Checklists, Visa Information, Health, and more.
Requirements and Process in brief :
- Duly filled in the visa application form (https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/) (Please use the latest version of the browser which supports secured sites).
- Print and sign the application form at the places marked on the application on its first and second page.
- Two recent color passport size (2inch x 2inch) photographs with plain white background showing full frontal face to be pasted on the form.
- Current valid passport of the applicant and address proof (Driving license can be considered as proof of address).
- Attach the required documents, for details in respect of documents and the visa process please visit the BLS website through the link https://www.blsindia-canada.com/, and submit the application at the nearest BLS center. You must ensure that all documents are attached to the checklist as per the category of visa you seek. An incomplete application will be returned for re-submission.
EXPLORE INDIA JOURNEYS
F – 14, Suite #209, Competent House
New Delhi – 110001
Phone: +91 – 9899 230522
Health & Medical Precautions
There is no vaccination certificate required to visit India for travelers arriving from North America unless you are traveling via an African country. Most travel clinics suggest travelers take vaccinations for Hepatitis A and B as well as Typhoid. We strongly suggest that you visit your local travel clinic to review your individual situation to determine what vaccines you need.
Your health care provider will:
- Consider your current health and health history
- Review your immunization records
- Evaluate your itinerary
Then he or she will let you know exactly what vaccines you need and where you can get them.
The list of vaccines will be based on:
- Your health status
- How current your immunizations are
- Where you are planning to go in the country you are visiting
- What you are likely to do while you are there
Money & Currency Exchange
We suggest traveling with some U.S. or Canadian dollars to be exchanged for local currency upon arrival. Most big cities have ATMs and larger establishments accept Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, etc. as well as American Express.
What to Pack
Daytime attire: Conservative clothing such as lightweight pants, loose shorts, trousers, and short-sleeved shirts are recommended. Bring fabrics that breathe and that you can wear in layers to take off during the heat of the day and put back on for cool evenings. Women should pack a scarf large enough to cover bare neck and shoulders. Evening attire: Somewhat smarter, but still casual; formal clothing is not necessary.
- Comfortable, walking shoes with low or no heels
- Sweater or lightweight jacket
- Lightweight raincoat or poncho
- Swimming suit
- Sunglasses, sunblock, and a sunhat
- Mosquito repellent
- Lightweight binoculars (optional)
- Small flashlight (optional)
- Simple first-aid kit
- Prescriptions and medications (We recommend you carry these in their original bottles and/or packaging.)
- Charging cables for electronics. Voltage converter and adapter plugs
Collapsible walking stick (optional)
Note: Laundry service is readily available at your hotels and is generally inexpensive.
During the winter months (November to March) temperatures in Northern India can get cooler, particularly in the evenings. This includes travel to Agra, Amritsar, New Delhi, Varanasi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur, and Pushkar. Pack a few warmer clothing items including a fleece jacket, a few thin sweaters, long pants, etc.
Visitors to national parks and wildlife reserves should wear browns or olive greens as they are best for blending into the environment; binoculars are also highly recommended.
Electricity – 220 Volts
The voltage supply at most of the hotels across India is 220 – 240 volts. Most of the plugs in India are different from those in the West. Our Explore India staff will provide you with complimentary plugs for charging your phones, pads, and laptops.
Airport Arrival & Departure
At most international airports, passengers cannot be met inside secured areas. This includes Immigration, Customs Halls, and Baggage claims. Your Explore India representative will greet you as soon as you exit these restricted areas; look for the person holding Explore India signboard. In some instances, you will be instructed to walk a short distance to a transportation parking area. Later, you will be transferred to your accommodation. If for any reason you do not connect with Explore India personnel, please go to the Tourist Information Desk and ask them to phone an Explore India representative at any of the numbers listed below.
We also advise you to carry copies of your airline tickets. Airports in India require passengers to present a copy of their ticket or other documentation with the name of the guest, date of departure & flight number. Please keep a copy of your itinerary handy when heading to the airport.
It is advisable for you to have your original passports for verification and check-in purposes. You may be required to present your passport (or a copy of your passport information) upon arrival at each hotel. This is required for security reasons. It is a good idea to prepare copies in advance to expedite this process.
Check-in & Check-out in Hotels
Check-in time is usually 2 pm or later. Check-out time is 12 noon. If you arrive early in the day or depart in the evening, most hotels will allow you to store your luggage in their luggage room. Ask at the front desk if the hotel can check you in earlier, or let you stay later.
Your Hotel Vouchers & Internal Flights
You will get all your internal flight e-tickets and hotel vouchers at your destination. An Explore India representative will review these documents and provide them to you after your arrival in India.
If you are part of a group tour, your accompanying tour director will be carrying all your documents including hotel vouchers and internal flights.
Avoid drinking tap water while in India. Consumption of bottled water is advised. Please ensure the bottle is sealed prior to purchase, and remember to dispose of it properly. Most hotels will provide guests with two complimentary bottles of water each day. We provide complimentary bottled water during sightseeing tours and long drives.
Traveling in India is relatively safe. Simple precautions, however, should be applied when traveling to any foreign country. Use the hotel safe to keep your valuables (passports, jewelry, etc.) secure.
India Sightseeing Tips
Dress codes for religious sites do apply. In other words, you may need to cover your head and shoulders and remove shoes as required. It is prudent for women to carry a scarf with them in case it is needed. If you are unsure of the protocol, please ask so that you don’t unwittingly cause offense.
All breakfast served in the hotel will offer a complete selection of both Western and Indian fare. Our goal is to provide you with a variety of menus that are included in your tour. It is important that you advise us by email of any dietary restrictions and/or allergies well in advance so that we can best accommodate your requirements.
We ask tour members to refrain from wearing colognes, perfumes, and/or personal products containing excessive fragrance, out of respect for other vacationers on the tour bus who may be allergic.
Private Tours: Tipping is at your discretion if you are on our private tour. You will receive the recommendations in your final package.
Group Tours: between $15 to $20 CAD per person per day must be paid in cash after your arrival in India directly to your tour director. These basic gratuities will cover tour escorts, luggage handling, porters, restaurants, drivers, and other members providing services during your tour.
Please note: Exact amount will be mentioned in your final package.
If you do not use a digital camera, it may be difficult to obtain photo film in the villages or in national parks/reserves. Please bring your own film or purchase it upon arrival in the larger cities. Photography may not be permissible at some railway stations, bridges, airports, and all military installations. If in doubt, please ask.
The weight restriction for luggage on domestic flights in India is 33 LBS (15KG) per suitcase with a limit of one piece of checked luggage per person. In addition, 15 LBS (7KG) of hand baggage is allowed. This differs from international flight luggage limits and should be taken into account when preparing for your trip. Excess baggage charge can be paid at the airport and is roughly $5 per kilogram.
Traveling By Coach
Land tour packages allow for one piece of luggage per person plus a carry-on bag.
During Your Sightseeing Tour
There is a mandatory seat rotation policy on our coaches arranged by your Tour Director in order to ensure that everybody enjoys an optimal travel experience. When tour dates coincide with religious holidays and national celebrations, some monuments and sites may be closed. In such situations, escorted touring itineraries may be amended to reflect these closures. Occasionally, during holidays and certain periods, and/or due to other unforeseen circumstances such as weather conditions, there may be last-minute changes, sometimes after arrival, which could affect the sequence of the tour and locations visited. National monuments and tourist sites regularly undergo renovations, which can obscure the monument’s view. No tour will be canceled due to renovations, however, we will decide, based on the conditions, whether to amend an itinerary.
All National Parks
This visit is controlled by the National Park authorities who operate under strict guidelines intended to protect the natural habitat and wildlife. For this reason, members of the same tour group may be split between different vehicles, which range in size from a 6-seater Jeep to a 16 or 20-seater Canter. The Park Authority determines vehicle assignments based on availability and overall visitor numbers on the particular day of visit. You may be combined with visitors from other tour groups or countries. The parks are divided into zones. Each zone features the same animals and scenery. However, viewing results may differ as park rangers distribute vehicles between zones and therefore group members may visit different zones. Your tour manager will provide the main commentary prior to arriving in the park. A park-employed naturalist guide, who will show you the wildlife in the park, will accompany each vehicle. Please note that this guide may not be fluent in English. The route and program for each group can vary according to weather conditions, seasonal changes, safety issues, and wildlife migration patterns. While on safari, it is important that you follow the directions provided by your guide. This includes, but is not limited to, safety procedures. Viewing wildlife as listed in the itinerary is based on optimal conditions and sightings cannot be guaranteed. Please remain inside your vehicle at all times and keep noise to a minimum. Refrain from feeding the animals or leaving food waste or litter behind. In addition, it is forbidden to purchase, collect, or remove any animal products, rocks, seeds, plants, or nests from the wild. It is recommended to wear earth-colored clothing to blend with the surroundings (khaki, green, or brown). Bring sunscreen and water. Binoculars are recommended. Flash photography is prohibited. Please note that the National Park does reserve the right to close the park without prior notice.
Participants must be prepared to traverse a variety of surfaces, which may include: inclines, cobblestones, sand, gravel, or natural paths. You will also need to climb steps or stairs on occasion.
In India, the official language is Hindi. Each state, however, has its own official regional language as well. English is widely spoken all over the country.
India is a shopper’s paradise. There is a wide array of handicrafts, textiles, jewelry, carpets, art, spices and so much more to choose from. Each region in the country has its own specialty. Included in our tours is an assortment of a few select shops that you may not find on your own. These shops have been specifically chosen for you, as they boast high-quality merchandise and provide the opportunity for you to see authentic, local handicrafts. Some even allow you to get a glimpse behind the scenes to experience first-hand how goods such as jewelry, carpet weaving and textiles are fashioned.