OAT trip to India

May 2nd, 2013, 05:37 PM
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OAT trip to India

Has anyone gone with them on the India trip? Comments?
virginiafish is offline  
May 2nd, 2013, 05:47 PM
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I made the mistake of going to Thailand with them for my second trip to Asia. Never again! I've done India twice on my own, and although I might take a tour next time, it wouldn't be with OAT.
thursdaysd is offline  
May 2nd, 2013, 06:21 PM
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Oh...who would you suggest?
virginiafish is offline  
May 2nd, 2013, 06:45 PM
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Depends on how much you want to spend. I'd probably go with Intrepid, at Comfort level, but that might be a bit down-market for you. Then there's Imaginative Traveler and Peregrine. Lots of choice if you want to spend more.
thursdaysd is offline  
May 3rd, 2013, 06:56 AM
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hi all the family--- please go on your own...

use my friend avrind who owns castle and king in new delhi... his prices are very fair and he provides a good product...

don't be afraid to tell him no to something you don't like. he often lets you book your own hotels... ask for krishna to be your driver.. get the SUV for extra $$---well worth it...

tell him you are a friend of ours.

we are in italy so i don't have his info, but just google castle and king, or look on my trip reports...
rhkkmk is offline  
May 3rd, 2013, 01:01 PM
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Hi, Virginia,
Is there a reason you would prefer to go with a group? Like Bob and a lot of others here on the board, we really like traveling independently and working with a private agent in India allowed us to have the best of both worlds.

I worked with Nikhil of TGS, who managed our trip. We chose our hotels and booked them directly, although he will do that as well if you want. Developing the itinerary was a 2 way process - with research, I had a good idea of what I wanted to do, but he gave input. He took care of all the transportation and guides, and had agents meet us in most cities. We really felt looked after. We didn't know what to expect from this way of traveling, but we both felt it was handled really well.

We really prefer independent travel, so found this to be a perfect solution for travel in India.
progol is online now  
May 4th, 2013, 05:30 AM
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Thanks SO much. You have confirmed our original thoughts (in fact, I have Lonely Planet's "India" sitting on my desk awaiting me to study it). We are thinking about November-ish 2014, so we have plenty of time to plan. You led us correctly for a beautiful time in Thailand, so here we go again. We usually travel independently, but thought this was daunting. Now, we feel confident. Yay!

Bob and Karen, have fun in Italy!

We will be back on this topic (new threads) in the future.
virginiafish is offline  
May 5th, 2013, 10:23 PM
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You can plan by yourself.
Its very easy.
November is pick time.
Take a train between agra and Delhi.
Its super fast train.
kaimurholidays is offline  
May 6th, 2013, 12:40 PM
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I did the OAT trip to India a few years ago, and I enjoyed it, but there was too much traveling by road. I felt that we had far too many long days in a bus and not enough in our destinations. Granted, there are some places that are just hard to reach, but part of the problem with these trips is that the company has to deal with the logistics of getting a drive and bus around the country with the group. We took the bus from Delhi to Agra and lost hours on the journey versus a train. And we were often staying in more package-friendly hotels instead of in the heart of things (not always, though). And the food was mediocre for the most part.

I, too, think you could probably do a better itinerary on your own, but there is something to be said about the camaraderie of the small group trips and the fact that you don't have to make many plans on your own. It's definitely easier, and I could not have possibly done the trip as cheaply on my own which was a consideration for me at the time.

I wouldn't completely wing it, however. Definitely use a good tour company that can arrange a private trip for you if you can afford it.
doug_stallings is offline  
May 6th, 2013, 01:34 PM
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Thanks, kaimurholidays and Doug_Stallings! Those are the lines along which we are thinking, as we are developing our own small group. We appreciate your thoughts.
virginiafish is offline  
May 6th, 2013, 10:09 PM
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Virginiafish..On your own you can stay at some of the smaller Heritage hotel, and get the real feeling for India. Some of the day trips by car are more interesting because you can stop in a local village and take pictures of the local market. Or one day we went by a well where the ox was walking in circles to raise the water. It was laundry day. What a fabulous photo opportunity. I think on a bus your rush right by . Some times you are getting from point a to point b, and it doesn't matter if you are in a car or bus, it is a long day...but a bit more at your pase.
kmkrnn is offline  
May 6th, 2013, 10:20 PM
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kmkrnn-thanks! so good to hear from all of you who helped us before! you advice is priceless.
virginiafish is offline  
May 27th, 2015, 10:15 AM
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While the OAT trip to Heart of India was wonderful, the abundant food was sub-standard. We saw many wonderful sites and a few unscheduled sites (due to my research), but the food selection was bad. Quite a few in my group didn't like it, and I myself wasted much of it. I would take tiny table spoons of several items and throw it away. Others stacked their plate 6" high and went back for seconds and thirds. They said that the food was fair, but nothing special. The hotels were quite good except the Radisson in Veranasi. I wrote a review earlier on that.

OAT is a good value at times, but it is not the only tour company and one must choose the trip based on what they want and need. There also was not that much chance to explore on your own.
sarahmoglewer is offline  
May 27th, 2015, 10:53 AM
Join Date: Feb 2012
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We have just completed a trip to Northern India and then a few days in Cochin using Arvind from Castle and King. He has been great. Helpful, responsive and when we suggested something he did not think was good he said so. We are four women and we did a lot of research on our own.
ladyrep is offline  
Jun 6th, 2015, 06:34 PM
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Thanks for these recent comments, as India is still on our list.
virginiafish is offline  

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