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:
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.
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 takes an additional level of effort.
Here are the things you will need to pay attention to:
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 be taken by visiting the respective office of the controller. This cannot be booked online.
There are several places in Andaman where one has to follow specific rules, for example: you cannot take photos inside the airport, etc.
Moreover, the closing times of several places are at 5 PM and one has to book the boat before that to leave the island. For Example: In Ross Island, the last boat leaves at 5 PM, after which there is no way to get back to your hotel and there is no accommodation provided on the island itself.
Therefore, it’s better to pre-book all tickets.
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.
This is the question that we have seen pop around everywhere, on Facebook Groups, Andaman Forums, etc. There are three 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 a few downsides to it too.
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.
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 perfect time.
This would’ve been easier if the internet connectivity of the islands was good, but it’s not, which makes it harder to even use maps on your mobile.
The second thing to note here is that the island pretty much closes at 9:30 and more than several areas on an island can be a little bit dangerous because of the tropical surroundings, crocodiles, restricted areas, bad cell phone 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, with the right information, precaution and offline maps you might be good to go, if you really like to explore places by yourself.
It’s a general thinking that planning a vacation by yourself can be cost-effective, which is true everywhere in India.
This is because, people usually book with travel agents and OTA's (Online Travel Agencies) which adds to the cost. Generally, these providers add a bit of additional charges or commissions to the tour which increases the cost of traveling in Andaman.
The experience you will get is the same because, you will be traveling with the local tour operators, as they are the ones present in Andaman, not the OTA's.
The best thing to do here is to get a tour from a local tour operator in Andaman. This will help you get the cheapest price for your tour.
Simply find a tour operator 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 tour operators is 1500/- to 2000/- which is a really small price to pay for comfort and safety of your family and friends.
But make sure to choose the right tour operator, advisably local, to avoid getting charged extra on commissions and service charges which in our 9 years of experience, can range from Rs. 5,000/- -9,000/-
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 the internet is slow in here, you can't expect to use the internet to find information or get help at the spot.
This can be tackled easily if you simply follow the rules of the place you are visiting.
If you are visiting by yourself, make sure to read about the Andaman Islands in detail before planning a trip.
Planning to visit with your family? Explore tour packages to Andaman by visiting here.
Click here to read more on planning a Trip from Chennai to Andaman.
If you found this post useful, Show you care by sharing it with your friends and family:
Getting a package directly from the tour operator will help you save more (around 30% or more in general) on your trip because it won't include any extra hidden charges or fees.
Moreover, all tours are designed to let you explore maximum places possible to cover everyday, and includes everything from hotels and sightseeing to free complimentary water sports from our booths, so you pay less to explore more.