Published on: May 16th, 2023
Last modified: November 2nd, 2023
We've compiled our list of most frequently asked questions to help you get prepared before your big adventure to India. Please read through the questions, using the navigation bar on the left hand side of your page to move easily between the different sections.
Please note that requirements and advice can change so we do recommend you check in with your own travel insurer, doctor and relevant local embassies before embarking on your adventure.
Are there any entry requirements for India?
Yes, visas are required to enter India. The 30 day e-visa will be appropriate for most travellers and can be applied for prior to travel. Please use the official website, accessed at the following link: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/tvoa.html. Once you have obtained your visa please print out a hard copy to carry with you during your travels, a copy saved to a device will not suffice. A 30 day e-visa can be applied for 30 days prior to your arrival. When applying online for your visa please be very careful to include the correct information and a photograph will also be required.
It’s worth noting that those from the military or media profession will possibly have to wait longer for their visa application to be processed, as could those with Pakistani heritage.
All passports must have six months validity after your date of arrival and two consecutive blank pages for the relevant immigration stamps. If your passport will be very close to the 6 month validity period, please let us know as some officials are stricter than others and it might be worth updating your passport earlier than planned. You must travel with the passport you used to obtain your visa.
We will confirm certain elements of your trip such as domestic flights, permits or train tickets using your current passport details. If a member of your party changes their name in their passport after booking (for example, through marriage or adoption) this could mean having to reissue important parts of the trip at an extra cost and subject to availability. You may also be required to travel with your old passport if this was used to issue important documents.
Please note that requirements can change and we recommend that our guests contact the local embassy in the country where you live for the most recent and up to date information.
Do I need travel insurance?
Yes, once your trip is confirmed it is essential that you take out comprehensive travel insurance to cover you in case anything unexpected happens.
We always recommend that our guests get the maximum level of coverage that you feel comfortable investing in. Read more about travel insurance for US travellers here and for travellers from other countries here.
Do I need to visit a travel doctor before my trip?
Yes, you should visit a travel doctor before your trip as they may recommend certain vaccinations or medications before or during travel. Some vaccines commonly recommended for travellers to the Indian Subcontinent include: Tetanus, Diphtheria, Polio, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Rabies and Meningitis as well as medication for diseases such as malaria.
What do I need to know about my regional flights?
Regional flights in India are similar to those in North America. They will use similar aircraft, sometimes smaller, and your baggage allowance in economy will typically be 15kgs/33 lbs per person.
Business class tickets will usually allow a baggage allowance of 30kgs/66 lbs and tend to be more flexible.
Excess luggage can usually be purchased at the airport and the approximate cost INR300 per kg, but shouldn’t be relied upon, particularly if you’re taking multiple flights.
What will I receive from Jacada before I depart?
Before you head off on your adventure you will be sent a travel pack. The travel pack is full of great information and is also a beautiful keepsake. It is not necessary to travel with vouchers or confirmations on your trip but we do recommend having a printed copy of your travel itinerary to hand when you arrive into India.
Bon Voyage email
Around 2 weeks before you depart we will email you an electronic version of your travel pack including your domestic flight tickets. Once you’ve received this email your Travel Designer will reach out to arrange a time for you to talk on the phone to go over any last minute questions and talk you through the information we’ve sent over.
Do I need to bring the local currency?
Do I need to bring the local currency?
The only currency in India is the Indian Rupee, abbreviated as ‘Rs’. One Rupee is equal to 100 paise. Coins are available in denominations of 1, 2, 5, and 10 Rupees. Notes are usually in the denomination of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000. If you are visiting the neighbouring countries of Nepal and Bhutan, you can carry Indian currency as long as the denomination of the notes is less than Rs 1000. It is not possible to purchase Indian currency outside of India so be sure to bring enough cash to exchange and credit and debit cards you can rely upon. It is possible to tip using US dollar cash.
The best place to change money is either on arrival at the International airport, at your hotel or any authorised money changer/Banks. ATM’s are largely available across the country. Please note that the ATMS at international airports are often not stocked with sufficient cash.
You should retain the receipt you receive from the money changer/ATM machine so you are able to change any left over rupees at the airport before departures
Luxury hotels, larger shopping establishments, airlines and the railways, accept travellers’ cheques and credit cards issued by major banks. ATM machines are available in most places but when travelling to some smaller towns, villages and rural areas it can be difficult to find ATMs. When shopping for small items or while in a market, small shop, restaurant or cafe you will most likely need cash (in small denominations) to pay.
Can you tell me about tipping and etiquette in India?
It is customary in India to tip for any service from waiters, porters, guides and drivers. As a general guide we would recommend the following. Please note the below amounts are per couple/ individual traveller
- Guide (Full Day) Rs 1500 per day (USD 20)
- Guide (Half Day) Rs 1000 per day (USD 15)
- Tour Escort Rs 2500 per day (USD 35)
- Driver for the tour Rs 1200 per day (USD 15)
- Driver for local duties Rs 750 per day (USD 10)
- Transfer rep Rs 500 per transfer (USD 5)
- Bell Boy Rs 100 per member of staff (USD 2)
- Room Service & Restaurants About 10-15% of the bill total (Unless service is mentioned as included)
Many hotels now are happy to receive a consolidated amount at check out rather than paying individual tips and if you are unsure about this please check with the front desk at check in or ask us in advance. A suggested amount would be Rs 1500 ($20) per room per night. It’s possible to tip in either Indian Rupees or US Dollar cash.
Please read below under what to pack for more details on the appropriate dress code while in India. It terms of etiquette it’s important to remember that culture might be different from the one you are used to at home. They are many sacred sites and temples throughout the country and it’s important to be respectful at these places. If you would like to take photos of people it’s best to ask your guide first who will be able to explain the best protocol, probably to check if the person is happy to have their photo taken.
What’s the weather like and how should I pack?
India is a large country with varying climates, altitudes and distinct seasons. What to expect from the weather and what you pack will be dependent on your own personal trip. That being said, there are some general rules of thumb to consider. India’s warm months that run from March to November can get very hot and sticky so it’s best to bring clothes that breathe and cover you from the sun. A sun hat, sunscreen and sunglasses are essential items. During the cooler months, late November to mid/late February, it can feel surprisingly chilly in the mornings and evenings and a warm jacket and extra layers will be required. The midday sun can still be very hot though.
India is a conservative country and it’s important to respect the culture. Knees and shoulders should be covered while sightseeing and in cities and rural village areas, essentially it’s respectful to cover as much of your arms and legs as possible. In some places, such as the Gurdwara (Sikh Temple), both men and women are required to cover their head; but you will be given the appropriate head wear for such occasions if you are not carrying it. Men cannot wear shorts above the knee into a temple.
Usually when entering a temple (or a home) it is customary to remove your shoes – this is worth remembering if you plan to wear laced up shoes that can be hard to take on and off. Additionally when visiting the temple of the Jain religion, all leather items have to be removed before entering the temple.
Ladies should consider packing a shawl to be used in temples or to protect them from the sun.
India is casual and even in luxury hotels formal attire is not required. For the evenings, smart casual is the dress code. A few restaurants will not allow shorts or open toed sandals/flip flops for men.
Should I make restaurant reservations?
We highly recommend that you make restaurant reservations in advance of your trip. Once your trip is confirmed you will be introduced to your concierge who will be able to assist you in not only making the reservations but also making recommendations based on your preferences.
How can I keep connected on my trip?
In general India has good communications. Wifi is found in most hotels, bars and restaurants and cell phone coverage is all good (with the exception of some very rural areas). Indian SIM cards are available at all major airports after baggage reclaim in the arrivals hall and can be a good investment for your trip. Whatsapp is widely used and your guides will ask if they can communicate with you this way.
In India voltage is 220 volts AC, 50 cycles, though some areas also have DC supplies. We suggest that you consider a universal plug adapter, which will ensure you are covered.
Please contact your Jacada travel designer or concierge before your trip with any further questions.