What is the difference between a travel agent and a travel consultant? The shift started in the 1990's with the introduction of online booking sites. Travelers who once reserved air tickets and hotels directly with a travel agent now had access to book directly. In the following 25+ years, thousands of agencies closed their doors and the business models shifted from distributors to specialists.
UDAN (‘Ude Desh Ka Aam Naagrik’) is a unique Indian airline system developed to stimulate regional connectivity through a market based mechanism. The scheme was launched earlier this year and Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the first flight on April 27th from Shimla to New Delhi.
The Tiger Express is off to a "roaring" start! India's newest semi-luxury train offers 6 day/5 night packages from Delhi to Bandhavgarh and Kanha national parks. (Kanha is also included in Sodha Travel's popular Jungle Book itinerary.) Named for the most notable resident of the parks, Tiger Express is the first wildlife circuit collaboration between the Indian Railways and Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC).
For many, the idea of experiencing India by train is idyllic. Visions loom of sipping chai in a plush compartment while observing the countryside dotting the landscape. There is also something refreshingly charming when traveling by trains, perhaps because the tradition is an integral part of the local transportation. The rail system serves nearly 20 million people at 7,500 stations daily.
Dear Airline Industry,
I have written quite a few posts about travel insurance - the benefits, the policies, and why I always recommend coverage for clients. I also make sure to personally purchase a policy for each and every trip abroad. For the past two weeks, several of our clients have been met with unfortunate circumstances when traveling. All of the incidents have been associated with air travel, which is not surprising to us, especially this time of year. Flights are oversold, winter weather is unpredictable, and the busy holiday season makes it difficult for airlines to efficiently accommodate the passengers.
Last week, I received an email inquiry regarding local transportation in Sri Lanka. A Sodha Traveler, Richard, is traveling to the Emerald Isle in November on an independent itinerary. He asked our team, "What are the best options for traveling between destinations? Are buses available and safe? Is train travel suggested?" Here are Sodha Travel's suggestions for local transportation in Sri Lanka:
Playful. Astonishing. Uncomfortable. Microcosm. These were just a few responses we received to our recent Facebook post, "Describe Indian train travel in one word." The post was prompted by a recent email from a Sodha Traveler, Paul, regarding the Indian rail system:
Scenario #1: Jane is visiting a new destination and relies on a travel agency to confirm her hotel and touring services. She arrives at the hotel, checks-in, and finds that her room does not meet her expectations. The agency quoted a 4-star property, but Jane feels it is below average. The view from her window is less than appealing, she can hear her noisy neighbors, and the air-conditioning is faulty. Later in the evening, guest services calls to follow-up and assure her room is comfortable. Jane communicates none of her concerns. Two days later, her travel agent also places a courtesy call. Again, Jane says the trip is wonderful and does not share her negative impressions about the hotel.
For those who love to spread their wings and explore the world - or even hop from one destination to the next - be sure to check out Travelhoppers. Recently launched, Travelhoppers is a travel site that allows consumers to research, connect, and discover. I am also personally excited to be a featured contributor in the Travelhoppers community.
These days, if you ask someone why they selected a tour package, destination, or travel operator, one word trumps all others: Value. However, value can mean different things to different travelers. For some, it implies a good deal or considerable savings. For others, the value is in the experience of visiting a new or exotic destination, or fulfilling a lifelong dream. Many travelers excitedly reserve a group tour based on the value of all of the above. The affordable price and enticing inclusions - international airfare, deluxe hotel accommodations, and comprehensive touring - are certainly tempting.
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.)