Hotel rooms where the power routinely goes out.
Scammers wanting to give you a private tour (of the back of their van).
Getting a delightful case of the runs from a local restaurant.
These are the joys of journeying to India on your own.
All can be easily avoided, of course, if you travel to this incredible country with a well-regarded tour company. India is a place everyone should see – full of amazing historical sites and rituals. But the culture shock can be overwhelming if you don’t have professional guides to navigate it for you.
[Rambagh Palace room]
With a top-flight tour company, you’ll stay in 5-star hotels. At these luxurious properties, not only does the air conditioning not shut down while you’re blow drying your hair, the level of opulence is over the top. Bring your scepter, ‘cause you’ll feel like a freaking maharajah. (If you’re joining Brand g’s 2018 or 2019 India vacations, that luxury will also include the incredible Ganges Voyager river cruise ship, which features large, sumptuous rooms and gourmet meals.)
[Ganges Voyager room]
While it might be fun for a bargain hunter to have their just-hired-at-the-entrance tour guide point to the Taj Mahal and say, “Dead people place” and then roll you for your wallet, on a high-quality tour, you’ll be well taken care of when visiting historical sites: ushered in through special entrances, given unique access, and guided by historical experts.
Touring on your own, you might be tempted to try a local restaurant that looks popular and tasty – and then spend the next three days in a lovely cycle of “two exits, no waiting”. Does anyone really need to view the tile work of their hotel bathroom that closely? But with a well-reviewed tour company, you’ll only visit restaurants of the most exceptional quality and food safety standards.
On a recent Brand g India trip, someone accidentally injured himself. Had he been on his own, he’d likely be missing an appendage right now – and there are relatively few circumstances where this comes in handy other than perhaps going as a pirate for Halloween. But Brand g and our amazing local team got him repaired in a matter of hours, and he was back enjoying the tour in no time.
The mission of Brand g – and the straight, 5-star tour companies who operate hosted trips to India – is to create incredible opportunities for you to experience and interact with local culture, as well as to eat and drink your face off (completely safely) and sleep under Egyptian cotton duvets.
Trust me when I say, you will never forget a hosted, 5-star trip to India. You will likely want to forget an on-your-own 3-star one. Fortunately, India is a country where you can travel like a despot and pay like a peasant. Check out the tour prices and see for yourself!