting as the original.
Information for Escorted Tours and Passengers Staying on Land
Your professional tour manager will contact you after your check-in at your hotel. If you have not purchased a hotel transfer, then you are to check-in to the hotel immediately upon arrival. Your documents will contain further details on your hotel and itinerary.
Buying Tours Locally
If you are on an escorted tour, then you may be able to purchase optional tours. These tours can be paid for by credit card or cash unless otherwise stated. Independent Packages fall under a different category, and the specifics can be found in the Terms & Conditions below.
During your trip, you may be provided with independent activities. These activities are optional, and while they will certainly enhance your time abroad, they are not endorsed or officially recommended. Should you partake in any of the independent activities, please be advised that they are not covered by our liability, and you will be responsible for any actions that occur. Before selecting any independent activities, it is worth considering your current health condition as many of them require physical exertion. Also, many of these activities may involve animals, and it is advised that you heed all safety precautions before embarking fully on your adventure.
The Rupee is the currency of India, and can be used in both Nepal and Bhutan. The U.S. dollar is also generally accepted at most tourist destinations.
It is advisable to bring some of the local currency along with you as ATMs may be sparse. Also, the exchange rate of US-cash to the local currency may not work in your favor. We also advise you to call your bank or card company and alert them of your travels. This will help to avoid any delays in withdrawing cash, and they will be able to assist you with any further inquiries. If possible, try to use your credit card as this will allow you to track your spending. You will notice if there are any wrong charges, and you will avoid losing money in the process.
Check with the local consulate in regards to any cash limit that there may be. No matter the cash allowance, it is advisable to carry $20 bills or those of a lesser value; many banks and stores will not accept $50 or $100 bills. If you are using a credit card, try to use a Visa as it is more accepted than other similar cards.
MONEY: Keep in mind that although U.S. dollars are generally accepted in most countries, there may be an exception. Please check to know whether you will need to convert dollars to local currency. If using a credit card at an ATM, you may need to notify your bank or credit card company to avoid difficulties. Also, even if U.S. dollars are accepted, please note that in many countries vendors, stores and individuals may refuse U.S. dollars of higher currency (such as the one-hundred dollar bill) or bills that are old, ripped, written on or torn. So, please obtain newer bills in smaller denominations to have money that will be acceptable for purchasing items in the intended destination. .
Many US credit cards use magnetic-strips to verify identity, while many cards overseas use a chip that requires a PIN-code. While the magnetic-strip should pose no problem to ATMs, it may pose a problem to smaller stores. If you find that your card is not being accepted, try to explain the situation or simply avoid the intended service altogether. In this scenario, you would be best prepared by having emergency-cash in your wallet. If you are traveling to Europe, then you can avoid this situation by purchasing tickets and other items online in advance.
Shopping can be a great way of exploring new parts of town while also finding the best gifts. Your tour may include a shopping excursion, and this will provide access to all of the best shops. These shops are chosen for their prices, authenticity, and cultural heritage. Should you wish to shop alone, we advise that you use caution when purchasing from new malls or street vendors. Don’t feel pressured into buying anything that you don’t want, and don’t buy anything that looks fake or dangerous. Even though there may be a language barrier, remember that you can always walk away and that you are not obligated to purchase anything.
Depending on the country visited, you may be able to reclaim any taxes spent while shopping. Nearly 50 countries participate in this program, and it is worth checking online to see if your country is Tax-Free Shopping, or TSF, applicable.
It is important to remember that any items exceeding $800 will be taxed upon entry into the US. This includes the total of all items brought in as well. If you ship an item back home, then it will most certainly be taxed. Remember not to ship anything back home that is illegal, such as illicit substances or anything made of endangered species. Bringing any of these items on you will also result in confiscation or a potential detainment. As always, use common sense and try not to purchase or bring anything that you wouldn’t while at home.
Your safety is our number one priority. Before traveling, it is advised that you register with your consulate in order to stay updated with any pertinent information.
These following tips are crucial in ensuring your safety while abroad:
- Don’t venture into desolate places. Try to stay with the crowds, and if a place looks dangerous or dark, then it is best to avoid it.Make sure not to bring all of your important documents, cards, and cash with you at once. Instead, bring only what you need. Also, make sure not to have everything in one wallet or pouch.
- Make photocopies of your passport and other important documents. While this may change from country to country, you generally do not need your original passport on you.
- Put all of your important belongings in the hotel safe.
- Avoid placing fragile or important items in your checked luggage. Instead, keep them in your carry-on or in your pocket.
- Pay attention to the items in your pockets, and hold your purse or bag close to your body at all times. This will help you stay clear from pickpockets.
English is generally known by many people of other countries. The official languages of India is Hindi and English. Many dialects and languages, however, are spoken throughout the countries of India, Nepal and Bhutan.
Common courtesies should be observed. Conservative casual dress is appropriate. Smoking, though common, is prohibited on public transport and in cinemas and theaters.
Tipping is always a matter of personal discretion. Although minimal gratuities may be included per the itinerary, additional tipping is always most appreciated. For your convenience, please use the summary below as a guideline for recommended gratuity amounts. Gratuities may be paid in U.S. Dollars or local currency equivalent. Please be aware that tipping is considered by many locals to be a part of their normal remuneration and some may approach you for additional “compensation.” There is no need to be intimidated by the request, nor should you feel pressured to pay more than recommended.
Scams in the Street
Pickpockets and other scam-artists can ruin your adventure, but it is possible to avoid them by following these tips:
- Be alert, and pay attention to your surroundings. If there is a street-game, demonstration, or or show, then there will most certainly be pickpockets waiting to take from unsuspecting onlookers.
- Try not to stand still for too long in any one location, and if possible, keep your hands in your pockets and your bags close.
- If you travel independently, try not to travel alone late at night. It is best to have your adventure during the day in well-crowded areas.
- Many pickpockets are experts in their craft, and they will try anything to divert your attention away from your belongings. They may spill something on your, ask for directions, or compliment your outfit while their friend takes your wallet. If someone approaches you, it is best to walk away. If they persist, yell loudly for help and try to attract attention as this will cause them to run away.
- Don’t give money to beggars.
- Carry small-denominations of cash to avoid attracting attention. When paying for a meal, take out only what you need and keep the rest safely in your pocket or purse.
- Take caution when using ATMs. The best ATMs are those inside of banks; however, these may not always be available. If someone is watching you use an ATM, it is best to walk away. Always be aware of scams that involve the ATM-machine itself: if your card gets “stuck” inside of the machine, it is advisable to call your bank and have the card canceled.
- If someone should confront you, remember that it is not worth fighting back. They may be carrying a weapon, and your safety is not worth your belongings. Give them what they want, avoid eye contact, and then contact the authorities as soon as possible.
Local Emergency Numbers
Upon arrival, it is important that you take note of the local emergency numbers. Not all countries use 911 for their emergency number. Here is a list of emergency numbers, which we will refer to as 911 numbers, from the travel.state.gov website – click here: 911#’s
With the purchase of an escorted tour program, you will receive the telephone number of our representatives along with your travel documents. If needed, they will immediately assist you with any emergency that you may have. If you are traveling independently, then you are advised to use the assistance of local authorities and the hotel staff.
Purchase an adapter to convert your electronics into the proper voltage and outlet. While the standard voltage in the US is 120 volts, the standard in India is 220, and it is 230 in Nepal and Bhutan. A voltage adapter will help to ensure that your electronics are safely converted and charged.