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india?

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Dec 8th, 2011, 02:07 PM
  #1
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india?

my wife and i are considering a 3+ week trip to india. we are in our late 60s and have traveled independently all around the world - don't like tours. our most recent trip was about a month wandering turkey. have been to thailand (our only tour) and sri lanka (our daughter-in-law's homeland) in asia. what do you think of this trip? thanks
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Dec 8th, 2011, 03:46 PM
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what do I think? I think it sounds like fun.
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Dec 8th, 2011, 03:50 PM
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Ditto. You might find julies recent thread useful.
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Dec 8th, 2011, 05:25 PM
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yup, do it - have a local tour operator arrange a driver for you
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Dec 8th, 2011, 07:38 PM
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You will have no problems traveling - except maybe a bit of Delhi Belly. Go for it!
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Dec 9th, 2011, 02:49 PM
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Go for it. We are in our 60's and really enjoied or recent trip. See Why India ..Part II thread. Our tour operator supplied the car and driver. Bob arranged the hotel, but Castle and Kings would do that for you also. The right driver makes ALL the difference in how and what you see in India. Having a guide at the major sites is helpfull, but being with your drive is a low key way to see what YOU want to see at your pace. Do some research to find out what interests you. India is a fascinating country, and it is becomming more westernized every day. Go now.
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Dec 11th, 2011, 09:23 AM
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every one is talking about a car and driver for seeing india. have never done any thing like that. we have either driven ourselves (thailand, turkey, baltic states, more) or taken public transportation. what kind of expenses are we talking about for a drive and car? do you pay for his lodging and meals? did this in sri lanka with daughter-in-laws family. thanks
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Dec 11th, 2011, 09:27 AM
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Do NOT drive yourself in India! Assuming you can find anyone nuts enough to rent you a car without a driver. Even I, a serious budget traveler, spring for a car and driver on occasion in India (otherwise I take the train, or a rare flight). Your driver's expenses are included as part of the rental cost.
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Dec 11th, 2011, 01:59 PM
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Guides and Drivers are very inexpensive in India.

Contact on the of the agencies and/or guides recommended in the various posts on this Forum.
My wife and i used VP Singh, LegendsandPalaces.com, and highly recommend him.

Have a great trip.
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Dec 12th, 2011, 08:00 AM
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Cost of car and driver is inexpensive in India. Probably more hassle to rent a car and definitely difficult to drive.

Do not drive yourself...it is not worth it.....you are not used to driving in mixed traffic...cars share the road with cows, bicycles, trucks, bullock carts and people walking. Plus you might wear out the horn...LOL.

Sounds like a great trip...enjoy.
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Dec 12th, 2011, 12:42 PM
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"every one is talking about a car and driver for seeing india. have never done any thing like that. we have either driven ourselves (thailand, turkey, baltic states, more) or taken public transportation. what kind of expenses are we talking about for a drive and car? do you pay for his lodging and meals? did this in sri lanka with daughter-in-laws family. thanks"

I am also 60+ and I've had two very brief trips to India alone.

The costs for a driver and car are cheap by Western Standards. I paid higher than some for quality; you can get cheaper - but you get what you pay for. In 2008 I hired a driver with an Ambassador for five days for INR1800 per day to see the "Golden Triangle" and earlier this year I paid the same per day for Kerala over four days. In both cases I made sure the driver could communicate in English; thus I had an interpreter as well as a driver. I added a good tip in both cases. I arranged my own accommodation.

The driver looks after his own accommodation and meals. However, I learned to use restaurants recommended by the driver for at least one meal daily because that often meant he got a free, or very cheap, meal for taking me there.

I echo the advice not to drive yourself. I have driven all over Europe and the USA on the wrong side of the road but I would never drive in India. I give some of the reasons here: http://loraltravel.blogspot.com/2008...ian-roads.html and here: http://loraltravel.blogspot.com/2008...nd-baolis.html

More reports on my trips to India are here, with some tips (ignore the misleading url http://loraltravel.blogspot.com/2006...of-france.html

For India there is another great froum at www.indiamike.com/

India is incredible. You are going to love it if you can observe without judging.

Cheers, Alan, Australia.
Born Under a Wandering Star
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Dec 12th, 2011, 01:21 PM
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car and driver---ballpark $50 per day inclusive...

it is the best travel money you will spend...

i use castle and king in delhi:

[email protected]
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Dec 12th, 2011, 01:23 PM
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My husband (who turned 69 during our recent trip to India) & I travel much the way you do and my husband insisted he would be able to drive in India. (Note that he drove in Turkey for 3 weeks and was upset that I didn't let him drive in Thailand). After being in India only one day, he thanked me for insisting that he not be allowed to drive. India's roads are like no others we have experienced and driving requires a real skill. Besides that, the signage is virtually non existent and at times the drivers themselves have to ask for directions. It would have been impossible to travel without an Indian driver.

While many here are great proponents of hiring a driver and guide throughout their journey through India, we used a combination of planes, trains and drivers, only hiring guides on a limited basis. Guides and audio tours are readily available and most of the audio guides are quite good. We often preferred them to the guides we hired as they were clear and could be turned on and off when we wanted to take pictures and just wander.

There are times though when hiring a driver was quite convenient and you will want to have a driver on certain routes to see sites in between towns. If you click on my name you can read my trip report. Be sure to insist that the driver speak good English. While our driver was a wonderful man, his English was limited, making it awkward at times. Arvind from Castle & King is wonderful to work with and a real gentlemen. We would use his services again, but we would be more insistent on having a driver whose English skills were better. The driver he provided us in Delhi was fabulous.
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Dec 28th, 2011, 04:55 PM
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Do not attempt to drive yourselves in India!! Madness!! It's not like Turkey or New York City or any other place in the world. Save yourself a great deal of stress and hire a sensible, safe driver. I recommend Ramesh Meena who owns his own company: indiabycaranddriver.com. Check trip reports from travelaw, indianapearl, bonnieheather, mrsmarge -- all clients of Ram.
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Dec 29th, 2011, 08:37 AM
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We too have driven ourselves in a gazillion places that many people wouldn't feel comfortable in--Romania, Turkey, the wilds of the Yucatan, Lithuania--and it is our style. But, we have also hired drivers in Peru, Vietnam and Nicaragua. As you will note, these are all developing countries with cheaper and more affordable prices. In all of them, because of the crazy traffic and/or complete lack of signage, we have been so relieved to just sit in the backseat and look out the window. (Normally it is my husband at the wheel and me in the passenger seat with the maps.)

We too intend to get a car and driver. I just came across this agency, and although I know nothing more about it, I think I may contact them.

http://devarosa.home.xs4all.nl/English/introduction.htm
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Dec 30th, 2011, 07:29 AM
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I think at your age you are experienced enough to decide the way you travel but I will suggest a few things:

1) Don't take the risk of self driving as it is risky.
2) Use homestay facility with decent families as in certain places like metro cities hotels will be costly. You will be safe with local families and get their advice as a add on.
3) India is a vast country so you need to plan the areas to be visited depending on your interests.
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Dec 30th, 2011, 06:04 PM
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Go for it Ddreher! It like Budgtt's 3 rules. Time to start undertaking #3.
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