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India travel agency/tour operator recommendations-OAT? WorldSpree?

India travel agency/tour operator recommendations-OAT? WorldSpree?

Feb 1st, 2015, 02:59 PM
  #1  
jat
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Join Date: Dec 2004
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India travel agency/tour operator recommendations-OAT? WorldSpree?

My husband and I are planning a trip to India in October/November 2015. We don't usually go on tours, but were happy with a ChinaSpree tour to China so are considering their new WorldSpree India tour. Would appreciate hearing about any experiences from anyone who has been on a WorldSpree tour. We are also considering an OAT tour, and would be interested in any feedback about that. We are also considering C&K, L&P, and Banyan Tours, based on the recommendations of others in this forum, but I am not sure I have the time to work with one of those companies to come up with a personalized tour. Would appreciate any advice about pros and cons of these different options. Thank you!
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Feb 2nd, 2015, 08:05 AM
  #2  
 
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No need to go on a group tour unless you enjoy them. It is easy to get a custom private tour, and often no more expensive than being herded on tour buses. Yes, you will need to do your research and make good choices about where to visit, as agents often cram in too many destinations.

If you opt for the group tour, I guess the advantage is that you don't have to do any of your own planning. But you will have little/no flexibility in how long you spend at places you want to visit and often times group tour itineraries list lots of places, but most of them are "drive-bys." Also, group tours have a number of shopping stops (but of course, you experienced that in China) which are ok with some people but intolerable for others.
Kathie is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2015, 08:14 AM
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I did an OAT tour in India a few years ago and enjoyed it immensely. The itinerary was good and the hotels quite nice, and I found the place rather overwhelming, so there was no question that I was going to do a tour.

However, there was far too much driving, and I felt we spent too much time on the road. Other tours rely more on trains, and that's much better in my opinion.

But I thought the value was tremendous on this tour (and some others I explored but didn't choose).
doug_stallings is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2015, 05:52 PM
  #4  
jat
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Thank you both very much for your helpful responses. I don't necessarily enjoy group tours, but I am not sure I have the time this year to devote to the planning required otherwise. Doug, the impression I had of the OAT tour was along the lines of your comment about all the driving. I won't rule OAT out, but will investigate other options and compare. World Spree looks like good value, but I think they just started the India tours, so it may be hard to get reviews until they have had time to run some more tours.
jat is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2015, 06:34 AM
  #5  
 
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jat, do you know what you want to do/see/experience in India? If so, you can simply provide this information to several local agent in India to get bids. The cautions are to make sure you aren't trying to cover too much in too little time. Travel agents often think nothing of living you a series of one-night stays which is a bad idea anywhere, but especially in India.

I would really encourage you to book a private tour covering what you want to see rather than a group tour.
Kathie is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2015, 01:45 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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Hi:
I did the OAT Rajasthan tour in 2011 and was quite pleased by the variety of experiences that were offered (major sites, visit with 2 families, visit to an OAT school, tiger hunt, camping) and the knowledge of the tour guide who used the bus time to deliver lectures on the history of India and the sites to be seen. What was missing from the whole experience, however, was ADVENTURE. When everything is planned, the opportunity for serendipity is limited and I ended up feeling that what I had experienced was something akin to IMAX, with all of the interest points covered but no one feeling the way it would when we find things for ourselves.
GEsssa is offline  
Feb 4th, 2015, 07:00 PM
  #7  
jat
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Thank you all! I will explore both organized tours and having a local agent in India provide bids. I did the former in China and the latter in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam and those worked well; I find India a bit more daunting but maybe concentrating on just a few places and spending some time in each will be the best solution. I have a meeting in Delhi so it will be easy to organize some local tours there.
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Feb 19th, 2015, 02:03 PM
  #8  
 
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I've been working with Abbas from "India Someday" for my trip in November 2015. I obviously have not gone on the trip yet, but I love what he has put together for me so far. It's exactly the mix of nice, safe, clean but not lavish that I wanted. He's set up a 3 week trip across northern India for me and after looking at it I just want it to be November right NOW.

I was a bit overwhelmed by planning for India and a bit nervous of being entirely on my own there, so this is a great middle ground for me. I get the assistance and security of someone helping me and setting up lodging and transit for me, but I still get to do my own thing.
Iowa_Redhead is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2015, 12:03 PM
  #9  
jat
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Thank you. I will check out this company. I am also looking into train trips.
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