5 independent reviews for Northern India holidays

These full and frank independent reviews are from travellers who have booked directly through Responsible Travel. They are not edited by us or any of the companies we work with. Find the real story, from real travellers below.


review 8 Nov 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The visit to Ranthambore

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Don't bother to take a book to read as you'll spend all your time looking at India passing you by.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

To some extent, although the interaction with local people is limited

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent value for money

review 6 Jan 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Seeing the Taj Mahal and experiencing the Ganges

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

There is a lot of travelling and local amenities are not at the standard we are used to in Britain.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

I think we probably benefitted a few people who may be associated with the trip leaders rather than the communities we encountered more generally.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

A great experience. Lots of travelling, not easy or relaxing or luxurious but it's India and it is an amazing place, wonderful people and a lot to see. This trip is tiring but worth it.

review 2 Mar 2011

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Dawn boat trip at Varanasai, the Taj Mahal, a visit to the Sikh temple, the food and the shopping!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Think twice if you have a bad back as the roads and very bad and a large proportion of the day is spent travelling either by coach or by train (up to 15 hours by train). Remember to change your rupees back before customs on the way home as it is illegal to take currency out of the country and no-one will help you if you take some through by mistake.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes - trips to local communities, shops and schools, shopping opportunities in local co-operatives.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Excellent but you need to be prepared for v long days and lots of travelling.

review 23 Apr 2010

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Seeing the tiger in Ranthambore National Park; the Ghats in the evening and the overnight train journeys.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be aware - the trip is hectic and verging on the exhausting. The travel distances are enormous - 10 hours in a bus is not pleasant. On the other hand, the train journeys are great! There is no contact with people - it seemed we were shunted from place to place, always in the bus, never walking. No opportunities to shop in the local places - always in the chosen tourist spots and therefore quite expensive. Be prepared to spend about £5 a day on lunch - exorbitant - as it was always the touristy places again. Yes, we saw the highlights, but not India. Don't go on this trip unless you are very short on time and feel the need the say "been there, done that".

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

I wonder - always buying bottled water bothered me a lot. Lots of travelling in a bus....Local people - we hardly came across them! The drivers, yes; the hotels - yes; and the tourist restaurants - yes. I would have welcomed the opportunity to get out of the bus and walk through a town or village on route, buy some local produce - fruit (it was the mango season and we didn't have one mango!)

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

6 out of 10. A whirlwind - the guide was inflexible, the pace too fast, and no contact with the country.

Read the operator's response here:

I did everything what I could for the clients of this group using all my knowledge and experiences to deliver the best services. I have been working from the last 15 years as a professional tour leader. I always try to give more free time to the clients in Local market in every city as much as possible within the time frame of the itinerary. In Jaipur I gave them some time to explore the local market near wind palace after we finished our sightseeing. Later clients have visited the textile factory at Jaipur, because some clients wanted to visit. (Only one shop). 1. At Agra, in afternoon group was taken and dropped at the local Bazar (Sadar market ) to explore the market on their own. Clients have spent more than two hours and even some of them returned after three hours. They were picked up from the given spot back to hotel. Group was not taken to any of the shops at Agra. 2. Then in Varanasi Group was taken to Local Bazar by rickshaw ride and on reaching the city I had given them free time of hour and half to explore the local town before they were taken for visiting the Arti Ceremony at Varanasi Ghats. (on the day of arrival) In Varanasi Lot of people who wanted to do other things on their own before leaving back to Delhi, therefore, whole afternoon was given free to all clients on 2nd day. Late evening we had to take overnight train to Delhi. Some clients visited city and others stayed back to relax at hotel. 3. Then again in Delhi I took them to Karol bagh Local market and they spent more than 2 hours in the market. Therefore, I think they were given maximum free time keeping in view the itinerary and its pace. Regarding the long bus drive while coming from Ranthambore to Agra we have visited one school and one village on the way inspite of a tight schedule. Apart from that there were number of other stops on the way to take picture of the wheat field, Village, Local People, camels etc. So, I think I have done what best I could. It is a bit disappointing that even after doing all this still few clients may have felt that I did not perform well. I can only feel sorry for any lack ness and will try my best to perform better in future. Please note we have visited only two shops during the whole itinerary one at Jaipur and other at Varanasi. As a tour leader I have tried to show maximum India to my clients in a minimum time. Thanks Wahab Khan - Tour leader

review 9 Jun 2008

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

There were so many great memories itís hard to pinpoint one or two! Seeing a tiger and her two cubs was an awesome experience. I knew that they were hard to spot so I genuinely didnít expect to see one in the wild. Especially not one with a fresh kill, and one that seemed happy to stay in our company for almost half an hour! The wildlife aspect of the tour was great, even when kicking back at the end of the day there were plenty of monkeys, birds and cows(!) to keep us entertained! Seeing the Taj Mahal early morning was phenomenal, it glows red with the dawn and is certainly a sight not to be missed if youíre in the area. I really enjoyed the overnight train rides to and from Varanassi. It was great to take part in something that it so inherent to Indian life, we met some great people on the train and it was an excellent way to see the countryside. Varanassi was the highlight of the tour for me. We took two river cruises, one after nightfall and one early morning. Both were equally amazing experiences. We were given a flower candle as we boarded the boat to take us up river, as we set off we each laid them on the water so they could float behind us. So as we paddled upstream we could see hundreds of tiny candles glowing in the river behind us, it was so beautiful. The morning cruise was great as we could see all the worshippers bathing themselves in the water along one of a dozen ghats. This was my first group holiday so the whole experience was new to me! I was delighted that I was placed with such a great group of people too, I was never bored for a moment!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

If youíre after a relaxing break then perhaps this isnít for you. Thereís an awful lot to see and not an awful lot of time to see it in so expect a lot of early mornings and quite a few hours on the road! But I genuinely couldnít think of a better way to squeeze so much in, there is no way that I would have been able to see so much if I had been travelling independently. Bring a good camera as thereís plenty to see. I also found a pair of binoculars handy, especially if youíre lucky enough to see a tiger! Also a sarong/scarf is useful in case of strong sunlight or dusty roads.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Absolutely. I was pleased to see that our hotels all used local staff, and a couple of hotels I discovered were actually classed as eco-friendly hotels. We ate in local restaurants at all stages and our guide ensured that everyone we used, from guides to porters, were given a healthy tip as a token of our appreciation. Our guide also went out of his way to educate us on local customs and ways of life. He also was clear to point out any tourist traps that he deemed to be un-ethical. For instance outside one of the forts it is possible to take an elephant ride up to the main entrance, even though it seemed quite exciting on the outset our guide pointed out that the elephants were not treated kindly and that he recommended that we avoid it.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

5 stars. For my first group travel experience I had a great time. India can be quite an overwhelming experience, especially in the big cities, so it was great to have a guide on hand to give us the insider tips and organize everything for us! I canít wait to go back to India again!

Northern India holidays  Northern India holidays  Northern India holidays

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Unedited reviews from other travellers

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
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