Want to avoid the same old, same old tour operators and their conveyor belt
tourism? Want an affordable, custom-made holiday in the most beautiful
part of India? You have come to the right place.

Backwater canoeing
Photo by Saad Faruque
Kathakali preparations
Photo by Abhijit Patil
Tea pickers in Munnar
Photo by Julia Maudlin
Holy tree in Thekkady
Photo by Nitin G

About

Often cheaper, always better

Simply Kerala is a Kerala based independent tour operator owned by Sarah (British) and Morten (Danish). For a number of reasons, we decided to expand our business from running eco retreat, Indhrivanam, to arranging holidays in Kerala for Indians and non-Indians.

Firstly, we feel that Kerala is one of the great destinations of India: it is safe, the locals are friendly, the climate is generally agreeable (especially in the hill areas), there is still unspoilt nature, lots of activities and attractions are available, and because Kerala is geographically small but varied it is very easy to cover a number of very different locations in a short space of time. Secondly, we have lived and travelled extensively in Kerala since 2006, and with our experience of Kerala and tourism in Kerala, we think we are in unique position to arrange holidays in Kerala. Thirdly, we have first-hand experience of how tour operators usually arrange holidays. And it is not always a pretty sight.

We hope that our transparent approach means we are able to create custom-made holidays that are enjoyable, frustration free, and memorable for all the right reasons.
more about Simply Kerala

Booking

It really is quite simple...

The procedure for booking a holiday through Simply Kerala is described below. The information is quite important, so if you are considering booking a holiday through Simply Kerala, please spend a moment going through the following points.

1) Check our website to learn about the locations and activities we recommend. Based on our client questionnaire we will make recommendations concerning locations, places to stay and activities.

2) Contact us via email in English, German, Swedish, Norwegian or Danish. Any questions are welcome. You are also welcome to call us. We will reply with a link to our online client questionnaire which is crucial for us to be able to create a custom-made holiday.

3) We will confirm fairly quickly after receiving the questionnaire back from you (usually within 24 hours) whether or not we are able to arrange a holiday for you.

4) If both parties are happy to proceed, you have to pay the service charge at this point. Simply Kerala is different from most tour operators in that our income is entirely based on our clients paying a service charge. We don't accept travel agent's commission (TAC) from accommodations, but we try our best to receive a discount that is passed on in its entirety to our clients. All clients receive an itemised bill where all charges and discounts are clearly listed. One downside to creating custom-made holidays is that a lot of work is required in the early phases: we have to analyse the client questionnaire, create optimum routes, contact accommodations etc. TAC based tour operators have almost no work in the preliminary phases as the routes and accommodations are always the same. We are aware we are operating in a sector that has a reputation on par with politicians, bankers and lawyers, and that it requires some trust from our potential clients to pay a service charge at this early stage, but that is, unfortunately, how it has to be. The service charge is based on the length of the holiday and the number of people in your group, and is calculated as follows. For groups of 1 or 2 people, the 1st night is charged at INR 3000, the 2nd night at INR 900, the 3rd night at INR 800, the 4th night at INR 700, the 5th night at INR 600, and the 6th and subsequent nights at INR 500 per night. This means that, as an example, the service charge for a 6 nights/7 days holiday is INR 7000, and the service charge for a 12 nights/13 days holiday is INR 10000. For groups of more than 2 people, the charge is 15% extra per person more than 2. In addition, a 5% government tax is added to the total.

5) We create an itinerary based on the information supplied in the client questionnaire with optimum route and transport planning, suggested locations, accommodations and activities.

6) You evaluate the itinerary and make requests and suggestions for changes.

7) We finalise the itinerary, make a bill, and book and pay for the accommodation, activities and transport. At this point, around 50% of the total price of the tour has to be paid in advance. The amount to pay in advance depends entirely on the policies of the accommodations and the chosen activities. The remaining 50% (more or less depending on how much was paid initially) must be paid 5-10 days (depending on payment method) before the tour starts as accommodations usually require that payment in full is made before their guests arrive.

8) Before the start of your holiday you will receive an interactive pdf of 50-100 pages with information, maps, recommendations, links etc. You can download an extract for the Madurai part of a recent tour (4.6mb).

Cancellations: when a client cancels a holiday booked through Simply Kerala, the service charge is non-refundable. Payments made for accommodation, activities and transport are refundable to the extent the service providers provide refunds.

Payments: we have extensive experience with different payment methods, and are happy to advise on the method most suitable for your situation. Payments made to Simply Kerala are, in some cases, levied a transaction fee to cover the costs associated with the payment method.

Policies: if you are interested, you are welcome to take a closer look at our formalised policies, i.e. our Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy, Pricing Policy and Refund Policy. The policies cover the various activities that our company, Tiptoe Travel and Tourism Pvt. Ltd., are engaged in.

(The barred jungle owlet above was photographed by Sandeep Gangadharan)

Contact

Are you ready to make a booking? Any questions?

Write to Morten at mail@simplykerala.in or call Sarah on +91 96 33 11 06 45

or send us a post card at Indhrivanam, Valiyapara Road, Chakkupallam P.O., Kumily 685509, Kerala, India



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