India for Beginners FAQs

Please read our FAQs to fully understand the nature of India for Beginners custom & group tours, our Terms & Conditions, Cancellation Policy, travel tips, and more. If you have any questions, please send us an email and we will clarify.

What is a custom tour and how does it work?

A custom tour is a tour designed for you, based on your interests, preferences, and budget. The first step is to create a personalized itinerary for you, together with you.

The trip will run at your pace. You are in control of the amount of time you spend at various monuments and attractions, and you can stop as many times as you want during the drives, as long as it is safe to do so. However, there are a few things that have time limitations, such as hotel check-in and check-out times, safari times, etc. that can’t be changed because these are not in our hand.

We provide a tour manager to each guest, who will be available 24×7 during your trip. He will be coordinating everything — your hotel bookings, drivers, guides — and he will sort out any issues that may come up and answer any questions you may have. 

You can instruct your guide to tell you how much information you want — from every small detail to just the basics, so that things will move as per your pace. You can decide these things on the spot. Please note: Guides are hired on a per day basis. Whether they are with you just for one monument or they are with you the whole day (7 hours maximum), they charge the same amount of money.

Within certain limits, there is a lot of flexibility in a custom tour that you don’t get on a group tour.

Read these pages to find out about our Team and about our philosophy of travel.

Can changes be made to the itinerary during a trip?

The beauty of a custom itinerary is that is designed for you, with your interests and preferences in mind. We work with you to create the ideal itinerary … but we know things don’t always go as planned. Especially in India!

Sometimes we need to make changes to accommodate things like festival traffic, train delays, and other unexpected scenarios.

And there may be times when you would like to make changes. Please make your request to your tour manager. We will be happy to accommodate the change if it’s feasible to do so. But please understand sometimes changes cannot be made.

Also, if you decide to not do something on the itinerary, please let us know as soon as possible in advance as we need to alert our suppliers. We work with a network of trusted, reliable guides, drivers, hoteliers etc. and we want to show them utmost respect as we rely on them. Thanks so much for your understanding.

Who leads your tours?

We provide a tour manager to each guest, who will be available 24×7 during your tour by WhatsApp and / or telephone. 

Custom tours do not include a leader travelling with you. However, you will have drivers and guides at various places during the trip, which will be indicated in the itinerary, and everything will be coordinated by us.

For small group tours, whether a leader travels with you or not depends on several factors including the size of the group. Please clarify with us whether we provide a tour leader or tour manager to accompany you, or local guides for sightseeing.

What is your booking, refund, and cancellation policy?

We require 50% of the total tour cost to book your trip. We require the final 50% of the cost 45 days prior to your trip. You can make a bank transfer directly to a Canadian bank, a US bank, an Indian bank, or through We will send you the banking details.

Keeping the current situation in mind, we have made changes in our cancellation policy to be as flexible as possible. 

If you cancel 45 days or more prior to your travel dates, we offer a 100% refund, minus any non-refundable bookings we have made, plus an administration fee. Within 45 days before departure, we do not offer a refund. Note: All cancellations must be sent by email.

However, if the Indian government suspends travel to India, due to any reason, even a day before your travel dates, we will give you a credit note and you can use the same for your future travel. 

Please see our Terms & Conditions document for detailed information about bookings, refunds, cancellations, liability, etc. and read thoroughly before booking with us.

What happens if I get COVID19 while on tour with IFB in India?

As a company, we are dedicated to being flexible and doing everything we can to make our guests feel safe and comfortable. We provide a tour manager to each guest, who will be available 24×7 during your tour. 

COVID19 is very unpredictable. We take all the measures necessary to try and prevent it. Our driver will sanitize the car on a daily basis. Our drivers, guides, and other service providers will always have masks on.

If you get COVID19 during your trip in India, we will arrange everything required for you, such as:

  • We will arrange the hotel for your quarantine (at additional cost). 
  • We will pause the tour and you can proceed with the tour after you recover. 
  • We will not charge any cancellation fee for hotels or guides. 
  • We would charge extra only for transportation such as train, flight, or car (if your tour is paused in an area where we need to resend a vehicle to restart the tour).
Mariellen in Bikaner, Rajasthan

What should I pack for travel in India?

Packing will of course depend largely on the season in India. It can be very hot, very cold, or very wet depending on when and where you travel. Check out these instructive blog posts from Breathedreamgo to help you decide what to bring and what to wear:

What do I need to know before I travel to India?

The most important thing is to understand that things do not always go as planned in India. And this is especially true in the wake of the pandemic. The travel industry was hit hard, and many businesses closed, others are staggering along with insufficient staff, etc. Local flight timings change without notice, trains get delayed, and other unexpected travel delays happen quite often.

It’s important to be able to go with the flow – in fact, you could say this is one of the lessons of travel in India. It’s also important to try and be as understanding, compassionate, and open as possible (while remaining alert, of course). 

If we are not able to do all of the activities listed on the itinerary due to unforeseen changes, delays, closures, etc. — all of which are very common in India — we will make every effort to offer substitute experiences.

There is a belief in India that everything happens the way it is meant to. So we ask our guests to be open to this idea, and to go with the flow, and accept what India offers you.

Travel in India is not about checking things off a list; it is about having an experience. And much of that experience is an inward journey — a journey that cannot be assessed by the usual accounting methods.

Let India change you and transform you … and then you will know the worth of the experience.

Airport arrival in Delhi

After you clear Immigration and pick up your luggage from the baggage carousel in the arrivals hall, walk through the glass doors towards the exit. You will still be in the airport, not outdoors. Note: this inner lobby contains washrooms, ATMs, cafes, and a place to buy a SIM card (look for the Airtel sign).

As you exit the glass doors, you will see a steel railing ahead of you, with drivers waiting behind it. Your driver will meet you here, and he will be carrying a paging board with your name on it.

If by chance you cannot find your paging board, please wait here and DO NOT leave the airport terminal. We will find you. If you are in any trouble please call your tour manager, we will ensure you have his number.

International arrival guidelines

The guidelines for international arrivals into India change often due to the COVID19 pandemic. Check out the Breathdreamgo guide to Indian visas for more information. 

You can read the latest official guidelines on this Indian government website:

Baggage allowance on domestic flights

On most domestic flights you are allowed to carry 15kgs PER PERSON as check-in luggage and 7kgs PER PERSON as hand baggage (there are some exceptions, please ask us and we will clarify).  

Please note: local flight timings are subject to change without notice.

Money and budgeting

The easiest way to get cash is to take it from an ATM. You can use your international debit card at most of the bigger banks in India such as YES Bank, ICICI, HDFC, CityBank, Axis Bank, etc. (There are ATMS at the airport.) You can also exchange your money, especially USD, but you may not always get a competitive rate.

Many places accept MasterCard and Visa cards, however it is always wise to have a supply of Indian rupees with you (at least 3,000). Smaller establishments and markets usually will only accept cash or online payments such as Google pay. And for tipping, you will need cash.

Meals when not included (lunch and dinner) could be budgeted at a range from about $6 USD up to $30 USD depending on the establishment. Street food is very cheap, and the restaurants at 5-star hotels are as expensive as fine dining restaurants in the US, Canada, or Europe. 

Using an app like XE can make it much easier to do currency conversions.

Travel insurance

We highly recommend purchasing travel insurance. Please see this page for the Breathedreamgo travel resources that includes our favourite companies World Nomads and SafetyWing.


Tipping is an inherent part of life in India. But please note that you are not obliged to tip and it is entirely to your discretion. 

It is common practice to tip porters, drivers, wait staff, toilet attendants, and guides. It is not necessary to tip autorickshaw drivers.

These are general guidelines, and can change depending on several factors – please clarify with us the guidelines for your trip::

DRIVERS: The equivalent of $10-15 USD per day total (not per person) to be paid at the end of the trip to the driver when on a long tour. If it is just an airport or station transfer then $5 USD should be fine.

GUIDES: The equivalent of $15-20 USD per day total (not per person) for day guides.

Electric supply

The electric supply in India is 220 Volts / 60 Hz and uses round pins. It is advisable to carry universal adapters for electronic gadgets. You may check with your equipment manufacturer for the range of supply that the equipment can use. Nevertheless, suitable adapters are available in India for global travellers and can be purchased at the nearest electronic shop. Where there are dual supplies available (110 V and 220 V), they are clearly marked so. Most Laptops and Camera models having electronic chargers are usually universal adapters and work with a range of electric supply. The range of electric supply is generally indicated on the gadget / charger or you can refer to the product manual for more information.

TIP: Carry a travel sized surge protector. Please see this page for the Breathedreamgo travel resources that includes our favourite, the Belkin mini surge protector.

Shopping in India

India is a shopper’s paradise. Markets, malls, and bazaars burst with beautiful merchandise, much of it handmade, unique, and culturally significant.

However… if you are planning to buy anything costly such as rugs, jewellery, furniture, or pashmina shawls, please have the items authenticated before purchasing. Sadly, many fakes are sold to unsuspecting tourists who don’t know the difference. Download my personal shopping recommendations.

For further reading:

Essential travel check list

  1. Does your passport have more than six months’ validity following your travel dates?
  2. Do you have your Tourist Visa for travel to India?
  3. Did you purchase travel insurance?
  4. Have you sent us a copy of your international flight ticket?
  5. Do you understand all the guidelines for international travel?
  6. Do you understand our Terms & Conditions, procedures, and policies?

Tiger in India

Tiger Safari in India Expectations

Going on a wildlife safari (tiger safari) in India is one of the most thrilling experiences you can have. However, please be aware there are never any guarantees you will see a tiger. Even the best naturalist, the best zone, the best time of year / day will never guarantee you a sighting. But this is part of the fun! You are in the tiger’s natural habitat, and the best attitude to take is to enjoy the beautiful natural environment, full of many trees, plants, scenic landscapes, animals, and birds. Our advice is to surrender to the experience, enjoy it, appreciate the moment … and feel grateful if the tiger chooses to appear …