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NancyLA Sep 29th, 2010 09:08 AM

Question about Yatrik and tours in general

Thanks to some great advice from this forum we finalized our India itinerary with Yatrik Tours awhile ago. They're now asking us to pay in full in advance of our trip, including all hotels, entrance fees, etc. I'm not really comfortable with this and wonder what other travelers with Yatrik have done. We've never booked a trip through a tour company before, so maybe this is standard operating procedure?


jules39 Sep 29th, 2010 11:25 AM

Hi Nancy. We used with Yatrik in Jan/Feb of this year. After thinking about it & checking with my hubby we did indeed send the full amount to them prior to the trip. We sent it in 2 installments because we were several months out from the trip so sent a deposit frist & then the final payment about 6 weeks or so before. We had absolutely no problems. Yatrik did everything they said they would & then some. Some friends of ours are using them to make some arrangements for this coming Dec & I certainly would not recommend them to a friend if I was not happy. We did not book a full service thing with Yatrik but did have them book a lot of our hotels (they got better deals than I could) This I was very happy about when one of the hotels in Varanasi actually closed for a few days just before we got there & Yatriks rep had it sorted out & us booked somewhere else before we even got there. We did meet a couple who had not been so lucky made the booking themselves & arrived on the doorstep of a closed hotel! We also had them arrange all our transport. So to sum up we definately had the same fears as you did about sending the money but for us there was no problems. Have a fantastic trip When do you go?

BostonHarbor Sep 29th, 2010 11:57 AM

I used Yatrik and paid in full before the trip. As I have said in the past, I found them to be absolutely terriic in every regard and everyone else I have referred them to has said the same. I trust them completely. Usually travel firms require a deposit upon registering for a trip and then full payment 60 or so days before the trip commences. Certainly with any American tour company this is a requirement. I'm not certain what other Indian firms do, but as I said, I have entrusted many friends to Yatrik and have never had anything but rave reviews.

Write to Ajay Sharma directly if you have particular concerns. Tell him Patricia (Boston Harbor) from Fodors suggested you write. <[email protected]> Attn: Ajay. You need to feel completely comfortable and should ask all the questions you want and need.

Kathie Sep 29th, 2010 12:03 PM

It is very common to pay in full in advance. I've done so for a number of Asian trips.

NancyLA Sep 29th, 2010 07:25 PM

Thanks so much for your replies. Makes me feel alot better. We've been working with Ajay, who has been delightful, so that wasn't the problem. It's just alot of money to pre-pay! But, if that's the SOP, so be it. We're off in mid-November for 3 weeks. SO excited...

Thanks again.

Kathie Sep 29th, 2010 07:40 PM

Have a wonderful trip!

jules39 Sep 30th, 2010 07:06 PM

3 weeks that is soooooo exciting! Ajay is great to deal with. Have a fantastic time!! J

520 Sep 30th, 2010 09:49 PM

We leave on 11/25 for a 19 day trip and based on all the strong praise for Yatrik and Ajay, are using Yatrik for our entire India trip. We just sent in our payment for the complete trip today. The only other times we used an agent for a trip was for a trip to Vietnam, Cambodia and Bangkok, and a safari in Botswana and Namibia, and also had it book our hotel in Capetown. In each instance we had to pay for the complete trip about two months before the trip. The agency has to pay for all its bookings, and can't be expected to lay out the money itself. We completed all the arrangements for the India trip last June, I think, and did pay for our internal flights at that time, and it's now a little less than two months to our departure, so it's the appropriate time to pay.

Ajay has been a pleasure to work with throughout.

Nancy, what's your itinerary? I wonder if we overlap at all.

BostonHarbor Oct 1st, 2010 06:32 AM

I'm so jealous of those of you heading to India. You are going to have the BEST time! Every minute is a photo opportunity. Have fun!

NancyLA Oct 1st, 2010 11:55 AM

Hi - we leave on 11/17 and will spend 2 weeks in the north and a week in the south. We'll visit Delhi, Varanasi, Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Udaipur in the north, and then Cochin and the area around Lake Kumarakom in the south. 520 - we probably will overlap if you are visiting some of the same places, but you may be right behind us!

Thanks for everyone's comments. It's made us feel alot more relaxed about the prepayment.

CaliNurse Oct 1st, 2010 03:36 PM

Sounds wonderful!
Glad you will be by Kumarokom Lake--lovely and relaxing. Where are you staying?

dgunbug Oct 1st, 2010 06:43 PM

Please be sure to post your trip reports timely when you return! We will be going for three weeks the following November/December, depending when we can book our flights. Cann't wait to hear about your trips. Have a great time.

NancyLA Oct 2nd, 2010 11:43 AM

Hi CaliNurse - we're staying at the Kumarokom Lake Resort. I've heard it's just beautiful from friends of ours who have stayed there. It's also one of the most expensive places we'll be staying in, but I think we might need a little quiet beauty at the end of our trip.

CaliNurse Oct 2nd, 2010 02:18 PM

Nancy, you will LOVE the area. It is a perfect place to relax and decompress!!! I am envious!!We stayed 3 days north of there on a little island in Vembanad Lake at Philipkuttys Farm, and spent an afternoon at Coconut Lagoon, closer to your resort. They are all so beautiful and peaceful.
If you want to shop, our fav Fabindia--medium sized, but very personable staff and good selection--is in Kottayam town, not far from where you are staying.
If you want to read a novel (albeit sad) about that area, get "The God of Small Things" The village where it takes place (Ayenem) is nearby. Near the hotel, you can get a "country boat" (more like a dugout /rowboat) into the small waterways that line the villages. HIGHLY recommended. (These boats are different from r houseboats, that are too large to go into the smaller local waterways). The hotel will know where/who to contact for this.

CaliNurse Oct 2nd, 2010 02:19 PM

sorry for typo; the village is Aymenem.The book will give you a good "feel" for local life.

Elainee Oct 3rd, 2010 07:48 AM

When we had to prepay everything for our trip to South Africa I took out cancellation insurance. First time I every took out insurance for a trip. Unfortunately my husband became ill and we had to cancel. Got back all the money we had prepaid, including 5 different flights on 4 airlines, 14 days worth of hotels, safari camps, etc. Some of these arrangements were made thru travel agent, but most done by me. I have now taken out cancellation insurance for my March trip to Bhutan which has already been prepaid. One never knows!

CaliNurse Oct 3rd, 2010 11:46 AM

What company did you use for the travel insurance, Elaine?

pantherbob Oct 6th, 2010 04:21 PM

Hello, Re: India
I've booked a three day Amritsar Sightseeing and Wagah Border Tour from Delhi. The travel company is Isango. Has anybody used them or done this tour? Any thoughts?

merckxxx Oct 6th, 2010 04:35 PM

Question for 520. You wrote "THe agency has to pay for all of its booking and can't be expected to lay out the money itself (!!!!)." Is this based on some genuine factual knowledge or just a convenient assumption? I recently had a talk with a hotelier who was telling me about the number of hotels and restaurants who wait and wait and wait to be paid by the tour companies - and the bigger they are, the most arrogant they are delaying payment. He mentioned 3 companies that went out of business and hotels and restaurants that were not paid for months of consumption. I wonder where you get your info.? and I disagree with you that they cannot be expected to pay. In fact, if they go belly up and you paid in advance, you will be just one more creditor in a line up of those who will never get back a cent. I cannot see the reason for paying 100% in advance except that maybe they deal mainly with slippery scoundrels in their businesses. I did pay in advance - kicking and screaming - for a cycling tour in Ireland this summer, but mainly because it was a small amount of money ($1200). Any business, that is ANY, is eligible to fail - full stop.

merckxxx Oct 6th, 2010 04:38 PM

p.s. to the above - it is possible that if payment is made via Visa, their recovery process will refund some or all of the payment. But I have no empirical evidence to say that it actually happens.

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