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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
 
How much money should I bring with me?
 
You should expect to spend $10 each day for your dinners and miscellaneous services and tips.  Other than that, it depends on how much you intend to shop.  Shopping opportunities are ubiquitous and it's always nice to bring home gifts and souvenirs.  As a ballpark figure, we suggest $300.
 
Should I exchange my money at the airport?
 
We suggest that you change only $20 at the airport.  (The airport foreign exchange desks are open whenever the international flights come in.)  We will arrange for money exchange on our first day together at a higher rate than the airport offers. 
 
What is the rupee/dollar exchange rate?
 
In June, 2018 it is 67 rupees to the dollar.
 
How will I get from the Chennai airport to our hotel?
 
If you like, we will arrange for a taxi to meet you and bring you to the hotel, for about $20. The driver will hold up a placard with your name on it at the airport exit. There are also "Pre-paid taxis" for under $10 available at the airport which give reliable service and provide a rich cultural experience (but sometimes too rich for someone who feels jet lagged!!)
 
Can I buy a cell phone there in India?
 
You may be able to get your American cell phone "unlocked" and purchase a sim card in India, which will allow you to make calls while you travel.  The sim cards are $10.  Alternatively you could buy a cell phone in India for use during the tour, and the cost would be around $25.  Buying a phone or  a sim card may take a couple hours - be forewarned that you will have to fill out a lot of forms and provide a passport photo - even then another visit may be required to get the phone to work properly.  Alternatively you can use Whatsapp.
 
Will the food be terribly spicey?
 
Along the way you will surely meet some foods that will make you cry -- that's part of the India experience!  However, the hotels and restaurants we've chosen all have a number of items on their menus that are mild, and most of them have a few Western food options as well.

OM SHANTHI, SHANTHI, SHANTHI
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