The best india travel websites 2021
I have created this post on India travel websites because digital platforms have become increasingly more important for travellers over the years and there are oodles to choose from. I know it can be hard to make sense of the tsunami of information that you get whenever you try and research one little thing.
As valuable as the world wide web is, not all travel advice you will find on it is good, and some of it would be quite frankly dangerous to follow. Don’t get me wrong, I dont believe that someone would deliberately suggest something that would harm the reader and nine times out of ten, it is written in good faith. Based on my experience, I can say that at least some of them are terrible advice.
Some of the worst I have seen are those who say you can get by on ten dollars a day for everything while travelling in India? I know that is what many readers want to hear, but it is definitely not true, and even if you could manage it, the quality of your experience would be significantly impeded. I suspect that it is either based on an old experience or to make money by pedalling palatable information. These sort of posts are everywhere! However, it does not stop them all from being very untrue.
I will wage a bet with anyone who wants to take it that if you were to ask any Indian if the cost of living is dramatically increasing, they would say unequivocally yes. I am not a betting man unless I know I will win. India is hurtling into the 21st century at breakneck speed, and the cost of just about everything is going through the roof.
Let me give you an example to put things into perspective. The cost of the entrance into the Taj Mahal is currently about seventeen dollars. That is before the cost of transport, food, accommodation and the I love Agra keychain you want to give to your mother in law. So If your daily budget is ten dollars, how could that possibly work?
I know everyone will have a wildly different experience where ever we choose to go, but the cost of something like an entrance fee is undisputable. While there is no right answer on how to travel you can safely bet there is a wrong. Turning up without enough money is going to be painful, so let’s avoid that.
However, I don’t know it all. The point of this post is to inform my readers where I believe you can find reliable sources of information on the tangled up world wide web. Here is where I get my suggestions, and please remember I actually recommend these places, and I am not affiliated with any. With that said, let’s get started, shall we.
Oh yes! They may be dull, and they may be boring, but they are the most reliable source of current information around. The UK government website is updated with such frequency it is mind-bending how they do it. As only one single blogger looking in, I can only presume there is a huge team of people responsible for this. Your government’s website will have the most relevant information on there for you as a citizen of whatever country you come from.
I dont necessarily agree with everything that is written on them though. For example, the UK gov Indian travel page currently advises against all travel to Kashmir, and I would disagree. Honestly speaking, I have never felt even a little bit threatened there, and I am not about to gloss it up and say its all roses. The reality is it will be the many scams that will wear you down, but the state itself is stunning. The food is good, and the people are very kind as a whole. It is just the scams that are tough, and that certainly does not constitute a reason not to visit.
However, if you plan on taking travel insurance, you will have to adhere to that advice if you want it to remain valid. It is also the best place to learn about any substantial disturbances that may affect your travel, such as pollution, civil unrest, and even any recent terrorist attacks will all be covered on their pages. You will also be able to find your nearest consulate should you need one.
I have not Included any COVID19 information in any of my posts because the rules change faster than I can change my pants, so my work would be outdated in a week.
Do you know where you could find the most up to date advice on the Corona Virus? Government websites! Whatever rules are on them they are the ones that apply to you if you agree with them or not. It saves you wading through masses of irrelevant news articles. Your Government will have a very high domain authority, which means it will rank first if there is a relevant page in your chosen search. It is worth reading this stuff to cover yourself legally, if not for anything else.
Blogs, Vlogs and YouTube.
Of course, I am going to say these are fantastic sources of information. You are reading mine, after all. However, as I mentioned before not all are prone to handing out good advice. I have read some that are amazing. I have learned a lot myself from reading some of them. Unfortunately, Some seem just to copy and paste whatever they come across on the internet. Victims of this lousy information can seriously impact your dream trip and could potentially be dangerous.
Some peddle whatever information will get people followers. My all-time favourite pile of nonsense is you can visit India for ten dollars a day and expect any kind of quality of experience. I know I mentioned it before, but really? It is a lovely story, but it is far from reality. India still offers fantastic value for money, but it is essential to be honest with the people reading blogs like mine.
I think it is irresponsible to write that stuff just to get some engagement. For an honest and realistic look at what your money will get you, please check out my blog on that when you get the time.
There is no law against someone opening up a website or youtube channel about anything. I can open up one that is all about being a mechanic even though I have never driven a day in my life. There are definitely some top quality blogs out there, and you can find out so much helpful information, so it is certainly something to utilise.
I would advise anyone using someone’s youtube channel, blog, Twitter account, Instagram, or Facebook page for information to check the person or organisation. Make sure it’s not just nonsense or, worse yet, a scam. How long have they been in your desired area. Remember that in today’s blogging world we all have to niche down to be useful. That means a single blogger writing about worldwide travel will more than likely be of limited use to you.
The Lonely Planet.
Of course, there are other organisations out there like the lonely, but this deserves a section all to itself. It is an endless source of quality information, and it has had years to refine its style. There is lots of information on hiking, wildlife, transportation, markets, hotels, restaurants and suggestions on reliable companies for those people wanting to take an organised tour.
It is also a good source of impartial advice on what to avoid and what not to. I have been using this company to travel before the modern internet was invented and I wholeheartedly recommend utilising it. What I love most about Lonely Planet is how clear it is. For example, if you want to find out where your nearest consulates are when you are in one of India’s big and confusing cities like Delhi or Mumbai, you can find the address with a map of the easiest way to get there. This applies to pretty much any typical issue you may have while you are on your adventure. What more could you want from a guide book.
The website is handy, although I have to admit I am very old-school and carry the book as it is easier to move to the page you want fast. You will probably be using something like this very often, so it pays to have the book to prevent yourself from turning prematurely grey. I found the Kindle version to be especially frustrating as it takes ages to find what you want. At least if you are using the web, you can search for what you want at some kind of speed and not fumble around on the Kindle. I do love my Kindle but for normal books. Not ones you have to flick through fifty times a day.
However, you decide to use the years of experience accumulated by the Lonely planet team, I am sure you will find it an indispensable source of guidance for any traveller.
There are oodles of India travel agents online, and like blogs, there are many that are outstanding, but there are many that are not. It is a personal choice, but I only go with reputable companies that I know are unlikely to steer me wrong. I have taken too many bad tours to have not learned any lessons. The first three recommendations I make are all Indian owned and very reliable. However, many of the tours that are offered are geared towards domestic tourists, and what you are looking for from your adventure is often very different.
Boooking.com does not need any introduction, as we all know what that is. However, it is prudent for me to mention that it is often more expensive to use this service in India than simply walking into a hotel. You will be paying for a middle man, and unlike in the UK, that fee is fairly substantial over your whole trip. For information on saving money in India, you can check out my post and thank me later. It has taken me years of pain to accumulate this information, and that’s the beauty of the internet. You get to lean fro someone else’s mistakes.
However, if you are visiting an area of India that will be busy, and you know it is, I would strongly advise just paying the difference on something like Booking.com. There has been more than one occasion, where I have simply not been able to find a bed anywhere.
- Clear Trip (www.cleartrip.com)
- Make My Trip (www.makemytrip.com)
- Yatra (www.yatra.com)
- Booking.com (www.booking.com)
If you are looking to do an all-inclusive ethical tour of an area of the Indian subcontinent, I would definitely go through a well established and reliable company as they are expensive anyway. They are handy for those of us on a tight time schedule or lack the confidence to just up and leave ourselves. The first time I ever went travelling alone, I took two tours, and it was money well spent. I really enjoyed myself, and it helped me build the confidence to do it alone the next time. Here are some companies that I know get good reviews. Check them out when you get the time if this is for you.
- Intrepid Travels (www.intrepidtravels.com)
- The Blue Yonder (www.theblueyonder.com)
- G Adventures (gadventures.co.uk)
- Global Himalayan Expedition (www.ghe.co.in)
In summary of my posts on the best India travel websites.
There is no disputing the internet is very valuable when you are learning how to plan your dream trip to this incredible country. I can’t deny I have occasionally been led down some wrong paths by following what is online, but it is way better than nothing. Choose who you will listen to carefully, guys. There is a lot of good quality information out there, so soak it all up.
I always aim to give a no-nonsense honest approach to whatever it is I write about, and most importantly, my work is based on my own actual experiences. I will be honest with you here and tell you I am enjoying every minute of writing these blogs for you. I want to help you grow a love for India like I have and help you to have a good time. We all work incredibly hard for our time away, and we sacrifice time out of our lives for the experience. It is only right we aim to get the most that we possibly can out of our efforts, right?
I hope you have found this post to be of value, and you feel like it was worth the read. I know time is of the essence for us all. It is funny how when my dad used to say to me when I was a kid, “son, there is not enough hours in the day.” I used to think he was nuts, and the days dragged on forever. Now I appreciate what he was saying completely. That is why I try and keep my blogs short and as poignant as possible.
If you do have any more questions about this or any other topic regarding Indian travel, just leave your questions in the box provided. If you have any ideas on how I can deliver a better service, just let me know your suggestions as I am all ears. I want to deliver the service you want. So that’s it guys, until the next time, happy planning.Follow me on social media 🙂