Highlights of Northern India - Anyone going

I have just booked this trip for 8 Oct 2010 and am so excited - is anyone else booked on it?

I'm booked on this trip, and really looking forward to it.  Been looking at it for months, and made up my mind when I noticed there were only four places.  I think it's fully booked now.  Never done a solo trip before, hopefully it'll be a good bunch.

Yes just checked and it is fuly booked.  I've only travelled on my own once before (last year to Nepal with Explore) but it wasn't a fully solo trip.  Fingers crossed it shoudl be good - when I asked about the group make up - I was told there were people on it in their 20's. 30's, 40's, 50's & 60's, and a mix of male and female so sounds like a good cross section.  Look foward to meeting with you.  it was going to Varanasi that swung it for me - none of the others went there.

I was meaning to ask about the makeup of the group, but in all the excitement to get booked up, I completely forgot.  I'm 30's, but could pass for 20's, so I'll easlily blend in with the demographic, hurrah!!  Looking forward to meeting you too. 



Hi Catherine/Douglas.   I'm booked on the solo trip departing London 7th Oct so assume this is the same one?   I'm very excited at the prospect of this trip, a bit apprehensive about some things but the excitment is outweighing any reservations!  Like Catherine, i checked out the group mix and thought the Oct group sounded like a good balance of ages and male/female ratio ( I seem to have snaffled up the last place).     This forum is  a good opportunity to get to know people and swap notes before we go......biggest problem is having to wait 5 months!  : )   look forward to meeting you

Hi Mags, thanks for adding your nam - you're right, I think this is a great way to find out a bit about each other before meeting up - removes a bit of the apprehension I guess!

I can't wait for this trip - how fantastic would it be if we saw a tiger!!? The overnight train should be interesting - guess that is the one bit I'm a bit nervous about - other than that.......very excited!  Looking forward to meet you.

Hi Mags/Catherine,

For some reason, I'm not getting e-mails when this thing is updated... sorry. 

I didn't check out the group before I booked  the trip, so I was surprised to read it was so diverse.  I'm really looking forward to the trip as well, I even went to Tiso a few weeks ago and asked them about shoes, thinking I should invest in a good pair for walking etc. - the guy did give me a bit of a funny look when I told him I wasn't going for 5 months...

The train was the only part of the trip which I kinda had to think about too...  I decided the trip as a whole was well worth it though, and the reviews didn't really talk much about the train, so I'm sure it's fine... (as long as it's not like Bombay - did you see the programme on BBC2 last week?  Eek!) It'll be an experience! 

 Looking forward to meeting you both.



Hi Everyone - I'm going too and I'm really looking forward to it and I'm also travelling solo.  Bumped into a guy serving in Boots who said he went last year and it was one of the best trips he's ever been on!  Highlights for me would be seeing a tiger so here's hoping. 


Hi - Me again!  I seem to be showing as a bloke but can't seem to update it!!  Definitely female though!! Jenny

Hi All,

Jenny - good to hear from you - that's good news from the Boots man!  Good to hear some positive feedback.  I've not travelled with Exodus before (only Explore) but sure they will be just as good.

I was wary of the overnight on the train too Douglas, but thought at least it is only one night and a chance to see what it's like.  Some of the other India trips have more train overnighters so will let me see if I am brave enough to do more overnight train trips.

Good look with the shoe hunt - I have merrills and they are so comfy and light.  I know what you mean about it still being a way off.  I always start planning way in advance when I'm excited about a trip!



Hi all,

Looking forward to meeting you, Jenny. 

Thanks for the tip on the shoes, Catherine.  I haven't been on holiday for three years, so am starting from scratch and need to get pretty much everything.  But it's all good, I really enjoy the build up too.  Maybe I'm wrong, but isn't the train two nights?  

 I'll leave you with that thought.



Hello guys and girlies,

 I am booked on this holiday departing from London on the 7th too....can't wait. I have only travelled with Exodus once to Kenya,Tanzania and Zanizbar - which was fab. I booked this holiday, as I went to Mumbai with work last year and found India an incredible place and wanted to return. I am travelling with my Mum who is just as excited about a girly holiday for us. As for ages (don't tell my mum I told you (!)....but I am 32 and she is 60)

Cheerio for now, Diane

Hi All

There are a good few of us here now - getting excited talking to you all about this trip!  Where are you both from (Jenny & Diane) I see Mags and Douglas are both from Glasgow.

Douglas, I stand corrected - it is 2 nights on the train - yikes!  haha! I am sure it will be fun and certainly an experience.

Catherine x


Hey All  and Hi to Jenny, Diane and her Mum

Nice to hear all the positive feedback about India, I've never been.  I too have developed something of a fascination with the overnight train  (I thought it was 2 nights too).  There are loads of 'India Overnight Train' clips on youtube if anyone wants a taster, some of them look fairly crazy but definately seems like an experience.  Think if we're equipped with antiseptic handgel, earplugs and a sleeping bag it could be a good laugh : )   Watched the film The Darjeeling Ltd to put me in the mood  (also features an overnight train but think ours is more likely to be of the youtube clip variety).     

So, are we 2 people from Glasgow then ?    How funny


Hi everyone,

Contrary to my fellow Glaswegian's (Mags') advice, I wouldn't look at You Tube if I were you, I wish I hadn't!  Trip notes say that we'll be going Second Class on the train, which I hope is a world away from Fourth class, that has to be seen to be believed.  Honestly, I'm the last person to rough it, but I think this will be such a special experience, and the train is all part of it.  I'm getting excited, better calm down and get back to work.




The train will be fine....just make sure that you don't eat anything doggy prior to boarding as the toilets will be fun! I live in London....(well originally Harrogate, where my Mum (Brenda) is starting her journey from..) so its a relatively easy trip to Heathrow...

The people in India are so friendly and welcoming - but can get a little overwelming appearing as a westerner in the cities - hence why I booked an organised tour.. arranging the trip alone to me seemed a litte too adventurous!

 Counting down the months as its now 8pm and I am still in the office !


Hi Everyone - seems like we will all know each other before we go which is great!  I've travelled on my own before but only on relatively safe package deals but for those of you who haven't - you'll never look back and you'd be surprised how many people you meet who regularly travel on their own!  I'm flying from London but live in Bristol so guess we are all over the place!  I've read lots of the Exodus reviews from people who have been on the trip before and they are really useful re what to take and what the trains are like and so on!  They seem honest and unedited so give the good and the not so good but basically I don't care I'm going to enjoy the trip whatever!!  Incidentally, on the trip notes it says about getting antibiotics in case of Dehli Beli and my doctor was happy to prescribe a short course privately as there's no chance of getting them over the counter or on the NHS and it didn't cost hardly anything! And for the guy still in the office - go home! Jenny

Hi All

Jenny, that' a good tip about the antibiotics, I'll certainly ask the question when I go to check if I need any jabs etc - fingers crossed my GP will be as accommodating as yours!  I'm going to give youtube a miss - although I know we will be in a different class - don't want to get myself wound up about it!  It's funny but the train is one of the things that I am most dreading yet most looking forward to which is bizzare I know!

I'm in Newcastle so flying down to LHR to catch the group flight.  Hopefully we might be able to pick each other out in the crowds - getting to know each other on here is pretty good - I like the forum idea.  I've only travelled solo once before, last year to Nepal with Explore and loved it - so hopefully this will be as good!



Am booked on this trip too and similarly dreading the train!   But can't wait to get there :o)


Hi Frances/everyone else,

Hope everyone is enjoying the good weather, Glasgow was really nice over the weekend, a bit cooler today though.  It's 42 degrees in Delhi today, and 46 is forecast for tomorrow; I added Delhi to the weather app on my iPhone (saddo). 



Hi everyone,

I've been thinkin about doing this trip for a while but haven't actually booked it yet.  Is your departure date a "Solo Trip"? I notice it's not listed anymore... probably because its full!!!

Did anyone research the best time of year to go?  I read some of the reviews and they say it is very cold early morning, according to reviews from Jan - Mar trips.. Is it the same during October?

You seem like a really nice group of people.... wish there was room for me!


Hi Julie, What a shame you can't get booked to come with us!  Yes it's a solo trip and I believe it is fully booked - if I remember rightly one of the people in the group on here took the last place.  I didn't do a huge amount of research about the weather to be honest, just looked at the info on the downloadable dossier which says Oct/Nov and Feb-Apr days are warm to hot and nights cool-mild.  Humidity very low and little rain.   I hope you manage to get booked up on a date to suit you i you decide this trip is for you. 

This forum is proving pretty good - giving us a chance to get to know each other a bit before we meet up.


Hi Catherine,

Thanks for the reply!  I might enquire about availability on this date just to be sure! :o)

I actually travelled with Exodus before...  I did the Classic Kenyan Safari and I absolutely loved it!  Would have no hesitation travelling with Exodus again.

If I don't get booked on, hope you have a fantastic time!!


Hi - Good luck with that - if you grovel you never know!  hee hee!

Good to hear positive comments about Exodus, I've not been with them before - only with Explore who were excellent.  Can't wait..................

Hi Julie/everyone,

Hope you get booked up.  For what it's worth, I've only heard good reports about Exodus.  My friend, who put me on to them, has been to Spain, USA and China with them, and had  great experiences.



Hi All,

Not actually on your trip but was reading some of the threads on here (how sad am I?) and thought I'd add a few train comments.

I went on the Land of the Tiger tour in Jan which included a few overnight & daytime train journeys. For overnight trips we were in second class two-tier (double bunks) and three-tier (yep, triple bunks) carriages. Top bunk on the three-tier is a good incentive to ensure you don't get up in the night but I felt perfectly safe & comfortable on all journeys. If you are a light sleeper then consider taking ear plugs and something to cover your eyes. Our tour leader (Krishna) was amazing at getting us all on/off trains with luggage so just enjoy the whole experience. The stations are an experience in their own right. You'll hear some horror stories about toilets and they can be pretty basic, but seriously not that bad (at least not on the trains/carriages we used).  However, do remember to take the basics with you (e.g. paper, hand gel etc). 

Hope you all have an amazing time. I loved it so much that I'm already planning a return trip to India and will definitely use Exodus again as their local agents are fantastic.



Hi Hilary,

Thanks for your feedback, that's a relief.  I was a little concerned about the train, but like everyone else, it didn't stop me booking up.  I'm really looking forward to the experience.  Hope you enjoy your future travels, wherever you end up.


Hi Hilary, I'd like to echo what Douglas has said.  It's good to hear that the train journey shouldn't be too traumatic!  I'm really looking forward to the trip and am quite excited about the train journeys  - will be an adventure.

Has anyone given any thought as to when you are going to make your application for a visa - I've heard some tales of them taking quite a while to process at times.



Hey all

I went on this trip in October 2009, and it was  absolutely brilliant.  I hope you all have such a great time as I did.  I will definitely do another trip to India in the future.  So if any of you have any questions re the trip just post them on here and I will do my best to answer them for you. 


I'm headed for Masai Mara in October 2010.  Any of you been on this trip?



Thanks, Andrew.  I remember reading your review of the trip and it was really helpful.  This is my first trip with Exodus, but the Masai Mara sounds amazing.  I hope you have a great time.

Catherine, I was planning to apply for my Visa at the beginning of next month to get it out the way.  The visa website say's it only takes 10 days for a postal application, but they have an office in Glasgow, so I'll go and hand it in.  I'm also planning on seeing the doctor then about vaccinations, as I haven't had any since school.  Tiso have a sale on at the moment, and I got a new pair of shoes for the trip today!  Only a few short months to go!



Hi Douglas


It was my first trip with Exodus too.  I have to say that everyone gets a little apprehensive about travelling solo.  I know I did, but I travelled with a great bunch of people that have since become great friends.  I'm sure that you've got a good group amongst you too.

Just talking about India makes me want to join you all.  ;)

Anyway have a good time and like I said, any questions feel free to ask.



Hi Andrew, Thanks for your messages – it’s great to hear such positive things about the trip – I’ve just re-read your review and it’s got me all excited about the trip again.  Fantastic you saw a tiger – really hope we are as lucky!  

This is my first Exodus trip too, though I did travel to Nepal with Explore on my own last year and it was amazing, so suspect this will be similar.  This forum has been really useful to kind of get to know people before the trip.  Whilst not having travelled with Exodus before, I have been to the Masai Mara twice and loved it – it is an amazing place!  I stayed in a permanent tented camp last time which was fantastic – would be lying in bed and could hear the elephants and hippos wandering round the tent at night – fantastic!  Are you doing the Classic Kenya Safari? If so Nakuru is great too - the flamingos are spectacular - 1000's of them!

 Douglas – that’s kind of the timescale I was thinking about the visa application – mine will have to be by post and as I have heard some tales of them taking ages hopefully that will give me long enough.  I’ll have to visit the Docs too, though I think I am pretty upto date with injections, I better be sure!  Glad you got sorted with your shoes. Everytime I log on here I get more excited about this trip, I think chatting to you all just adds to it – I’ll be hyper by end of September!  Haha! Catherine


Hi Catherine

You're welcome.  Yes, we only saw tigers on the first game drive, but didn't see any on the second one.  Hope you get to see some.  Re Masai Mara - I'm doing the Gorllas  Masai Mara trip (AYU) full service camping with few nights in lodges.  It will be cool to be camping right amongst the wildlife.  The trip has had great reviews so I'm not worried.  

VISA - I applied for mine in early August and it was returned within a couple of weeks.  I used the service provided on the links on the Exodus website.

October is a pleasant time to go too.  I went on October 22 and the temperatures were averaging 27-29c which is nice and it's not humid either.  I couldn't imagine going in May when temps soar to 43c





HI Andrew - sounds like you have a great trip lined up there.

Thanks for the info on the visa - I was thinking of applying late July/early Aug - going to try making the app myself - fingers crossed!

That's good news on the weather - I was hoping it wouldn't be humid - it just drains you and my hair does not like it one bit! lol!



Hi there everyone!  Well I must admit it's getting closer and I'm really looking forward to it now.  I was going to send my visa end of July/early August otherwise I'll just worry about it so I'm glad that's what everyone else is doing!  When I went to get my jabs I was told that you don't need malaria tablets as it's a non-malaria area - has anyone been told anything different?  And are you all taking backpacks or suitcases - I have both but suitcase is easier i.e. on wheels!!?!  And I hope that if some of you are flying from Heathrow we can meet up and grab a coffee somewhere in the airport before we  have to board. And I noticed that there's 4 places now left on this trip so it looks like somebody may have dropped out or they've made the group bigger!  More the merrier I say!! 

Hi Jenny/everyone,

I was speaking to an Indian friend in work the other day, and he said that the on-line visa application form, and posting his passport to the place in Hayes etc. was really quick, and he gets his visa back in a few days.  I think I'll do that rather than go to the office in Glasgow.  Luggage has also been on my mind recently, and I noticed that they've changed the Trip Notes.  The original ones I read suggested a soft bag/rucksack type thing, but the latest ones say a soft or a hard bag/case would be fine.  I've just bought a holdall on wheels in the sale in Frasers, which I'm quite pleased with... I just hope it'll hold all my clothes and the large amount of stuff I plan on bringing back from India.  Going to see about jabs on Friday, so I'll let you know what they say about Malaria then...



Hello, my mum and I have had our injections and are ready to go! There is no malaria in Northern India - so thats not an issue we have been informed. I have applied for my visa this week with Travcour whom seem to be efficient as they have sent me an email confirming they are processing it - great as I only posted it yesterday and know they have my passport. There is no way I am queuing at an Embassy - thats just a waste of at least a morning (if not a day!)..

 I am happy to try to arrange coffee in Heathrow - we can try and arrange nearer the time. Can't wait !

Cheerio for now.



Hi Everyone!  Thanks Douglas/Diane for the update on visa's - I'll get my act together this weekend then and send mine off to Travcour.  And thanks Douglas for the heads up on wheelie suit case things  - much easier!  I'll have to book a coach to London nearer the time so I'll make sure I get there in plenty of time so we can all meet up for coffee - we'll all have to wear red carnations so we can find each other!!!

Hi All,  I've printed off my visa forms and hoping to get them sent off early next week, want to get them sent off early incase I've made a mistake and gives me time to get it right 2nd time!  I've had a look at my injection records and think I'm up to date with all we'll need fortunately and that's good news about the malaria tablets.

Re the suitcase, mine is a kind of half suitcase/half holdall type thing on wheels (by Roxy).  I find it really useful, particularly when coming home as can pack clean stuff in one half and dirty in the other! lol! I used it on an Explore holiday last year and it was fine, so think should be ok for India.

Meeting up at Heathrow would be good - is everyone on the group flight out?  I'm flying to LHR from Newcastle (assuming BA aren't on strike!!) otherwise it's a last minute train booking.  I get to LHR HOURS before the Delhi flight - land about 3pm!  We'll have to pick a place to meet and all make sure we have our Exodus luggage tags on our hand luggage! haha!  Is anyone on Facebook?

Well I'll leave it there and will update on my visa progress and will avidly await everyone's progress too!



Hi All - well I've sent off my visa application to Travcour today so fingers crossed that it's okay. Will let you know how long it takes!

Hi All

 Sent my visa application off today - not using an agency - just sent it direct - so fingers crossed - watch this space!!

Hi All,  Very happy today, got my visa back all complete - sent it last Thursday and received it this morning (Wed).  So after all my worries after hearing horror stories of them taking weeks etc, mine was turned round in 4 working days - pretty impressive.  I sent mine direct to the Visa Centre and did't use an agency.  Hope the rest of you are as successful!  Only 8 weeks to go - wooohoooo!!  Can't wait!



Hey All

Catherine that's good news.  I sent my visa application off on Saturday so sounds like I won't have long to wait (provided it meets requirements, fingers crossed).   Lots of nice posts on our forum now and encouraging stories/tips from Andrew/Hilary to put us in the mood.   Thanks for that.   Catherine, you mentioned Facebook in one of your posts, I'm on it so I'll have a search for you.    Not too long now !   Hope everyone is well.    Mags


I've had my visa back and it only took a few days using Travcour so it obviously doesn't take long and they did have a query so that's not bad going!  Hopefully we will have more info next month and those of us going from Heathrow can sort out where and when we could meet up!

Hi Jenny - great news - they must be on good form getting visas turned round quickly - I'd heard so many stories about them taking ages etc.  I've accepted you on Facebook - thanks for adding me.  Yes we will have to make some plans a bit later to meet up at Heathrow.  I'm just hoping BA don't decide to strike then as I fly with them from Newcastle to LHR.  They of course there is the BAA strikes - but I will think positive!  I need to check that I have all the clothes I need, as summer clothes are fast vanishing from the shops to if I need any crop trousers etc, I need to get them quickly!  Then just need to decide on money to take.................it'll be here before we know it - can't wait!  Catherine x

Hi folks,

It sounds like everyone is getting organised.  I got my visa back in about 4 days from the place in Hayes, and had my jabs a couple of weeks ago.  I also need to get some clothes, although got new shoes and some gear in the sales.  I'm a bit worried about possible strikes too, although there's not much I can do about it.  I'm flying with BA from Glasgow, and will be in LHR in mid-late afternoon on the 7th. It's only seven weeks on Thursday until we go, I feel I've been looking forward to it for ages.  On the subject of money, does anyone have any thoughts, i.e. whether you're taking travellers cheques, or relying on ATMs, or perhaps a combination of both? Feedback from Andrew would be welcome.  I'm just asking cos' I got some holiday money from my Dad last week.  Well, I'm only 34, after all!!  I'm on Facebook too, so feel free to look me up.  I think I've used the same picture on that as on here, although be warned, it was taken a few years and a few pounds ago.  It's a beautiful day in Glasgow, for a change, hope it's nice where you are.


Hi - well I think we are all thinking along the same lines as I was thinking about money and how much to take too!  In the trip notes it advises that you have to declare currency on arrival and departure so I'm thinking about taking half in cash and half in travellers cheques.   They've also suggested using well known travallers cheques such as American Express and Thomas Cook but if I'm not mistaken don't you have to pay a fee everytime you change money up with AMex?  I work for Lloyds Bank so I think I'll risk going with their travellers cheques and hope for the best and using the ATM's as a fall back.  I worked out that if you add up all the costs they suggest for tips, meals, camera fees, elephant ride, etc, it comes to very roughly between £250-£300 so I guess spending money on top depends on how much 'stuff/pressies' you want to bring back.  I'm skint as I've just paid £200 on a vet bill so I guess I'll try and take another £300 and arm myself with credit cards!!! Is that along the lines you were all thinking or am I way off the mark!!!? Jenny

Hi Jenny, I don't think you are far off the mark with your sums! I was thinking along the lines of £500-£600.  When I went to Nepal last year I just took dollars cash, but I would have been fine with sterling.  I was undecided whether to take travellers cheques or just chance it with cash.  I was fine with cash in Nepal, but that said I wasn't spending a couple of nights on a sleeper train there!  Think your idea of half and half might be the way to go.  I too will take credit card, plus will have access to my current account via ATM if absolutely necessary!  If it is anything like Nepal, I suspect we won't spend as much as we take.

It's strange I am getting quite excited about this holiday!  I always, naturally, look forward to holidays, but I think chatting to people on here is building up that excitement!  Haha! I've eventually taken my guide book off the shelf to start a bit of reading about where we are visiting.  Catherine

Hi folks.  That's around the figure I was thinking of.  Did everyone get an e-mail from Exodus?  I was reading the FAQs, and I'm confused as it said "The India rupee is a closed currency, meaning you can only get it upon arrival in the country."  Does this mean that there won't be opportunities to exchange cash/travellers cheques other than when we land in Delhi?  I didn't really fancy carrying around a wad of cash from day one.  Perhaps I'm being dense, but if you can clarify, please do.  I've also just bought a couple of pairs of shorts in the Fat Face sale, so I'm getting there.  That's one good thing about going on holiday at the end of the year, there are plenty of sales about. And after reading Trip Notes about Indian modesty, they're thankfully below the knee.  Likewise, the mankini will definitely be staying at home this year.   Douglas

Hi Douglas - Yes I got an email yesterday - useful info.  What it means is you can't buy rupees in this country before you go.  The firest opportunity to get rupees will be a the airport.  It was like this in Nepal - after customs we changed some cash into nepalese rupees.  I assume you will be able to exchange cash as well as travellers cheques.  The only thing that is putting me off taking all cash is the overnight train journeys - but I guess a money belt can be used to store it overnight.  It was fine taking cash last year - I might email the person who sent the email and ask if the hotels we stay in will have any safety deposit boxes for when we are out and about.  I'll update on here when I get a response.  Seven weeks today....................!!  Think I've got enough clothes - want to travel light (unheard of for me!)  My shorts are long - if that makes sense so I should be alright, but I have some crop trousers and ordinary trousers.


I got the email too and might just ask about the money options and what they suggest! I did have a money belt but can't find it so that's on the shopping list! And as the sales are on I might just have to have a little look for that extra bargain!  I've started reading my India pocket guide and I can't wait to see all the different places but I guess there will be more to see than we have time!  In a couple of weeks we should get our final schedule and we can plan to meet up beforehand and I hope we all get to sit as a group together on the flight as that would be a great start. Jenny

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