Welcome to India Tour!

The Wandering Earl “Welcome to India” Tour 2012

Derek India, Wandering Earl Tours 54 Comments

Wandering Earl Tours

The time has come to announce my new Wandering Earl Tours project!

The overall idea is to offer something that does not resemble a typical group tour. These tours will be informal, small group excursions with a strong focus on independent travel.

We won’t be using private buses and we won’t be sleeping in four- or five-star hotels. We’ll be going local. We’ll use public transportation, we’ll stay in good budget hotels and guesthouses. We’ll eat at some of the best food stalls and local eateries around and we’ll visit places that aren’t always written about in guidebooks.

The core focus of a Wandering Earl Tour will always be on gaining a first-hand education, interacting with local people and of course, visiting as many fascinating locations as possible.

And the most rewarding part is that our small group will share the entire experience together, supporting each other as we not only discover an interesting destination, but as we discover the confidence to push ourselves beyond our usual comfort zones.

So, I’m happy to announce the first Wandering Earl Tour which will take place this coming November

The “Welcome to India” Tour!

Join me on November 1st as we begin to explore one of the most fascinating countries on the planet, a country I have personally spent over 2 years traveling, living and volunteering in over the past decade. It’s my favorite country for a reason and now I want to show you exactly why this land continues to provide life-changing experience after life-changing experience to those who choose to visit.

On this tour we’ll travel around the North of India, exploring some of India’s most well-known and lesser-known sights, from chaotic and energetic cities to holy sites of several religions to peaceful Himalayan villages to the colorful Indian desert to everything in between…

Welcome to India Tour!

“Welcome to India” Tour Itinerary

You can choose to join Part 1 (13-day tour) or Parts 1 & 2 (19-day tour) depending on how long you wish to participate before continuing to travel on your own or returning home.

Part 1 (November 1st – 13th, 2012):

Day 1 – 3: Delhi – two full days of wandering around this complex city with visits to religious and historical sights all over both Old and New Delhi as well as markets and restaurants that allow you to sample a variety of delicious meals from all over India

Day 3 – 6: Haridwar/Rishikesh – experience the contrast of these two holy sites along the Ganges River, one full of ashrams, tourists and a laid-back atmosphere and the other full of worshiping locals, evening ceremonies and Hindu pilgrims

Day: 6 – 7: Mandi – an overnight break in this relaxing town of 300 temples before continuing on further into the mountains the next day

Day 7 – 11: McLeod Ganj & region – learn about Tibetan Buddhism, hike through the monkey-filled forest, join local Tibetans on their daily walk around the Dalai Lama’s temple, take a cooking class and just enjoy the peaceful setting of this village set in the foothills of the Himalayas

Day 11 – 13: Amritsar – roam around the beautiful Golden Temple, eat a meal alongside hundreds of Sikh pilgrims in the pilgrimage dining hall, visit a Hindu temple of fertility located inside of a cave and witness a bizarre India/Pakistan border ceremony at the small town of Wagah

Part 2 (November 14th – 19th, 2012):

Day 13 – 15: Agra – time to soak in the wonder of the Taj Mahal, along with several other highlights of the Mughal Empire, including the village of Fatehpur Sikri

Day 15 – 18: Bundi – visit this magical community that is home to an incredible palace and mountaintop fortress that overlook the beautiful bright blue town below (most of the homes are painted blue), with sacred caves and interesting villages to explore nearby

Day 18 – 19: Udaipur – from the massive palaces of maharajas to the narrow lanes that wind along the lake to the colorful markets to the rooftop terraces to the elephants walking the streets and to the addictive powers of Rajasthani cuisine, you’ll discover exactly why visitors have a hard time leaving this town

*The above is not a complete list of locations and activities that will be included on this tour. As is the case with everything in India, nothing is ever as it seems (in a good way!).

View “Welcome to India” Tour – 2012 in a larger map

Tour Cost:

Part 1 – 13 days / 12 nights – $575 USD
Part 1 & 2 – 19 days/18 nights – $875 USD

Included: Airport pick-up in Delhi / Comfortable, budget accommodation every night / All ground transportation (trains, buses, taxis, etc.) / Entrance fees to all sights / Guided sightseeing at some locations / Some meals / Additional activities / Welcome package (very cool items!) / Travel assistance / Information about traveling or volunteering in India after the tour

Not included: Airfare to/from India, travel visa, travel/health insurance, extra spending money (You will receive my personal assistance with all of these items)

“Welcome to India” TOUR BOOKINGS!

In order to keep the booking process as simple as possible, just send me an email using the form below in order to confirm your space and I’ll forward you all the remaining details! I do recommend booking as early as possible simply because space is naturally quite limited (10 persons maximum).

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Welcome to India Tour!

Of course, if you have any questions about the tour, please let me know and I’ll be more than happy to answer them.

And on that note, as I’ve mentioned before a few weeks ago, this project is something that I have been extremely excited about and I can’t even explain how much I am looking forward to experiencing India with some of you!


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Comments 54

  1. Pingback: Trip to Thailand, India, and Turkey | Vacations By Matt

  2. Ah, Haridwar & Rishikesh, AKA my weekend getaways (I live in Mussoorie). Looks like you’ll be in Delhi for Karva Chauth, so if there are ladies, it’s a great time to get mehndi done; then you’ll be in Amritsar for Diwali – that should certainly be a sight to see! Just might want to prep your tour for the firecrackers all night!

    1. Hey Darcey – I actually switched the itinerary around in the end but we’ll be in Agra for Diwali now…and we’re ready for the all night fireworks!!

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  4. Hi Earl,

    How about the south of India? Do let me know if you are planning to visit! Would be happy to help you coordinate it in any way 🙂

    Have a good trip, it sounds awesome! Hope I can make it onto one of your trips sometime soon!

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  6. Pingback: Trip to Thailand, India, and Turkey « meanderingmatthew

  7. I wish I could join this one! But I will go to India just a few weeks later. It would be such a great way to discover this country, since I’ve never been there before!

    I will be following your updates about it. Safe travels!

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    1. Hey Lori – Not yet sure if I’ll run another India tour…it’s a possibility, and I’ll sort out next year’s tour schedule soon!

  10. Oh wow, this is such an awesome idea! If I had the time, I’d sign up right now! However, I’m gonna start saving up for future tours, perhaps 😀 *eager*

  11. Hey Earl-

    How did you find start-up for a small tour company? I’m in the middle of making mine legal and I’m finding things like insurance and bonds rally expensive and frustrating!!


    1. Hey Gina – I’m running mine a little differently, where I’m not an actual tour company but simply someone who is traveling together with other people. And all participants do have to sign a waiver/release and show proof of travel insurance in order to participate.

  12. Cheapest I seen for 18 night tour. I wish I wasn’t delivering around that time. What’s your next tour? I know I’ll be glad to experience Asia, especially Thailand.

    1. Hey Candice – I’m still working on the tour schedule for next year but should know within the next few weeks which will be the second tour offered. Thailand is one of the options 🙂

      1. I’m just asking a question… Would it be possible if I bring my daughter on this experience? She Wont really be much of a traveler, because she still a baby but for the experience with her and I going on our first real adventure. How much would it cost to include her in the trip if possible? What would she need? As in insurance and etc?

        1. Hey Candice – It would be possible to bring your daughter although I would send you additional information to think about as India can be quite a challenging place to travel around with a baby. She would need insurance and as for a seat, we could work something out for a reduced price. If you are interested just send me an email through the “Contact” link above and we can discuss it some more.

  13. Nice work. I would have recently finished my South-India/Sri-Lanka trip and also the festivities at home, otherwise I’d definitely consider it. You know you’re my favorite travel blogger! 🙂

    1. Thanks for that Vishal! Hope your trip to India/Sri Lanka was a good one, although I’m quite sure that such a trip was indeed a great time!

  14. Hi Earl,
    Love reading your blog. Please run some more of these trips outside university term time, I’d sign up in a heartbeat!

  15. Hi Earl,

    Strange things happen in this world. Yesterday a friend from NYC forwarded me a link and asked me what I thought about a travel tour led by by one of “your travel blogger types.” I was skeptical until I clicked the link and (surprise!) it brought me to this post. Then I burst out laughing. My advice to her was to make room in her schedule asap and get in touch with you pronto because 10 is not a large number.

    Earl, I think this is a fantastic opportunity for folks who wish to travel solo-ish with a seasoned traveller, and ONLY $875 for that itinerary is really a steal. Wish you success!

    1. Hey Priyank – That’s very strange and quite funny indeed! The tour is sold out unfortunately but there will be more tours in the future.

      Hope you’ve been well my friend!

  16. Wish it didn’t overlap with school! It sounds incredible and I would love to go if there is ever one over the summer!

  17. Awesome opportunity, I hope people realize what a great deal this is, especially being led around by an actual backpacker.

    The girlfriend and I will be in South America at the time otherwise would be in. We will be in India in December though(she is doing the “Rickshaw Run” charity event), so if your still there would be cool to say hello.

  18. this sounds awesome, what a cool idea! I agree with Bethany above, I would be fascinated to travel with such an experienced traveler and check out cool but low-key spots.

  19. Oh my! How fortunate those 10 people will be….oh, how I wish it was I.
    Such a special unique oppurtunity. Your love for India would make me feel so comfortable sharing it with you. I hope the experience is so wonderful, you decide to do this again.

  20. This sounds absolutely amazing. I wish I had the means but in three months’ time I don’t think I would be able to scrounge up enough $$$. I am so insanely jealous of those that get to go on this trip! Reading your blog really has inspired me to finally get off my booty and start seeing the world. Very inspiring.

    1. Hey Heather – Don’t worry, there shall be more trips in the future, so that gives you some time to save up 🙂 And I’m glad to hear the blog has inspired you and please do get out there and start seeing the world!

      1. Me too, was hoping to join you to India, you make India look absolutely amazing! But due to a travel plan already made in October, I cant save up enough $$ for this trip 🙁
        Looking forward to your next trip! Hope it’ll be in the 1st 6months of 2013 😀

  21. Hi Earl, this is such a wonderful opportunity for anyone who is able to take it!

    I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I can no longer hold off my dreams of leaving England and will be off to South East Asia solo next year. I’ve never traveled and the idea makes me extremely excited but also nervous so please please continue your tours over S.E Asia way and you will definitely have at least one participant (though I’m sure many more)! I’ll be leaving the UK in June so any time after that is good for me 😉

    Best wishes – hope Albania is treating you well

    1. Hey Jodie – That’s excellent that you’ve decide to just take off and head to Asia next year! And I shall consider a tour to SE Asia…I’m hoping to offer tours in a few different continents starting soon 🙂

  22. Wow Earl, im so excited that you are actually doing this! i wish i could join in! i hope you and your 10 lucky companions have a great cultural experience! 🙂

  23. If you like India, you should visit Africa sometime, Earl! It’s not as scary as people think. It’s the most diverse, culturally interesting continent I’ve been to. And the people are amazingly open, friendly and fun! I actually had my first authentic, home-cooked Indian picnic in Kenya while watching giraffes walk by.

    1. Hey Kristen – I have been to South Africa, so that’s a start. And the only reason I haven’t spent more time in Africa is simply because I need to be quite connected to the internet these days due to work. Once that changes though, I do plan to visit more of the continent.

  24. India’s my favorite country in the world. Your itinerary is awesome. The 10 who get to go in November are LUCKY! = )

  25. AHHH. I wish this were just a month later in December – my first christmas break at university – and I would have signed up in less than a heartbeat. :((((((((

  26. Excellent attribute to your travel existence. Looks like a ton of work. What a great project. This looks especially attractive for the fledgling traveler. Still, I had a lot of travel experience before arriving in Delhi and could have used help as I found it overwhelming. I arrived in June of last year and would never do that again. As you know, you’ve picked the perfect time of year. I left Delhi last November when the climate was perfect. Can you believe I went to the Golden Temple and did not come across that authentic dining attraction? Bundi is magical yes, the fort, the small city, the people. Udaipur is like a fantasy too, I wonder if you’ve eaten at a restaurant there called Natraj, it’s a true Rajistani experience. Good luck and congrats on the new endeavor.

  27. Amazing Earl, I am wwoofing in New Zealand at the time so it doesn’t work for me but certainly something I may consider one day in the future.

  28. Wow incredible! I wish I could join in! This sounds so amazing! 19 days in İndia sounds like a dream. I hope I will get the cruise-ship job I applied for, so maybe in a future tour of Wandering Earl, I can join in! I am looking forward to it as I speak. I hope very enthusiastic and open-minded folks will join your group and you all will have a terrific time!

    Greets from Turkey!

  29. hey Earl,

    That’s such a wonderful idea. n u know so cost effective(cheap!). As i am an Indian n i know how much it take to travel in all those places…anyway if u guys decide to come to Maharashtra, let me know i can arrange a day trip for you guys at our Farm near Pune. 🙂

    Wish you all to have wonderful trip in my country.


  30. This is an amazing opportunity Earl!! A tour like this would have made the difference for us in India! I have posted it on the OneGiantStep Facebook page for anyone who is considering going to India. If I could get time off (and wasn’t already going to Japan) I would go myself. A great tour, with an exceptional guide, at an unbelievable price. Good luck!

  31. If I wasn’t finishing up my last semester of university this November, I would sign up for this tour in a heartbeat! I hope the ten people who decide to go have a great time with you as their guide. I look forward to coming along another one of your tours in the future 🙂

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