Have a read through our Frequently Asked Questions
IS THIS A BACKPACKER’S EXPERIENCE OF INDIA? HOW ABOUT JAPAN?
No, not at all. Divine Mother India is a premium offering with luxury and boutique hotel accommodation, flights instead of trains and private transfers and coaches. The Living in Alignment Retreat is a comfortable retreat centre with modern facilities. The Art of Femininity Cultural Yoga Holiday to Japan is luxury accommodation in Western and Japanese style.
ARE THE PLACES THAT WE STAY AT REASONABLY COMFORTABLE?
Yes extremely! On Divine Mother India our hotel in Delhi is 5 star luxury, with boutique hotel’s in Varanasi and Bodhgaya. For Living in Alignment we stay at a charming family run guest house for the first two nights and the retreat centre has been built to cater to foreigners so it is extremely clean and comfortable with plenty of hot water and Western toilets. For the Art of Femininity Japan the arrival hotel is a modern business hotel at Kansai Airport, the hotel in Kyoto is boutique luxury and the traditional Japanese Inn is of a very high standard.
DOES THE PRICE INCLUDE FLIGHTS TO INDIA/JAPAN?
No, the price excludes international flights. For Divine Mother India two domestic flights from Delhi to Varanasi and Gaya to Delhi fare included. For Living in Alignment one domestic flight from Kochi to Calicut is included.
HOW IS PERSONAL INFORMATION USED BY BELINDA O’DEA?
IS THE PROGRAM PRICED PER PERSON?
Yes the price is per person on twin share basis. You will paired in a room with another woman unless you decide to bring a friend and naturally you would share with them. There is also an option to pay a Single Supplement on each of the programs and have your own room.
CAN I PAY ON MY CREDIT CARD?
Yes absolutely, you can pay on your credit via Transferwise or PayPal. Please note that PayPal will incur a credit card surcharge.
I KNOW NUMBERS ARE LIMITED, HOW CAN I SECURE MY PLACE?
You can secure your place by either paying a deposit of AUD$900 or the full amount.
DO I NEED A VISA FOR INDIA/JAPAN AND HOW SOON SHOULD I ORGANISE IT?
For India most nationalities require a visa to enter. India now has an E-TOURIST visa system where you can organise and pay for your visa online, print it out and be granted a visa on arrival. You only need to organise this a maximum of 2 – 3 weeks before the trip commences. Applying for the visa too early may cause it to expire before you arrive in India. For Japan most nationalities do not require a visa.
CAN I BRING A FRIEND?
Off course you can. Many women opt to travel with their mother, daughter, sister or friend so that they have an automatic room mate and someone special to share the experience with. It is also a great way to celebrate a BIG birthday!
WHY DO I NEED COMPREHENSIVE TRAVEL INSURANCE AND IS IT COMPULSORY?
India is still a developing country and in order to safeguard yourself in a group travel program it is mandatory that you organise comprehensive travel insurance. This will ensure that if you happen to get sick, have an accident or lose your luggage or passport that you will be fully supported and covered. Comprehensive Travel Insurance will also ensure that your costs are covered should you need to cancel for any reason.
DO YOU NEED TO BE EXPERIENCED AT PRACTICING YOGA?
No, not at all. We have all levels of practitioners join this group travel experience. An interest in Yoga is a must but experience can be anywhere from beginners through to advanced. All levels of practitioners will gain benefit from learning about and practising all of the branches of Yoga in it’s homeland. Yoga Teacher’s are also very welcome.
HOW SPIRITUAL DO I NEED TO BE?
An interest or curiosity in Spirituality is all you need. Off course if you consider yourself deeply spiritual then this trip will feel like a calling. The only essential is that you have an open heart and mind.
IS THERE ANY FREE TIME?
All of the activities, apart from getting on flights are optional. We have a little free time on some days and a lot on other days. The program’s have been designed with time and space allocated for you to absorb the activities and experiences on offer.
HOW MUCH EXTRA MONEY WILL I NEED?
For Divine Mother India AUD$50 per day extra will be plenty for meals, tips, drinks and snacks. For Living in Alignment all activities, food and medicine is included so there will be virtually no extra costs unless you decide to shop in Kochi, take home Ayurvedic medicines or opt for an extra massage. For Japan it will depend on the level of dining that you choose for the evenings but you can easily cover meals for AUD$50 per day.
HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL BE IN THE GROUP?
There is a maximum of 13 participants and 1 tour leader with a local guide, driver and driver’s assistant.
WHAT SHOULD I PACK?
A packing list with guidelines on appropriate clothing is included in your booking form as well as on a webpage that will be shared with you once you sign up.
WHAT MODES OF TRANSPORT WILL WE USE?
In India we will be using private cars and coaches as well as aeroplanes for domestic flights. In Japan we will use private coaches, taxi’s, buses and trains.
I WON’T HAVE TO SHARE A BED WILL I?
No, absolutely not. The twin share accommodation is based on two separate beds.
CAN I HAVE MY OWN ROOM?
Yes, off course. If you are interested in having your own room you will be required to pay the additional Single Supplement.
WHAT IF I DON’T GET ALONG WITH MY ROOMMATE?
In this case we can discuss the options and request a swap with other group members or depending on the situation and room availability you may be able to pay for an extra room at the hotel.
SHOULD I ARRIVE THE DAY BEFORE THE PROGRAM STARTS?
As Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities are scheduled it is possible to arrive on the day. However if you are travelling from far away and jetlag will be a factor it is a great idea to arrive the day before in order to rest and recover. You can opt to pay for an extra night’s accommodation at our Delhi or Kochi hotel’s by booking directly.
CAN I ARRIVE ONE DAY EARLIER AND STILL BE PICKED UP FROM THE AIRPORT?
No, I’m sorry your private transfer is only included for Day 1 however, if you do decide to arrive early you will be able to book a private transfer directly with the hotel.
DO I NEED TO GET VACCINATIONS FOR INDIA/JAPAN?
You should consult your doctor to discuss appropriate vaccinations.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I GET SICK?
You will be supported by the Tour Leader and the Hotel Manager to organise the appropriate level of care and help.
WHAT IF I DON’T FEEL LIKE GETTING UP EARLY OR PARTICIPATING IN SOME OF THE ACTIVITIES?
It is your holiday so it is totally up to you if you would like to have a sleep in and join group activities later on.
WHAT IF I EXPERIENCE OVERWHELM?
You will be supported by the Tour Leader, our Local Guides and the other group members to feel safe and comfortable in adapting to your new environment.
WHAT IF I PAY FOR THE TRIP AND SOMETHING UNEXPECTED COMES UP AND I CAN’T MAKE IT?
You need to purchase Comprehensive Travel Insurance that cover’s trip cancellation.
WHAT TIME SHOULD I ARRANGE MY FLIGHT FOR THE LAST DAY?
This will depend on which program you have signed up for. Please refer to the full itinerary provided for relevant details.
CAN YOU ARRANGE AN EXTRA NIGHT AT THE HOTEL BEFORE THE PROGRAM STARTS?
As an individual, you will receive a much more competitive rate by booking directly.
CAN YOU ARRANGE AN EXTRA NIGHT AT A HOTEL NEAR THE AIRPORT WHEN THE PROGRAM ENDS?
No, but I can provide you the contact details of recommended hotels close to the Airport and you can book directly.
CAN YOU ARRANGE ONWARD TRAVEL?
Once you sign up there will be a list of suggested onward travel and you can make arrangements separately.
CAN I LEAVE MY NON-VALUABLE LUGGAGE AT THE HOTEL?
Yes you can leave your non-valuable luggage at the hotel in Delhi, Kochi or Osaka provided you are prepared to return to the hotel as soon as the program ends to pick up your luggage.
SHOULD I TRAVEL WITH A SUITCASE OR A BACKPACK?
It is totally up to you. A medium sized suitcase will suffice. Please be aware that there is a 15kg weight limit for domestic travel within India and any excess baggage will be your personal responsibility. In Japan transportation is small so luggage will be limited to one suitcase and one handbag per person.
DO I NEED TO TIP?
Yes, India is a very poor country and every person that you come in contact with and offers you some kind of service will expect a tip. Because of this we will use a group tipping system. In Japan tips are not required.
IS THERE A WAITING LIST?
No, there are a maximum of 13 places on each of the offering’s and the program’s close once the places are filled.
HAVE YOU BEEN TO ALL OF THESE PLACES BEFORE?
Yes, I have travelled extensively within India and Japan and have travelled to all of these cities many times before. I also speak Japanese fluently.
WHAT IS YOUR MOTIVATION FOR RUNNING THESE PROGRAM’S?
In India it’s to share the transformational experience of practising Yoga in its homeland and experiencing first hand the Spirituality that is embedded in the ancient rituals of daily life. In Japan it’s to share the depth and beauty of such a refined, slow and feminine culture embedded with beauty, aesthetic and rich cultural heritage.
CAN I STILL COME IF I AM NEW TO YOGA AND SPIRITUALITY?
Yes, absolutely. This is an open forum for anyone that is lit up by the content of the program. It is recommended however that you begin to take Yoga and Meditation lessons in preparation for the trip. A beginner’s mindset is something that I encourage in all participants no matter what level of your experience.
WHERE DO MOST OF THE PROGRAM PARTICIPANTS COME FROM?
All over the world!
WHAT IF I’M SCARED TO TRAVEL ALONE?
That’s why this is a brilliant option. Travelling as a group of women together is the safest option for experiencing India with ease and the most enjoyable option for exploring Japan without having to worry about the language barrier and cultural nuances.
WHAT IF I’M SCARED TO FLY ALONE?
If another woman on the program is coming from the same location as you I will introduce you and hopefully you can tee up to fly together. Otherwise invite a friend or family member to accompany you.
I’M NOT SURE I CAN COMMIT TO THIS RIGHT NOW, WILL THERE BE OTHER OPPORTUNITIES TO ATTEND?
Yes please sign up for my newsletter to stay informed of future program dates.
YOUR QUESTION WASN’T ANSWERED?
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