Before You Depart

Heart of India

FLIGHT INFORMATION

Our flights to India and back are on the following airlines with the corresponding schedules. We recommend that you arrive at the airport at least 3 ½ hours before the scheduled departure. If you are planning a connecting flight, please make sure to allow sufficient time for clearing immigration and customs. Flight schedules are subject to change.

Departure Date Airline Airport Depart Return
2024: Oct. 2 Air India New York (JFK) 12:30 PM 7:35 AM
2024: Oct. 16 Air India New York (JFK) 12:30 PM 7:55 AM
2024: Nov. 6 Air India New York (JFK) 12:30 PM 6:55 AM

 

ADVANCE SEAT ASSIGNMENT

Airlines do not assign seats in advance for group fares – seat assignments are arranged upon check-in at the airport. smarTours is not involved with seat assignments. If you require a specific seat due to a medical condition, please obtain a doctor’s note you can present to the airline at check-in.

BOOKING YOUR OWN FLIGHTS

Booking your own flights has advantages like flying from your home airport, choosing your own seats, upgrading your seats, and using and collecting airline miles. Tour-only travelers are responsible for arranging their entry and exit flights, as well as their arrival and departure transfers. Unused land services including those caused by air schedule changes and delays are non-refundable and smarTours cannot be held responsible.

When booking your flights, please note that our tour starts in Delhi and ends in Delhi. We recommend that you:

  • Fly into Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL)
  • Fly out of Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) after 10 PM (due to travel)

TOUR MEETING POINT

When and where you’ll meet the rest of the group depends on if you purchased our air-inclusive package with group flights from/returning to the U.S. or our tour-only package.

  • smarTours Group Air Travelers: Upon arrival in destination, please proceed through customs and immigration. Our Tour Director will be waiting for you at the airport upon arrival in the arrivals area near the point you clear customs with a smarTours sign.
  • smarTours Tour-Only Travelers: Please arrive at your preferred time. Hotel check-in is generally not before 4 PM. The Tour Director and group will meet the morning of Day 2 for breakfast and an orientation meeting.

TOUR ENDING POINT

The final end point for your tour depends on if you purchased our air-inclusive package with group flights from/returning to the U.S. or our tour-only package.

  • smarTours Group Air Travelers: On our last day, we’ll transfer to the airport for our flight from Udaipur to Delhi International Airport where we’ll catch our return flight to the U.S.
  • smarTours Tour-Only Travelers: The tour ends upon arrival at Delhi International Airport (DEL) in the late afternoon.

PASSPORT AND VISA INFORMATION

Travelers must be in possession of a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel. A visa is required for U.S. passport holders and must be obtained prior to arrival. Before your trip, review travel requirements and restrictions by country including passport and visa requirements. You may apply for an e-visa online with the Indian government directly. You may also consider a visa processing service like sherpaº to facilitate the process. You can also learn more about passport and visa services. Please remember that it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary travel documents before the trip.

TICKETS AND FINAL DOCUMENTS

Final instructions, documents, and travel tips will be emailed to you 10–14 days before the scheduled start of your tour. If you have not received your final documents, please check your spam folder or contact smarTours.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS

Immunizations are not currently required, however, you may wish to consult your personal physician or local health authorities for their suggestions. The CDC recommends you stay up to date on routine vaccinations, and consult your physician at least one month prior to travel. Learn more about the CDC’s destination-specific recommendations.

CLIMATE

In April and October India’s daytime temperatures average in the 80’s and 90’s; from November through March in the upper 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Overnight temperatures are cooler. Nepal temperatures are normally about 10-20° less than what you will experience in India. The rainy season is normally during the summer months (Jun-Aug). We recommend that you do not over-pack and that you take a variety of casual separates with climate and comfort in mind.

NON-INCLUDED MEALS

The average cost for dinner (excluding drinks) at a local restaurant is about $18 – $25 per meal per person depending on the city and restaurant. At hotels, buffet lunches are approximately $22 USD per person and buffet dinners are approximately $28 USD per person including the 18% tax. Your hotel will accept credit cards for your non-included meals. A tip of 10%-15% is usual in restaurants that do not impose a service fee and is optional at restaurants that do impose a service fee.

CREDIT CARDS AND LOCAL CURRENCY

The Indian rupee is the official currency of the Republic of India. The modern rupee is subdivided into 100 paise (singular paisa), though as of 2011 only 50-paise coins are legal tender. Banknotes in circulation come in denominations of ₹5, ₹10, ₹20, ₹50, ₹100, ₹500 and ₹2000. Please note that as of November 2016, the older ₹500 note is no longer valid legal tender, and only new ₹500 notes will be accepted. Hotels and some stores accept major credit cards.  However, for “street shopping” you will need local currency or U.S. Dollars.  Currency can be changed at banks, airports or authorised money changers. Your hotel will also be able to exchange cash to local currency for you. It is recommended that you bring along cash in small denominations.

Electricity

India operates on 230 volts/50 Hz and uses plug types C, D, and M. Learn more about plug types, adapters, and converters.

BAGGAGE
Each passenger may bring one piece of checked-in luggage (maximum 44 pounds) and one carry-on piece (maximum 15 pounds) not to exceed 18”x10”x8”.