For travelers coming from different parts of the world, especially the US travelers find India busy, chaotic, overwhelming and yet beautiful. There are many people who travel to India from US, strictly for tourism purpose. The huge culture shock that they witness while visiting India is part of its charm. India is a massive country and one could spend months exploring it.
Flights: Travel to India from US has become very easy in recent times. For starters, there are plenty of flights to India from US, both direct & via, and they are generally the cheapest. There are daily flights from the bigger cities in US to the metro cities of India. Flights to the capital city of New Delhi are comparatively cheaper.
Visa: To travel to India from US for a leisure trip, one needs a valid passport and a visa. The Visa process has been simplified with the latest option of applying it online, E-Visa. E-visa is easy to apply for and it lasts for 30 days, however, the major drawback with E-visa is that you cannot extend your stay with it and can only apply it twice in one year. You can easily apply for an electronic travel authorization (ETA) at least 4 days prior to your arrival in India. So, if you are planning a short leisure trip to India then E-visa would be a great option. But if you are planning to stay for months, then you might want to get a regular visa, which is slightly little different from the E-visa process. For a regular visa, you would need to visit the nearest Indian consulate or embassy. U.S. citizens are entitled for a 10 year visa. This privilege is not open for all the countries but only for U.S. passport holders. The regular visa process can take easily around 7 to 15 working days. Make sure you have all the documents ready before you start with your visa application.
Budget: India is a large country to fit any kind of budget. It can be economical and expensive as you want it to be. There are hotels catering to all kind of travelers. You can visit India all year around. Hence, it depends on your interests. However, please be aware that your would not find the classifications of hotels in India similar to those in international locations. For an exact category, it is best to discuss with a local expert. A local travel specialist not only helps you in selecting the right hotel as per your desired category and budget, but also ensures your safety.
Destinations: If you wish to visit India for culture, art, history, heritage, wildlife, then you can look to travel between November & February. If you want to visit India for its hill stations, then March to May would be ideal for you. If you are coming to India to experience Ayurveda in the southern state of Kerala, then December to February are ideal. One really interesting thing you will find that India is practically hot almost throughout the year, barring few northern and eastern sides of India like Kashmir, Himachal, Sikkim, Darjeeling and most hill stations. For wildlife enthusiasts looking at visiting wildlife national parks like Ranthambhore and others in Northern India, please do not make travel plans during monsoon months of June to September when the main parks are closed.
The reason why so many travelers travel to India from US or any country that they belong to, is because India is the only country in the world that covers every aspects a traveler is looking for. For a first time visitor, your itinerary will or must include the most common city of Delhi and Agra. Delhi is the capital city of India. If you are a first time visitor with less than a week’s time in hand and would like to see the Taj Mahal, then the right city to start would be Delhi. Delhi has an international airport and good flight connectivity from U.S. Agra, the city of Taj Mahal is only 4 hours drive from Delhi which makes it a perfect city of arrival. Along with Agra, you can visit the capital city of the royal Rajasthan Jaipur. If you have more days in hand, you can always visit other famous cities of Rajasthan like Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Pushkar, Bikaner & Deogarh. For an intense culture exposure, you can consider Varanasi. All these cities are spread over the northern parts of India which is just a part of this huge country. You can also visit the west India for coastal experiences, the south India for Ayurveda and backwaters & the east India for hill station.
Vaccinations: With regards to the vaccinations, please note that before you travel to India from U.S., do take vaccinations for travelers’ diarrhea and malaria. These two are highly recommended. Also, carry medicines for typhoid with you. It is advisable to consult your family physician and check with him about any specific medication that you must carry while travelling to India. Other than these, if you are highly allergic to any particular food items like dairy, meat, gluten, etc. then carry the prescribed antibiotics with you, at all times. Most of the Indian foods will have dairy and gluten in their food. Hence, you must always check before ordering from the restaurant.
Money: The Indian currency is Indian Rupee. One US Dollar is equal to approximately 67-70 Indian rupees. Indian currency notes are in the denomination of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500 & 2000 and Indian currency coins are available in denominations of 1, 2, 5, and 10. 1000 rupee notes have been banned permanently. So, please ensure not to accept any Rs. 1000 notes. You are not allowed to carry Indian currency when you travel to India from US. You can get it exchanged at the airport or at any hotels which have forex desk. Normally, it is better to get it converted at the airport as you will find better rates than hotels. It is advisable to get a global credit/debit cards from your bank before travelling as it will help you pay at restaurants, hotels or any shopping complex. You would find ATMs at metro cities in India very easily. However, in smaller cities, you would not find ATMs, especially when you are travelling to remote areas. Hence, it is best to cash your dollars before travelling to rural areas in India. Most commonly used and accepted cards in India are Visa & Master Cards. Some places do accept Amex. However, a 3-4% credit card charge may be levied on the bills by the service provider for Visa & Master card and 5% for Amex. If you have any leftover Indian rupees and want to change it back into your currency, then you would require the receipts of the earlier exchange, showing the record that you did the exchange here in India.
These are some of the major aspects of travel to India from U.S. For more information or queries, please contact our travel experts and they would respond within 24 working hours.
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