Taking the perfect vacation to the Andaman Islands is a dream most families see when the summer in Chennai is at its full bloom. The hard sun along with summer winds makes everyone long for some refreshment, what better place there is to visit than an island.
The Andaman Islands are surrounded by sea from all sides with just the right the right cold weather that makes it a perfect summer spot. These tropical islands have its own set of season that doesn’t follow the rhythm of the mainland India.
Because of this, when there is summer in Chennai, the islands are just starting out for monsoon season.
This makes sure the weather is cold, yet still dry before the rainy season and therefore makes the perfect vacation spot to beat the summer heat. A getaway for a week or two before the school starts, especially to a remote place like Andaman is bound to make your summer memorable for years to come.
Planning a Trip to Andaman:
So you have decided to visit Andaman this summer, and need to plan the perfect vacation that fits everything from your budget, requirements and the places you want to visit.
There are several things you need to consider based on what you have in mind, including:
Type of Hotels
Preferred length of stay
Islands you will visit
Reaching by flight or ship
To plan a trip, you must first decide whether you need to buy a package or to plan a trip by yourself, let’s compare them both and see which the best option for you is.
Planning a trip by yourself from Chennai:
To plan a trip by yourself you will need to pay attention to more factors than any other place. This is because the islands are still in development and don’t have clear access to every place, when ferries and permits are taken into play, the planning take an additional level of effort.
Here are the things you will need to pay attention to:
Vehicles for sightseeing.
Cruise and ferry tickets to go to another island.
Forest tickets and permits to get access to specific locations.
Timings and rules of the places.
Selecting the perfect hotel.
Now, the list grows if we pay attention to other minor details, but let’s take it as an overview.
To plan a vacation by yourself, you’ll need to book cabs and vehicles before you begin your journey, this is because most of the vehicles in Andaman are pre-booked and there is always a shortage for cabs in short notice. But there are public transportation and rental bikes available if you need it. Just make sure to book it for every island you visit as most of the islets in Andaman are separated by sea, without any bridges or roadways.
Cruise and ferry tickets must be done before you reach here, as most of the cruise tickets are completely booked around 3 weeks from the departure and there can be an immediate shortage, which might interfere with your trip plans.
Ferry tickets can’t be pre-booked and one must visit the jetty to get a ticket, this might seem good enough, but the islanders are given the first priority so you might end up not getting any. So it’s better to plan ahead.
Tickets and permits are required to visit specific places, which can taken by visiting the respective office of the controller. This cannot be booked online.
Selecting the perfect hotel needs to be a top priority when planning a vacation by yourself, especially when the cabs are not pre-booked. Taking the hotel near the urban areas of Andaman will help you get around faster. This makes sure you can easily book the ferry tickets and get permits.
Booking a package
Although, self-tour planners are on the rise, booking a tour package is usually the choice visitors go with when they are visiting Andaman, simply because it’s less of an effort.
For those who’d like a relaxing vacation without having to run around for cabs, tickets and other stuff can easily get their vacation in line with a tour package from the right agency.
A usual package, if taken from the correct vendor, includes:
Private A/C Vehicles.
Complete pickups and drops from all places
Permissions from Govt and Forest Departments
Cruise and Boat Tickets
Bikes on Rent
Complete Support and Guide
Perfectly planned trips
Maximum sightseeing without unnecessary travel
Free water sports in several islands
Constant care by a support team
Trips under your personal budget
Cost control; no worries about extra cost
A local team that knows about the islands
Any agency that can provide all this, in under your budget, would be a great choice for your vacation. Cab bookings from Chennai to Airport is also provided to make sure the trip stays comfortable, so all you have to do is get ready and begin the journey.
The cost of booking a package from Chennai to Andaman:
Andaman tour package cost from Chennai can vary greatly depending on the number of people, and type of transportation requirements. The cost also varies greatly depending on the type of hotel you choose and if the agency can get you a sweet discount by leveraging their relationship with the hotel.
Finally, the type of travel you are looking for will decide the pricing of your package, for example: A package designed for 3 people will cost more per person when compared to a group of 10 people. Sometimes the difference can even be up to 50%, so to save more you can bring your family and friends together on the trip and enjoy a fulfilling vacation together.
Explore Andaman tour packages from Chennai:
These packages are designed to provide specific experiences for people looking for themed vacations.
Things to consider before you book a package:
Make sure to verify if the agency's real or not by checking if they have a physical address.
Check for certifications like ASTA and IATA to see if the agency is credible.
Make sure to read about Andaman and see which places you want to visit.
Check the agent's website to see if you are being scammed with wrong images of Andaman.
It saves you more time to contact the agency directly instead of checking all the packages.
Make sure you have checked the images of hotels you’ll be staying in.
Check to see if the hotel you are staying in has a restaurant, so it’s easy to get food.
Planning by yourself vs packages from tour operators:
This is the question that we have seen pop around everywhere, on Facebook Groups , Andaman Forums etc. There are two things that make travel lovable.
Planning a trip by yourself to Andaman can be fun as you’ll of-course get the freedom to change the plans as you see fit but there might be little downsides to it too.
The management and bookings of cabs, cruises, permissions, timings, hotels are hard to take care of for new travelers because of so many variables and needs to be in a perfect time. This would’ve been easier if the internet connectivity of the islands was good, but it’s not, that makes it harder to even use maps on your mobile.
The second things to note here is that the island pretty much closes at 9:30 and more than several areas in an island can be a little bit dangerous because of the tropical surroundings, crocodiles, restricted areas, bad cellphone reception and lack of rapid support. This makes traveling in Andaman a real challenge for people who don’t know the place.
No need to panic though, because with the right information and offline maps you might be good to go, if you really like to explore places by yourself.
With tour packages everything is done and taken care of by the provider, including the tickets, permits, vehicles etc., so you just have to focus your energy on enjoying the place and spending the time with your friends and family.
It’s a generic thinking that planning a vacation by yourself can be cost effective, which is true everywhere in India but not Andaman.
The amount of tickets, hotels and vehicles are bought by the agency in bulk and shared with the guest that lowers the pricing. You might even compare the pricing to later find out that it’s almost the same or maybe lower.
The best thing to here would be to find an agency who offers transparent pricing, so you can compare everything later on to see how much you ended up saving. In most cases the difference in travel costs between self-travel vs agency is 1500/- to 2000/- which is a really small price to pay for comfort and safety of your family and friends.
Of course it all comes down to your choice and how you want to spend your vacation.
While Andamans are mostly peaceful, they can equally dangerous if you don't follow proper instructions, signs, or enter into restricted or tribal areas. People living in Andamans know all the places, but since internet is slow in here, you can't expect to use the internet to find information or get help.
If you are visiting by yourself, make sure to read about Andaman Islands in detail before planning a trip.
Need an Awesome trip to Andaman?
Eternal Andamans is a top rated travel company that offers packages at the lowest rates, including LTC billing for Govt. employees.