How to plan a trip to India in 5 easy steps
This is my complete guide on how to plan a trip to India for absolute beginners. Here you will find everything you need to know about planning your own dream trip to this incredible country. You have already done the most challenging part by deciding to come here and take steps to determine how to make that happen. The truth is it is nowhere near as hard as you think to put things into motion and make everything a reality.
I know it seems perplexing to plan a trip to such a big country. It is easy as long as you have a plan of action. in a nutshell, that is all you need to make it all happen. Now I will walk you through the best way to put creating your very own personalized plan and putting it into play.
I will show you the system I use and have been using for years. It has been tried and tested repeatedly so you can be rest assured it definitely works. There is nothing more satisfying than hatching the perfect plan and putting it into reality. It is my pleasure to help with this so read on guys and see if there is something here for you.
Here is my video on this topic for those people who would rather watch something than read a blog.
Step 1 Decide how long you will go.
Obviously, the longer you go, the more you will be able to see. However, it is perfectly understandable that not everyone has a year of their lives to spare to wander the earth. Some of us have mortgages, children, carriers or perhaps a pet hampster they just can’t leave alone for too long. If you can spare twelve days or twelve months, you will still have to make a decision and stick to it. You will need this piece of information to book a flight, get a visa or work out your budget so this is definitely the first step. Fundamentally you will need to know this to move on to the next step.
Step 2 Decide where you want to go.
Ok, so India is a vast country, and it is blessed with many landscapes and cultures. You won’t see it all no matter how long your journey is, so decide what you really want to see. Sit on the end of your bed and put some real thought into it. I can tell you how to plan a trip to India, but only you can decide what direction your dream journey will take through this whimsical country. All of our dreams are different after all.
India is so radically varied in its entirety; there is almost no comparison after the fact everyone there uses the rupee. Kerala is very different from a state like Ladakh. So much so it is verging on unrecognisable. Let’s compare the two for the sake of an example. Kerala is predominately Hindu and is the epitome of a tropical paradise. The fertile Western Ghats are heaving with wildlife and picture-perfect beaches fringe its long coastline. The food is rich and robust with complex flavours.
Ladakh, on the other hand, is harsh and unforgiving. Endless mountains punctuate the insanely photogenic desert. Adventure travel beckons the intrepid among us at every turn. Timeless Buddhist temples create a stark contrast against the saw-toothed mountain ranges that create a dramatic backdrop. The food, while delicious, reflects the scarcity of the environment. Unusual wildlife clings to existence using every niece available to them. Now you need to ask yourself what appeals to you most? It can take months to see either in-depth, and that’s just for starters. Many states are equally as different.
Even if you just have a weekend, you can still get something good out of your time if you use it wisely. For suggestions on what your time can get you, please feel free to check out my post on how long to go to India.
Step 3 Book your flights
With the many budget airlines running to India getting a cheap flight has never been easier. There is a lot of competition these days so there is a lot to choose from.
Shop around for the best price for your flights and consider booking any internal flights you may have. You have a plan now, so work everything around your schedule. I have found Sky Scanners to be super useful and comparing flights, and I suggest you use the same. I used to use STA Travel a lot, but unfortunately, because of Covid19, this is now no longer an option. So Sky Scanners it is then.
Some destinations are more expensive than others to fly to. Overall, I would say New Delhi is the cheapest destination to get a flight to from the UK at least. Mumbai, Goa, Chennai or Kolkata are also very reasonable. If you can stick to these then I would suggest doing so. However if your itinerary does not allow it then you will just have to suck it up. Sometimes there is little choice but to invest.
If you are on a more extended trip, it may be beneficial to book a flight into one city and out through the next. This is called an open-jaw flight, and it is useful if you will be backtracking. You dont want to spend too much time on public transport as that would be a massive waste of your fleeting time. I recommend drawing a map of your proposed route and think about how you will be getting around and if internal flights or an open jaw will be helpful.
Step 4 Organise your visa.
Now you have worked out the two most difficult parts the rest is easy because it is a set method The first two parts is all personal choice and I am constrained on what I can do to help that. The next thing to do is book your flights and organise your visa. India is now offering a visa on arrival if you are only going to be there a few weeks. Personally, I would always get a visa in advance to avoid any complications. If you want to stay for more extended periods of time, you will need to apply before your flight no matter what.
I have a step by step guide on how to arrange your visa to make everything easier for you. Here you will find all the information you will need. I have made it as concise and simple as possible. Quite frankly it is not easy, particularly if you are like me and just awful with computers.
Step 5 Go shopping.
Now you have booked your flights your timer has started. Bear in mind that your visa starts from the day you apply so you will probably need to apply for that as close to your flight as possible.
Now you will need to buy your equipment. This can cost a lot of money depending on what you want. The more expensive items such as your camera should be bought in advance. If you leave everything till the last minute, it can be both overwhelming and expensive. Somethings like medicines or toiletries are best bought closer to the time you start your visit. If you are confused about what you should be buying, I have a whole Ebook for you to download.
I would also advise you to photocopy your visa and passport. There are numerous times you may need this such as applying for permits or to hand to hotels whos photocopier is out of order. Trust me that happens sometimes. Passport photos would not go amiss either although I tend to get them in India as they are far cheaper.
You don’t need to take lots of rupees from your home country as they are easy to get your hands on and you will inevitably get a poor exchange rate. Change a few rupees at the airport when you arrive and change the rest in town for the best rates. If like most travellers you will be using your card mostly I would strongly recommend you tell your bank that you are coming to save any complications later. Now say goodbye to your families and get on the plain. Let the adventures begin.
Summary of my post on how to plan a trip to India in 5 easy steps.
This was a comparatively short post for me, and that’s because it is as simple as that. There are no more tips needed to be shared when it comes to planning, and there is no need to complicate things more than they need to be. Any relevant links have been given for further reading. In fact, I am proud of this blog as I have not gone around the houses. You don’t need to do more than this and to find out what to do after you land, please check out my post for yet another easy read.
While this post has been quite brief, I feel I have covered everything you need to know. Although I am always happy to help if you do have any questions. This website is designed to help you plan and execute your dream trip to India before anything else. So I hope you have found this post of some value and it to be insightful. With that said, I think that is enough. So I will leave you to get back to your day and say goodbye. So until the next time my fellow Intrepid travellers, happy planning.
Follow me on social media 🙂