For this retreat, you must purchase two international flights:
- Your nearest airport Trivandrum Airport (TRV) – plan to arrive 2/1/18 between 3:00am and 6:00am
- Delhi Int’l Airport (DEL) Your nearest airport – plan to depart 2/12/18 at 11:30pm or later
International flights are not included in package rates. India domestic flights are included.
There are dozens of daily flight options internationally to and from India. Your arrival destination airport will be Thiruvananthapuram International Airport (TRV) in the Kerala state capital city of Thiruvananthapuram, previously known as Trivandrum.
India arrival flights: Participants should attempt to arrive in Trivandrum International Airport (TRV) in the early morning hours of February 1, preferably between the hours of 3:00am and 6:00am. The vast majority of international flights arriving at TRV arrive early in the morning – some as early as 3:00am. These early arrival times allow you enough time to get through immigration, drive to the retreat center (Somatheeram), check in, participate in the group welcoming ceremony (11:30am), have your consultation with staff doctors at the Ayurveda Centre, and to start rejuvenation treatments.
Early arrival: You may consider arriving the day before and stay the night at Somatheeram (at your own expense). Retreat guides will arrive one to two days in advance, so you’ll have a contact there if you do decide to arrive early. Sevanti Adventures will communicate your arrival times with Somatheeram to arrange your private airport transfers at no additional cost (airport transfers are included in package fees). If you decide to arrive in India early, you will need to contact Chithra (the manager at Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort) to reserve a room for your extra stay. Email Chithra at firstname.lastname@example.org
India departure flights: Participants should attempt to depart for home out of Delhi International Airport (DEL) in the evening of February 12, after the hour of 11:30pm. Around mid-day of February 12, the group will take a bus from Agra to Delhi, we will have a final dinner in Delhi, then drop the group at the airport at around 9:30pm for departure flights. It is recommended to arrive at the airport 2.5 to 3 hours prior to departure, therefore late evening flights are required. If you book your flight prior to 11:30pm on February 12, you will be responsible for your own transport to Delhi Airport. If you are planning to stay in Delhi longer or in India for an extended tour, we can arrange transport to your hotel in Delhi depending upon location.
India Domestic Flights
There are two Indian domestic flights during the post-reatreat tour: TRV-VNS and VNS-DEL. India domestic flights are now included in the Post-Retreat package rates. Sevanti Adventures will reserve a block of seats on these flights. Group bookings allow us to acquire the most competetive rates possible.
Passport and Visa
When travelling to India, you will need a valid passport and visa. Both passports and visas have expiration dates, and we recommend you check all expiration dates before booking your flights.
The Government of India e-Tourist VISA (eTV or eVisa):
An exciting new option to the dreaded India visa application process that appeared in 2014 is the India e-Tourist Visa, aka eTV or eVisa. This visa is limited to 30 days from the date of entry, and you must apply at least 4 days in advance of arrival (not less) and no more than 30 days in advance of arival. The eVisa is cheaper, but you must present your printed confirmation form to the customs agent in India when you arrive, along with your valid passport, or you will be denied entry. So don’t leave it at home or lose it in transit! In many ways it is much more convenient, but study the requirements carefully please. We have found Travisa to be the most reliable online application site. Reviews on TripAdvisor are positive.
Luggage Weight Limitations
If you are joining us on the post-retreat tour to north India, be aware that there is a luggage weight restriction on Indian domestic flights. Check-in bags are limited to 15 kg (33 lbs). You may also bring a carry-on bag limited to 7 kg (15 lbs). Additional weight can be purchased at the airport at a rate of Rs 250 per kilo per flight sector. That said, we highly encourage you to not go over the weight limits. Not only will you spend unnecessary cash on the extra weight, more importantly, it slows the check-in process for others in the group. Keep in mind that the weather is warm in Kerala and lighter clothing is ideal. A few long pants and long sleeve shirts will do up north where it will be somewhat cooler. Pack light!
Our place of stay in Kerala, Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort, is just 30-40 minutes drive from Thiruvananthapuram International Airport (TRV). Transfers from the airport to Somatheeram are complimentary. Please send your TRV arrival flight itinerary to email@example.com by January 10 to arrange for ground transportation. Arrival time on February 1 is preferred by between 3:00am and 6:00am. Upon arrival at TRV, look for a Somatheeram driver standing outside the terminal. He will be holding a card with your name or “Somatheeram” or “James Bailey Group” on it. The driver will take you directly to Somatheeram.
We do recommend travel insurance for your trip to India. We suggest trying insuremytrip.com (they bid your plan to 22 insurers for the best rates) and AAA (www.aaa.com) for affordable worldwide travel insurance.
Tour Guide: James Bailey