Travelling to India in December
December and January are the busiest months for international tourism in India. Since most countries offer holidays during those months, you can expect most travel hotspots to be packed with tourists. The following article should give you a realistic understanding of travel in India during the month of December.
Weather in India during December
The weather can drastically differ between North and South India. North India can be pleasant to cold during the month of December. South India is wonderful during December i.e. sunny, dry and warm, but not hot or humid. The first half of December is usually still not very cold for North India. Days would be sunny and warm in the mid 20’s C (75 F), the nights would be in the upper teens (18C/65 F). Overall, weather wise still a good time to be in North India. During the second half of December it can get chilly at night. Temperatures can drop to or under 10 C (55 F) and heating facilities in Indian hotels are very uncommon. (Unless you are staying at upper end luxury hotels.)
Hotel bookings in December?
It is advisable to book your hotels in advance during the month of December. First choice hotels get booked out pretty early. Ideally try and make your hotel bookings by August or September to really get hotels of your choice. Nonetheless, you can still manage hotel bookings through October and November, but options start getting increasingly limited. Note – Hotels in South India and Goa charge a peak season supplement for bookings from Dec 20th to Jan 10th. This usually does not seem to be the case with hotels in North India. (Although some hotels in North India do charge a peak season supplement too)
Train, flight and bus tickets in December
- The rule for train tickets in India is always ‘book as early as possible’. Train ticket bookings open 60 days before travel date. (for shorter train rides it is 30 days before travel date).
- As an international tourist you can avail train ticket bookings under Foreigners quota. However, these seats are limited too and can be difficult to obtain during the months of December and January.
- Flight prices will soar closer to travel dates and it’s advisable to book well in advance.
- Bus tickets can usually be booked pretty last minute too. However, Indian roads do not always offer a very smooth ride. Buses take longer and are low on comfort. None the less, bus travel between places is always an option that can be used even last minute.
Travelling to India in December – useful tips
- Delhi and Agra can be blanketed under a layer of fog in the mornings towards the second half of December. This usually means, you cannot view Taj Mahal very well at the break of dawn. Trains and flights can be delayed and road travel would be slower.
- Goa in December? Book a hotel well in advance – ideally 6 months or more in advance. Same applies for beach destinations in Kerala
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