If you have already decided that Andamans is your next destination for travel, you probably
would not want any risks to be taken with your numbered days. Let us take you through a
set of guidelines to be followed making your travel safe and hassle free
Step 1: Decide on the type of vacation you want to have
This comes down to the intent of your trip or the type of traveller you are. You could go for a leisure trip, it could be your honeymoon, a solo trip or a family get together.
Trip for the romantics:
Look out for Havelock+Neil as the highlight of your honeymoon tour. Make sure you keep Port Blair on the lesser end, giving it a day or two depending upon your duration of stay. If you are looking at say, 4 days, you may keep one day for Port Blair and spend the rest of your days along secluded island shores and shady palm trees of Havelock, Neil promising island aloofness and tranquility.
Split equally between Port Blair, Havelock and Neil. This would be a mix of history, culture
and adventure. Look out for accommodations with private pools or book party spaces in
Look up and book the activities in advance. This may include snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking, parasailing, sea walking and trekking. Since Andamans is best known for its rich marine life and coral reefs, make sure you take a shot at scuba diving indefinitely. This can be done at Havelock, Neil & Port Blair. If you are an experienced scuba diver, you may want to check out remote locations such as Barren Island. These need to be booked at least 2 months in advance as the issuance of permits may take longer time.
The best thing about going solo is that you can go at your own pace and explore lesser known places like Little Andaman & Rutland, Long Island, Ross & Smith. One resorts to exploring little villages and cultures existing since time immemorial, going backwards in time to attain self actualization. If you are onto Neil and Havelock, by all means, just go for it! It gives you an equally enthralling experience
Step 2: Jot down the budget
Your budget determines the hotel/resort you book, the activities you undertake or the restaurants you visit.
If you are on a tight budget, please note the following:
- It is always better to cut down on Port Blair and look out for the best possible resort/hotel in Havelock or Neil that comes under your budget in order to enjoy an
- Allocate a minimum budget of Rs 10,000 per person. You would get the opportunity to break the monotony of the resort every two days in a 4-5 days Andaman itinerary and partake in various activities.
- Keep aside an amount of Rs 7,000 per person so that you may go shack hopping and taste exotic delicacies.
Step 3: Choose the number of days
The best possible duration for any vacation would be seven days aka, a week. Anything less feels like a rush combined with a constant dread that the vacation is getting over before it has even started. If you have certain time constraints or budget limitations, a 4 to 5 days itinerary would be most delightful.
Step 4: Best time for travel
Andamans is a tropical island destination with constant drizzles all year round giving a cooling effect. However, heavy downpours have proven to be a deal breaker for many unless you are the kind of person who likes to go with the flow and relies solely on your spirit to make the best of your holiday. The peak season in Andaman is from December to January.
Step 5: How to book?
- Flights first, ferries next
It is better to book your flights at least 2 months in advance, especially during the peak season. This is a must for hassle free travel or avoidance of last minute discrepancies as it may lead to unavailability or huge surge in prices. Book privately owned ferries online. This must be done at least a month before travel as there are a limited number of ferries, hence limited number of tickets. You do not want to be stuck at the last minute. There are various tour operators which help you with the booking process. The government owned ferries are mostly reserved for localites and the counters open 2-3 days before departure. You need to get in a queue for the same. It’s best to avoid such hassles. Book the last slot from Port Blair. It leaves at 1 pm. While returning, book the earliest slot so that you reach Veer Savarkar Airport in time for your departure.
- Booking the hotels
Andamans is popular for its white pristine beaches and blue waters. It offers the best stay at Neil and Havelock, which is why this can’t be said enough; more of Neil & Havelock and less of Port Blair. Though Port Blair has its own desirable locations, Neil and Havelock is where you need to be. It’s important to decide whether you wish to be in a crowded place or an isolated one. Though most people on short trips prefer to stay around the buzz, if an offbeat path is what you are craving for, you need only ask. It goes without saying that beach side hotels offer better views in the midst of natural beauty. Make sure you book resorts which promise the best experience. Having a pool is a plus no matter where you go. It has an intoxicating vibe. Nothing is better than putting our legs in the water and having a chilled beer!
- Booking the activities
Indulge in more adventurous activities like kayaking, trekking, scuba diving. Make sure that you book well in advance so as to get the best experiences without much hassle. This goes particularly for the peak season of December and January. Book a maximum of two activities per day so that you don’t overexert yourself and enjoy a soothing experience.
Do’s and Don’ts
- Some important things to carry in your travel bag would be a pair of sunglasses, sunscreen, flip flops, light cotton clothes, hat, camera, wet bag for wet clothes, swimsuits, a light cardigan for chilly weather and insect repellent for mosquitoes. You may also carry a pack of cards for having a fun time or a book for a good read on the shore.
- Please cease yourself from carrying high heels, warm clothes, heavy jewellery or laptops while on the beach.
- 3. You do not need to carry an international sim card and get good connectivity on
Airtel, BSNL and Vodafone service providers.
- 4. Though there are a good number of ATMs in Port Blair, and a couple in Neil &
Havelock, not all the places accept card payment. It is best to make your payments through hard cash or digital payments as is required for most restaurants, water sports activities and shopping in the local markets