What does a Pravassa Wellness vacation look like?

What makes Pravassa's Wellness travel concept different?

These principles have guided our company’s practices from inception and form the foundation for every trip we craft.  

STRESS REDUCTION From the moment you book travel with us, we handle all of the details (accommodations to food, physical activity, and cultural experiences) so you can focus on the fun part of vacation.   

UNIQUE LUXURY ACCOMMODATIONS Vetted properties are the hallmark of Pravassa’s concierge customer service. The properties we offer pass our strict wellness standards with flying colors and all support the surrounding local communities in some way. 

LOCAL FOOD Local ingredients and recipes tell stories that transcend time and geography. Our wellness food philosophy: Eat locally sourced food, mostly vegetables, renews our commitment to sustainability while nourishing your body.  

EXCLUSIVE EXPERIENCE All Pravassa journeys give you access to expert educators and exclusive travel experiences. We craft relationships that offer insider access to cultural festivals, local's homes, and onsite offerings created just for Pravassa's guests.

TIME TO JUST BE Pravassa gives you permission to stop, recharge, and make time for yourself first by building in unscheduled free time.  

COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABILITY Committed to sustainable business practices that go beyond our office space, we seek out sustainable properties and work in partnership with our on-the-ground teams to reduce the use of paper and plastics on every Pravassa tour. 

WELLNESS GUIDANCE PRE, DURING & POST JOURNEY From jet-lag hacks to advice on how to stay healthy while traveling, Pravassa is here to guide and support your journey from the time you register to after you return home. Joining our connected community enhances your entire vacation experience. 

 

What can i expect on a Pravassa wellness tour?

A Pravassa travel experience is more than just a vacation. We plan a stress-free vacation, which restores your best self.  Our 5-tenet wellness philosophy®: BREATHE. MOVE. MINDFULNESS. NOURISH. EXPERIENCE. ensures you'll have a #changedbytravel experience. Here how:

  • We will limit this group size to a maximum of 14 travelers in order to create a harmonious tribe. 
  • We personally research and scout our itineraries ensuring they are properly vetted for wellness travel.
  • We craft each tour to have a balance between cultural excursions, physical activities, and down time to explore on your own.
  • We never drop you off at a must-see sight in a cattle call. Instead we partner with expert guides who invite you to be immersed in the culture and have an authentic and often exclusive experience. 
  • We eschew large tour buses.
  • We understand the importance of diet & nutrition and work with all our travelers to accommodate their needs.
  • We connect you to our like-minded community made up of solo travelers, couples, friends, and families, all over 18 years of age.
  • We create a Pre-Departure Package, which includes an exclusive travel guide, wellness tips and travel hacks, a wellness consultation, and access to our team who will answer all your questions. 
  • We make sure you are greeted at the airport with a friendly face to whisk you to our first location.
  • We welcome the group in an opening wellness session, which we release the stress of traveling and discuss our upcoming itinerary. 

 

Do i need to book my flights to India?

Pravassa's wellness travel tours do not include international flights therefore travelers are responsible for booking their own flights into and out of the country. For this wellness journey, you’ll fly into of Delhi’s Indira Gandhi (DEL) airport. Flights from the U.S. generally arrive in the evening: 8PM onward. Our group itinerary starts November 2nd early morning, so we advise you to arrive anytime the day before (Nov 1). The evening of November 1st is included in your hotel stay. Upon arrival at DEL, there will be a group transfer to the resort. We cannot be responsible for missed or delayed connections.

Our trip will end at the Kolkata airport (CCU). We will advise you on booking a one-way domestic flight to Delhi to catch your international departure or you can book to flight out of India directly from Kolkata. A group departure transfer will be arranged on November 12th and will be confirmed once travel plans have been submitted from all travelers

Do not book your flight until the tour is confirmed to depart.  

 

What is the India arrival & departure info?

Our wellness journey begins on November 1st at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi (DEL) airport. Upon arrival at DEL, a group transfer to the hotel will be arranged once we have everyone's travel information.

A group departure transfer to Kolkata's CCU airport will be arranged. Please schedule return flights to the US to depart after 3pm on November 12th. Departure transfers will be confirmed once travel plans have been submitted from all travelers. We cannot be responsible for missed or delayed connections.

If you choose to arrive or depart outside of the set transfer times, we will be happy to help arrange additional hotel nights and airport transportation for an additional fee. Please let us know how we can assist you.

 

Are there entry & Travel requirements?

PASSPORT: All travelers’ passports MUST be valid for 6 months after date of entry into India (May 2019). Please make sure to check your passport at least three months before your departure so you have time to renew it if necessary.   

VISA: All U.S. travelers to India require a visa. You can apply for this visa online here alternatively you can apply for a visa in person at one of the CKGS offices, which are located in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, New York, San Francisco and Washington D.C.

In order to apply you will need to have:

  • a plane ticket out of India
  • the information for your first place of stay (hotel address and phone number)
  • a list of countries visited in the last 10 years
  • be able to list if you’ve visited a SAARC country (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka) in the last 3 years
  • be able to upload a front facing photo taken on a white background


SUITCASE: Baggage allowance for domestic flights are strict and limit the number, size, and weight. Luggage exceeding maximum restrictions may require expensive overage fees. On domestic flights, many carriers require Checked Baggage not exceeding a weight of 15 kgs per person. Only one piece of hand baggage per person is permitted. Pravassa and its partners cannot be held liable for variance in the weight limits listed by Airlines. 

Are there health, medical or safety concerns?

Please consult a travel doctor and the CDC website for up-to-date travel vaccinations. 

Pravassa will purchase medical insurance coverage on your behalf for this trip. Even if you're healthy, accidents can happen! The insurance covers things such as accidents and medical emergencies. If you plan to extend your trip please let us know as there will be additional insurance fees you’ll need to cover.

Stomach problems can be common when traveling. Drinking a lot of water is the best way to stay healthy. We suggest you pack activated charcoal and probiotics to keep your gut healthy and calm should it become upset. Pharmacy's are available in India should you need anything on the trip. 

India is not any more dangerous than the West.

Protecting Personal Belongings: Most hotels have safes to keep valuables, but we advise you to avoid any issues by leaving all your valuables at home.

Personal Safety: Violence against foreigners is virtually unheard of, provided basic precautions are taken like anywhere else. Note that on long train rides in India it is polite to share food – you will often be offered snacks from your seatmates. For your health and safety do not under any circumstances accept this food, instead politely decline.

 

What level are the active excursions?

India's Activity Level is MODERATE. Focus will be on walking, climbing temple stairs, stretching, sitting for meditation, bike rides and treks through nature. 

Our #changedbytravel hashtag is most appropriate when you find yourself far away from home in a foreign land. Expect to be taken out of your comfort zone - where your most profound personal change will happen. For active experiences in India we ask that you wear good walking shoes.  
 

What can I expect in the Wellness Classes?

All wellness classes in India will be held in outdoor open air spaces. While the temperature in India is hot and humid, we schedule the classes in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the hottest times of day. Wellness sessions will begin with a spiritual growth workshop where you'll peel back the layers of stress, fear and negative thoughts in order reclaim the essence of your light within. Lena will teach an integration of Buddhist Mindfulness practices, Yogic Philosophies, Chinese Energy Medicine and Shamanic Techniques to create a powerful healing journey where the ancient earth of India will assist in your human potential upleveling. You will walk away from this vacation with a renewed sense of inner purpose, tangible spiritual skills to implement in daily life and the foundation for a committed daily meditation practice. Please note these practices incorporate active movement, sitting and stretching, but no prior experience is needed.

Remember that you have the freedom to skip any activity that does not resonate with you. 

 

Are there additional fees?

International airfare, additional meals, alcohol, personal expenses, additional activities such as day tours, transportation, or spa appointments booked in addition to our itinerary will all be additional fees.

 

Is traveling to India for me?

India offers a warm, welcoming culture unlike anything you've ever experienced. Expect it to be hot, humid, chaotic with little regard for personal space or alone time. Here are a few local customs to understand that will help you to decide if this tour is a good fit for you. 

  • Personal Space: India is densely populated (1.3 Billion) and people are accustomed to sharing crowded spaces with one another. You may need some time to adjust to the seeming lack of personal space in public areas; this is common. However, except in packed buses, strangers avoid touching each other. Cross-gender touching is especially offensive, although it is not uncommon to see same-sex friends holding hands or hugging. 
  • Feet: The soles of your feet pointing towards someone is considered offensive. In the same vein, feet should not be placed on furniture. If you accidentally touch someone with your foot, it is common practice to apologize. It is also customary to remove your shoes when entering a private home in addition to places of worship and burial.
  • Garlands: If you are given a garland of flowers, remove it after several minutes to demonstrate your humility.
  • Sitting on the Ground: In all temples and blessing ceremonies you will be required to sit on the ground, sometimes for extended periods of time. It is traditional to sit cross-legged.
  • Religious Places: Most temples and mosques prohibit shoes inside the building. Some Hindu temples do not permit non-Hindus to enter. A visitor should ask if there is any doubt. In Sikh temples, head coverings for both men and women are required (and sometimes provided). Priests also offer the visitor blessed food, which should be accepted with both hands to avoid giving offense. The food should either be eaten or given to someone else. It is customary to enter any religious place with the head slightly bowed.
  • Clothing: As a conscious traveler we ask you dress to respect India culture, which means long pants, dresses, and at least ¾ sleeve shirts. Yes, we know it’ll be hot, but most Indians dress in modest clothing and deviating from the norm will make you feel uncomfortable, as you will garner a lot of stares. We suggest you select a wardrobe that is adaptable and allows for layering with cotton being the most practical. Avoid wearing tight pants or leggings. When visiting places of worship, women are not allowed to enter with bare shoulders, short pants, or short skirts. A scarf is acceptable to cover shoulders if you are wearing a sleeveless top. Head covering is required at some of the places. All visitors will be required to remove their shoes in temples and mosques.
  • Streets Scenes: Guests will have expectations of poverty before arriving in India, but unless you have previously traveled to India, it is hard to suppress one's shock. You will encounter people, including children, begging in the streets. You will see street scenes, which may be unusual, including animals sifting through garbage in the streets. You will also see prosperity and middle class living. Being prepared for these different experiences will better enable you to enjoy your exploration through this colorful, vibrant, and hospitable country.
  • Shopping: Extraordinary patience, talent, and imagination go into the making of Indian products. The bazaars are the places to find bargains, but one must be prepared to haggle (see below). During or after the sightseeing tours Guides and Escorts might suggest you to visit a shop- this is a suggestion and is not to be construed as an insistence to visit or purchase anything. It is at your discretion to choose or refuse a visit. Simply say no thank you if you’ re not interested.  
  • Haggling: Things are cheap to begin with and you may feel silly haggling, but keep in mind that if you're given a verbal quote for an unmarked item, it's probably twice the actual asking price. Use discretion though, because items that are priced ridiculously low to begin with are hardly worth reducing further. To haggle effectively, make a counteroffer under half price, and don't get emotional. Protests such as: “This is less than it cost me to buy!" will follow. Stick to your guns and see what transpires; stop once you've reached a price you can live with. Remember that once the haggle is on, a challenge has been initiated. Please don’t start the process if you have not intention of buying.

 

What do I need to know about traveling in India?

  • The official language of India is Hindi in the Devanagri script, although there are 18 official languages spoken throughout the country. English is widely spoken in India, although be prepared to not understand a thing - until you get used to the accent. No need to worry, our experts will be there to guide you so no need to worry. 
  • A Visa is required to visit India. You can apply for an E-Visa online once you’ve purchased your plane ticket. We will guide you through this process.
  • Indian currency is the Rupee and exchange rates can fluctuate dramatically in a short time frame. Cash is king in India so we suggest exchanging US Dollars at the airport.
  • Tipping is usual for waiters, porters, and hotel cleaning staff if a service charge has not already been included in your bill. 10% is the average with small bills given for luggage and maid service. 
  • While November begins autumn in India, the weather is still hot and humid. Temperatures will range from in the mid 90's during the day to mid-60’s at night with high humidity throughout.
  • Electricity is 220V and outlets have 2 round prongs like in Europe. Power is known to cut in and out so having a travel surge protector is a good idea.
  • Basic WiFi is available the hotels we'll be visiting, but hotels charging for good WiFi is commonplace.
  • While pickpocketing is prevalent in every large city across the world, we've not had a problem in India. You'll receive our guide on how to protect your belongs while traveling. We suggest you be aware of your surroundings and not travel after dark unless you’ve prearranged transportation with Pravassa.
  • Dress standards are conservative throughout India so we recommend modest clothing that covers your elbows and knees for your own comfort.
  • Drinking bottled water is your best bet for a happy gut. It's cheap, available everywhere, and you'll have some in your room to use to brush your teeth. 
  • Indian food is divine, full of spices and is an array of culinary delights. Due to the nature of our trip and the areas we will be visiting, all of our included meals will be cooked vegetarian fare. Please note that alcohol will not be available in Varanasi due to the proximity of our lodging to the Ganges. 


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