Delhi to Goa overland tour

“A two week budget overland trip from Delhi to Goa following in the footsteps of the old Hippy Trail, but with a bit of a faster pace. Culture, coast and camels all in two weeks.”

Highlights

Delhi | Agra and Taj Mahal | Jaipur | Desert camel ride | Pushkar | Udaipur | Mumbai | Sleeper train journey | Goa

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18 Nov 2018
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04 Oct 2019
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Our top tip:
This trip is aimed at 18-30 age groups so, if you are of the real hippy generation, it will certainly keep you young. But it might not be for everyone.
Trip type:
Small group. 4-18 adults. Min age. 18.
Solos:
Solo travelers welcome. Surcharge for single rooms if available.
Accomm:
Basic hotels and guesthouses.
Included:
Basic hotels, sleeper train, internal flight, most activities, guide, local public transport.
Meals:
1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 2 dinners included. Budget £180-£250 for others.
Vouchers
Accepted
Vacation type
Small group vacations
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Meet a group leader
As well as taking care of all the day-to-day practicalities, your group leader is the one who will turn your trip into an adventure. Leaders are extraordinary characters – the kind of person who has spent 14 Christmas days on the slopes of Mount Everest, runs marathons wearing tiger suits to raise funds for their conservation and thinks nothing of leading an overland trip in Sudan or Afghanistan. Fearless and inspiring, group leaders are as important as the destination itself.

Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure. As well as doing crazy things like climbing Kilimanjaro 100 times, they also donate their time to local projects supported by travelers – such as rebuilding Sri Lankan villages following the 2004 tsunami.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Delhi to Goa overland tour

Group size: In order to keep the environmental and negative social impact of travel to a minimum, we operate this tour with a maximum of 15 passengers.

Accommodation: The majority of our hotels are small, locally owned and family operated establishments. This tour includes twelve nights in hotels and guesthouses and one night on a sleeper train.

Local guides and operators: By working with local guides and operators, we provide economic benefits directly to the local people and businesses. Our local guides are experts in flora, fauna, and history and culture, and provide our travelers with insight into local knowledge.

Tour leaders: Our tour leaders receive special training in low-impact travel and regional conservation issues and projects. They are also provided with a Sustainable Travel Manual. Tour leaders are selected based on their knowledge of, and commitment to sustainable travel. All our tour leaders speak English and have first aid and CPR certification.

Our foundation: Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed our own foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours.

Through this, we support the Seva Canada Society, an international non-governmental organization dedicated to the elimination of preventable and treatable blindness. Seva has worked in Nepal and India for 25 years and more recently in Tibet and Tanzania. Today, nearly 40 million people are blind with ninety percent of the world’s blind living in developing countries. Another 135 million have debilitating low vision. The good news is that most of this blindness can be prevented or cured. Half of the world’s blindness is caused by cataract that is reversible with a 15-minute operation costing US $20 - US $50 in most developing countries.

4 Reviews of Delhi to Goa overland tour

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 02 Apr 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Spending two hours at the Taj Mahal at sunset was amazing! Couldn't believe it was free! Also really enjoyed Tordi Sagur, the village, when we got to visit the village, see old disused sites, climb sand dunes and a extra sunrise hike up to an old fort.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


It is full on, lots of traveling! Be prepared for that, it does slow a little in the middle where u spend 2/3 days in some places but it is intense. Some of us thought there was a lot of downtime in the plan but your CEO will plan out days to give u a rest during the hottest points (we napped or drank beer on rooftops at this point and some people ventured out to markets or to try street food) they will also sequence the optional activities to ensure you enjoy them all (so free days were never free, he always arranged an extra activity and then we would hit the markets to pick up gifts and clothes). JD (our CEO) would always alter plans if we asked, you just need to speak up and often the group would split so everyone could do what they wanted, nothing was too much trouble for him. Haggle, Haggle, Haggle! Don't be scared to go low low low, things are soo cheap but everyone will try to overcharge you and I couldn't believe how cheap things could be, 15 days is a long time to pay triple for everything! JD dealt with most of the haggling for transport etc so it was only at markets so not something you have to deal with daily. Ask how much things are first, you get a more honest answer if u seem less interested and don't have money in your hand. Be prepared to walk away, the price can drop quickly. Pay attention in the textile factories if u do want to buy and be prepared to insist on seeing the low price items if u get a pushy sales person.Buy water when you get to your hotel! We paid 100x the cost at the airport. Always ask your CEO for food recommendations (but also establish you will like them) to eat local foods as you travel. Know how to dress or accept that people will stare more and approach you. People will approach you anyway and want to take pictures of and with you (I have no idea what they do with them!) It was pretty constant and if u stop u tend to get mobbed and often they will try and and get various shots. My advice is keep moving, feel free to say a firm no and walk away or if you say yes (I did most of the time as it was harmless, except the beach, just say no on the beach) be clear that you will pose for just one photo otherwise you may be there a while! Despite being odd it all felt very friendly and there was genuine curiosity from them, it never felt threatening (except on the beach! So say no and walk away). Take tissue!!! There is rarely tissue in toilets and the stuff they give u at hotels in not nice quality. You're going to need it for the obvious and you may find you're sneezing a lot so you'll be greatful for some soft tissues all round.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Absolutely, we travelled using local transport always, reducing our carbon footprint and locals were always employed to drive us, guide us etc. We ate in good but local places and one night in a social enterprise set up to support lower caste Indians and street Indian into employment.

I noticed other reviewers commenting on plastic (you buy 1l bottle water for 20-40p each 4-6times a day and it is rare to be able to throw them in recycling), this is of course frustrating but I don't really see what the travel company can do about it, they are doing what they can where they can, they cant transform a countries recycling processes and attitudes overnight!

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


It was amazing! As long as you can be willing to take it for what it is, many things did not make sense to us Westerners at all! But if you can just accept things as they are you will have a great time. Almost everywhere we stayed was higher quality than expected. We packed so so much in. The CEO was incredible, nothing was too much trouble and I would definitely travel with this company again.

Reviewed on 12 Jan 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Discovering and exploring new places, meeting people, getting to know a new culture and way of life. I felt the trip covered a lot of aspects such as the history, culture, food, people, traditions and more. Our days were filled with the right amount of activities as well as unexpected events. We visited Forts, palaces, Ashrams, holy lakes, invited to an Indian wedding, went to a music festival in Goa and got to do it all with a great group of people. Our local guide definitely made all the difference for this trip and made it easier for us to get to know India and didn’t get hassled as much as we could have done. He also went out of his way if we needed or requested something and made sure we had fun along the way as well.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Just go with the flow of the trip. The guide is always on hand to answer questions. Do the activities, try to catch a sunrise it’s worth it and sunsets are always special there. Go with a very open mind and don’t have high expectations especially when it comes to local transportation and you will be pleasantly surprised along the way.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes I definitely felt that the trip benefited local people especially the village we stayed in. We used local transport as much as possible to reduce our environmental impact. We used a taxi firm that only employs women drivers which was a great initiative.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Ten out of ten. I had been looking forward to visiting India for a really long time and this trip definitely exceeded my expectations. As a woman and my first time in India I knew it would be difficult to visit and doing it with our tour operator meant I could enjoy and take in everything without being worried. All the transfers and accommodation were taken care as well which meant I could fully focus on the trip and take it all in. This was definitely a great way to discover India for the first time, meet some great people along the way and time travel through this beautiful country.

Reviewed on 27 Oct 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


When we went to our CEO's house and celebrated Diwali with his family. It was an amazing experience!

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Don't bring too many clothes! You can buy lots of it in India! Don't drink tap water and go vegan or vegetarian. I didn't get any tummy problems in Delhi and maybe because I was really cautious with what I was eating (I was eating only vegan foods) and I make sure that I don't drink tap water and only brush my teeth with mineral water.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. There was quite a few optional activities that I did and some of the ticket costs go towards the local community.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Brilliant! Amazing! I wish I could've done it longer. I will be back again!

Reviewed on 25 Sep 2008 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Seeing was believing when it came to the Taj Mahal, not many places live up to be better than you anticipate as this place did. My wife and I have done some traveling, but this has to be the most impressive building we have ever witnessed. The Taj Mahal was almost worth the tour fee alone.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Do not be put off by such a cheap price for the package, if we had paid treble we still would have been getting value for money! Don't be put off by such high attention from the local people, humour it where necessary, and be very careful with who you trust. That does not go to say do not talk to anybody, but with many people seeing an opportunity to make a quick buck from a relatively wealthy tourist, there is often a trick or twist up people's sleeves.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


We had ample opportunities to visit local markets and purchase from the man on the street.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


A most enjoyable experience, the accommodation at times would not have been out of place on a luxury tour. The contrasting people and sights of India really do make this a unique experience. Even if you are a seasoned traveler, this tour will provide you with experiences that are very different from previous ones. Having such a cool, respected and knowledgeable guide in 'K.V.' benefited the tour immensely.

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