For business travellers with a weekend to spare in any of the business capitals, there is plenty to experience locally in the city - from private-guided walks, food experiences, adventure outings, bicycle tours, and seeing the iconic sights. Outside the city, there are plenty of short-haul destinations you can get away to. This could be a short temple circuit, a beach resort, a wildlife preserve or rural farm-stay, or maybe a beautiful fort.
Add a few days, and you could also get a little further by doing city pairings – such as Delhi & Agra, or Chennai & Pondicherry, or Calcutta & Darjeeling, Jaipur and Ranthambhore, or Cochin and the Backwaters.
Or perhaps, you might like to do something more beach or nature-oriented in one location and just do daily forays. Beach destinations such as the Andaman Islands, Goa, North Kerala or Mamallapuram are perfect for such vacations. Or head out to the hills in the Western Ghats at a coffee plantation or a rainforest lodge, or see the beautiful Himalayan peaks from your mountain retreat.
For leisure travellers, a quick week in India allows you to explore the iconic destinations. For example, in the Classic Tamil Nadu trip (see itineraries), you see the big UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Mamallapuram and Tanjore. Or take our very popular Insider Golden Triangle Program, which not only shows you the big sights, but also immerses you into the little hidden wonders of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.
Two week holidays are excellent for either getting a North South or East West holiday, where you could spend one week in each region. For example, a quick introduction of Rajasthan followed by a week’s holiday in Kerala. Or perhaps combine two neighbouring states such as Tamilnadu and Kerala, or Rajasthan & the Golden Triangle. The North East of India has a lot to offer - combine Assam with Meghalaya or perhaps Calcutta, Darjeeling and Sikkim. Many travellers, also spend two weeks in a specific state or region. This allows them to slow down the pace of travel and immerse themselves completely. Places that you can lose yourself in - Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Gujarat...the list goes on. And if you don’t mind taking several flights, then it is possible to get a sampling of major experiences in India with a two week program.
Three weeks are for travellers looking to do one big trip to India – possibly the only one they will take for a few years. Three weeks allows you see most of the major destinations with a reasonably relaxed pace.
There are a number of components to budget for in a holiday to India. There are international and domestic flights, train tickets, accommodation, meals, entrance fees, road transportation and even tipping!
Leaving aside international flights, travel by air within India can be surprisingly affordable if you plan well in advance. Flights can range from INR 2,500-12,000 (US$ 40-200) depending upon when you book. The early bird gets the discounted proverbial worm!
Rail travel is incredibly good value & culturally enriching, but travel is slow, stations can be confusing, and delays very feasible. Short-haul trains cost from INR 600-4000 (US$ 10-70) & prices are fixed irrespective of when you book.
Accommodations in India are wide and varied in price and quality. A good guesthouse or B&B will start at INR 2000 (US$ 35) per person (twin-share) and a luxury hotel could even cost as much as INR 15,000 (US$ 250) per person. A great three star or good four-star hotel will range from INR 2500-5000 (US$ 40-80) per person inclusive of breakfast and taxes.
Renting a car and driver is the most convenient and economical way of seeing a region on a driving tour. A sedan or compact minivan can cost between INR 1500-2250 (US$ 25-40) per person in a car for 2 persons. This would include fuel, driver, aircon, permits & tolls, allowances and all taxes.
Other costs include entrance fees (ranging from US$ 1-10), guide fees (US$ 10-100) depending upon the quality and depth of expertise, camera fees (nominal).
Meal costs vary widely - so it is difficult to put a value on it. Budget US$ 10-30 per person including a drink.
For detailed budgeting advice, refer to our individual pages: