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Really early India (+?) planning for 3 month trip - some random questions

Really early India (+?) planning for 3 month trip - some random questions

May 1st, 2011, 10:20 AM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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The first time I went to India was for ten weeks. The second time was for six. I'm considering four for next time...

However, I was moving a fair amount, mostly by public transport. If you're stopping in one place for a while, and if you're traveling with a good driver, you should find it less exhausting. (For my TRs see wilhelmswords.com/asia2001 and http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...an-sojourn.cfm )
thursdaysd is offline  
May 1st, 2011, 02:29 PM
  #22  
 
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Oh Elizabeth! Im so excited for you. India is at the top of my wish list and about 3rd on
Bill's so we will see who wins.
From my discussions mostly from people who live here but grew up there, the consensus is 50/50- some say No problem, you'll love every minute. The other half say dont even go.
Im willing to take the chance. And I will surely be poaching info from the answers you get here!
irecommend is offline  
May 2nd, 2011, 03:42 PM
  #23  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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if you're dong a houseboat cruse, check Lakes and Lagoons.
CaliNurse is offline  
May 2nd, 2011, 04:39 PM
  #24  
 
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We spent over three weeks in India. I loved it. My husband had a harder time adjusting. I've spent years reading about India and immersing myself in Indian culture. My husband had not.

I really don't know how to advise you. I would ask what made you want to go to India? Think about those things a bit and perhaps you can understand your own reasons a bit more.

I met someone at a party the spring before we left who recommended looking at clips on youtube. I did so and found it helpful to get a grasp on the wonderful colors and chaos of India.

Of course, you will probably stay in comfortable places along the way and using a car and driver. That will spare you some stress. But there's simply no way not to be affected by a poor child who is forced to snake her way through six lanes of traffic to knock on your car window to beg.
indianapearl is offline  
Mar 30th, 2013, 01:37 PM
  #25  
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Topping this - the trip didn't happen in 2011 - we went to South America instead because our points were more productive at that time.

Resurrecting it now as we are planning pretty much the same trip for departure late this year/early 2014.

I've been looking at flights today - for this long journey we would really prefer Business Class (or maybe Premium Economy?) due to my husband's bad back. I can book the two of us Biz Class to COL and home from DEL using my piddly Aeroplan points, plus $6,300 (i.e. point top up, taxes, fees, fuel surcharge, etc).....this might advance my planning this week!
Elizabeth_S is offline  
Mar 30th, 2013, 01:45 PM
  #26  
 
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In my experience, getting those flights is what jump-starts my planning.

Do you have clearer ideas of where you want to go? Anything you've ruled out/ruled in?

This sounds like a wonderful trip!
Kathie is offline  
Mar 30th, 2013, 01:53 PM
  #27  
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Kathie - isn't that the truth!

Re itinerary -

No major revelations since my original posting - I've found some nice beach houses in Sri Lanka and I can foresee us doing some touring and then chilling in a beach house for a week or so. We're not beach people but it's part of the experience and we do like to snorkel. So maybe 3+ weeks in Sri Lanka at the beginning. Then onto Southern India - I found your comment interesting about your trip planning for Sri Lanka.

The north takes care of itself (not to diminish it - but the itinerary is easier to plan). Have to decide about Darjeeling or maybe Nepal.

I don't think we'll try to add in any other destinations - Bhutan, etc....would rather do a good job of this.
Elizabeth_S is offline  
Mar 30th, 2013, 01:54 PM
  #28  
 
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my immediate reaction today is one of caution... this is not europe, SA or any vaguely civilized country. its the housing and health standards that i would worry about.

have you read anything at all about apartments?? i've never read of one person renting a furnished apartment..

don't get me wrong, india is a fabulous place to visit but i am not sure that would work for a westerner on a short term basis...

i think the flt prices are decent..
rhkkmk is offline  
Mar 30th, 2013, 02:16 PM
  #29  
 
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You may find my India TR useful for the south - click on my name. Definite vote in favor of Darjeeling - by the toy train - and Nepal, but I love mountains.
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 30th, 2013, 02:23 PM
  #30  
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Bob - I have looked at a lot of short term rental options - mainly villas in obvious places....not likely to do apartments in big cities but you never know. There is a significant self catering infrastructure that I think will work for us. Thanks for the flight prices comment - it means using 180K of Aeroplan points plus $6,300 and for 2, Biz Class (and I can probably squeeze in another internal flight in the itinerary) it's pretty good I think.

thursdaysd - thanks - I read your Darjeeling report when I first posted this - will revisit it.
Elizabeth_S is offline  
Mar 30th, 2013, 02:51 PM
  #31  
 
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Re: flights. Don't know what Aeroplan is? Any chance of using the points for RTW tickets? I use AA FF miles for OneWorld RTW awards and get business class for only 50% more than economy. But I do have a large open segment.
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 30th, 2013, 04:24 PM
  #32  
 
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I think three weeks in Sri Lanka would be just lovely. And what about a combination of Sri Lanka and Darjeeling for variety?
Kathie is offline  
Mar 30th, 2013, 08:07 PM
  #33  
 
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if to TM, there is what sounds like wonderful rental near the ocean in South Chennai with a very responsive Bay Area owner. if interested, let me know here, and i will try to find the link.
CaliNurse is offline  
Mar 31st, 2013, 03:42 AM
  #34  
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thursdaysd - sorry, Aeroplan is Air Canada's (Star Alliance) points program. I looked at Star Alliance's equivalent of RTW (or regional passes) to learn that last month they significantly restructured them, removing India from the Circle Pacific Pass.

You can use points to buy a Oneworld Pass? I looked at their passes briefly yesterday - will have another look. I might be able to transfer Aeroplan over to Delta.

CaliNurse - yes, would love that info if it's not too much trouble - thanks.
Elizabeth_S is offline  
Mar 31st, 2013, 05:37 AM
  #35  
 
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Delta is Skyteam not OneWorld (which is AA), but I see Skyteam says their RTW tickets are 10% off. However, I like the awards because business class costs so (relatively) few miles.
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 31st, 2013, 11:16 AM
  #36  
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thursdaysd - duh - I have my alliances mixed up! A cursory examination says I could swap my Aeroplan into AA and end up with about 55K AA points....going on their website now to see if that's worth much for this itinerary.
Elizabeth_S is offline  
Mar 31st, 2013, 11:23 AM
  #37  
 
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Elizabeth - probably not. My RTW trips have taken 125,000 and up for biz class, and that's with a large open segment. (But I just hit 125,000 again! Need to start planning....)

On the other hand, Circle Pacific may be a good bit less. Even if you can't get all the way to India, it may be worth a Circle Pacific award to get the long haul flights in biz, and then take a cheap Asian airline on to south Asia. I know Dragonair flies HK to Kathmandu, for instance.
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 31st, 2013, 11:35 AM
  #38  
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Thx again - what do you mean by a large open segment?
Elizabeth_S is offline  
Mar 31st, 2013, 12:02 PM
  #39  
 
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For the RTW deal you can have one segment (leg?) that is overland and not part of a continuous flight plan. There are also restrictions on how often you can fly in and out of the same city, and how many flight segments, and I seem to remember you have to keep going in the same direction. Different rules for Circle Pacific. I have found the agents who answer the phone for booking these awards particularly helpful.

The way the RTW award is "priced" is by looking up actual flying miles in a table, biz class "costs" 50% more FF miles than economy. The table is buried somewhere on the website.
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 31st, 2013, 04:46 PM
  #40  
 
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Have you checked the temperatures in various parts of India for the times you'll be there? For instance Shimla and points north might be a bit brisk in January: wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_of_India#Extreme_Temperatures:_Low

Perhaps you can start in the south and work your way north as spring approaches.
indianapearl is offline  

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