I’ve had a bit to sort out with accommodation (the usual routine online) – India still appears to provide excellent value for money for places to stay. Sri Lanka is okay too, but India looks like it will give me great places to stay for not much more than a budget price.
I seem to be approaching trips in such a way these days where I get everything pre-booked before I go as much as possible. Which in some ways is a shame. But it is nice to know you’ve a train ticket booked and a place to stay without having to cross your fingers and hope the place isn’t booked out.
So – visas. For BOTH India and Sri Lanka you can get an E-Visa now. It’s pretty awesome. It’s meant that well, I haven’t needed a travel agent at all this time round. Although it might have made the re-routing with SCOOT a heck of a lot easier.
Anyways it was thanks to THIS article on the amazing etramping.com that I discover India now did E-visas. I had heard from people travelling last year or 2016 that it was over $200 US, but I was happy to find that that was basically just for people in the USA, and that it was only $50US for Australians (although that’s a fair hit if you are American).
It took a long time to fill out, there were uploads involved and a lot of questions, some I couldn’t answer fully about previous trips to India because I simply don’t have the information anymore. Or if I do it would involve a lot of time to locate. But in the end I wrote a quick explanation in the boxes provided and well, in a day or two they had approved my application so that was great! You can find more information and apply for an online visa HERE for India.
For Sri Lanka, in 2012 I used an e-via. It was approved in minutes this time and the page for that is HERE.
Then to book train tickets. Well, I’m pretty impressed because you can now book them online for India, which I did. HERE is the site. The registration process was a pain in the bum, sorry to be so brutally honest, but once you’ve learnt how to navigate the India Railways site, well, it’s really convenient as the trains do tend to book out in the upper classes. I booked three journeys – Jaipur to Jaisalmer, Jaisalmer to Jodphur and Jodphur to Delhi. All pretty long distances, I’ve gone with day journeys for all three which I think will be a good thing. I love the journeys, I don’t want to miss anything, and although sleep isn’t too bad on trains, I prefer a proper bed. Oh should mention, the three tickets in total are around $60AUD!
Seat 61, the ultimate in worldwide train travel websites, has all the information you need for using this site. Right HERE for India. For Sri Lanka there is not direct train booking but I am trying a travel company there. I will surely write at some point how that turns out but I am unable to book more than 30 days in advance.
And so, the computer is my friend! Making organising travel as easy and convenient as it ever has been. If you’ve ever lined up for tickets at a busy Indian station, I’m sure this option appeals to you. I have a pack, I need to prepare what I’m taking though. I must admit, I like to prepare early so I am not panicked the day before departure!
Thanks for reading – and May the Journey Never End!