Kerala Travel Guide

Congratulations on booking your next amazing vacation to the scenic state known as God’s own country, Kerala. Located on the Malabar Coast in Southern India, Kerala is a tropical paradise with stunning beaches, rolling mountain ranges, exotic backwaters, teeming wildlife and the most vibrant of cultures. There’s so much to be excited about but we know that there are always some travel jitters to address. 

This step-by-step guide is put together to help you do just that, in a simple and convenient way. Think of it like an informative travel check-list that answers any queries you may have as well as prompt you with all the necessities you must take care of, before your departure. 

 

Two Weeks Prior

Let’s begin with some of the probable questions you may have before taking this trip to Kerala.

What Are The Important Documents Required For This Journey?

Since this isn’t an international journey, you do not need a passport or visa documentation for Indian na-tionals.

But you will still need:

1. Photo/adress ID proof like driver’s license or Pan/Adhaar Card for airport entry and hotel check-in

2. Tickets in print and soft-copies 

 

What Should You Pack?

  • Light beach wear or warm weather clothes 
  • Comfortable hiking or walking shoes and beach sandals
  • Rain-proof or wind-proof jacket  
  • Reading material
  • Sunglasses, sun block and bug repellent 

What Is The Maximum Luggage Allowed By Airlines?

For domestic flights, your luggage should generally weigh not more than:

  • 7 kgs for hand luggage 
  • 15 kgs for check-in bags

However, various carriers could have different baggage allowance rules so it’s best you check on their website to be sure.

 

Two To Three Days Before The Trip

Foreign Currency

You do not need any foreign exchange as the Indian Rupee is the local currency.

Power Banks And Adapters

Most plugs should work in the available sockets around Kerala, but it is always better to carry an adapter just in case. Even though there are power outlets in all your places of visit across the state, it is still advisa-ble to carry a power bank to charge your electronics in an emergency or while you’re on the move. 

Toiletries

  • Toothbrush & toothpaste, preferably your own for hygiene purposes
  • Sunscreen & moisturiser for skin protection from the coastal sun
  • Shampoo & conditioner that suit your hair type
  • Your personal hair comb or brush 
  • Face and body wash that suit your skin
  • Hand sanitiser to stay protected from any germs you may be exposed to

Clothes

  • Light, breezy summer clothes or resort wear 
  • Swimsuits, sarongs and shorts for the beach or poolside
  • Comfy hiking shoes as well as sandals or flip flops
  • A hat or cap for daytime use
  • Rain or wind proof jacket

Medicines

Create your own travel first-aid kit with the following items:

  • Pain killers
  • Antiseptic cream
  • Safety pins
  • Crepe bandage
  • Skin cream
  • Cough & cold medicines
  • Allergy medication 

The Day Of Travel

Food

The flight to Kerala is only a few hours long so you needn’t necessarily carry any packaged food with you on the craft. The airport and airline have options to purchase light snacks if need be.

Important Documents

  • Valid photo ID proof to enter the airport and check into the hotel
  • A printed copy of your tickets
  • Photocopies of all important documents including travel, sightseeing arrangements, bookings etc.
  • Scanned soft-copies of all the above documents that are always accessible

Insurance

Travel insurance is an important asset when it comes to protecting yourself while holidaying, like in the case of unwanted circumstances interrupting or cutting short your trip once the bookings have been made. It allows you to recover some of your money as well as provides medical assistance and cover during the journey. Choose any of the top travel insurance companies or ask SOTC for assistance.

Important Numbers

Always keep handy the telephone numbers of the police and other emergency services as well as of any travel agents you have consulted.

Hotel Bookings

Confirm your hotel bookings and insist on a receipt before you leave for your destination. Check if your hotel provides pick-up and drop-off services or ask SOTC to organise it as part of your package.

Cash / Card

Credit and debit cards are accepted across Kerala, though it is always good to carry some amount of cash when you’re out and about. Cards can be used to withdraw money at any available ATM. 

 

During The Trip

The language of Kerala is Malayalam, although most across the state speak English too, especially with tourism so popular. You shouldn’t face too much trouble getting around or communicating with locals.

Tips For Travelling In Kerala

Kerala is the dream tropical holiday you’ve been waiting for and so much more! But to really make the best of your visit, you must be prepared for what’s in store.

Getting Around:

  • There are over 6,000 buses that travel throughout the state, with thousands of schedules and stopping points. These include a mix of government buses and private inter-state buses and are quite dependable. 
  • A well-connected railway network also spans the state with some parts offering scenic views of the coast. Kochi even has its own metro.
  • You can get taxis, motorbikes on hire as well as bicycles. Or hire a private car with local driver for differ-ent rates as per your route.The main cities have Ola and Uber.

Food Culture:

  • Interestingly, Kerala food is inspired by a fusion of Malabari, French, and Arabian influences
  • Other than abundant fresh seafood, rice, coconut and tapioca, fruits like banana and mango are consid-ered staples. 
  • Average food costs for two, can vary from 500-800 INR and above, depending upon your choice of res-taurant. 

Lodging Options:

  • Kerala has a host of lodging options for every kind of budget, making it one of the best places to visit in India.
  • There are luxury hotels, premium or budget stays, private and government lodges, eco-stays and much more. 
  • A reasonable hotel room at a premium accommodation would average around 2500-3500 INR a night, though there are plenty of cheaper or more exclusive options available. 

Social Etiquette:

  • Kerala is known for its friendly nature towards tourists, though there are some customs and social behaviour expected of visitors as well.
  • There is a rich culture that spans across religions and race, the arts and expression, nature and healing — be respectful and you can experience it all. 
  • Some things to remember — when visiting religious sites, dress modestly. Always check before taking photographs at sites and monuments. Women get preference on local transport or queues. Food must be eaten with the right hand only.

When To Visit:

  • Kerala sits firmly in the tropical climate zone, with hot and humid weather throughout the year. 
  • The summers, from March to May, can be extreme and only make a good time to visit if you’re a sun-lover. 
  • There’s a heavy monsoon from June to October, which is a great time to visit if you are one for trekking, hikes and other similar activities as it is the season when nature comes alive
  • From November to February, Kerala sees a wonderful winter that’s perfect for long days of surf and sand under the wild minter sun. All other facets of the destination can also be explored during this time. 
  • The best time to visit depends on the itinerary and season preference, but there are always some exciting adventures to be had no matter when you go. 

Unmissable Experiences:

  • Kerala has so many unique sights and experiences that you simply must see, such as the Chinese fishing nets, lush tea and spice plantations, temples, colonial-era landmarks and Kathakali! 
  • Rejuvenate your senses by entering the healing world of Ayurveda, Kerala’s ancient herbal and all-natural medicinal practice. Visit a spa or centre for a treatment that will surely lift your body and mind. 
  • Dive into nature head-first — go hiking, surfing, swimming, bird watching or on a safari. Visit azure beaches, dense jungles, serene backwaters, rolling hillsides and natural reserves, the choice is yours.

Kerala In The Arts:

Kerala’s scenic beauty has often been chosen to film Bollywood movies. You might recognise sights such as the Athirappally Waterfalls of Thissur in Bahubali and Guru; the hills of Munnar in Chennai Express and the backwaters of Alleppey in Dil Se.

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