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Posts Tagged ‘Taj Mahal Express’

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Redbook’s advice for making the most out of group travel

REDBOOK: Embracing the benefits of group travel

Not everyone is sold on group travel. For some, sticking to an itinerary can seem restricting. I, on the other hand, think group travel is the perfect way to experience a country you’re unfamiliar with.

For those of you on the fence, a recent article in Redbook gives you “6 Tips to Surviving Group-Tour Travel.” I was excited to see that Friendly Planet customer Monique Valeris was the writer.

The article centers on the trip she took with Friendly Planet to India. She was hesitant at first, being that she never toured with a group before. But she goes on to say that it was “completely worth the money, and honestly, a lot more than I could’ve asked for.”

Well Maria, I’m glad you enjoyed your time with us. We were delighted to have you! The article doesn’t specify which tour she took. But based on the description, it’s safe to say she took the Taj Mahal Express.

Read the full article and get Maria’s tips on making the most out of group travel. I couldn’t have said it better than her. Thanks Maria!

Friendly Planet reviewed: One traveler’s experience on the Taj Mahal Express tour

We recently relaunched our Taj Mahal Express tour with a significant discount and more features. I wanted to share with you what one of the first travelers to go on the tour just told me. You know we could send you marketing literature until the cows come home. But when I’m buying something, nothing has more value to me than what other people say. And I believe nothing has more value to you, the traveler, than what our customers say.

With that, here’s a testimonial from Nancy of Union Mills, N.C. These are her exact words. If there are any typos, my apologies, but we don’t edit these reviews.

“My husband George and I returned last Tuesday from the Taj Mahal Express (03/15/10 to 03/23/10) and we could not be more pleased with the outcome of the trip! Every aspect of the tour FAR EXCEEDED OUR EXPECTATIONS!

The itinerary went so smoothly from start to finish. The hotels were excellent, the food was great, and the sightseeing package could not have been better! Now let me sing the praises of our tour guide- Ravi Shanker Tiwari. There are not enough positive adjectives in the English language to describe the exemplary treatment our group received from Ravi, but I will try.

Ravi is extremely intelligent, knowledgeable in all aspects of his job, super organized, warm & witty, and relates well to all types of individuals. He was with us 24/7 and we felt like we were with a family member. Ravi went ABOVE AND FAR BEYOND the call of duty to ensure we had the best possible experience and he succeeded in spades.

Examples of this were extra side trips that were not included and spending every one of his own free evenings with the group so that we could experience different dining and social experiences that we would not have been able to on our own. George and I have traveled all over the world, and have never had such a great experience with a tour coordinator. I’ll also add that the bus driver and helper were also top notch.

Please make sure a copy of this email goes to the President of Friendly Planet, as well as a copy to Ravi’s supervisor. We have already recommended Friendly Planet to friends/family and will continue to do so. We will definitely be using your services for future trips (I just wish we could have Ravi as our tour coordinator everywhere in the world!)

Again, thank you for a utterly memorable adventure to India!”

Thanks Nancy! Your e-mail made me smile ear to ear. Your experience is what we’re in business for. :)

Weekly wrap up: Taj Mahal Express marveling travelers

Last week I told you about Friendly Planet’s hot new deal to India on the Taj Mahal Express tour for only $1,099. If you didn’t hear about it, I encourage you read the post to see all of the new features we added. Travel editors have been kind enough to feature the Taj Mahal Express in their publications and I want to say THANKS to them all. Go ahead and take a gander:

National Geographic: Daily Radar: 2.04.10

Frommer’s: The Band-Wagon to India Picks Up Speed, As Friendly Planet Offers Another Budget-Priced Marvel to Your Options

Vacation Agent: Friendly Planet Travel Offers Taj Mahal Express For $1,099

Travel Pulse: Friendly Planet Travel Offers Taj Mahal Express for $1,099

The new Taj Mahal Express for 2010: The best group tour of India just got better

The Taj Mahal Express has been one of our most popular tours, and for good reason. We were the first tour operator to introduce an affordable tour of India in 2005. It cost just $999 then, and that was five years ago.

The response was huge. Over 900 travelers signed up for the first Taj Mahal Express tour! Since then, its popularity has only grown. And we have continued to add more perks and features, without raising the price.

As you might expect, I personally visit every destination. I inspect every hotel, talk to all the guides, travel the itineraries, see the sites our travelers see, and talk to people who represent us on the ground.

I do this for several reasons. Obviously I love these exotic destinations. But I visit these places also to ensure that our tours are consistently meeting or exceeding my standards, and to look for new ways to make our trips even more exquisite.

It’s funny. Our suppliers on the ground sometimes complain during my visits about the standards I expect for Friendly Planet travelers. Think about that for a moment. If they’re complaining, that suggests our competitors are pushing them only for lower prices, not better value for travelers. It’s easy to pressure suppliers on price. It’s not easy to negotiate better pricing for travelers while maintaining a high level of hotels, service, and programming.

That’s exactly what happened during my recent visit to India. I discovered several opportunities to make the best one week tour of India even better. Our Taj Mahal Express is now enhanced with an additional night (9 days total) and most optional tours now included in the price. And we’ve added an exclusive new tour of an authentic farming village to give our travelers a chance to interact with real people (outside the realm of tourism), meet the village elder, and get a real understanding of life in India.

Best of all, I’ve been able to hold the line on price. This brand new, nine-day Taj Mahal Express tour is just $1,099, including flights, great hotels, lots of touring to the Taj Mahal, Fatehpur Sikhri, and the Amber Fort with an ascent on an elephant or a Jeep.

Plus, a full-day tour in Delhi that will take you to its most important sites, such as the Laxmi Narayan Temple, Raj Ghat, the Red Fort, and more. You’ll conclude your day with a rickshaw tour through Old Delhi’s most popular street market, Chandni Chowk.

This is always one of the most memorable experiences I have of India. Our driver is a master at guiding the rickshaw through India’s winding, narrow lanes and alleys. They’re teeming with shoppers, street vendors, cows, cars, other rickshaws … the ride is simply an amazing adventure, and something you can’t experience anywhere else.

Here’s what else I’ve always included in the Taj Mahal Express tour for you: non-stop flights from JFK International airport on Air India, all transfers and ground transportation within India, deluxe and superior first-class hotels, daily breakfast buffet, an authentic Indian farewell dinner in Delhi, and more.

And now that you’re in the neighborhood, why not add a visit to Nepal. On our three-night extension, you’ll fly to Kathmandu and visit Durbar Square, the city of Bhadgaon, the famous five-story pagoda temple of Nyatapola, and local bazaars. On your last day you have an opportunity to take an optional air tour and fly over the Himalayas to see Mt. Everest. Talk about flying high, if you remember your high school geography, Everest is the highest peak on Earth. And you’ll be flying over it.

As I’ve shared with you before, India’s sights, sounds, and smells are among the most phenomenal in the world. I encourage you to read my previous posts about the Taj Mahal Express, and also see what our Taj Mahal Express travelers have said about it.

Book our new nine-day Taj Mahal Express tour for $1,099 by March 31st. You’ll be signing up for one of the most popular tours we’ve ever offered at Friendly Planet, and certainly one of the most amazing cultural experiences of your life.

For complete details about the tour and the Nepal extension, visit our Web site. Have any questions? Write to me directly.

Customer testimonials: Taj Mahal Express and Best of China and Yangtze Cruise

As you know, we always have a steady stream of customer testimonials flowing in to the Friendly Planet Travel offices. Maybe it’s the holiday cheer, maybe it’s because it’s so satisfying to see all of our hard work pay off, or maybe it’s just because, but our customer reviews have really put a smile on my face recently. So I thought I’d share a couple with you today, verbatim.

FP_TajMahal.jpgWhen we first heard about our tour to India, we were a little hesitant because the price was so low. We thought it may be too good to be true. However, we were pleasantly surprised to find out that it was everything we had hoped for and more. The flights were trouble-free and all the hotels were much better than expected. Our hotel in Delhi was the nicest hotel that I have ever stayed at! And I have traveled the world and been to many high class hotels. Also, we were initially concerned about our safety while in India. It turns out that safety was not an issue. Again, we were pleasantly surprised to find the Indian people very welcoming towards Americans. You couldn’t find nicer people in the world. I don’t know how you kept the tour price so low! Keep up the low prices and high standards. I can’t wait to book my next Friendly Planet trip!

- Riley Loback, Seattle

FP_YangtzeRiver.jpgMy husband and I want to thank you for creating comprehensive, fun packed days of touring in China. We saw all the sights we had on our own lists and the city guides made sure that if possible, they worked in places the group requested. With the number of inner city flights and hotel transfers on this trip, the national tour guide made sure it did not eat into our time to enjoy the marvels of history that we were about to see. The daily planning, the food, hotels, the shows, and the ease of getting around made this package one of the exceptional values for a once in a lifetime vacation.

- Susan Razenson, Nanuet, N.Y.

amNY points to Friendly Planet Travel’s Taj Mahal Express

Today amNewYork gave Friendly Planet Travel a friendly nod in their Travel Deals! column.
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Our eight-day tour of India for $999 is proving to be just as popular with the press as it is with our Friendly Planeteers.

Is the economy affecting your vacation plans?

International travel site Kathika put out a Twitter poll last week that asked “How is the economy affecting your vacation plans this year?”
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You can see the results for yourself. What was most interesting to me was that the biggest slice of the pie (35 percent) was made up of people who are not canceling trips, but are looking for great deals. That’s good news for us because “great deals” is our middle name.
I just wrote about two of our sweetest deals, eight days in Ecuador for $1,259 and eight days in India for $999. So take a look!

A quick comment on Air India in the Washington Post

I was perusing the Washington Posts’ Travel Talk feature yesterday when I saw a question about our India trip!
Two soon-to-be-first-time Friendly Planeteers just booked their Taj Mahal Express trip, and wanted to know some more detail about Air India. This is a great question, since travelers will be spending a good 14 hours each way on an Air India flight.
Having just recently flown Air India myself, I commented on the article to hopefully give two of our newest members a better idea of the flights they’ll be taking. Take a look. If you’ve flown to India with Friendly Planet Travel, what was your experience like?

Amazing deal: eight days in India for $999 complete

I’ve already told you how we manage to come up with such low prices for such great locations. Now, as promised, here’s the first in a series of great exotic travel deals that you can find only at Friendly Planet Travel.
If the locales and amenities seem too good to be true at these prices, I encourage you to talk to our travelers. I’m happy to put you in touch with a long list of people who have experienced our tours, and can validate their incredible value and quality.
First up: eight days in India for $999. This is our famous Taj Mahal Express tour, and it’s one of our most popular destinations. In fact, in the first eight weeks of our reduced price offering, more than 900 people signed up for the trip!
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The Taj Mahal, as taken by one of our Friendly Planet travelers.For even more breathtaking photos snapped on the Taj Mahal Express, take a look at our Flickr page.

This exquisite eight-day group tour package includes roundtrip airfare from New York, four-star hotel accommodations, and guided tours of India’s “Golden Triangle,” including the Taj Mahal; Jaipur, the “pink city;” Delhi; and Agra.
That $999 package price also includes all fuel surcharges, all transfers, a daily buffet breakfast, a farewell dinner, and no credit card surcharges. Compare that to about $1,400 for roundtrip airfare alone, a “deal” found on Expedia.com. Shop around. Compare. You’ll see this is the best complete package deal to India available anywhere.
The sights, sounds, and smells of India are truly some of the most phenomenal in the world. And I promise you, the Taj Mahal Express is one of the most amazing cultural experiences of a lifetime.
Again, please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, no matter how small, about the Taj Mahal Express, or if you would like to talk to some folks who have enjoyed the tour.
If you would book now, simply visit our online booking engine, or call us at 1-800-555-5765.

Arthur Frommer Online points to Friendly Planet Travel’s Taj Mahal Express

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Last week Arthur Frommer wrote up a flattering highlight of our Taj Mahal Express tour on his blog, Arthur Frommer Online.
As you know, we always strive to keep pricing levels low, but touring standards high, and the deals we’ve been able to pass on to you for Taj Mahal Express are some of the best.
Thanks, Arthur! Take a look at the full blog post today.

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About Peggy

Peggy Goldman is a specialty tour operator and travel expert, who owns and operates Friendly Planet Travel, a full-service company that specializes in tour packages to exotic worldwide destinations at affordable prices.   More about Peggy

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