I just wanted to write a brief note, having just returned to our home just 2 hours ago. I promise a trip report, too, but for now, letting you know that we have a fabulous trip to India, seeing Delhi, Varanasi, Agra and Rajasthan in 3 weeks.
Thanks to everyone here for feedback - it was invaluable for my trip planning. The trip went incredibly well, no snags until the end (and these snags had nothing to do with trip planning) - our flight home got cancelled because of the storm, and and negotiating the interruption was a bit challenging. Ultimately, we got on the next day's flight, but it was very up in the air (so to speak!) for the first day and a half.
I booked hotels directly, but worked with Nikhil, of TGS to coordinate all other aspects of the trip - drivers, guides, activities, specific recommendations - and he did an amazing job for us. He provided us with a wonderful driver, Rajendra, who drove us through Rajasthan, and we hired guides in most places. One nice touch was that we were also met by a TGS rep in most of the locations, which really made us feel safe and taken care of. Nikhil would generally call each day while we were driving, just to check in to see how things were going and to review upcoming plans.
As far as clothes -- you guys called it well! Very casual, and in layers, layers, layers. I ended up wearing 2 pair of pants exclusively, and my comfortable Brooks sneakers throughout most of my trip. I had short sleeve t-shirts and longsleeve t-shirts, a warm sweater, a lightweight safari-style jacket, and a black zip up sweatshirt. They were black and pink, and I alternated them every day or so, but believe me, no one is going to care what you're wearing.
Temperatures varied - evenings and mornings were generally cool, but warmed up to the mid-80s in some places by the afternoon, although generally in the 70s for much of our trip. The temps were unusually cool this year, and when we arrived in Delhi, the evening and early morning temps were high-30s/low 40s. So wearing layers is essential.
I'll definitely write a more thorough trip report as I acclimate to being home, but I did want to let you all know that our trip was fabulous.
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Just returned from an amazing trip to India!