Q. How do I make a booking with Banjara Trails and confirm it?
Once you have decided on a tour, all you need to do is shoot us an email or call us and a member of our team will guide you through the booking process. You can either choose to make a full payment upfront or in instalments as per our BOOKING CONFIRMATION RULES.
Q. How can I pay for my booking?
Indian nationals or people residing in India having an Indian bank account can transfer money to our account and share the proof of that transaction to confirm their booking.
If you reside outside India, then you need to write to us and we’ll follow up with an e-mail with a link to make the payment online. Once the payment is confirmed you’ll be ready to embark on your Nomadic Himalayan experience with us.
Q. I want to cancel my booking. Will I get a refund? If yes, how much?
The refund for your booking depends on when you cancel your booking. Please look at the refund rules for details.
Q. If I can’t make it for a fixed departure trek can I join the next batch?
In case you are unable to join a fixed departure trek that you have booked but do not want to cancel then don’t worry. We understand that sometimes circumstances force us to change our plans and in such a scenario we can try to adjust you in the next batch for the same trek at no extra cost. However, this would be subject to availability and us reaching the minimum required number to run a tour.
Q. Can I change my booking to a different trek/package?
If you want to change your booking and join a different trek route/plan it can be done if spots are still open. Also, if the new trek is cheaper than the one that you had initially booked, there’ll be no refund; however, you will have to pay the difference if it is priced higher than your original booking.
Q. Can I alter the dates of private/single group tours?
We can make adjustments of up to a few days before or after scheduled departure depending on the availability of the team, support staff and our trekking calendar. Contact us to know more.
Q. Can I customise my booking to suit my/our group’s needs?
Yes you can. We always do our best to accommodate any demands and customisations. While small personal needs can always be accommodated, we also need to take into consideration if the customisation affects the other people on the tour. If it’s a single group that makes up the whole tour then normally we can amend and customise as needed but if multiple groups or solo trekkers make the group then the entire group will be considered before we can agree to make any customisations affecting others.
Q. Can last minute changes be accommodated?
Last minute changes to departure dates is not something that can be usually accommodated as the wheels for running a group are set in motion much before the actual departure. Also, some of our treks are planned in sync with our cycling groups in the case of combo tours so last minute changes are tough. However, we can always arrange for things like different/separate arrival and transport for you to start the trek if needed. You will need to inform us in advance and there will most likely be an additional cost involved.
INCLUSIONS & EXCLUSIONS
At Nomadic Trails – India we want you to have a good time without the worries of anything that might be needed once you leave home to join us for your Himalayan experience. No rummaging in your pocket or worrying about where to stay, what to eat or where the next ATM is. With us, you can be rest assured that all will be taken care of.
Q. What is included in the cost of the tour?
Accommodations and meals as per the tour-specific itinerary.
Refreshments and packed meals during cycling and trekking.
Potable/drinking water throughout. We care for the environment and discourage the usage of packaged drinking water.
Camping Equipment. (Group and personal).
Porters/mules to carry camping gear.
Porters/mules to carry your luggage on treks
Cook(s) for camps
All Transfers as specified in the itinerary.
Q. What are the exclusions.
Travel & accident insurancec.
Any snacks and beverages outside of what’s included.
Additional customisations or excursions outside the itinerary.
Q. What will be the cost of additional requirements, if any?
That depends on the nature of the request. Let us know what you need and we’ll do the best possible and give you a quote for the same.
ON THE TRAIL
Q. What does a regular day on a trek look like?
A regular day in the outdoors and on a trail starts early. The day normally begins at 0600 with a cup of tea as we get ready and packed to leave by 0730 after a hearty breakfast. There will be some days that might need for an earlier departure like an early morning ascent to the top of a pass to cross a glacier. You will be informed of such things in the tour details and briefing.
Q. Is there a limit to the amount of luggage I can carry on a trek?
Other than your day pack that you will carry on your own, Nomadic Trails – India will arrange for 12-15 kg of your luggage to be carried by our team depending on whether we have a porter or mule accompanying you on the trek.
Q. What sort of weather and terrain do I have to be ready for?
Most treks involve you reaching altitudes in excess of 5,000 metres and you need to be prepared to handle that. You have to be prepared for bright sun during the day and plummeting temperatures at night (close to freezing at times). Normally, on a sunny day you will not need to worry as much about the cold as you would about be getting sun burnt.
Please note that Himalayan treks vary in terrain altitude and vegetation almost every day. From thick wooded forests, to alpine steppes to glacial moraine with rocks and scree the terrain varies as we gain altitude. Our packing list should be able to guide you with it.
Q. What do I need to bring with me?
Please refer our packing list
Q. What are the Hazard and risks involved and how are we prepared for that?
Slip, trip and falls
As with any other trek, there are the usual slip, trip and fall hazards that are present with walking on uneven trails, the best defense for that are your own personal standards and attention when on the trail. In some slippery or risky sections our team will lead the way, rig ropes and guide you as need be.
The weather at higher altitudes can get really cold, really fast. Be prepared to layer up and protect yourself in case of weather changes. The cold dry air can take a lot out of exposed skin and make it burn and peel rather easily. Extreme cases like frost bites etc are not a real risk during the summer treks that we conduct.
This is the most real hazard with risks involved with it. On our part as operators we will take precautions to make sure that this risk is kept at a minimum. These precautions include but are not limited to, frequent oxygen level monitoring, oxygen cylinders on tour, acclimatisation days etc. However, every client needs to responsible enough to have gone through our to be aware of this hazard, follow the precautions and be able to recognise symptoms and inform us in time. In some cases we might ask a client to end his or her journey if we feel that is the best choice based on their inability to cope with high altitudes.
Q. How do I protect myself from the weather elements during treks?
Sun – Make sure you cover your body as much as possible – full sleeve shirts, neck gaiters and sun cap are a must to avoid sun burns. Applying sun screen lotion of at least SPF50 is a great way to protect your exposed skin.
Wind – A windbreaker will protect you from the chilly winds. Cover your ears in the evenings. During walking breaks when on a trek ensure your body remains warm by wearing an additional jacket or windbreaker to prevent rapid cooling of your body.
Cold – Layering up is the best solution for cold. When the temperature starts dipping, start wearing layers of clothes. Base layer is a must at all times. T shirt, Sweater, Jacket and wind cheater is the way to go. Keep your feet, hands, ears warm during cold weather by wearing warm woollen socks, gloves, balaclava or a skull cap.
GEAR & PREPARATION
Q. What sort of gear will Nomadic Trails – India be providing?
We provide high altitude camping equipment – Tents, Sleeping bags, mattresses, toilet tents, plates, spoons, coffee mugs, lanterns and anything else that might be needed for running the campsites.
Q. How can I prepare physically for a trek?
Cardio fitness is key as trekking involves long walking days at high altitude. We strongly recommend a running fitness of 5Km in 30min. If running is not your thing we advise you to carry loads on your back and brisk walk for an 1 hour for several weeks leading up to the trek.
Strength training: you don’t need to be a professional athlete but some amount of strength and endurance building will definitely come in handy on a trek or any other outdoor activity. Core strengthening will be very useful to endure rigours long treks. Lower body workouts and exercises are also useful in ensuring that your ankles and knees are ready to take continued impact of variable intensity.
You can come for the trek without preparation, but you’ll ending struggling rather than enjoying what nature has to offer. Bear in mind that, we are there to guide you and provide all the facilities but the walking has to be done by you yourself. So little preparation will help make your trek more enjoyable.
Q. What kind of food will there be on the tour? Do I need to bring my own snacks?
We will cater to different dietary requirements with vegetarian options available for those who don’t consume meat. If you any other specific dietary requirement then we need to be informed in advance.
For those who eat Kosher/Halal, we can try and source it but we can’t guarantee the availability of Kosher/Halal meat. If either of these dietary restrictions applies to you, please let us know. We will offer suitable replacements for our Kosher/Halal customers for the duration of the tour.
Q. How much distance will I be walking?
The distances on our tours vary considerably depending on the trek that you choose. The description and walking times will be provided in the detailed itinerary of the trek that you will receive upon booking a tour with us. Since most of our treks are at altitudes in excess of 4,200 metres above sea level and in remote areas, the distances are mostly approximate. That’s why we mostly mention approximate walking times instead. The more important part is the terrain than the distance.
Q. What sort of clothing should I bring on the tour?
While the number of sets you will want to bring will depend on how long your tour is, we recommend long sleeves and long pants for best protection.
Q. What if I don’t want to bring some things with me on tour? Can I leave it at your office?
It depends on your tour. If your trek ends at the same point then we will be happy to keep your belongings while you are away. However, since most of our treks don’t end at the point of origin, we recommend that you carry only what you need for the tour. If you have to leave something behind and your trek ends at a different location then you will have to find a way to get back and pick it up. If you need our assistance to do the same, there will be additional cost involved. Get in touch with us to know more.
Q. Will I be able to change my footwear for river crossings to keep my feet dry?
Yes. While most of the treks are over dry land, we will cross streams and rivers sometimes. For river crossings on our treks we’d recommend that you keep with you a pair of hiking/ walking sandals that you can quickly slip in and out of and keep your feet dry and warm in your trekking shoes for the remainder of the trek.
GUIDES & PORTERS
Q. How many tour guides and porters will be on each tour?
As we restrict our group size to a max of 6-10 people, we’d usually have one lead guide for the group. Besides that there will be support and kitchen staff that will accompany the group. The size and number of the support staff will depend on the size of the group and also on the trek. On trails where we can use pack animals we will not have any porters. Whatever the case may be, you can be rest assured of a positive ratio of staff to clients.
Q. Do the tour guides and porters speak English?
Our guide will be multilingual (Hindi/English/Spitian) to meet the requirement of the people comprising the group. However, expect the support staff and porters to speak Hindi.
Q. Will porters carry all of my stuff?
Besides your daypack comprising of your water, camera and few small things that you’d like to keep on your person during the day, the porters will carry the rest of your main luggage. The porters normally carry about 15kg/porter and we recommend that you pack accordingly. Also, bear in mind that the luggage with the porters/ pack animals will only be available to you at the campsite.
SAFETY & HYGIENE
Q. How many and what kind of bathrooms will we have on camp sites?
We will have a minimum of 2 toilet tents at each camp. In the case of a bigger group we will have more than 2 toilet tents. For the sake of better waste management, we highly recommend that the guests use them and not defecate elsewhere around the campsite.). You can dispose of any feminine hygiene or sanitary products in the trash located at camp.
At meals and at the toilets in the camps, a hand sanitizer or hand washing gel will be available and you must use it to avoid getting sick.
Note: If you go to a bathroom or to a meal and find that, hand sanitizer or hand washing gel are low or out, please notify your tour guide immediately.
Q. How will I go to the bathroom if I’m not at a campsite?
If you cannot hold it until you reach a campsite toilet, you may go to the toilet in an area of the jungle where no one can see you and far away from the river (at least 50 m). Please do not leave behind any toilet paper that you use (we can provide you with sanitary bags at the start of your trek; you can place used toilet paper in that bag). Please place any other feminine hygiene products in these sanitary bags as well. The sanitary bags must be disposed of at the rubbish bins at the campsite.
Q. What kind of toiletries should I bring?
Only the necessities please. These include toothbrush, toothpaste, sunscreen, insect spray, and necessary medications. Ladies, please bring any feminine hygiene products that you may need on the tour with you from home. There are VERY limited options in the local market here and almost no option while on tour. Please pack accordingly for emergencies! Some people might prefer to carry their own toilet paper too, personal choices.
Q. What about safety in remote areas?
We care for your safety and will ensure that you are completely secure be it during the trek or at campsites. When crossing slippery or risky sections during treks, our team will lead the way, rig ropes and guide you as need be.
Further, our tours are designed to ensure that the clients are suitable acclimatised to the altitude. We will hold frequent oxygen and wellbeing checks and also carry oxygen cylinders in case of an emergency.
Q. I am a solo female traveller, are your tours safe for me?
We strongly support and promote the spirit of travel and welcome women trekkers in our groups. All our tours are group treks where we maintain friendly and safe environment. Our guides and trek leads are trained and sensitised to handle a diverse set of people. Feel free to reach out to our guides at any point of the tour.
Q. I have a medical condition. How do I find out if I can join your tours?
Please declare all medical conditions that you may have, regardless of whether or not you may think it could affect you on the tour, so that our safety experts can advise if it will be safe for you to join our tours. Take note that our tours take place deep in the wilderness, far from medical clinics or hospitals and our team needs to be adequately prepared for your safety. We assure you that we will respect your privacy and keep your disclosures private (only necessary team members such as your tour guide will be intimated).
Q. Do you carry a first aid kit on the tour?
We carry a comprehensive first aid kit on all our tours. However, please carry any specific medication that you might need and give us any spare in case yours is lost or damaged. If you carry an Epipen or any serious medication(s), please inform us in advance.
Q. Should I bring any of my own medications?
Please bring any prescriptions or over-the-counter medications with you. Ours are just for use in emergency situations or if you run out. If you know that you need an anti-histamine or you regularly take an anti-inflammatory, please bring it with you. You should inform your guide of any medications you are taking/carrying. If you are on any serious medications, please bring a set of spares and give one to a member of the team in the event that you lose or damage your first set during the tour.
Q. Do I need to purchase medical travel insurance?
We recommend that you carry your own medical/accident insurance. Make sure that it covers the activities that you will be indulging in during your tour. In case you don’t have one, we can help you arrange one.
Q. What if I’m not fit enough to complete the tour or am turned around?
Anyone who isn’t fit enough to continue, or who poses a safety threat to themselves or others, will be removed from the tour. Nomadic Trails – India maintains the right to turn around any customer who doesn’t follow safety, conservation or trekking rules. There will be no refund for customers that are turned around and we will not be responsible for any additional expenses incurred by customers (transportation, hotel, etc).
GADGETS & POWER
Q. How do I charge my camera/gadgets?
The best option would be to carry spare batteries, power banks or portable solar charging panels as there won’t be much opportunity to charge your devices/gadgets/cameras during the trek.
Q. Can I carry camera and photography equipment?
Please bring a camera as we will be witnessing some breathtaking as we take on the Himalayan trails. You could keep cameras and other gadgets in your daypack preferably within a drybag to prevent them from water/moisture damage.
Q. Will there be connectivity/WiFi on tours?
Since our tours will take you to remote area deep in wilderness on most routes there will be scanty or no mobile network. When you have pristine natural beauty all around you, disconnecting from city life will be cake walk!