FOOD COSTS In larger towns and cities, where there are many dining choices, book your hotel with a bed and breakfast plan, or at most a half-board plan (which includes breakfast and one other meal). With a car and driver at disposal, you have the flexibility of eating out and choosing a restaurant of your choice. In remote locations, its best to have all your meals included in the price of the stay, as a la carte orders in such hotels could be very high cost.
Eating out in India is not expensive. Food at a good city restaurant (independent) may be bought for about US$ 8-10 per person. Many cities have large shopping malls with food courts. You can have very modestly priced meals here with a number of India and Western quick-service chains to choose from. Bottled water normally charged on per bottle basis which is within a price of USD 1 at most of the restaurants.
At the specialty restaurant situated in luxury 5* hotels a dinner may cost you anywhere around US$ 15-40 on per person basis excluding drinks.
Wines and spirits are expensive when ordered in hotels. You will enjoy savings if you buy a few bottles of wine and choice of spirits at the duty free shops on arrival in India airports.
ENTRANCE FEES & CAMERA FEES Monuments entrance fee at most of the places is very nominal and ranges from US$ 2-5 per monument depending on the sights you are visiting. The highest entrance charges are at Taj Mahal which is approximately US$ 18 per person per visit.
The still camera fee at many monuments remains included in the entrance charge. Where it is not included it is very nominal ranging from US$ 1-2. The video camera fee normally doesn't remain included in the tour price. At the city monuments it normally ranges from US$ 4-6 per visit.
At wildlife parks the still cameras are free to be taken inside (except at a few places). For the video cameras the charges depend upon the mm size of the lens. It may range from US$ 5-235 (!) per entry depending upon the size of the lens. Tripods are not at all a problem and may be taken inside free of charge. If you may let us know the size of your camera we may inform you about the entrance charges of your camera to any particular wildlife park.
TIPPING In hotels and restaurants, tips are not normally included in the bill. Some hotels include service charge on their bills. In such cases tipping is not necessary. The standard tip is 10% of the total bill. In hotels, porters and room service attendant are normally tipped at the end of the stay, though an early tip is likely to get you better service. For concierges, budget for a tip of US$ 2 per service is considered appropriate. Tipping to the driver who has served you in long run is considered to be customary. A tip of around US$ 10 per day may bring satisfaction and smile to your driver who has served you with honesty and dedication during the tour.
GUIDES & EXPERT SERVICES Milesworth offers services of approved tourist guides or expert resource persons depending upon your level of interest. A typical half-day services of a tourist guide can cost US$ 10 and for a full-day for US$ 20 approximately per person for a couple. Expert guides for special interest experiences can be higher and range from US$ 25-50 per person depending upon the subject matter.
TAXES India is a highly taxed country! Your overall tour program when booked through a tour operator in India will attract a service tax of 4.5%. Hotels will typically charge a service tax of 9% and luxury tax (variable state-by-state) ranging from 5-15%.