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How to Plan an Affordable Luxury Trip to India 2024/2025

By RitaUpdated Apr. 10, 2024

What would your ideal luxury trip to India be like? You could have one with all the most expensive hotels, Michelin-starred food, and private jets to take you from city to city. But you could also have luxury choices in India without burning a hole in your wallet.

A budget-friendly luxury trip would allow you to travel stress-free with top-notch smiling guides and drivers, stay at deluxe boutique hotels, and enjoy fine dining. It would also help you to immerse yourself into real India with private exclusive activities, ranging from high tea with a late veteran's family at their bungalow to an exclusive vintage car ride.

Check out our guide to planning a luxury trip to India.

The Top 5 Ways to Have Luxury Experiences in India

As one of the oldest civilizations in the world, India is renowned for its vast historical landscapes and rich cultural heritage. You could have diverse luxurious experiences seamlessly integrated into your India journey of discovery.

From indulging in lavish dining to pampering yourself in glamping experiences, here are the top five ways to infuse luxury into your touring experiences in India.

1. Explore the City Highlights in an Exclusive Way

a couple and a vintage car

To unlock the real India, go beyond the regular sightseeing. If a rickshaw ride in Chandni Chowk in Delhi is not impressive enough, how about traversing the pink city (Jaipur) on a pink e-rickshaw with a female driver in pink?

In Agra, dress up in a sari or kurta pajama, unveil the love story behind the splendid Taj Mahal with our local experts, and capture awesome photos at the best spots.

In holy Varanasi, take a heritage walk along the ghats and through the temples to experience millennia-old spiritual life on the banks of the Ganges.

A private sunset boat ride at Lake Pichola would create serene and romantic moments in Udaipur.

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2. Savor India Beyond a Candlelit Dinner in a Local Restaurant

Food is one of the best ways to immerse yourself in exotic India. You could take a private guided foodie walk with a local chef in Old Delhi, have a private cooking class in a local family's home in Jaipur, and enjoy a private sunset tea with a view of the Taj Mahal or at a majestic fort.

For milestones, enjoy a private dinner at Jagmandir Island Palace in Udaipur or a desert dinner with a campfire among the sand dunes in Jaisalmer.

3. Have a Luxurious Stay in an Indian Way

If you're seeking an unparalleled luxurious stay in India, why not immerse yourself in the royal charm of Rajasthan? The Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur is one of the best examples. With views over Lake Pichola to the spectacular City Palace, you would take a private boat ride to enter this palatial hotel, where you could relax in their spa and enjoy a yoga experience.

Glamping would offer you and your loved one more intimate hours and an unrivaled wild atmosphere. There are glamping sites in Ranthambore National Park, the Thar Desert in Jaisalmer, and the Himalayan range in Ladakh.

You could get some inspiration from our 14-day Golden Triangle and Rajasthan tour.

4. Celebrate the Immersive Festivals with Locals

Celebrating Holi in IndiaCelebrating Holi in India

What could be more culturally engaging than celebrating India's festivals with locals? If you like this idea, choose from the top festivals: Holi in March and Diwali in October/November.

Color fights are the top highlight of Holi. Full of joy, you could try on local costumes, throw Holi colors with locals in the streets, or have a private Holi celebration at your hotel.

As for Diwali, you could indulge in the New Year atmosphere of the festival markets, paint your hands and feet in henna (using Indian traditional body art called mehndi), and have a Diwali feast with a local family.

Read further about the sample itineraries: 8-Day Diwali Festival in India's Golden Triangle Tour or 11-Day India Holi Festival Tour.

5. Immerse Yourself in Nature with a Private Safari Experience

tiger safari

Wildlife enthusiasts would love India's tiger safari experiences. Ranthambore National Park is the most convenient place to spot big cats. Hop in a private safari jeep, go on jungle game drives at sunrise and sunset, and track the wild animals among the scenic views.

Besides the safari, you could unwind in the serene backwaters of Kerala in a traditional houseboat that's just reserved for you.

How Long to Spend in India for a Luxury Trip

India Travel Map

A popular amount of time to explore the icons of India is 10–15 days. If you choose to focus on the north, you could discover the Golden Triangle cities (Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur) in 7–8 days.

For the remaining days, you could consider 2 days in Varanasi for cultural immersion, 2–3 days in Ranthambore for tiger safaris, or 7 days in the Rajasthan region for desert scenery and magnificent palaces and forts.

If you focus on the south, you could consider 2–3 days in Mumbai for an insight into the lives of the rich and poor as well as Bollywood, 5–10 days in Kerala for backwaters and tiger safaris, and 5–10 days in Tamil Nadu for temples and historical immersion.

For a well-rounded experience, you could also consider traveling from the north to the south. Spend 1 week in the Golden Triangle, then 2–3 days in Mumbai, and conclude your trip in Goa for 3–4 days of beach relaxation.

Choosing an India Itinerary for a Luxury Trip

If you're seeking luxury experiences during your first visit to India, North India is the top choice, particularly the Golden Triangle (Delhi–Agra–Jaipur) and Rajasthan region. If historical North India is not really for you, the landscape-filled south, such as the Kerala region, is a great alternative.

To showcase incredible and unique royal experiences, we've specially crafted a classic 2-week luxury itinerary covering North India. Contact us and we'll tailor-make an exclusive itinerary per your specific interests.

2-Week Luxury India Tour

  • Days 1–2: Delhi city tour
  • Days 3–4: Fly to Varanasi, Varanasi sightseeing with a sunset boat ride on the Ganges, and fly to Delhi.
  • Days 5–6: Drive to Agra, Agra sightseeing including a visit to the Taj Mahal alongside an Indian clothing experience, and rooftop drinks.
  • Days 7–8: Drive from Agra to Ranthambore and enjoy private tiger safaris at sunrise and sunset.
  • Days 9–11: Drive to Jaipur, go sightseeing, enjoy high tea inside the City Palace, and interact with elephants.
  • Days 12–13: Fly to Udaipur, have a city tour with an exclusive boat ride on Lake Pichola, and enjoy a lakeside candlelit dinner.
  • Day 14: Back to Delhi
India luxury tour map

On this 2-week luxury tour, you would stay at diverse luxurious hotels with unique experiences, from palatial hotels to a luxury tented camp and colonial-style resorts.

To truly indulge in the real India, you could dress up like an Indian to visit the iconic Taj Mahal, take private tiger safaris with glamping experiences, and partake in a regal journey in a vintage car circling Lake Pichola.

Fine dining experiences are not to be missed. You could have a rooftop breakfast watching a sunrise over the Ganges, enjoy afternoon tea in a royal palace, and have a lakeside candlelit dinner together with your loved one.

If your time is limited, you could consider an all-inclusive luxury train journey to effortlessly tour the essential highlights without changing hotels. See our 7-Day Maharajas' Express Luxury Train Tour.

If you're more interested in South India, check out the itinerary of the 12-Day Historical and Idyllic South India Tour.

How Much Is a Luxury India Trip?

Compared with luxury trips in Western countries, India is a good-value destination. For example, the daily cost of a private luxury trip in Italy in the peak season would start from US$1,800 per person, while you could expect the same trip in India to start from just US$900 per person. You could benefit from a 30–40% decrease in the low season (April to September) in India.

Typically, with luxury trips to India, 40% of the cost goes toward palace heritage hotels. To stretch your budget wisely, consider picking one or two palatial stays that captivate you, and then explore deluxe options from international brands to local boutique hotels.

For further insights into pricing details, you could check out our 2-Week Luxury India Tour, priced at US$5,859 each.

Best Times to Visit India

Best Time to Visit India

With pleasantly warm, dry, and sunny weather, December to February is the best time of year to travel throughout most of India, except for the chilly Himalayan and Ladakh regions. Hot temperatures hit most of the country from late March to May. Then, the monsoon prevails from June to September in northern India (including Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur) and extends to mid-December in the south (such as in Goa and Kerala).

With the best weather comes larger crowds. If you seek good weather with fewer crowds, you could consider early March, October, and November in North India, and March in South India. They are also the best times to experience traditional Indian festivals, as Holi falls in March and Diwali is celebrated in November.

Exploring India with Us

As one of the leading tour companies in Asia, we have been providing travel services for more than 20 years to thousands of satisfied customers. To fulfill your South Asia travel dreams, let us know your requirements and interests for a tailor-made tour of India.

Here are some popular itineraries for your reference:

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