Couple with 4 year old planning one year budget travel around India

#1 Apr 14th, 2018, 04:02
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  • flyingfantasy is offline
#1
I'm trying to roughly put together a years itinerary to travel India with our 4/5 year old child. My head is spinning with the options and I find myself researching for hours each night... I need some advice please!

We would like to travel slowly spending several weeks possibly in one place. We are looking for home stays and cheap B and B type accommodation- research tells me to budget around $40-50 dollars a day. We are happy to eat at local places and have basic but clean acommodation.is the budget realistic?

We are keen to get absorbed in new cultures, great scenery, mediation and yoga, picturesque train journeys, volunteering and seeing sights like forts, temples, wildlife etc. Workaway options we would also consider!
We don't want to spend much time in crazy busy places.

The Himalayan region really appeals to me and we would love to visit some Tibetan settlements and monestrys. Also would like to visit some beach vibe- possibly Kerala since we have spent a couple of months in goa previously.

So far on my list-

Rishikesh- ashram possibly. Learn meditation and yoga
Dharamsala- temples etc
Rajasthan region- desert safari forts pink blue city
Taj Mahal - been to India twice and never been! Must go this time!
Kerala- house boats and beach vibe

It's vague I know but I wanted to list my places so far so you understand our interests and can add or advise further.

I'm hoping someone can tell me what area to start in October- I was going to start northern region and understand the weather is fine then but also know people usully head that way as the weather hearts up in may time... so maybe wrong way to do the trip?

Our child is a good traveller and done 9 hour train journeys in India before and wowed at the scenery and howled through tunnels.
We don't need kid clubs or anything like that! Safe family stays and relaxed chilled time together will suit is.

Thanks to anyone who reads and responds to us with a helpful answer no matter how big or small x
#2 Apr 14th, 2018, 04:15
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  • vonkla is offline
#2
Just some remarks
-You cannot stay one year in India, depending on your type of visa you have to make visa-runs to neighbouring countries
-These runs have effect on your budget, which is already cramped if you want to do safari's etc.
-We have done several longer trips, you can read about it in links of my signature.
#3 Apr 14th, 2018, 04:27
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  • OldandRambling is offline
#3
Hi,

It is good to know that you have some experience in India, with your child, already.

The main problem may be the weather.

It gets very hot indeed all over India in the summer, except in the mountains or hill stations. Sometimes it is very humid too.

Most long term visitors seem to move up to cooler places, such as Himachal Pradesh in the Indian summer.

I am not sure about visa's for UK citizens, but I believe you would have to leave the country after 6 months?

Good Luck!

Ed.
#4 Apr 14th, 2018, 13:03
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#4
Thank you both for your responses and blog linos which I will read after responding! Really helpful x

I believe We will have to leave after 6 months for a short time and I hear that a trip to Sri Lanka is a good choice for budget and also as a place to go. We've been to Sri Lanka before but only for a week so would be nice to go back to see more.

I know the budget isn't huge at $40 but I believe we can spend less some days when we are just relaxing and wondering around and also I've been looking at workaway website and believe we could get free bed and board for some of our trip which would assist budget wise AND help with the culture side of things. We have previously visited a school for a couple of days and helped fund raise etc and we all said it was our best part of the trip so its definitely something we want to do again and I think not something we would rely on solely for budget.
Also once I get my route I could factor in the budget a little more and factor in flight costs etc.

So if I arrive in October would you suggest I start somewhere like Kerala and move upwards heading north around march time and then seeing Rajasthan and rishikesh and that (huge) area for last 6 months?
As India is so big I'm struggling to get my head around best months for each region and how that varies but my heart is pulling me to start in the north!

Off to read blogs and continue research!
Many thanks again guys- appreciate your time
#5 Apr 14th, 2018, 13:48
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#5
I think a budget of $40 a day is very reasonable for a long stay, as you say, when stopped in one place, that should be plenty, and allow you to carry some over to the more expensive sections.

My feeling is there is no ideal plan for beating the Indian weather on a year round basis.

As you probably know, the main visitor season is between Sept/Oct and March.

Between the scorching temperatures, different monsoons (there are more than one), the humidity, I think it hard to devise a reasonable travel plan for a whole year, unless one were to consider hiding from extreme heat in the hills for many months.

Maybe a better plan would be to visit for 6 months, and visit again in another year to see the places you missed the first time?

Back in 1983, we visited India for the first time, and spent 5 months on a budget visit, started in October in Delhi, and first went to Manali in the north, and using bus and train made our way to the very southern tip, and up as far as Chennai, or Madras as it was. The temperatures over most of the country were much hotter than back in the UK, of course, but we felt comfortable.

Best advice seems to be have a look at a few decent historical weather sites on the web, and just see what areas have what temperatures in what months, and similar with rainfall and humidity. If you know what you can manage, from your previous travels, you can work out a broad plan.

Like in the UK, you can have a nice day on the beach in August, but the same spot will be miserable in January.

Look at the weather first in each area, then decide, is my advice...

Ed.
#6 Apr 14th, 2018, 14:24
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  • Nick-H is offline
#6
A couple of points...

1. Maximum stay is 180 days, not six calendar months. A mistake with this, leading to an overstay, even of of a day or two, could get you into trouble with officials, and mess up your plans for part 2 of your journey.

2. Peak tourist season in the south is December/January, when the climate is closest to that of a hot English summer day, but more humid.

3. You already have some experience, so this is not new to you, but you need to track the path of the SE monsoon, which arrives in Kerala in June and moves NorthWest, and the NW monsoon, which we in Tamil Nadu rely on for our rain, which sometimes comes, sometime doesn't. I'm not qualified to comment on detail about this... except for my own small patch of TN!
~
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.
#7 Apr 14th, 2018, 14:33
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#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingfantasy View Post I believe We will have to leave after 6 months for a short time and I hear that a trip to Sri Lanka is a good choice for budget and also as a place to go.
.........
So if I arrive in October would you suggest I start somewhere like Kerala and move upwards heading north around march time and then seeing Rajasthan and rishikesh and that (huge) area for last 6 months?
If you take this route consider to go to Nepal for a visa-run
#8 Apr 14th, 2018, 21:14
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  • karikor is offline
#8
You can think of Meghalaya also sometime during September /October just after the rains.
#9 Apr 14th, 2018, 22:00
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#9
Id like to preface my remarks with noting that I have not done anything so ambitious and might not offer the best advice.

Id suggest starting your trip in the North (or North East, like Karikor suggests) and work your way South (possibly through Rajasthan, etc.), head to Sri Lanka after no more than 180 days. after that, start to work your way back North or North by Northeast and spend the Summer in the mountains and monsoon in parts of Himachal and Ladakh.

If you had the architecture of your travels along something of this nature, it will be easier to narrow down the places and the time you spend in them a bit easier.
#10 Apr 14th, 2018, 22:53
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#10
Fantastic idea thank you! This totally makes sense to me and I will start looking at this as an option.
I have a list of places I'd like to visit and once I have the route/direction of travel then I feel i can link the areas and find new ones too and really start planning!
Thank you
#11 Apr 14th, 2018, 22:54
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#11
Noted and good idea! Nepal is definitely somewhere we would love to go.
#12 Apr 14th, 2018, 22:58
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by vonkla View Post If you take this route consider to go to Nepal for a visa-run
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldandRambling View Post I think a budget of $40 a day is very reasonable for a long stay, as you say, when stopped in one place, that should be plenty, and allow you to carry some over to the more expensive sections.

My feeling is there is no ideal plan for beating the Indian weather on a year round basis.

As you probably know, the main visitor season is between Sept/Oct and March.

Between the scorching temperatures, different monsoons (there are more than one), the humidity, I think it hard to devise a reasonable travel plan for a whole year, unless one were to consider hiding from extreme heat in the hills for many months.

Maybe a better plan would be to visit for 6 months, and visit again in another year to see the places you missed the first time?

Back in 1983, we visited India for the first time, and spent 5 months on a budget visit, started in October in Delhi, and first went to Manali in the north, and using bus and train made our way to the very southern tip, and up as far as Chennai, or Madras as it was. The temperatures over most of the country were much hotter than back in the UK, of course, but we felt comfortable.

Best advice seems to be have a look at a few decent historical weather sites on the web, and just see what areas have what temperatures in what months, and similar with rainfall and humidity. If you know what you can manage, from your previous travels, you can work out a broad plan.

Like in the UK, you can have a nice day on the beach in August, but the same spot will be miserable in January.

Look at the weather first in each area, then decide, is my advice...

Ed.

Thank you, I will look at the weather in more detail. I was wondering if I was missing an obvious trail that people take but it's reassuring to know that there is no ideal plan to beat the weather. I can stop beating myself up for not finding it!!!
You've been really helpful, thanks again.
#13 Apr 14th, 2018, 23:01
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#13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post A couple of points...

1. Maximum stay is 180 days, not six calendar months. A mistake with this, leading to an overstay, even of of a day or two, could get you into trouble with officials, and mess up your plans for part 2 of your journey.

2. Peak tourist season in the south is December/January, when the climate is closest to that of a hot English summer day, but more humid.

3. You already have some experience, so this is not new to you, but you need to track the path of the SE monsoon, which arrives in Kerala in June and moves NorthWest, and the NW monsoon, which we in Tamil Nadu rely on for our rain, which sometimes comes, sometime doesn't. I'm not qualified to comment on detail about this... except for my own small patch of TN!
Thanks for the heads up on the 180 days- will certainly stick to this. I hadn't realised there were different monsoons so will look into this.

Thank you!
#14 Apr 16th, 2018, 22:28
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  • NonIndianResident is offline
#14
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldandRambling View Post I think a budget of $40 a day is very reasonable for a long stay, as you say, when stopped in one place, that should be plenty, and allow you to carry some over to the more expensive sections.
I agree. I understand that you won't be doing much very spendy stuff, mostly staying in one place at a time for a few weeks, and maybe trying to be able to cook for yourselves when possible. A 4 year old will prefer playing in the garden to going on any touristy trips.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OldandRambling View Post I think it hard to devise a reasonable travel plan for a whole year, unless one were to consider hiding from extreme heat in the hills for many months.
I think staying in the hills for a long time (or even beyond them, ie Ladakh) is a fine plan, not hiding.
#15 Apr 17th, 2018, 00:08
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#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by NonIndianResident View Post I think staying in the hills for a long time (or even beyond them, ie Ladakh) is a fine plan, not hiding.
Indeed, staying in the hills or Ladakh may be a fine plan, not hiding

I don't know what the summer / monsoon weather is like in such areas, cooler, but I gather roads may be washes out at times, etc?

My point was that if one wants to experience a year in India, maybe being restricted by heat to the mountains for 6 months is not much better than visiting for 6 months and then returning once the climate changes again.

I remember in 1983 being very cold in October in Manali, I had to buy a warm jacket. The local bus station used to light fires under the buses to keep the fuel liquid. One bus caught fire, and the "fire brigade" came. Happy days!

Ed.

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