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Need help with my South India trip

Need help with my South India trip

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Old Dec 23, 15, 10:14 am
  #1  
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Need help with my South India trip

Hi all,

I'm looking for some advice on my travel itinerary, particularly which cities to book flights to/from during my upcoming trip to India.

I will be there for 3 weeks in February (first time there!), and I'll be meeting a friend who will be there for 5 months. We plan on meeting in the south and traveling around for 2.5 weeks until I leave her to take a quick trip to Delhi/Taj Mahal before heading back to the US.

I'm having difficulty deciding on which cities to book my flights to and from (I'm based in NYC). Price is my biggest concern. Roundtrip tickets are cheapest, but as I'll be starting in the south and leaving from the north, it seems I'll have to get 2 one way tickets. Here are my questions:

1. My friend and I initially said we'd meet at the Thiruvananthapuram airport and head to Kerala from there, but I'm wondering if Chennai would be better (and cheaper)? Our travel itinerary is pretty flexible -- we want to spend some time in Kerala, but are otherwise open to seeing where our days take us.

2. After 2.5 weeks of traveling around the south, what city would be best to book a flight to Delhi from? I realize this is a vague question that depends on what area we'll be in, but our itinerary is open. I'm wondering if there's a city we should strive towards after 2.5 weeks of traveling.

3. Should I even go to Delhi to see the Taj? This leg of the trip seems to be causing me the most problems, but I can't help but feel that I have to see the Taj if I'm in India. Is it worth it? I'd be spending ~$400 in travel fees to see it.

Any other tips would be much appreciated!

Thanks.
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Old Dec 23, 15, 11:04 am
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Indiahhh

First: you must see the Taj. I've been there five times and honestly it is amazing. Since they've built a better road to Agra it's easier and faster than ever to get there.
Second: where you fly in and out of does depend on where you will be and what you want to see. Lots of flights from the West into Bangalore and Chennai, and these tend to be cheapest, after Delhi. What I might suggest is to fly RT to Delhi, then take Indigo (return) to Bangalore. The difference in fares into the country might almost pay for the Bangalore flight. Then move around the South (take the Shatabdi train to Chennai if you want to go there -- a great experience) and return to Delhi from Bangalore. It's easy to get to Chennai or Trivandrum or most anyehere else in the south from Bangalore. IMHO
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Old Dec 23, 15, 6:27 pm
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Honestly, I thought the Taj overrated. The only good thing about that part of my trip was a cool hostel in Agra. Actually I thought the Agra Fort was much more interesting, and then there's Fatehpur Sikri which I also thought more interesting, you can do as a day trip from Agra. There were tons of other architecture I'd recommend but in Rajasthan.

Maybe save all that for another trip?

I took an IndiGo flight DEL-KTM and it was good, I think that's a good recommendation. Flights are cheap so just make your RT to MAA or DEL and then pick up one ways for where you need. I'm too broke so I trained it around the country which is even cheaper, and IMO an essential part of travel in India.
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Old Dec 28, 15, 9:05 am
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1. Chennai (or Bangalore) will likely be cheaper than TRV due to having more flights. Any of the domestic airlines are fine. Many dislike Air India, but I have been lucky and not had a problem. Go and Indigo are both nice (better than AI or Jet). Spicejet is barebones but fine and often cheaper on odd routes. I have not traveled on the newish Tata airline. Unless you're planning on visiting MAA or TRV, why not just fly into Kochi?

2. Depends where you find yourself. I found the amount of time before travel that you book a ticket is the biggest determining factor for fares. The Indian expedia site gives a good rundown of fares for airlines that the U.S., etc. expedia site(s) wont show.

3. I didn't go to Agra and regret it.
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Old Dec 28, 15, 9:49 am
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Use flights.google.com and price different airports. It's quick and easy and will help you determine your most cost effective routes.

And I, too, would regret not seeing the Taj Mahal. It's an iconic destination, considered one of the top in the world. In my case, it did not disappoint.
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Old Dec 29, 15, 3:29 am
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Hi ,if price is your concern i suggest you fly in to Delhi as the cheapest fare is 35k INR whereas Trivandrum will cost you 46K INR and take any flight to Trivandrum from Delhi it'll cost you 6k INR so the Taj trip will be paid for itself .After doing Kerala you might want to head up to Goa and take the flight out from Mumbai after visiting the Ajanta Ellora caves in Aurangabad.
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Old Dec 31, 15, 2:56 am
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i would suggest getting a round-trip ticket to del & then buying a separate domestic ticket to your south destination....it will probably come out to be cheaper than either a multi city or 2 one way itineraries....
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