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  1. #1

    Southern India for 6 weeks. Access money? Websites? Airport

    We are a UK based couple. We are planning an independent trip from Hyderabad down to the south and both coasts in January. Approx 6 weeks. What is is the best way to access money when doing this? Which are the best websites for booking flights, hotels and train/bus journeys? We are mid 50's, so dont want to backpack/hostel, but need to do the trip 'economically'. We have already done the 'classic North India' trip, many years ago with a company.

    Also, flying just after New Year, is there a big difference in price of where to fly to from Heathrow UK? Which is the cheapest route? (but direct if possible).
    We are thinking maybe Mumbai and then train down that coast. We have looked at a lot of different itineraries proposed by companies and on this site, but dont have a fixed plan yet. Could fly to west, east or central.
    Flying back to the UK in Feb/March, but will book separately.
    Thank you.
    Last edited by KateTab; 10-23-2016 at 07:32 AM.

  2. #2
    No replies, so we booked flight to Chennai, returning Bangalore Jan & Feb. Would still like to now the best way to access money for a two month trip and best website for booking hotels. Thank you.

  3. #3

    Slow Traveler

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    Fremont, CA, USA
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    South India for 6 weeks

    Quote Originally Posted by KateTab View Post
    No replies, so we booked flight to Chennai, returning Bangalore Jan & Feb. Would still like to now the best way to access money for a two month trip and best website for booking hotels. Thank you.
    Hi Kate,

    Sorry I was just directed to this thread. Looks like you have already booked your tickets and for South India, you probably found that Chennai had the best fares. Chennai has less choices than Mumbai but is still the best starting point for South India. Usually fares drop after the first week of January following the peak Xmas/NY travel season when a a lot of the Indian diaspora go 'home'.

    You should be able to get money from ATMs in all the big cities though there can be some hefty withdrawal fees. Citibank has branches in all of them as do several other banks. I do hear though that Citibank charges u to 1% fees! We have had this happen to us but since we are Citibank account holders, we usually get it refunded when we get back. It is still the most convenient ways. Of course you would want to use your credit card wherever possible to get the best rates and in the cities, everyone takes credit cards.

    And yes, train travel is a great experience in India. We live in California now, but we still try to get in one train travel at least whenever we go back and it is as nostalgic as it was in our college days there but much upgraded now (after all the British built of our railway system, and I understand now India's ITs manage the British rail bookings too :-) You can book tickets online three months in advance. The Indian Railway has its official website, which now takes foreign credit cards too :
    https://www.irctc.co.in/eticketing/loginHome.jsf

    I have found that site rather slow and most people even in India use either of these third party sites Cleartrip.com or Makemytrip.com

    Bus travel is also very comfortable in India with overnight sleeper buses running on most key routes in South India. I have used these buses and they are very comfortable e.g Kodaikanal to Banaglore with complete reclining seats etc. You can usually book those once you get there especially if you are past the peak season.

    If you tell me more about your itinerary, how many days etc. and have more questions, I can try and answer. I see you are flying our of Bangalore (my college days town) so you must be doing some sort of circuit from Chennai? Kerala and Andhra?

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