Make Your Next Trip Extraordinary

Mike and Marie Keefe | November 21, 2023

Our visit to Northern India (New Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Sardargarh, Udaipur and Varanasi) was extremely well planned by Sanjay Saxena and well executed by his team in India. Our guide, Shaitan Singh, was excellent—very knowledgeable and very proud of his country. He educated us on the various customs and regional attire as well as the history and culture. We were also fascinated by the traffic and street scenes as we had never seen anything like those: cars, buses, scooters, bikes, trailers on both bikes and scooters, people, cows and dogs all negotiating the same streets. We also enjoyed celebrating Diwali in a small village—Sardargarh. It was my first trip to India, but we would gladly return.

PANDEMIC TRAVEL  Sanjay made our trip truly the trip of a lifetime. We could have never ever on our own crafted such an amazing itinerary and been connected to such wonderful local guides and great rooms at hotels without him.

As context, I started trying to plan this India trip by myself, but got a bit overwhelmed by how to do pull it all together—drivers, tours, what’s good, what’s not? That’s when I reached out to Sanjay and felt a weight drop off my shoulder. He intimately knew the area and was wonderful about talking us through each piece of the itinerary. There happened to be a large Buddhist festival happening in a more remote town in the region while we were visiting. There is ZERO chance we would have found out about it just through our own internet research—Sanjay was chatting with a friend on the ground there who knew about it—and it was incredible. Seriously, a few of our local guides are folks we’ve already stayed in touch with and feel like friends.

In addition to the perfect itinerary and people we were matched with, Sanjay was great at helping us adapt on the fly when my husband got sick (through no fault of the itinerary!). Sanjay was available and responsive as we made changes. He was always thinking a few steps ahead and had us feeling very calm during what could have been a stressful situation. Sanjay was the perfect match for us!

With very short notice– less than 2 weeks, Sanjay orchestrated an very detailed agenda and accommodations in one of a kind palaces, hotels and country retreat. To be sure, we had the trip of a lifetime in GoldenTriangle, he walked us through every step and also recommended activities to match our interests. He also recommended a travel guide who traveled with us 8 days. He was so personable, very knowledgeable about the culture and history of all the areas we visited, and he led us through each step with grace and helpfulness- tipping key people along the way to facilitate our travel and make us feel special. He even bought us insect repellent, supplied drinks and snacks, and made sure we stopped at clean and hygienic restrooms along the travel. We visited a country retreat where they taught us cricket, planned a dinner with cultural dances and we had time to visit with local children at their library. Sanjay orchestrated the agenda and the guide made sure we were treated like maha ( kings)! Dinner accomodations at top restaurants and even a book to read to enhance the trip about Jaipur’s royal family! Its was an amazing experience! We also had a driver who was terrific and a second guide for one day of touring as we returned to Delhi before we departure home– he was PHD in history of Islamic culture also incredibly knowledgeable about life in India! The travel agency he used in India met with twice for dinner to welcome us in the beginning of our travels and at the end to send us home! They co-ordinated and worked together through out the trip! A fabulous trip we will always remember! Thank you to Sanjay- WOW expert, Shaitan and Sandeep our guides, the drivers Umi and Ravi, and Anjali, Rajat and Pankaj, who oversaw our entire experience in country!

Sanjay planned an excellent trip to India for myself and a friend, and I had my 69th birthday while there. He came up with some interesting stops–a houseboat trip through the backwaters of Kerala; a visit to a kathakali dance demonstration; including time to watch the actors put on their make up (truly one of the most amazing highlights of our trip, who knew?); and a visit to a University professor’s house for dinner where she demonstrated a Kerala curried chicken dish. I got flowers for my birthday and a fantastic chocolate cake while in Kolkata! Sanjay managed to get us from southern India, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, to northern Rajasthan to see Jaipur and Keoladeo National park (fabulous bird sanctuary) with excellent guides, drivers and good flight connections in just 12 days. He worked with me on hotels and made suggestions, all of which we very good, including the excellent Oberoi in Kolkata. When some hotels weren’t available, he found others, sometimes having to change our destination because of lack of accommodations. I have travelled to India before (celebrated my 50th birthday there) and even though I travel extensively and usually do my own planning, I would have found it difficult to put together as stellar a trip as Sanjay did for me and my friend. While there were a couple of places I wouldn’t go again, it was interesting to see what we did. Our schedule included Fort Kochi, Kerala, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, Jaipur, Bharatapur and Kolkata.

Sanjay’s company sent us extensive information on what to pack, what to wear, medications and first aid to include (e.g. think Pepto Bismol), a reading list and complete day to day itineraries. Plus a book written by the Maharani of Jaipur who chronicled the rise and fall of the maharajas in northern India, particularly Jaipur. In fact, we stayed in one of the former maharajah’s palaces where the maharani had lived. (My husband even says, after seeing the itinerary that next time he might like to go!) All the in-country staff that accompanied us or took care of us (on the houseboat for example) were wonderful. From the guides to the drivers to the men who helped us navigate the airports when we checked in and arrived. (That part, arrival and departure assistance was a highlight and so helpful). Several times the director of the in-country travel agency who Sanjay collaborates with called to make sure everything was going okay and to see if we needed anything. When we discovered we would have a 3 hour layover at an airport and that would put us at our destination at a late hour, they changed the flight. Amazing service.

The WOW List: Best Local Travel Fixers Worldwide

by Wendy Perrin | January 22, 2023

How to Get an Extraordinary Trip: Wendy’s WOW Approach

by Wendy Perrin | January 1, 2023

Wendy Wants To Amp Up Your Trip!

by | January 1, 2023

Where and When to Travel in 2024

by | November 30, 2023

How to Get More For Your Miles and Points in 2023

by | January 31, 2023

10 Top Dream Trips for 2023

by Brook Wilkinson | February 1, 2023