Update: Tauck has made a couple of itinerary changes for their tours beginning in 2016. We studied the country and culture before we left, but actually being there was like finishing a puzzle; all of a sudden the pieces were making sense.
Our itinerary description will be slightly different the ones Tauck currently offers. We will never view anything India-related the same way the rest of our life.
We received our final tour documents about two weeks after making our final payment to Pavlus Travel. There are very specific requirements for citizens from other countries, but my comments here apply only to U. Of course this involves an extra fee for the service provider in addition to the visa fee, but we felt it was worth it.
Our agent had UPS send us an email with package tracking information so we knew exactly when it was scheduled to arrive at our front door. Any mistakes will cause a delay and the application must be redone.
There is conflicting advice on exactly how to fill out the online application, but most agree that it must be filled out properly or it will be rejected.
We visited a variety of states and geographic areas.
We met a number of people from differing cultural, religious, and economic backgrounds.
When Tauck put their preliminary 2015 schedule on the web site (which was in February 2014), we immediately contacted our agent Mindy and had her reserve our spots.
It was a good thing we did, as our tour date sold out within a couple weeks, even before Tauck had published final prices or itinerary details on their web site.
Parts of the tour were very busy; others were slower and relaxed.
Some areas were very hot; others were a bit chilly. We traveled on planes, trains, buses, vans, taxis, rickshaw, boats, and elephants.
Tauck released the finalized 2015 itinerary and pricing on April 2, 2014.
Since we had booked it already, this meant that we now had two weeks to cancel without penalty.
Mindy is very experienced with booking Tauck tours, and has been great to work with.