5 Things to guide you in planning your Bhutan Holiday
The ultimate Bhutan travel package list.
#1 Reserving your air tickets.
Send your details and get your reservation confirmed!
Reserving your ticket is the easiest step, simply send us your details and we will send you a reservation confirmation for free which lasts for 30 days. Alternatively, if you have chosen a travel agent, your travel agent will make the reservation for your planned trip to enjoy the Bhutan holiday.
#2 Obtaining Your Visa
Get a valid Visa to board Drukair flights
Obtaining your Visa to Bhutan is not a major issue. Bhutan does not operate any embassy where you apply for Visa, as your visa can only be applied by a registered travel agent in Bhutan. That means you don’t have to fill out lengthy forms. The Bhutan Visa can only be issued to you after you have made full payment. Please note that you must have a valid Bhutanese Visa to board Drukair flights.
#3 Choosing Travel Agent
Finding the best travel agency in Bhutan means enjoying the hassle-free trip or get the best experiences while in Bhutan.
You will be spoilt for choice in choosing a company to travel with. There are over 1,000 Bhutan agents to choose from and most of the high end travel agencies in your country offer Bhutan travel packages as well. When choosing your agents, consider:
a. Local Travel Agencies in Bhutan vs. International Agencies
Some of the larger travel agencies, like us, have agencies in India, UK or Singapore. We recommend choosing agents with representation abroad, especially in countries with a regulated travel industry.This will be of help if you end up in a situation where there is a conflict of disagreement to be resolved.
Or, you can consider using a local agency in your country. They mediate between the local Bhutanese agent and you. This is the most convenient option for you. The price of a trip to enjoy Bhutan Holidays is regulated, so it will not see a huge difference between the price of the local agent in Bhutan and the price of your agent.
b. Other criteria in choosing a travel agency
Price is one of the most common factors when choosing a travel agency. However, we do not recommend using price as a comparison tool.. If you are already spending USD 3,000 on the package, would you choose a lower quality agent simply because it is offering a USD 100 discount? That would risk the remaining USD 2900 invested on a trip of a lifetime. Some other criteria that you may be want to look into are:
i. The quality of guides – Of the more than 1,000 companies registered in Bhutan, most agencies only serve a few people each year. Around half are not allowed to serve guests in a given year. Only about 100 agencies serve more than 10 travelers per year and fewer than 30 more serve 100+ travelers per year which means most agencies use freelance tour guides and not many of them have permanent tour guides on their payroll. This can make a difference in your experience as permanent guides would have more chance and experience in guiding travelers.
ii. Choice of Hotels – There are currently around 300 hotels in Bhutan. The New hotels are clean and well designed while some hotels are older and may not be well maintained. Others may be old but may have historical value. You can also consider upgrading to 5-star hotels or choose to visit TripAdvisor. Note that not every agency will be updating you with the hotels that you are booked on, so you may not have the chance to choose your hotel.
Out of the windows of the best places to stay in Bhutan you’ll see the real reason many people come here
iii. Response time – Regular posters on forums such as TripAdvisor frequently suggest that you send an email to ten agencies and choose the one that responds immediately. This is not incorrect, but it does not provide the entire picture. Salespeople are motivated to close transactions as fast as possible since their commission and bottom line are at stake.
They may not respond to you as soon as you send your money for the trip. If you read about someone’s traumatic vacation experience on a travel forum, you’ll be aware of such risks. Unfortunately, there is no way to determine how trustworthy an agent is prior to making a reservation.
4. Making Your Payment
All Bhutan tour payments must be made prior to your arrival in Bhutan.
If you have chosen to book through a travel agent based in your own country, making your payment is simple. If you choose to book through a Bhutanese travel agency, payment may be an issue. The Bank of Bhutan has direct links with a few countries’ banking institutions. This signifies that funds are transferred through a correspondent bank. The correspondent banks for banks of Bhutan are listed below.
Please keep in mind that your visa will not be given until you have made complete payment to your travel agent. This payment is held in an account with the Bhutan Tourism Council and will be released only after you have left the country. The amount deposited with TCB by your agent determines the validity of your Visa.
If they deposit $1,000, the agent will be able to issue a visa good for four nights (assuming USD 250 per night and no additional surcharge).
Because payment is held by the government, you can file a complaint with TCB if the agent fails to provide the agreed-upon service during the purchase.
It should be noted that proving that an agent has not provided the minimal service required under the contract is challenging. With the exception of flagrant fraud on the part of an agent, we have not seen many successful cases.
5. Important check-list before your trip
Most of the international airlines which serve flights to Bhutan are direct flights, which take you to your destination in a matter of few hours
The departure day is nearing, and you are finally prepared! Here are a few things you should remember to bring with you before leaving the house: your printed Drukair ticket and your Bhutan visa papers.
To learn more about Best way to get to Bhutan please visit us; www.drukheritage.com
Are you struggling to plan an ideal holiday? Click the link to learn about step by step guides to planning your ideal holiday.