This is part of a series of interviews with inspiring travelers. Today’s interview about experiencing India with day tours from Viator comes from Amber Hoffman. See more about tours and traveling with purpose here. All photos provided by Amber.
Tell us about yourself and your travel experience.
We’ve been on the road, pretty much full time, for more than three years. Most of our travel has focused on Europe and Southeast Asia. But, we’ve also explored Central and South America. We are pretty well versed in Asian travel, having traveled to China, Japan, and Vietnam. We’ve also lived in Indonesia for awhile. After 70 countries, we’ve been around the block and back again.
You recently traveled to India. What cities or regions did you visit? How long were you in India?
It was a quick trip through Northern India. We spent ten days in Mumbai, and the Golden Triangle of New Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur.
Rather than booking a full tour, you booked several day tours. What tour company did you use and why?
We stayed at Marriott hotels in each of the cities, so we we didn’t need a full tour option. Instead, we wanted to book day trips or half day tours so that we could see the sites, but not have to stress about getting ourselves around. We booked through Viator Travel, because they have a lot of different tour options all over the world. And, you can book trip experiences in different cities, all in one transaction.
Why did you plan your trip this way instead of traveling independently or booking an all-inclusive tour?
They say that with India, you either love it or hate it. The thought of traveling India independently was overwhelming. On the other hand, we are not a fan of group tours. We like to go at our own pace, and do our own thing. By working with Viator Travel in each of the cities, we were able to control our schedule and focus on the experiences we really wanted to have.
Which tours did you sign up for? Which was your favorite?
We also arranged a unique experience where we saw the Dabbawallas and Dhobis in Mumbai. The Dabbas are involved in the most complex lunch delivery system I’ve ever seen. The Dhobis run a giant outdoor laundromat. As much as we usually focus on food, this experience was definitely unique. We hadn’t even heard of this kind of tour until we saw it on the Viator website.
We also booked a hot air balloon ride over Jaipur, but it was called off for weather. Safety first.
What was the most memorable or eventful part of your trip?
Seeing the Taj Mahal in person. Definitely a bucket list item for most people. Our private tour was great because we not only had an air conditioned vehicle drive us from Delhi to Agra, and a tour guide to explain the history and legend of the Taj, but also a private photographer. That made me feel like a celebrity.
Was there anything you didn’t like about the tours or traveling this way?
For us it was perfect. I wouldn’t want to travel India in any other way.
Did you eat anything amazing on your trip?
We ate amazing Indian food at each of the Marriott properties, and the executive chefs fed us very well. But, the most memorable meal was the one we had after our cooking class in Delhi, at the home of a local family.
What inspired you to travel to India?
We love Indian food, and have just always wanted to go to India. It seemed like a gaping hole in our Asia travel resume. We just waited until we found the perfect way to do it, in comfort.
Do you think booking a series of day tours in India is good for a new traveler? Why or why not?
For new travelers, booking a full group tour may be the way to go. But, between the comfort and service we had with Marriott India and the flexibility to take the tours we wanted with Viator Travel, I would recommend traveling in India this way, even for a new traveler.
Bio: After 10 years as a corporate tax attorney, Amber left her job at the largest law firm in the world, to start living her life with more purpose. She is now a recovering tax lawyer, travel writer, social media consultant, speaker, and professional eater. And, she travels With Husband In Tow as together they seek new Adventures in Food, Wine & Luxury Travel. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
See all tour reviews here.