TRAVEL GUIDELINES FOR INDIA
India is an exciting destination for students to spend Gap Year or do voluntary work. India is as large and diverse as a continent and one can spend as little as a week here or 12 months without repeating a destination or activity. There are numerous options – ideally one should do a mixture of things, a bit of travelling around this beautiful country followed by a volunteering activity.

Safety
As long as you're sensible, you almost certainly will be safe. Gap year adventures aren't 100 per cent foolproof, but then neither is a trip to the movies. Sometimes things don't go quite to plan but one of the things that gap year adventures teach people is how to cope in unfamiliar situations. If you're a first-time traveller or just want to feel better about setting off on an adventure then just contact us and we'll be able to help plan the right trip for you.

Cost & Comfort
Travelling within India is not expensive. Food, clothes, daily use articles are cheaper than most countries. However, we do not believe that you should be slumming in India. Unfortunately, slums are a reality in India and most people who inhabit them are used to those conditions. However, you are not! We believe in providing you with good quality homestays, bed + breakfast Inns and 3 –star hotels at our very reasonable contracted rates.

Visa Formalities
For visiting India, all foreigners are required to acquire their VISA in their home country.

The foreign nationals of some countries (Finland, Japan, Luxemburg, New Zealand, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, Philippines, Laos, Myanmar and Indonesia) can get a Tourist Visa on arrival with a maximum validity of 30 days with single entry facility by the Immigration Officer at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Calcutta Airport (not at any other immigration check posts).

As per a new VISA rule, there shall be a gap of at last 2 months between two visits to lndia on a Tourist Visa for nationals of Afghanistan, China, Iran, Pakislan, lraq, Sudan, Bangladesh, foreigners of Pakistan and Bangladesh origins and stateless persons.

Currency
India’s currency is 'Rupee', abbreviated as ‘Rs’. Coins are in denominations of 1, 2, 5 & 10 Rupees. Notes (Bills) are in denominations of 1, 2, 5 (these are rarely in circulation these days) and 10, 20, 50, 100, 500 & 1000 Rupees.

Foreign Exchange
Visiting foreigners can exchange money at international airports where 24-hour exchange facilities are available, through banks and approved moneychangers.

Bank timings for transactions are usually from 1000 hrs to 1500 hrs on weekdays and 1000hrs to 1200 hrs on Saturdays. Please remember that not all banks will exchange foreign currency or travellers cheques particularly in small towns.

Exchange money only through authorized banks or Money Changers. Insist on a receipt/encashment certificate when changing money. Retain all receipts to facilitate re-conversion of unspent money on departure from India.

Before leaving the country, the leftover Indian currency should be exchanged back into your currency; legally, you are not permitted to carry back home large amount of Indian currency.

Travellers Cheques/Credit Cards
Travellers’ Cheques should be of well-known brands like Thomas Cook, American Express and Visa. Large establishments generally accept Major Credit Cards like American Express, Master Cards and Visa, including hotels, shops and airlines.

Electricity
In India voltage is 220 volts AC, 50 cycles, though some areas also have DC supplies. Visitors are advised to check the voltage before using electrical appliances. Socket sizes vary, so it is as well to take a set of plug adapters, available from most electrical stores.

Prohibited Articles
The import of prohibited articles such as dangerous drugs, live plants, is either totally prohibited or restricted. The law provides heavy penalties for the infringement of this restriction, and in some cases punishment can extend to the death sentence. Also, by law, visitors are banned from taking antiques and wildlife products out of the country – any infringement is punishable by fines and imprisonment.

Caution
The Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act bans all forms of wildlife trade. Violations of the provisions of the Act are punishable with heavy fines and imprisonment up to 7 years. Foreigners are, therefore, advised not to buy any wildlife or wildlife products or derivatives especially ivory articles, fur and skin articles derived from wild animals such as Shahtoosh.

Photography
Visitors to India find varied subjects for photography including people, monuments, wildlife, festivities, and landscapes. Note, however, these formalities, in respect of photography:
• Special permission of the Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi, is required for use of tripod and artificial light on monuments.
• Special permission of Government of India is required for any photography for the purpose of publicity and commercial use. • Photography is prohibited in tribal areas.
• Taking photographs of airports, railway stations, bridges, military installations, and from the air is prohibited.

Visiting Places of Worship
Removing one’s shoes before entering temples, mosques or Gurudwaras (Sikh Temple) is essential. Avoid taking leather goods of any kinds (bag, belt etc) and cigarettes into places of worship, as these are often not permitted. Do not wear shorts or sleeveless tops in places of public worship.

Insurance
It is always advisable to obtain good travel insurance to cover the worst possible scenario. Do keep a copy of your policy separately as a safeguard.

Inoculations/Vaccinations Before travelling to India it is advised that you get vaccinations for tetanus, hepatitis, rabies and typhoid. Consult your doctor before taking them / also take advice on other vaccinations for meningitis and tuberculosis. Most vaccination courses are completed within four weeks, best taken before the trip. Malaria preventive course may be taken before your trip, but again this should be consulted with your doctor.
 
      
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