I had never thought about going to India before. As I had never been to Asia, there were many questions I had about what things would be like over there and how I would react. When I saw a travel deal to go to India I said why the heck not? I had already planned to go to Thailand in October and it’s only a few hour flight from Bangkok to get to Delhi and off I went!
I’m so glad I went to India with G Adventures and when I say this was one of the best trips I’ve ever been on I really mean it. Yes, it’s true. I have an addiction and it’s to G. They are one of my favourite suppliers and every year I go on at least one small group tour with them. Usually I’m a solo traveller and meeting with a group makes me feel safe and that I felt in India. They really are good at what they do and are hard to beat when it comes to cost & value versus other travel providers. All of the G Adventures groups that were in Agra were the very first to get into the Taj Mahal. How many people can say that they were first? Not many I bet and trust me you’ll want to be one of the first – the line was very long and you don’t want to miss that gorgeous sunrise. Our CEO (tour leader) Shaz was the best. Shaz took us to the best restaurants and gave us some recommendations for different types of Indian foods to try – yum! He was so passionate about sharing his country with us and answering our many questions and looked out for us. When we were at the Taj Mahal I looked at Shaz and said, “It makes me want to cry looking at it because it’s so beautiful.” he says back to me, “It’s so sweet for you to say that.” He was so touched by my interest in the Taj Mahal. The people in India are very open and so friendly and have the biggest smiles. You show interest in their world and they’ll be thrilled to share. You smile and they smile back – that’s all it takes.
Our travel group – we’re cute together eh?
(photo credit: Paul Lai)
Small group sizes really are better. There were 11 of us and we were all able to get to know one another and share some laughs and tears. The average group size for this tour is between 10-16 people. I’ve been in groups of 55 people and you simply can’t get to know everyone and you can feel like you are being herded like cattle off and on the bus and it takes a lot longer. It usually took us less than a minute for everyone to get on and off. The aspect I like most about travelling with G Adventures is that they mainly support local business. They recently came out with what is called a “Ripple Score” which tells you exactly what the percentage of local services and business is used on each tour. The Ripple Score for the Northern Highlights of India is 100%. That means my dollars spent are going to the local communities and families of Indians. I am all about supporting local business and sustainable travel. The cost of this tour starts from $1699 CAD taxes included which is about $212 a day. It’s the most upgraded travel style within the G collection – National Geographic Journeys. You’ll be travelling in style and have some very neat #natgeojourneys inclusions.
Here’s what was included in my G Adventures 8 day adventure package:
- Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Meet a Local Historian, Jaipur
- Your Journeys Highlight Moment: Local Village Immersion, Sāwarda
- Your G for Good Moment: Women on Wheels Transfer, Indira Gandhi International Airport
- Your G for Good Moment: City Walk, Delhi
- Tour of Old Delhi
- Visit the Taj Mahal, Baby Taj, and Agra Fort
- Excursion to Fatehpur Sikri and the Abhaneri step wells
- Explore Jaipur including the Amber Fort, Jaipur City Palace, and Hawa Mahal
- All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
- Hotels (6 nights), heritage hotel (1 night)
- 7 breakfasts, 1 dinner
- Van, bus, auto-rickshaw, cycle-rickshaw
- Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout
City Walk, Delhi
Abhaneri step wells