India

Introduction

Welcome to India!

India has a rich ancient history and deep cultural roots. Most travelers who have visited the country revere its customs and traditions, and its vast range of geography has made it one of the top tourist destinations. 

Your itinerary will focus on the northern state of Rajasthan. This region of India is world-renowned for its historical hill forts and palaces, diverse cultures, and flavorful cuisines.

Begin your journey in the hustle and bustle of Delhi, exploring markets full of spices and cultural crafts. Venture down to Agra to experience the Taj Mahal, one of the most beautiful buildings ever created. Discover the diverse landscapes of Ranthambore National Park and spot wildlife on a safari tour before wrapping up your trip in the Pink City of Jaipur.

If you're eager to experience a country's rich culture while visiting its top attractions, then this India trip is perfect for you!

Duration: 9 days & 8 nights

Start: Please arrive at Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) by 3:00 p.m.

Finish: The trip will end at Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) at 12:00 p.m.

Airfare booking details will be sent after registration--please wait to book your flight until you receive further instructions.

What's Included

  • 9 days & 8 nights shared accommodations in hotel rooms
  • 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, & 7 dinners
  • Old Delhi walking tour
  • Visit to Jama Masjid in Old Delhi
  • Experience Sheeshganj Gurudwara
  • Tour the famous spice market, Khari Baoli
  • Guided tour of Qutab Minar
  • Experience Agra Fort
  • Lunch at Sheroes Café in Agra
  • Visit to Taj Mahal
  • Ranthambore Fort
  • Morning and afternoon safari drives in Ranthambore National Park
  • Experience Amber Fort, the Pride of Jaipur
  • Jaipur Heritage Tour with the Pink City Rickshaw Company
  • Guided tour of the City Palace in Jaipur
  • Private airport pick-up upon arrival
  • Private airport drop-off upon departure
  • Under30Experiences Trip Leader
  • Personal recommendations for optional activities
  • The chance to meet some kick-ass people
  • Access to the Under30Experiences community
  • Taxes always included, never hidden fees, & NO blackout dates

Travelers are responsible for international airfare to and from Delhi, India.

Public transportation, optional activities, and their associated transportation are not included.

Highlights

-Experience the Taj Mahal
-Safari drives in Ranthambore National Park
-Exploring markets and historical neighborhoods in Old Delhi
-Heritage Tour in Jaipur
-Dining on incredible Indian cuisine

Is this Trip for You?

India is a gigantic country, and we realize it’s impossible to see it all quickly. Hence, for this itinerary, we are focusing on Rajasthan, a state in northern India. If you want to explore the Himalayan hills or the southern beaches of Goa, simply extend your time in India.

Rajasthan has attracted travelers for generations due to its rich history, historical forts, magnificent palaces, and stunning arts and cultures. Moreover, it is home to colorful cities, awestruck landscapes, and wildlife. Though we only take you to a small part of this enormous country, trust us when we say this itinerary will still offer an incredible and unique cultural experience.

You are entering a country home to 1.4 billion people, making it the most populous country ever. Add in the millions of tourists who visit each year, and there's no way for you to be alone. You can expect crowded markets and to be sweaty. Unsanitary conditions are also possible. Traffic jams are common, and you can hear horns honking at all times. In other words, all your senses will be overwhelmed.  But most of all, expect to be immersed in this incredible culture.

Somebody once described the culture shock of Delhi as stepping into a boxing ring and taking a hard punch to the face. Some get knocked down and can’t take anymore, and some get right back up, take it all on, and go on to live through an experience they will never forget. So ask, “Which one will you be?” 

  • Age requirement: 21+
  • Group size: 16 max, average 10-13
  • Physical rating: Light. There will be long walking days in the heat while we explore markets, local neighborhoods, and heritage sites throughout the trip.

Travel Community

Travel connects us. Community keeps us connected.

Before your trip, you'll have the opportunity to join a custom WhatsApp group and connect with other members of your group. Many travelers meet at the airport or for pre-trip drinks if they are from the same city. Others coordinate plans to stay in a country after their trip.

During your adventure, our Trip Leaders do their best to foster an open, supportive environment where people feel safe to truly be themselves.

After your trip, you'll be an official U30X Alumni and part of our larger online Travel Community, where you'll have access to our network of thousands of past travelers. We constantly host meetups that range from simple happy hours and hikes to outdoor movie nights.

More than 70% of our travelers come solo, but they all leave with friends.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Travel can be unpredictable. Our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience.

While we intend to adhere to the itinerary, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into it, and on occasion, it may be necessary or desirable to make alterations.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Meals

Eat like a local with delicious Indian dishes such as chicken tikka masala, tandoori chicken, and biryani. Let’s not forget samosas and naan, either!

Sample Breakfast Menu:

  • Expect a mixture of Indian and continental cuisine

Sample Dinner Menu:‍

  • Rice
  • Naan
  • Curries
  • Mixtures of vegetables

India is home to some of the most vibrant flavors and spice-forward preparations you will ever taste. Whether dining on the traditional classics or seeking out regional specialties, here are some must-try Indian dishes:

  • Palak Paneer: Palak translates to spinach, and paneer is a semi-firm, fresh-pressed cheese. The result is a delicious combination that might make you consider pairing the two all the time.
  • Korma: Korma is a rich, smooth stew, typically made with meat, although vegetarian adaptations exist.
  • Murgh Makhani, known in the US as butter chicken, is a dish served with rice or naan to soak up the extra sauce. It will surely find its way to your table.
  • Pakora: a savory, deep-fried Indian snack made with chunks of vegetables such as potato, cauliflower, and eggplant, or meat of choice, which is then dipped in chickpea flour, seasoned with turmeric, salt, chili, or other spices, and deep-fried in ghee.

Aloo Gobi: a vegetarian dry curry, made with potatoes (aloo), cauliflower (gobi), and Indian spices. It has a warm, yellow-orange color because it contains turmeric.

Transportation

You will travel by private ground transportation and public train throughout your trip.

Private ground transportation to and from Indira Gandhi International Airport. (Included)

Public, air-conditioned express train on Day 3 and Day 4.

Private 4x4 open safari vehicles will be used on the wildlife tours.

Public bus and taxi around Delhi. (Not Included)

Optional activities do not include transportation.

Accommodation

You will be staying in shared hotel rooms for your trip.

Laundry is available at some hotels for an additional fee. Ask your Trip Leader for details.

Accommodations may vary but will be the same quality.

Solo travelers are paired with someone of the same gender.

Private room options are available upon request, subject to hotel availability for an extra charge.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance with at least 200,000 USD in medical coverage is required to participate in our trips. This must include coverage for repatriation.

Please note that travel insurance covers trip-related issues such as trip interruption, lost luggage, theft, etc. Travel medical insurance covers things like repatriation, medicine, ambulance rides, and hospital visits/stays. 

We strongly suggest that the policy also cover personal liability, cancellation, curtailment, loss of luggage, and personal effects. Please ensure that your travel insurance covers all of the activities you plan to participate in.

Here are a few options for travel insurance that meet our minimum medical coverage requirements: Wanderwell, SafetyWing, and World Nomads. Some plans do not cover certain “high-risk” activities. Please make sure to read your plan’s coverage and make a selection based on your planned trip.

Wanderwell donates at least one percent of your insurance purchase to Explore Austin, a sustainable youth outdoor education program, via 1% for the Planet, selected by Under30Experiences.

We receive a fee if you purchase products through links on this page at no extra cost to you.

We receive a fee when you use our affiliate links to get a quote from World Nomads. We do not represent World Nomads. This is not a recommendation for buying travel insurance.

Cancellation Policy

Flexible

If you give us at least 60 days' notice, you can switch your trip for free, or we'll hold your Experience Credits for future use.

If you have an emergency cancellation less than 60 days before your trip, please contact your travel insurance company, as they may cover you for some expenses. 

We are not able to transfer trips or hold experience credits within 60 days of the trip because we have already secured reservations on your behalf.

Trip Leader Expectations

All Under30Experiences trips are accompanied by experienced Trip Leaders.

The goal of the Trip Leader is to facilitate an awesome experience and help our travelers have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues, and introduce you to our local friends.

You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects.

Tipping Trip Leaders: Gratuities for Trip Leaders aren’t required on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry. If you are happy with the services provided, a tip is an appropriate way to thank them. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. Moreover, it inspires excellent service and is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry across many destinations. We suggest around $3-5 USD per person per day for Trip Leaders.

Packing List

Please be eco-friendly!

Use as little plastic as possible by declining straws and plastic bags at restaurants and when shopping.

Please avoid aerosol bug sprays as they negatively affect the environment.

We recommend using a travel backpack for your convenience or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited in terms of transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage.

You can do laundry at the accommodations in Ranthambore National Park (Day 4) and in Jaipur (Day 6). Please ask the hotel staff upon arrival.

Travelers to India typically need a Type D or Type M electrical socket adapter. Type D sockets have three round pins in a triangular pattern, while Type M sockets have three large, round pins. Both are commonly used in India. Travelers would not need all three types (C, D, and M), but having an adapter for either Type D or Type M should cover their needs during their trip. Here are some suggestions for a power adaptor when traveling in India.

Two things are important when it comes to knowing how to dress while traveling through India. You need to feel comfortable in your clothing and respect the local cultures. 

India is a conservative country, and while the dress code may appear a little more relaxed in some large cities such as Delhi and Mumbai, elsewhere, it’s appropriate and polite to dress modestly, keeping your shoulders and knees covered. This applies to both male and female visitors and is especially imperative when visiting a mosque, temple, mausoleum, or any other religious building.

Below are our staff’s picks of the best items on the market that we travel with.  All products selected are 3 ounces or less to comply with TSA carry-on size and are organically inspired when possible.

Do not forget: water bottle, sunscreen, sandals, waterproof rain jacket, sunglasses, and a hat!

Some links on this page are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Under30Experiences will earn a small commission if you make a purchase.

Passport & Visas

Guidelines for U.S. Passport Holders:

A visa is required to enter India. You can apply for an E-Visa here.

Make sure you have an updated passport with you. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the last date of your trip. Please consult the U.S. Department of State with any more questions.

Make sure there is no damage to your passport. Conditions that may constitute damage requiring you to replace your passport include water damage, a significant tear, unofficial markings on the data page, missing or torn-out visa pages, a hole punch, or other injuries.

Health & Insurance

Tap water in India is NOT safe to drink. Please bring a reusable water bottle and join us in our efforts to be environmentally friendly and keep India beautiful.

When selecting a travel insurance policy, please remember that all travelers must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of 200,000 USD for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment, loss of luggage, and personal effects. Please ensure that your travel insurance covers all the activities you plan on participating in.

Please consult with your doctor before traveling regarding physical activity and vaccinations.

No inoculations are required to enter India from the United States, but the US Center for Disease Control suggests routine vaccines for all travelers.

Mosquito-borne viruses such as malaria exist in India. Please cover exposed skin and use mosquito repellent.

More specific health information for traveling to India can be found at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Money & Currency

We suggest bringing 350 USD in cash to be used at establishments that do not accept credit cards.

This is not a total cash amount that you should expect to spend on your trip. Please consider your spending habits for additional expenses such as snacks, souvenirs, and optional activities.

ATMs are available in the cities and towns we visit. Although you can withdraw cash from any ATM, it's a good idea to bring some local currency just in case. 

Remember to let your bank and credit card company know you will travel overseas.

The official currency in India is the Indian rupee (INR).

For an up-to-date exchange rate, download the XE Currency Exchange App.‍‍

Please be advised that US Dollar notes that are slightly torn, heavily marked, or faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100 USD.

Safety & Security

Always carry a copy of your travel insurance, health insurance, and passport with you. A photo of these items on your phone is also a good backup.

Keep your passport and any valuables locked in the safe at the hotel.

Don’t leave valuables unattended.

Leave flashy jewelry at home.

It’s also a good idea to purchase an easily hidden money belt or pouch.

US Citizens, please consider registering with the US State Department's “SMART Traveler Program” which can contact your family in an emergency.

If you are separated from your Trip Leader, ensure you have your hotel's address.

Weather

Rajasthan is a semi-arid state, with 70% of its territory covered by deserts. The warm, dry weather makes Rajasthan an excellent place to travel at any time of the year.

The hottest months are May and June when the average daily temperature reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celcius). The monsoon season in Rajasthan is from July to September; however, rainfall remains moderate, and it only rains one day out of three on average. 

October to March is the best time to visit Rajasthan when the weather is dry and cool. The temperature during these months varies between 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celcius) during the day and 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celcius) at night.

cultural information

First-time travelers to India may feel intimidated by the cultural differences and various norms of this subcontinent of nearly 1.4 billion people. To an outsider, the different cultural norms may seem very strange. You can confidently experience India's wonders with several easy tips to practice.

Bargaining: 

In India, people bargain everywhere. However, please be respectful and not overly aggressive. Bargaining for lower prices with the shop vendors can be exhilarating and an entirely new style of shopping for many of us.

Dress Attire:

Cover bare shoulders and knees in places of worship. Temples and other places of worship in India are safe havens for one to connect, and any ornaments or clothing that may distract others are looked down upon.

Leave shoes at the door: 

It’s more than just a sign of respect. Leaving shoes at the door is rooted in practical reasoning, as footwear carries dirt and other impurities. It’s essential because cleanliness is revered here and considered Godliness.

The left hand:

The left hand is considered unclean. Don’t offer or accept anything with your left hand. Hinduism believes the right hand is the dominant hand for carrying out all auspicious activities.

Cows are sacred:

In the Vedas, the ancient Hindu scriptures, the cow is considered “Aditi,” the mother of all Gods. She is revered as one to be protected and cared for. For centuries, cows and buffalos have been nurturers and providers in Indian villages because of their dairy gifts and physical labor in the fields. Harming them is considered going against those beliefs.

Language:

India is a country with many different languages. Roughly half the population speaks Hindi, followed by Bengali and Marathi. It's estimated that over 100 million people speak English in India.

Key Phrases in Hindi:

  • Namaste –  respectful way of saying hello
  • dhanyavad (dhuhn-yuh-vaadh) – thanks
  • Bathroom kidhar hai? - where is the bathroom?
  • Mujhe paani chahiye - I need water
  • Yeh kitne ka hai? - how much does this cost?
  • Kya aap English bolte hain? - Do you speak English?
  • Chalo - Let’s go!

Dress attire in India:

Two important things to consider when traveling through India are knowing how to dress. You need to feel comfortable in your clothing and respect the local cultures. 

India is a conservative country, and while the dress code may appear a little more relaxed in some large cities such as Delhi and Mumbai, elsewhere, it’s appropriate and polite to dress modestly, keeping your shoulders and knees covered. The dress code applies to male and female visitors and is especially imperative when visiting a mosque, temple, mausoleum, or any other religious building.

Optional Activities

While your Trip Leader will assist you with optional activities available, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of the Under30Experiences itinerary. We offer no guarantees on the safety or standard of the activity.

Optional activities in Delhi

  • Visit the Lodhi Gardens
  • Humayun's Tomb
  • Gandhi Smriti (Birla House - Place of Mahatma Gandhi's Assassination)

Optional Activities in Jaipur

  • Bollywood Dance Class
  • Bollywood Movie at Raj Mandir Cinema
  • Hot Air Balloon Experience
  • Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Wind)
  • Cooking Demo with Dinner at local home

General Rules

Respect the people around you and the environment in which you’re traveling. This includes but is not limited to fellow travelers, Trip Leaders, the local community, nature, wildlife, and yourself.

Make safety a top priority for you and your fellow travelers.

It’s important to obey local laws and customs while on our trips. This includes but is not limited to wearing appropriate clothing while visiting certain communities, refraining from taking photos of people without asking, avoiding the use of illegal drugs, having weapons, and soliciting prostitution. If you’re not sure about something, take time to educate yourself or ask.

Travel involves contact with new cultures. When exposed to a different way of living than you’re used to, do your best to understand that neither way is better or worse. They’re simply different ways of life.

Know your limits! This applies to physical ability, emotional space, social situations, and alcohol consumption. If you can’t participate in something, be upfront about it. If you need a break from people, take it. Stop drinking before you get too drunk.

Trip Leaders work in the travelers’ best interest. If they say something or ask you not to do something, it’s not because they’re tyrants, but because they want you to have a good time!

Lying or withholding information about any physical or mental condition that might affect your ability to participate in any activities may be grounds for removal from your trip with no refund.

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