Kerala is one of the exotic travel destinations in India and indeed a traveler’s delight as it offers lush green forests, in numerous waterfalls, mountains, and valleys with a thick coffee plantation, backwaters as well as the golden beaches. Kerala is rightly called “God’s own country”, due to the variety and mesmerizing nature’s view. Being a popular destination in South India, various tour operators offer customized tour packages at a wide range of budget, thus catering to the needs of all types of travelers. Here is a comprehensive list of all the things you need to consider to find the best tour operator for an unforgettable trip to Kerala.
- Understanding the types of tours available
One of the initial steps that the potential traveler needs to consider is to research and understand the type of tours available for Kerala. Some tour operators offer packages which offer houseboat stay at the backwaters of Kollam, Alleppey, Kumarakom or Kasaragod while some tour operators take you destinations which are less popular and closer to nature like Wayanad, Kalpetta, and Anamudi to name a few. While the famous tourist destinations are likely to be crowded and much more expensive, the less famous areas offer you unspoiled natural beauty.
- Understanding the type of traveler you are
Next, in your checklist come understanding the type of traveler you are and your priorities. If you are a person who prefers serenity with solitude and wants to stay close to nature, you might look for a tour operator offering you a customized package with stay amidst the lush green coffee plantations or experience of homestay within a coffee estate. If you are the one looking for luxury yet being close to nature, an exotic resort in Wayanad in Kerala overlooking the Banasura Sagar Dam is perfect for you. However, if you are adventurous and prefer trekking, consider tour operators offering trekking trips to the mountains and camping overnight. Travelers who wish to go with the flow can consider houseboat stay and guided Kerala trip covering the conventional destinations.
- Checking the flexibility of the Itinerary
After you have shortlisted the type of operator you would love to travel with, it is time to take a closer look at their itinerary. Group tour operators usually do not have much flexibility in their itinerary as compared to customized tour providers. Hence, if you are among the ones who need a tour to be customized with not much time constraint, you can consider customized tours. However, group tours cover a lot of destinations within a short time and hence are not flexible. Travelers have to abide by the given time limit per destination.
- Check the activity level
The activity level varies from one operator to the other. Some tour operator provides tour packages with activities such as water sports, trekking, hiking, river rafting, zip-lining and so on. Depending on how adventurous you are, you can select a tour package with extreme or moderate levels of activities. Moreover, if you have elderly people traveling with you or kids who cannot participate in these adventure sports, you can opt for other travelers.
- Best fit within your budget
Budget is indeed a major constraint to be considered. Every traveler has a minimum and a maximum budget within which the best deal needs to be chosen. Customers always focus on getting the maximum out of their budget limit and thus look for the operators offering you the best deals.
- Consider the inclusions and exclusion
The inclusions and exclusions need to be considered as well. Whether the meals, transfer to and from hotels, airports, stations, entry fee, visa charges (if applicable) are included or not needs to be considered and compared. Tour operators offering the cheapest deal yet not including the above-mentioned inclusions might be a deception of being cheap, ultimately resulting in a much higher cost.
- Compare before finalizing
Finally, when you have already shortlisted a few of the operators based on the above-mentioned checklist, compare and contrast among them to choose the operator offering you the best deals within your budget.
Kerala is one of the most sought after destinations in South India for tourists of all age groups. Hence, choosing the right tour operator will ensure you have a memorable Kerala trip with your friends and family.
Piza Gogoi is a digital marketing enthusiast who loves to learn every other new technique in the industry. She is an active member on Twitter and LinkedIn 24/7. She is also a great lover of nature, thus, travels often with friends and solo to mind-boggling spots like Tourist places in Kerala, Mountains in Meghalaya, Waterfalls in Karnataka, etc. Being in the online industry, she is ecstatic and passionate about sharing her travel stories through her writing