Kerala is no doubt a popular tourist destination that draws visitors from across the world. Given the multitude of scenic locations in “God’s Own Country”, you’ll are bound to be spoilt for choice. Kerala Tour Packages offered by several travel companies and tour operators make it easier for you to explore this part of the country, especially if on a maiden visit.
Here’s a quick run through of few tips to make your journey comfortable and memorable.
- Climatic conditions in Kerala are moderate however it can hot and humid, wet or cool depending on the season or location. Hill-stations such Wayanad, Thekkady or Munnar definitely get chilly, while the beaches in summer are definitely warm! Do be prepared for weather changes.
- Cotton clothes are a must. Make sure you carry sunscreens, sunglasses, hats, flip-flops and enough drinking water when planning a trip to the beach. If you are not acclimatized to the cool climes of hilly terrain, carry adequate warm clothing and sneakers to make your time outdoors more enjoyable. Mosquito / bug repellents do prove useful, especially during the monsoons. Leech socks protect the feet on trekking trips.
- Limit the bling you wear or choose to carry. Possession of gold or jewellery can risk your safety. There are no limits on the hard currency you choose to hold, but carrying debit or credit cards always prove a better option as most commercial establishments accept cards. Should you need cash; the banks here function well past noon during the week except for Saturdays where service stops at noon.
- Try to honour local customs and traditions. Avoid public display of affection and follow a decent dress code when not on the beaches to escape any undue attention. Smoking or drinking in public is taboo as well.
- Kerala is home to several famous temples that not only draw worshippers but also visitors interested in the intricate architecture of these structures and sculptures they hold. Make sure to find out the dress code specifications if any and follow them to gain entry into the premises. Footwear should be left outside the temple at a specified spot. A token is usually issued. Once you are out from the temple, return the token, make the payment and retrieve your footwear. Do note that access to some of these temples is restricted to Hindus only, while few may allow non-Hindus to enter the premises and not the inner-sanctum. Photography or videos may be prohibited.
- Beach lovers, especially first-timers must heed warning signs and announcements from the local life-guards and security personnel. While is quite safe to enjoy a swim or surf, not all beaches have a sandy bed. Hidden rocks underwater, sudden currents or deep pits could prove fatal.
- Make to tip the service provider, be it porters, taxi drivers, tour guides, or staff at the cafe, restaurant or your hotel. A decent 10% tip is bound to suffice.
- Avoid night travel, especially do not attempt to travel to remote locations during the odd hours. Stop over at a resort or safe hotel and resume your journey at daybreak. Availing the services of a trusted tour guide can make a difference. Kerala tour packages also include guided tours to all tourist destinations here.
- Being a tourist destination that enjoys an eternal appeal, Kerala has a steady influx of tourists throughout the year, but the best time to visit is during the monsoons. Christmas holidays followed by the New Year witness the maximum footfall, while summer months are off-season. There are quite a few tourists who make the most of the off-season Kerala tour packages at discounted rates. Plan well ahead to get the best deals in a location of your preference.
- Known for its wide range of spices, Kerala caters to all palates but the best of local seafood could prove a tad spicy for foreigners. The elaborate vegetarian fare has its fair share of spices as well. Do enquire about the menu and ingredients before ordering food. Carry medications to tackle indigestion should the food play truant.
- While opting for Kerala tour packages, play it safe by selecting one with just breakfast. This way you can avoid paying upfront for lunch and dinner, especially if the food doesn’t suit your preference.
- Ayurvedic massages and treatments are the highlight of Kerala tours. Make sure that your service provider is authentic by ascertaining that they have the approval of Tourism Department of Kerala. They must be classified as an Olive or Green Leaf Ayurvedic Centre.
- Once on the road, especially in remote areas landline phones become a luxury. Remember to carry a reliable smartphone (plus charger and powerbank) to stay in touch with the world. Travel apps, maps and emergency numbers are all bound to come in handy.
- Ignore beggars and drifters as you will not able to escape them whether at the beach or at the temples.
- Stay alert when moving through the holiday crowds, better still avoid crowded beaches and other touristy spots where people deliberately hangout to assault tourists, who are often caught unawares.
Check out the different Kerala tour packages and pick one that calls out to you, but only after a thorough research. Do plan and prepare yourself for an enjoyable trip to this beautiful part of India.