Kerala India Travel – Tips to Plan Your Trip (Part 3)

Kerala India Travel – Tips to Plan Your Trip is a multi-part series full of practical advice to consider when planning your trip to Kerala, India. Part 1 looked at the best time to visit Kerala, and what to take and wear. Part 2 focused on visas and whether it’s necessary to book in advance. In Part 3 more commonly asked questions are answered.

What’s the best way to travel around Kerala?
One of the best things about travelling around Kerala is that the state is one of the smallest in India, without the huge distances you’ll find in other parts of the country. You won’t need to travel by overnight train here, and most attractions are only a few hours apart. The main options for getting around are train, bus and rented car with driver.

Travel by Train – Train journies can be one of the highlights of travelling around India, with an extensive and pretty efficient network. It’s certainly cheap, and in the higher classes can be comfortable and spacious. The train class system is very complicated in India, so we’ll be discussing this in more detail in a later post.

Trains are the ideal way to travel along the coast between the main hubs of Trivandrum-Varkala-Kollam-Alleppey-Kochi and further North to Kozhikode and Kannur. Most of these journies are short and pass by beautiful Keralan scenery.

Travel by Bus – Trains are always more comfortable than buses in India, but aren’t an option in all parts on Kerala. To reach the popular tourist destinations of Munnar and Periyar you’ll need to travel up the winding roads by bus or car.

Buses from Kochi-Munnar or Periyar take 5-6 hours, and may be delayed, but the trip is very cheap. The journey is much quicker (3-4 hours) by car, but obviously this costs much more.

Travel by Car – A good option if you aren’t on a tight budget is hiring a car and driver (self-drive isn’t recommended on the crazy Indian roads). This is costly compared to public transport, but still affordable. This is a good idea if you are on a short trip and want to visit quite a few different places. You’ll also have the option to stop off at attractions between destinations.

You can choose to hire a car for your entire trip, or just to take you from one place to another.

How do I exchange money?
There are plenty of ATMs in all of the larger towns in Kerala – just stock up before you travel to the smaller villages and backwaters. There are also plenty of moneychangers who can change most major currencies.

Do I need to take malaria medication?
This is a difficult question to answer as experts differ on whether malaria medication is necessary for Kerala or not. You should visit your doctor or travel clinic to get the latest advice.

If you do decide to take malaria medication, it is readily available without a prescription in Kerala pharmacies, at much cheaper prices than abroad.

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4 Responses to “Kerala India Travel – Tips to Plan Your Trip (Part 3)”

  1. […] take and wear. Part 2 focuses on visas and whether it’s necessary to book in advance, while Part 3 discusses transport, money and […]

  2. KA says:

    I received a 2 week trip to India as a gift for next year. I am enjoying greatly your advice and information. I wanted to see Kerala for one week as well as either Delhi, Kokhatta or Mumbai area for one week. Would you recommend one of these as well as an itinerary?

  3. Erin says:

    I would recommend Mumbai as it’s much nearer and is a really interesting city. You can chose one of these 1 week itineraries in Kerala, depending on your interests.

  4. […] Tips To Plan Your Trip Part 3 –  Transport, money and malaria. […]