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The Best of India: Treasures of the North and South

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Program #18716RJ

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21 Days | 20 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. Minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding, and rewarding, programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Discussion Board

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Marshal Blumstock Oct 10, 2015 at 09:08 PM

Depending upon your financial needs and wants: Generally speaking the fees are lower for larger denominations. For larger purchases I prefer my credit cards. The exchange rate is the rate at time of purchase. and the fee in my case is 3%. Remember when exchanging dollars you pay a fee. Hotels may also add fees for using credit cards. So be aware. I always carry cash when traveling. Small dollar denominations come in handy in odd situations but mostly travel with large bills. $200 in rupees covered my incidentals on this trip. As far as wifi. I travel with Iphones and use wifi to get my photos onto photo stream. Wifi tends to be unreliable and expensive but necessary for me. Depends on your needs. Be prepared to cover your own individual needs. But note you can never be prepared for India. Happy travels to all.
Jane Stewart Oct 11, 2015 at 12:27 PM

Thank you Marshal --'larger denomination'--so, I should take $100 bills, not 5 x $20 bills?

Theodore Wendel Oct 08, 2015 at 09:18 AM

Does anyone know if there will be opportunities throughout this trip to convert US currency to Rupees or should I convert all when we arrive at the airport in Delhi. It looks like their largest Rupee denomination is 1,000 Rs and with the exchange rate I don't want to walk around with a large bundle of Rupees.
Marshal Blumstock Oct 08, 2015 at 02:33 PM

The airport is the worst place to exchange dollars. I found that the Surya hotel had the best rates throughout the Trip I was on. Was able to use credit cards throughout . Happy to pay the 3% fee. People had problems with ATM machines. Like either they were empty or didn't get there full amount.
Theodore Wendel Oct 09, 2015 at 06:56 AM

Marshal, Thanks for the advice esp regarding ATMs.
Vinod Suchak Oct 10, 2015 at 02:38 PM

Just returned from the trip. ATMs are not available in hotels. Bring cash; you can bring large bills and then convert to Rupees at the hotels. Hotel rates were about 62 rupees.dollar which is not bad.
Theodore Wendel Oct 10, 2015 at 02:47 PM

Thanks Vinod
David Boyles Oct 10, 2015 at 07:52 PM

Marshal, thanks for the info re changing money at the Surya Hotel, and the ATMS. Re changing over dollars, does it help to have even 1s and 5s and 10s to "tailor" the relative exact amount of rupees of you want? Or, will the hotel only deal with 20s, 50s, 100s? Just curious if you have advice on a range of actual American denominations to bring. Thanks for any info you and anybody else may have. -- daveb
Vinod Suchak Oct 10, 2015 at 08:42 PM

You can exchange any denomination. BTW, make sure you get 10 rupees notes. You will need them at public rest rooms. Exchange $109 to start with. It will give you about 6,200 rupees. That will last you for a while.
Vinod Suchak Oct 10, 2015 at 08:43 PM

I meant $100
David Boyles Oct 10, 2015 at 10:24 PM

Hi Marshal and Vinod, thanks for the info. Yes, I was thinking of just changing about 100 or 150 to start, figuring that with meals and perhaps some purchases to remember the trip, and would be a start. I'm bringing TP, too.

David Boyles Oct 02, 2015 at 11:20 PM

Looking forward to India North-South trip in the Oct. 19-Nov. 8 group. Still trying to sort out SIM card options. I have a phone what will work fine (I believe). Trying to buy a SIM card in the U.S. before I go, rather than hassle the options in India (two more color passport photos; copies of travel documents; proof of "residency" in India (letter from the hotel), and activation times that seem to range between a couple of days to up to four days, depending upon the online resource I'm reading, etc., etc. If anybody has suggestions for SIM card purchase in the U.S. before the trip starts, I'm all ears and most appreciative. Looking forward to meeting fellow travelers. -- DaveB/Riverside, Calif.
Marshal Blumstock Oct 02, 2015 at 11:34 PM

I use AT&T as my provider for my IPhone. They have a passport plan for text, phone and data. quite reasonable and works well al over the world. No sim card or any of the dilemmas you've described. Check with your provider for a plan before you leave the states. Happy trails.
David Boyles Oct 03, 2015 at 02:40 AM

Hi Marshal, thanks, I was just looking at the Passport plans from AT&T; looks like an option. I also discovered a little while ago that my Consumer Cellular phone, on airplane mode and using Wi-Fi, along with Google Hangouts, may enable me to make free calls (!) to friends and family in the U.S. We will see. More research coming. Thanks for your helpful reply. -- daveb
Vinod Suchak Oct 10, 2015 at 02:43 PM

Some of the hotels will charge you for WI-FI; pretty expensive. To tell you the truth, you will be on the go so much that you won't have time for the Internet. Most hotels will let you use their computer in the business center for up to 30 minutes for free.

Elizabeth Dobbs Oct 01, 2015 at 11:12 AM

I met yesterday with a colleague from Delhi who mentioned a couple of things she does when she visits India. These might be helpful for us. She packs 3 or 4 bottles of water in her checked bag, so she can ease into the bottled water in India, and she takes about $300 cash in case there's a problem with an ATM machine. I'll see all you folks on the Oct. 19 trip soon!
Jane Stewart Oct 01, 2015 at 04:04 PM

I am looking forward to the trip.
John Kristofic Oct 01, 2015 at 08:22 PM

Thank you Elizabeth. I will do that. Have a wonderful trip.
Vinod Suchak Oct 10, 2015 at 02:45 PM

I just returned from the trip. You will get enough water bottles in your hotel room as well on the bus. Don't bother packing water bottles in the checked luggage.

John Kristofic Oct 01, 2015 at 04:08 AM

Dolly and I are prepping for the January 13 departure. It looks exciting but a bit daunting. Anybody else going?
Theodore Wendel Oct 01, 2015 at 04:42 AM

John, Do you mean the October 13th trip and if so, my wife and I are on that one.
John Kristofic Oct 01, 2015 at 08:23 AM

No, We have to wait until January. Please share your experience when you return. Bon Voyage!
Theodore Wendel Oct 01, 2015 at 08:46 AM

Will do

Theodore Wendel Sep 19, 2015 at 07:51 AM

Jane, I received an email from RS that showed a message from you to me but it does not appear on this board. In that msg you commented about your upcoming trip and asked if we are interested in outdoor type activities which we are. In looking at your earlier posts I get that your trip is the one after ours as we depart on October 13th but do corrected me if I am wrong about yours. I have not heard from anyone doing my dates. My wife and I are looking forward to our next experience and taking in all that our tour offers. Best, Ted
Jane Stewart Sep 20, 2015 at 05:18 PM

Unfortunately we are not on the same trip.

Jane Stewart Sep 11, 2015 at 11:01 PM

I am unable to purchase Rupees.
Jane Stewart
Jane Stewart Sep 13, 2015 at 08:45 PM

T.Wendel, I am unable to view your reply. Which Bank was able to sell you Rupees?
Theodore Wendel Sep 14, 2015 at 12:34 PM

My local bank, Citizens First Bank' the Villages, Fl told me that they could order them for me but after reading varies posting on travel site regarding bringing Rupees into and out of India, we will wait until we arrive in-country and find a reasonably secure ATM.
Vinod Suchak Oct 10, 2015 at 02:47 PM

See my ATM and currency exchange comment above.

Marshal Blumstock Sep 01, 2015 at 08:35 PM

Since polio is reoccurring in Southern India we chose to get a polio booster. We also had the typhus innaculation and chose to take malaria pills.

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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
18 nights of accommodations
48 meals: 17 breakfasts, 16 lunches, 15 dinners
12 Expert-led lectures
15 Field trips
3 Hands-on experiences
1 Performances
1 Flights during the program


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