Many tour companies advertise small groups, yet in reality, you might find yourself sharing a large bus with 15, 20 or even 30 other travellers. A lot of group tours have frequent one night stays to pack in more in an itinerary that leave you exhausted and needing a holiday when you get home from your holiday. You might also find yourself out of pocket with hidden extras such as ‘optional sights’ that are actually the most important, tips and gratuities and airport transfers.
All Incredible Indian Tours group tours include the following – just a little of what makes our tours so special.
Unique, small, friendly and centrally located accommodations
As our groups are so small (usually no more than 8 rooms), we are able to stay in smaller, often family run guesthouses and boutique hotels that larger groups cannot. We choose, where possible and feasible, centrally located hotels where you can walk out the door and be close to major sights and transportation..
Optional single supplement payment
While most tour companies require solo travelers to pay a single supplement, you only need to pay it with us if you wish to guarantee your own room throughout the tour. As we have several single travellers on most tours, we will match you up with other single travellers (of the same sex of course) and even if there is a odd number of singles, we won’t force anyone to pay extra. As we rotate sharers at each different hotel stay, it means that with an uneven number of singles, you might get your own room every now and then..
Longer stays in locations
We try to make most stops 2 nights and even throw in a couple of 3-night stops in some places, avoiding as much as possible 1 night stops. Travelling around India is tiring and distances, despite the mileage, take much longer to cover than they would most places in the west. Travel days are often 6-8 hours between destinations, so 1 night stops leave little time for sightseeing, exploring independently and have some much deserved rest and relaxation time..
All transportation from when your flight touches down to when it departs *
Some tour companies let you figure out how to get to the tour starting hotel on your own or charge you a large amount for an airport pickup. We include arrival and departure transfers so you do not have to worry about that.
All the other transport on our tours (tour minibus, domestic flights, sightseeing transportation) is fully included including local transport such as taxis and tuktuks if they make getting around a location easier..
Entrance fees to all the sights mentioned in the itinerary
If we mention it on the itinerary, we take you there and include it in the tour cost. If it’s an important sight, a must-see at the destination, it’s included. We do allow enough free time however so you can get out on your own and explore more with your expert tour manager’s advice..
Female western tour manager and local expert tour guides
With a western tour manager, who lives much of the year in India, you’ll get a trip full of local knowledge, from a western perspective. We understand what helps the foreign traveller adapt to travelling around South Asia and can ensure those needs are met. We really know the region having lived, travelled and escorted groups around South Asia for a combined 45+ years.
We use local guides at destinations who are experts in their fields, many of whom we have been working with us for over 15 years.
As long time travellers ourselves, we hate the ‘shopping’ aspect of group tours. Many tour leaders and guides are paid minimal wages which they feel compelled to supplement with tips and commissions. We don’t take you shopping for commissions on our tours. If we recommend a place to shop or eat, it’s because we personally know the place, the owners, food, prices and believe it’s worth our recommendation..
Breakfasts and other meals
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and we always want to make sure you’ve been properly fortified before a full day of getting out and about. So even if we’ve arrived at a new destination in the morning from an overnight train journey, we will take you out for breakfast or brunch, because!
When there are no other options for meals (for example when we stay at a remote heritage hotel), we include lunches and dinners and of course if we take you to a family home or include a cooking class, you’ll have the meal included. However not including other meals gives you the opportunity to experience the wide range of local foods and restaurants available. We generally go out for dinners rather than eating them in the hotels as often the choice will be non-inspiring buffets of bland generic dishes created for what is assumed to be a timid western palate. Our tour managers will know several good restaurants to choose from in the places we stay so generally groups go out to eat as a group, but there is always the option of getting out and exploring on your own..
Genuinely small groups
Our intimate groups run with a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 10 people. Because our tours don’t appeal to everyone, given the tour length, cost, accommodation options etc, if you choose to travel with us, you’ll feel it’s more like travelling with a group of friends than a bunch of people you have little in common with. You will have more one-on-one time with each other, and with the guides. You would be hard pressed to find larger groups being able to experience meals in small local restaurants or taking public transportation around cities and intimate walks through villages and towns..
Tips and gratuities *
We cover all tips for hotel staff, guides and drivers. You will only have to worry about optional tipping on restaurant bills..
Guaranteed USD tour price **
Once you have paid your tour deposit of just US$500, the USD tour price is locked in. If local prices increase after you’ve signed up for the tour, we will not pass the extra cost on to you..
Repeat traveller discount
Repeat travellers automatically qualify for a US$200 discount on future tours..
Free destination info pack
Upon booking, you will receive a country info pack which includes general information, travel guidelines and tips and hints on the destination country, faqs, a detailed packing list and a recommended reading list. On day one of the tour you will also receive detailed city information and maps for most places visited on the tour and in if your tour is in India, a 28 page India mini-guide booklet..
If you have booked and paid a deposit on one of our tours and then find you are unable to travel, you can transfer your deposit to any other tour without penalty.
* Our Incredible India tour is more budget version of our regular tours. To make costs a little more transparent, we do not include the departure transfer (the arrival transfer is still included), or tips and gratuities in the tour price.
** If travelling on our Incredible Bhutan tour, the deposit is US$800