Here is a quick reminder of upcoming events:
Attention travelers: Per the latest Indian government guidelines, check-in counters at domestic airports will close 45 minutes before departure. If arranging independent airport transfers, please plan your commute accordingly. Presently, airlines allow passengers to check-in up to twenty minutes before departure. (In some smaller airports, even fifteen minutes is sufficient time.)
India was once reserved as a destination for backpackers, voluntourism, and group tours. Though the market remains strong for budget-friendly travel - India remains one of the top ten most affordable destinations in the world - luxury travelers have finally discovered the Indian decadence. The 2010 Virtuoso Luxe Report recognized India as the #1 Emerging Destination for Luxury Travelers. Spacious villas, private tours, and the incomparable Indian hospitality are just a few of the elements that have won over the hearts of tourists worldwide. Furthermore, in today's market, even luxury travelers are looking for a good deal - another benefit to experiencing what India has to offer. As one traveler recently told me, "I am a 6-star traveler, but I don't need bragging rights. Even I like to find a good deal. And India was the perfect combination of opulence and affordability."
It's official! The Indian Rupee will soon have a unique symbol - a blend of the Roman R and Devanagri Ra. India joins the United States, Japan, and Britain as having a distinct identity. The symbol was designed by D Udaya Kumar, an IIT (India Institute of Technology) Bombay Post Graduate. Kumar's entry was chosen from over 3,000 entries. Ambika Sona, the Information and Broadcasting Minister, stated, "It's a big statement on the Indian currency... The symbol would lend a distinctive character and identity to the currency and further highlight the strength and global face of the Indian economy."
Last week, one of our Sodha Traveler's, Sandy, passed on a wonderful article about the affordable delights of Delhi dining. Sandy wrote, "This article is wonderful and sends me right back to Delhi in my mind, heart, and tummy!" Be sure to check out the article by Philip Reeves: New Delhi: A Princely Feast for a Paupers Price. Thank you for sharing, Sandy!
Many of you have taken advantage of our discounted international airfares, with some travelers saving over 28% off the published fare! Now, Sodha Travel's airfare desk is going one step beyond to offer a price guarantee: If you find a lower fare from another agency, we will beat the price. Also, if you find a published fare on an online site, we will match the price. (Please note that for an online price match, the departing and returning airline must be the same carrier.)
Some of our Sodha Travelers have been inquiring about the safety in Nepal. Political violence has occurred sporadically throughout the country in the past, including protests, demonstrations, and localized vandalism. Currently, we have not canceled any tours that include Nepal and we will continue to process reservations for upcoming tours. However, we do not recommend hiking alone, particularly in Pokhara, Chitwan, and the Northern trails. Our team in Kathmandu continues to monitor the situation and we will notify you of any changes. More travel information and a detailed synopsis of the political disturbance can be found on the U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory.