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India: Holi Festival Foray

A Royal Journey Through Rajasthan with the Gay Travel Experts at Out Adventures

Out Adventures is all about good times with likeminded guys. Whatever's on the itinerary - from fireside camping to five-star decadence - our goal is to make the experience magical. To ensure authenticity we hire local guides, stay in locally-owned accommodations whenever possible, and seek out local cuisine. It's a great way to immerse yourself in the culture while supporting the communities we visit.

VISAS: A visa is required for most nationalities, and can be obtained online at https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/. There may be exceptions, and all visas are the responsibility of the traveller.

CULTURE SHOCK: India is unlike any country we know (and we know many). The poverty and pollution can be overwhelming, but so can the beauty and opulence. You can count on friendly locals, but we ask that you in turn respect local customs when visiting sacred sites (we'll prime you in advance). Since most meals will be at hotels and tourist-style restaurants, please rest assured proper hygiene will be practiced.

LOCAL SCENE: India generally condemns homosexuality. For this reason, it's wise to avoid public displays of affection, for the safety of yourself and fellow travellers.

WEATHER: During February/March the days are normally warm to hot and the nights are often mild. Daytime temperatures can be expected to be around 27C/80F, with evening lows around 16C/61F. Humidity is usually low and little or no rain can be expected.

REQUIRED VACCINATIONS: Based on entry requirements, no vaccinations are needed for entry unless your home country, or a country you are travelling to before or after this tour, has restrictions in place. To determine if you should take preventative measures to reduce the risk of illness, consult with your doctor or a travel medical clinic. OUT Adventures cannot provide vaccination recommendations.

ELECTRICITY: You will need an international travel plug/adapter for type D/G sockets. Visit http://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/india/ for more information.

CONNECTIVITY: All of our hotels will have Wi-Fi access, so feel free to tweet, pin, post, and generally be the envy of your friends and family back home.

For everybody's peace of mind, medical travel insurance is required on all Out Adventures tours. At a minimum, your travel insurance must provide cover against personal accident, death, medical expenses, emergency repatriation and personal liability, with a minimum medical coverage of US $50,000.

For more details, visit www.outadventures.com/insurance.

All Out Adventures are led by gay (or gay-welcoming) guides. Whenever possible, we hire destination locals, and will connect you with people if you'd like to delve deeper into the local culture. If you're pleased with your guide, we recommend a tip of $5-10 USD per person, per day (they'll certainly appreciate it).

Out Adventures are a great way to meet people from all walks of life. Bear in mind that everybody's there for a good time, so mutual respect will go a long way. Please be on time for any meet ups, empathetic to the needs of others, and ready to roll with whatever the adventure brings.

Although we can't tell you about fellow travellers for privacy reasons, we can tell you many great friendships began on an Out Adventure. We're also not gay-exclusive: friends and family are always welcome to join!

If you've never travelled on your own, it's an amazing way to learn about yourself while making new friends. We can arrange for you to share a room with someone in your age range (at no charge), or you can pay a supplement for your own room. If there's an odd number of solos, we'll rotate a single room on a random basis to keep things even.

The itinerary is correct at time of publishing. If anything, it will only improve with feedback from travellers and our own research. Please reference your final trip documents, rather than our website, for final details and any changes that may affect your departure.

Every Out Adventure offers optional excursions that are not included in price of this trip. Please see your daily itinerary in your final pre-trip packet to see what's available.

To keep things flexible, not all meals are included in the trip price. While we typically dine together so everybody can taste everything, feel free to explore restaurants on your own...your guide will always have solid recommendations.

The Imperial
Janpath Lane, Connaught Place,
New Delhi, 110001 ‎ India

Standard check-in time is between 2PM and 3PM. We are unable to arrange early check ins, however you are able to store your luggage and explore the central area near the hotel while you wait. If you would like a guaranteed early check-in, you will need to reserve a pre-tour night of accommodation.

Fateh Garh Renaissance
Bujra Road, Udaipur

Local currency is the Indian Rupee, with USD widely accepted. While credit cards are accepted at most upscale restaurants and hotels, we recommend carrying local currency or small USD bills for little purchases. We also recommend carrying about $400 USD, only to be used in an emergency, or if your credit/ATM cards are placed on hold.

If you are happy with services throughout your trip, a tip is recommended. Details will be provided in your final trip documentation, though we recommend budgeting about $150 USD.

Most Out Adventures entail carrying your own luggage on occasion. And while you'll never schlep far, things can quickly get costlier than a celebrity breakup if you don't keep your baggage under 20kg/44lb thanks to costly surcharges on domestic flights. You should also bring something smaller for day trips to carry water, your camera, and any souvenirs you find along the way.

The following packing list is a guideline, not gospel. Our Out Adventure Specialists are happy to answer any specific questions about how much or little to bring.

Travel Documents:

  • Passport/Visas/Flight Itineraries/Travel Insurance
  • Pre-trip packet
  • Credit/ATM card

General Personal Items:

  • Eye mask/ear plugs
  • Smartphone/camera/tablet/charging cords/International travel plug.
  • Daypack
  • Luggage lock
  • Personal Wipes
  • Guidebook/Phrase book/Reading material
  • Protection for your devices from water
  • Travel-size towel
  • Q-tips to help clean colour from your ears after Holi

Shoes:

  • Socks
  • Walking shoes
  • Sandals
  • 'Nice' shoes for dinners

Bottoms:

  • Underwear
  • Shorts
  • Swimwear
  • Lightweight pants for temple visits
  • 'Nice' pants for dinners

Tops:

  • Short-sleeved shirts
  • Long-sleeved shirts
  • Sweaters
  • 'Nice' shirts for dinners

Jackets:

  • Waterproof jacket/poncho

Other:

  • Sunglasses/Hat
  • Small Umbrella
  • Refillable water bottle(s)

Health-related Items:

  • Small First aid kit including ibuprofen, acetaminophen, zinc oxide tape and small scissors, blister pads, diarrhea tablets, dioralyte rehydration packs
  • Personal Medication
  • High protection sunscreen/lip balm
  • Insect repellent/bite cream/antihistamine
  • Antibacterial gel/wipes
  • Toiletries including toothbrush, toothpaste & deodorant
* You may want to consider bringing a set of socks/underwear/t-shirt/shoes you can discard after wearing under your Holi Festival outfit. We’ll head to a local shop to purchase simple Kurta-Pyjamas (white traditional outfit) for the occasion. Tip: Moisturize heavily (including your hair) before we head on our Holi excursion. This will make the colour easier to wash off. *

All Out Adventures guests must have a good level of health. All tours, regardless of activity level, involve uneven steps, stairs, walking tours, and you will be required to carry your own luggage from time to time. Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate individuals with limited mobility unless they are willing to absorb the cost of a private guide/assistant which varies by country and is only possible on a case by case basis. It is also your responsibility to advise Out Adventures of any pre-existing medical conditions that may increase the risk of you requiring medical attention, or that may affect the normal conduct of the tour and the enjoyment of the tour by other participants.

Below is a breakdown of our Physical Rating guide.

1 - Relaxing

  • Very little or no hiking
  • Light activities such as walking, bike tours, paddling or swimming are completely optional
  • Low altitude
  • Suitable for all fitness levels

2 - Light

  • Light walking and hiking (2 hours or less per day and at low altitude)
  • Light activities such as bike tours, paddling or swimming are completely optional
  • Suitable for most fitness levels

3 - Average

  • Light walking and hiking (3 hours or less per day, rarely at high altitude)
  • Some activities such as biking, paddling or swimming. Active days are mixed with relaxed days
  • Suitable for an average fitness level

4 - Demanding

  • Walking, hiking is a component of the tour (can range from 2 hours to 6 hours per day, at various altitudes)
  • Activities such as biking, paddling or swimming may be mixed in
  • Suitable for a good fitness level

5 - Challenging

  • Walking, hiking, biking, paddling or kayaking are the vast majority of the trip (can range from 2 hours to 8 hours per day, generally at high altitude)
  • Activities will likely happen day after day with limited rest days
  • Suitable for above average fitness level

Like the country itself, Indian hotels and accommodations vary from absolute opulence and lavishness to cozy and historical. This Out Adventure uses a range of hotels that reflect this variance. In Delhi for example, we stay at one of the country's finest hotels we're aware of. Meanwhile the bulk of the tour features 4-Star Hotels (which may feel more like an American 3-Star) as well as Local Accommodations (Unique residential buildings that have been converted into hotels and B&Bs). Please Note: Local Accommodations offer an unsterilized, authentic look into the India. Travellers should expect properties that seem stuck in time, but offer plenty of charm and character.

Indian markets and bazaars are a whirlwind adventure in themselves. Please note, shop owners use high-pressure sales tactics and the unprepared traveller can often feel overwhelmed. If you choose to visit a market, it's best to put your 'Go with the Flow' pants on and have fun with it.