Nora Knorauk review 31 Mar 2012
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?
The country is beyond expectations.
2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?
This was a 'comfort' trip; check which operator you choose and the kind of tour you sign up. I went on a 'comfort' tour and my expectation was that we would have good hotels (they were all fine) and more inclusions but 'comfort' tour in this instance means later starts as a result much of the day on road instead of allowing more time spent at various locations to learn more about India and locals. I travelled before with other operators, based on my experience I would rather choose those.
3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Visited one project and heard about the operator matching travelers contributions but otherwise very limited actions seen in everyday matters (eg no wastebin on bus etc). We were however much encouraged to tip and I wonder how the operator pays and promotes its on staff, hotels, local guides and drivers if they are so heavily dependent on tipping.... On other tours, we had tipping but there has never been so much pressure than on this tour.
4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?
It was a good introduction to India and I wished to continue my trip as an independent traveler to explore more. Our scheduled has fallen on 'holy' festival but the programme has neither recognised nor was adjusted for this. We had a tour leader who advised not to go to the streets but remain at the hotel....
Read the operator's response here:
Where you stay is all part of your vacation experience. This tour offers a comfort style of travel which is predominantly tourist class (3-4 Stars) hotels. The accommodation experience on this tour is varied and offers 6 nights in a heritage property which based on previous feedback is a highly rated experience for our travelers. Our Comfort style trips are still adventure travel but with a softer landing, this is perhaps why you felt your tour involved later starts in the morning. Perhaps comfort wasn’t the style for you and you would prefer one of our Original itineraries.
Responsible Travel is very important to us and as an Industry leader in sustainable travel it is at the forefront of everything we do. Since opening our doors in 1989 we have been dedicated to a style of travel that is culturally, environmentally and socially responsible. It is through feedback from our travelers that we are able to uphold this passion.
In terms of the tipping -though not compulsory - is appropriate. While it may not be customary to us in the West, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels, inspires excellent service, and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many of our destinations.
Safety of our travelers is of the up most importance to us and traveling in India during the Holi festival (a lunar festival but generally held in March every year) can at times be dangerous - a lot of locals participate in consumption of intoxicating substances. The day has been associated with physical violence and danger. Your leader would have advised what places to avoid on this day and it may even be necessary for you to avoid putting yourself in a high risk situation.