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Questions & Travel tips
Why Kerala and not other places in India?

Kerala is one of the greenest and cleanest places in India. 99 percent of its population are literate and most of them speak English. Forests, lakes, mountains and beaches are among the finest in all of Southeast Asia, and its cuisine is very possibly the most delicious you will ever find. Often referred to as "God’s Own County", today, this gracious and graceful state in India is an outstanding travel destination.

Is the water safe to drink and the food safe to eat?

Even though there are no evidences of contaminated tap water in Kerala, we do advise our travelers to buy filtered water or drink the water provided by the travel agent / hotel. Most of the local street vendors do offer bottled water and they are safe to drink! Street food across various cities in Kerala are generally safe to eat. But do avoid eating from road side shacks/ stalls as much as you can as a general rule of thumb! Food might be spicy depending on what you order so always ask before you taste and buy. Be diligent and check where necessary.”

What medicines should I bring from home?

You’ve likely heard that you should bring some anti-diarrhea medicine for travels to cities in India and you may if you like. But Kerala arguably is its own travel zone. There are numerous medical stores and pharmaceuticals available and some of them even work 24/7. You can probably get most of your over the counter drugs from these stores which should take care of your essential travel well-being! Monsoon season could mean the advent of mosquitoes so be sure to bring along your repellents especially if you are going to be trekking through the rain forests. Malaria vaccination can also be recommended for travelers during this season.

What/How should I pack when travelling to Kerala?

The most important thing to bring is an open mind and an adventurous spirit. Apart from these we recommend that you pack the following items on your trip to Kerala: · Toilet paper: Except for the top end hotels, restaurants and malls, most toilets in Kerala may not have toilet paper. So, it is always a good idea to carry your own supply of toilet paper and a hand sanitizer. However, it is easy to buy these items anywhere in Kerala. · Cable locks: Invest in some good quality suitcase locks and steel cable, for locking your pack or suitcases while travelling by train or bus. Kerala is amongst the safest places to travel in India but for your own safety we do recommend you carry them. · Insect repellant: Most places in Kerala have mosquitoes that can cause related diseases. Make sure to generously use insect repellants while travelling around forest and mountainous areas. · Sunscreen: Given the hot and humid weather in Kerala, using sunscreen is an absolute necessity for avoiding a sunburn or rashes on your skin. · Local Currency: India has a limit of bringing in foreign/ local currency to the country. However, it doesn’t hurt to carry some for your basic travel needs. Money exchange in Kerala is available in every city. · Travel adapters: We highly recommend you carry one while visiting Kerala to charge your electronic gadgets. The charging ports could be different from your country of origin. · Pocket size umbrella: Be it rain or shine, umbrellas are very useful to tackle the different seasons.

What are the styles of toilet like ?

Western style public toilets are most easily found in major towns and tourist sites; the cleanest are often at modern restaurants, shopping complexes and mid-range/top-end hotels. In ultra-cheap hotels and places off the tourist trail, such as small towns and villages, squat toilets / Indian style toilets are the norm and it is usually not common to find toilet paper, so it is always a good idea to carry your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer, just in case.

How do I dress when i visit Kerala?

People in Kerala are mostly conservative, and it might be a good idea to dress modestly while travelling across rural areas. But they do keep an open mind and dressing for comfort is common and tolerated. It is advisable for women to not wear low neck tops, skimpy shorts/skirts or other revealing outfits so that you don’t get noticed. Please be advised that you might need to cover your shoulder, knees and in some cases your head while visiting religious establishments as a sign of respect. The safest option is to wear a loose-fitting dress covering shoulders and knees for a woman (e.g.: Indian Salwar Kameez) and simple shirt/t-shirt and trousers for men.

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Is haggling allowed? How do I do it?

The simplest answer is yes! Feel free to haggle as some vendors do like to quote high prices. If you are uncomfortable doing so, then let one of our extremely skilled travel professionals sort you out!

What are the basic rules of etiquette for visitors to Kerala?

Kerala, given its history and diversity is a simple state with a variety of contradictory cultural norms, traditions, and etiquettes within. The best tip on how to travel in Kerala is keeping your eyes, ears and mind open to pick up local customs and etiquettes on your own as you visit the culturally diverse places. Some of the most essential and common elements of Kerala etiquette that a foreigner should attempt to be familiar with while visiting the state are: · When you go to someone’s house it is customary to remove shoes before entering. While some hosts might be ok with it, it is absolutely compulsory to remove your footwear while entering a temple, mosque or a gurudwara. · It is considered rude to address people with their professional title, especially to those who engage in physical nature of work such as drivers, porters, waiters, etc. · Make sure that you eat with your right hand only. In Kerala, just like right across India, the left hand is for unsavory purposes (you also put on and take off your shoes with your left hand), while the right hand is for eating, shaking hands and so on. · The other rule to be aware of when eating or drinking is that your lips should not touch other people’s food/drink. Don’t, for example, take a bite out of a chapatti and pass it on. When drinking out of a cup or bottle to be shared with others, don’t let it touch your lips, but rather pour it directly into your mouth. It is customary to wash your hands before and after eating and it’s also acceptable to use cutlery to eat if you’re more comfortable with that.

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What's the best time of the year to visit Kerala?

Basically, the climate of Kerala is tropical, so summers can be very hot and humid in the state. Monsoon season begin by the end of June and you can expect some heavy rainfall. October to March is the probably best time to plan a trip to Kerala although the state stays open to tourists all year around!

Do i need a visa to travel to Kerala?

You might need a visa to travel to India depending on where you are traveling from. You would need to read the country specific visa requirements online. Indian visas are not so hard to obtain, it has become easier to obtain over the past few years with the new E-VISA service. India welcomes everybody!

Is Kerala a safe place to travel?

Generally speaking, Kerala is a very safe and tourist friendly country. At major tourist destinations everyone, no matter their ethnicity and gender, will be treated with equal respect and you will find many people who are eager to help the tourists. Also, most of the people speak English so it’s easy to find your way around! Needless to say, like any other place in the world, it is always a good idea to exercise caution and be aware of the local culture.

What are some basic words/phrases in Malayalam (local language) to get me by?

Some basic words that can help you while exploring Kerala are: Namaskaram – Hello Nanni– Thank You Sugham Anno – How are you? Are u well? Sugham – I am good Ethiraa? – How much? Vendaa – No Thank you Pokam- Lets go

Can I travel to Kerala on a budget?

Absolutely! You might be surprised how much value you get for the money you spend! Call us to find out what best suits your needs.

Khalid Al Ameri
Khalid Al Ameri