November 20, 2018
Are you a female traveller looking for a group tour of India? Do you like the company and support of group tours but don’t want to pay a hefty single supplement as a solo female traveller.
Insights of India is a small group tour of incredible India for women travellers. The tour has been designed by women for female travellers – based on decades of experience and travel in India.
We recognise that for a variety of reasons women travel on their own, or with other female friends and companions, wanting to see new destinations and have great travel experiences – but prefer to do it with other like-minded travellers and with the full support and comfort of a group tour. They also don’t want to be penalised by single supplements.
Insights of India is a hosted group tour of India, hosted by Glenda McMillan-Andersson from our Melbourne office, as well as a national guide. It includes the signature India Unbound touch – unique, authentic experiences and a variety of accommodation.
“India is a great destination to design a tour for solo women travellers – it has so many great elements that appeal to women – the colour, the energy, the romance and of course the fabulous heritage hotels, ” says Glenda McMillan-Andersson, who recently returned from a tour of India, visiting several of the places she will share with women on Insights of India. “For some women, visiting India as an independent traveller may be daunting. Our group tour allows women to experience India first-hand, but in a fully supported group environment.’’
The trip has been designed and priced so that women have their own room for the majority of the tour, with one exception at a small lodge in Ranthambhore. Many solo female travellers prefer their own room and this removes the confusion of single supplement pricing.
Insights of India will take up to 10 passengers and will reveal some of the incredible experience, places and people in cities such as Varanasi, Mumbai, Jaipur and Ranthambhore. With the group catering for women travelling alone, the tour will set a comfortable and companionable environment for women to explore India and enjoy their holiday.
“The most important thing is travelling with like-minded companions,’’ says Glenda. “It’s having other women to share travel experiences with, to discover places and people together, and to enjoy each others company along the way – at meals, on tour and with conversations.’’
So what can you expect to see and do on Insights of India?
First, here’s a little more about tour host Glenda McMillan-Andersson
A passionate traveller with a love of discovering new places, Glenda McMillan-Andersson is a seasoned travel professional – having dedicated her life to working in travel and visiting new destinations.
Her personal travels have taken her from central and Latin America to Medeterrian Europe, Cuba, Tibet, Sri Lanka and India, and many places in between. Glenda loves the spontaneity of travel – destinations with passionate local people and places bursting with energy, where as visitors you can be enveloped by the local enthusiasm for life and the destination. “It gives you a deeper travel experience and a more exciting holiday,’’ according to Glenda.
In 2019 Glenda will host two small group tours for women travellers. Starting with Insights of India in April– a two-week journey through North India – and Sri Lankan Discovery in July. Glenda’s personal and professional travel experience will mean you are in steady hands whether you join her in Sri Lanka, India or both! Together with an English-speaking national guide, Glenda will show you some of the countries’ best sights and destinations, discovering the key attractions and the everyday life of these incredible destinations.
And here are 12 highlights you can look forward to on Insights of India : –
# 1 Experience Rajasthan’s famed pink city of Jaipur
Fall in love with Rajasthan’s capital city Jaipur, known as the pink city for the pink paint applied to the walls in its old city. It’s more terracotta in colour actually, but the city has charm, character, loads of great attractions, plus great shopping and dining. Jaipur is a city that we are very fond of and often encourage people to have a longer stay here during their travel in India. On Insights of India we’ve include a 3-night stay in Jaipur. We feel it’s good to have some longer stays when you travel so you don’t have to pack and move everyday, plus in a city like Jaipur there’s so much to see and do – and fabulous accommodation to enjoy. Rajasthan’s great royal history and past is evident in its mighty forts and palaces, which you will discover in Jaipur. Experience some of the best things to see and do in Jaipur on tour as we take you to the impressive Amber Fort with its Ganesh Pol and Palace of Mirrors, take a tour of the City Palace in Jaipur and discover Jaipur bustling city bazaars with a walking tour and market visit led by our expert local guide. These are just some of the things you can expect to see and do in Jaipur during Insights of India.
# 2 A luxury stay at Samode Haveli, Jaipur
Unquestionably one of the tour highlights will be a three-night stay at Samode Haveli in Jaipur. Samode Haveli is one of the best hotels in Jaipur and one of our favourite hotels in all of India. We love to share this incredible accommodation experience with people. This elegant heritage haveli is a traditional Indian mansion, with rooms set around a group of courtyards and lush gardens. There’s a large swimming pool, with inviting day beds and couches, a pretty poolside bar and outdoor dining in a pretty setting. You’ll be torn between wanting to spend the 3 days soaking up the atmosphere at this luxury hotel and enjoying the facilities, or getting out and about and seeing all that there is to see and do in Jaipur. Luckily we know how fabulous the hotel is, so we’ve allowed some free time during the tour to relax and enjoy it!
#3 Be pampered
A good holiday should include a little pampering. At Samode Haveli in Jaipur we’ve include a massage at the hotel’s excellent spa facility so that you can unwind and be pampered. This means after a morning out sightseeing you can return to the hotel and relax – enjoy a massage, perhaps a swim or read by the pool and not have to venture out again if you don’t wish to. (By the way we’ve had a massage at Samode and it was excellent – that’s why we are including it for you!)
#4 Hot days, less crowded
Insights of India departs in April. Why are we running a tour at this time of year? What will the weather in India be like in April? April is one of the warmer summer months in India, but we have deliberately chosen to run the tour at this time of year. Given the warmer temperatures – the places we visit will be less crowded – so overall we will have a better experience with fewer tourists around. We personally travel in India in April every year – we love the heat and appreciate how different the people and places are away from peak tourist months.
#5 Tiger safaris in Ranthambhore National Park
The summer weather also greatly improves the chance of seeing a tiger during a safari in Ranthambhore National Park. With the drier, warmer weather, the foliage in the park has been significantly reduced, improving visibility of wildlife in general. Tigers and animals in the park are also coming out of the forest in search of water, moving toward drinking holes. So if seeing a tiger in the wild is on your bucket list – there’s a greater chance of ticking it off during April.
The accommodation we include in Ranthambhore is a small property, with excellent and welcoming local hosts. Staying there allows us to interact with people who know their area and community and for us to engage and learn from them. It’s a new property, with lovely rooms, garden and pool. However, it doesn’t have 10 rooms so for these few nights we will pair women up with suitable roommates for three nights to share a room. For women who don’t want to share a room, we will place them in a nearby alternative, which attracts a small supplement.
#6 Bucket list travel – the Taj Mahal in Agra
While we are mentioning bucket list travel – for many travellers, visiting the Taj Mahal is on their lists. It’s just one of those places people wait their whole life to see, a place that’s so familiar yet unknown. We’ve all seen it in movies, in photographs, in travel shows and of course, we all remember the image of Princess Diana sitting in front of the Taj. But despite how many times you may seen it before you get there, nothing does compare to see the Taj Mahal first-hand. Counted as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal draws as many as 8 million visitors each year. We’ll visit Agra’s impressive Red Fort during our visit to Agra, and then head to the Taj Mahal at the end of the day.
#7 Explore Delhi – Ancient monuments and old cities
Delhi is also one of the cities in India we are incredibly fond of. With its old and new parts – there are two distinct sides of this city, India’s capital. Expect to discover some of the most impressive world heritage sites in India in Delhi – as we explore Qutab Minar, Jama Masjid and Humayun’s Tomb. We will also head into the heart of Old Delhi, with a rickshaw ride through the markets and laneways at Shahjahanabad. Visit the spice market of Khari Baoli and marvel at the energy and bustle of this part of the city. Read our blog dedicated to things to see and do in Delhi to get a better idea of what you can expect to see in Delhi.
#8 India’s best dining
While most people think of dishes like dal, butter chicken and mutton curry when they think of India food – there’s a modern and contemporary dining scene in India that’s worth travelling for. India’s best restaurant is Indian Accent – and it’s here you can experience contemporary Indian cuisine at its finest. Voted the country’s best restaurant for several years running and include in the list of Asia’s Top 50 restaurants – Indian Accent is a must try in Delhi. We’ll savour the tasting menu paired with wine together and discover modern Indian fare in an elegant and refined setting.
#9 Sacred India
Travel to Varanasi and witness the powerful evening aarti ceremony. The aarti ceremony is performed on the banks of the Ganges River at dusk each evening, using fire as an offering in this mesmerizing religious ritual. We’ll experience it first-hand, as we take a dusk boat ride on the Ganges and see the aarti from our boat. In Varanasi, we’ll also explore the old city on foot with a guided city walk and take a day trip to Sarnath, the site of Buddha’s first sermon after gaining enlightenment.
#10 Discover Mumbai
Mumbai (earlier known as Bombay) is the commercial hub of India and a vibrant, colourful and bustling metropolis. It is India’s biggest city – with a population topping 20 million, crowded onto one narrow strip of land. Here you can see India’s old and new cohabitating side by side. In Mumbai, the new India (the wealthy and the more progressive) are much more obvious. You will gain a perspective on how India is changing and modernising here, as well as see some of its traditional ways. Insights of India starts in Mumbai. As we begin our discovery of India we will visit Dharavi, known as the largest slum in Asia, but there is much more to this historic area of Mumbai than poverty. On this walk we will see why Dharavi is the heart of small-scale industry in the city (its industries have an annual turnover of approximately US$ 665 million) and a vibrant community. In Mumbai, you can expect also to visit its arts precinct with its modern and traditional galleries, cafes and boutiques. We’ll stay in South Bombay, centrally located to sights such as the Gateway of India and within walking distances of the popular Colaba Causeway.
#11 Great company
Insights of India is a tour of India for women travellers. Together you will experience this incredible country, see some its best-known sights and lesser-known gems, meet its people, learn a little of its history and visit some of its most iconic locations. With an Australian host and a local guide, you are guaranteed full support on tour, plus before you depart the chance to meet or speak to your host, and the comfort of knowing that all the arrangements and activities while you are on tour are taken care of. You can enjoy your holiday in India in the company of like-minded female travellers and let us take care of all the details.
#12 A perfect size group
Insights of India will be limited to 10 women travellers on the tour. This guarantees you a personal experience both within the group and in how we travel in India. It allows us to stay at smaller accommodation options, where we can meet and interact with locals. It allows us to get out and about on walking tours in places we visit and gives us the chance to get to know each other!
The tour is suitable for solo women, female friends who travel together, sisters, or mothers and daughters. Women of all ages are welcome. Why don’t you join us?
Insights of India runs 14 days from April 10-23, 2019. The trip is priced at $7,700. Sri Lankan Discovery departs 19 July, prices at $7,940 per person.
You can also read Glenda’s tips on travelling as a solo woman in India here. To speak to Glenda or for a detailed itinerary or more details about the trip, call 1300 889 513 or email firstname.lastname@example.org