International flights are not included in the tour package. You will need to purchase two international flights: from home to Trivandrum (TRV) and from Kathmandu (KTM) to home. For all guests, our arrival destination will be Trivandrum International Airport (TRV) in the Kerala state capital city of Thiruvananthapuram, formerly known as Trivandrum. Departure will depend upon whether you depart following the Sacred Sap Retreat in Kerala or whether you depart from Kathmandu following the Post Retreat Tour.
Flight Routes: Sacred Sap Retreat + Post Retreat Tour
If you are joining us for both the Sacred Sap Retreat and the Post Retreat Tour, your arrival airport will be Trivandrum International Airport (TRV) and your departing airport will be Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM). This will require two one-way bookings.
- Your nearest airport ----> Trivandrum International Airport (TRV, February 6 at 3:00am)
- Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM, February 17 after 6:00p) ----> Your nearest airport
Flight Routes: Sacred Sap Retreat Only
If you are joining us for the Sacred Sap Retreat in Kerala only (no Post Retreat Tour), your arrival airport will be Trivandrum International Airport (TRV) and your departing airport will also be Trivandrum International Airport (TRV). This can be purchased as a round trip booking.
- Your nearest airport ----> Trivandrum International Airport (TRV, February 6, 3:00am)
- Trivandrum International Airport (TRV, February 11, any time) ----> Your nearest airport
Arrival Time: February 6, 2:00-5:00am
All participants should attempt to arrive at Trivandrum International Airport (TRV) in the early morning of February 6 between the hours of 2:00 am and 5:00 am. There are many international flights arriving at TRV at this time. An early arrival allows you the needed time to get through immigration, be transported to AyurSoma by private drivers, check in, have breakfast, wait for an available room if necessary, participate in our group welcoming ceremony at 9:30 am, have your first intake consultation with staff Ayurveda doctors at the Ayurveda Centre, and to start rejuvenation treatments. It's a long morning, but guests are so excited to be in India that it's more thrilling than anything. The fresh water-coconut, the jungle beauty, the sweet Kerala people, and the crashing waves of the Arabian Sea will keep you very entertained in those first few hours. Keep in mind that things move slower in India. So relax into it and take your time. It's not unusual to be asleep by 8:00 pm on the first day.
Post Retreat Tour Departure | February 17, 6:00-11:00pm
If you are joining us for the Post Retreat Tour up north, participants should plan to depart for home out of Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM) in Kathmandu. Our departure time sweet spot is between 6:00pm and 11:00pm on Saturday, February 17.
On Saturday, February 17, the group will take a bus ride from Nagarkot to Kathmandu and KTM. We will have a final farewell at the departure terminal, then disperse to our respective international flight terminals.
It is mandatory that your home flight departs after 6:00pm on Saturday February 17. If your flight departs much later in the evening, or in the early morning hours of Sunday, February 18 (after midnight), we can arrange a room for you at the nearby hotel for you to rest, shower, nap, and have dinner while waiting for your flight. If you are interested, Kuldeep and Ritu Singh are happy to book that room for you at your own expense. Rooms are quite nice and pricing is in the ballpark of $100-120 per room. Guests can share rooms to save on the cost. You will need to hire a taxi to get to the hotel and then back to the airport.
Sacred Sap Retreat Departure | February 11
If you are not joining us for the Post Retreat Tour up north, you should plan to depart out of Trivandrum International Airport (TRV) anytime on the morning of February 11. Airport drop off is included in the retreat package.
There are dozens of airlines traveling in and out of India daily. Picking one is a personal decision. However, we have found the following airlines to be extraordinarily good: Emirates, Qatar Airways, Eithad Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Air India. Even the largest american carriers (United, Delta, American, etc) do not fly direct to TRV. You can still book your flights with them, but they will typically fly you to one of their nearest hubs (Delhi, Dubai, Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Singapore, etc) then transfer you onto one of their international partner airlines just previously listed. If you are transferring in Delhi, you can take any Indian carrier to TRV. So don't be too surprised if you start your journey on a Delta Airlines flight to Dubai, then are transferred to an Emirates flight to TRV. That is very normal. When booking your flights, you may also have the option of Indian based carriers for your last flight to TRV. Good ones to look for are IndiGo, Air India, and Jet Airways. You will be surprised at how modern and comfortable the Indian and middle east carriers are. They are very safe, very clean, and really comfortable. About 95% of our guests arrive into TRV on an Emirates or Qatar flight. Those carriers have flights that arrive around 3:00am too, which is perfect.
The average cost for round-trip airfare to India and back is somewhere in the ballpark of $900 - $1750 for an economy seat. That said, international airfare from the US will vary depending on the route, demand, season, the number of layovers, the time of year, and which direction the wind is blowing (at least it seems like it). We've seen round-trip airfare from major US airports for as low as $900 round trip. Booking two oneway flights versus a round trip booking does not seem to adversely effect the pricing.
To search for great deals, we recommend Skyscanner.com or Kayak.com. They find the best airfare prices out there across all airlines. We advise you then go to the airline website to check the airfare. Sometimes the fees we find on Skyscanner.com or Kayak.com are different from the true fare once we are directed to the airline's website to book the flight.
Another invaluable wesbite is Routehappy.com. If you’ve ever booked a flight and wondered if Wi-Fi and other amenities would be available on your plane, Routehappy can help. With Routehappy you can compare the comfort level of different flights based on features such as: legroom, in-flight entertainment, Wi-Fi, power outlets, etc. You’ll also see their “happiness scores.” According to their website, Routehappy scores are based on aircraft, seat, amenities, trip duration, and ratings.
To find the best seats on your flight, we suggest you check out Seatguru.com. As you know, not all seats are the same. That great deal may be $150 cheaper because you're seated next to the bathroom or in a seat that doesn't recline. Let Seatguru.com show you which seats are best on all plane types and also by flight number. Pick your seats wisely because the flights are long.
Try Using Rewards Miles
The most cost effective way to purchase international flights is with rewards miles or points. Many of our guests who use airline rewards credit cards for the 6-9 months before the trip, earn enough miles to fly for free on at least one segment of the trip. Depending upon the airline's rewards system, and your monthly credit card usage, you might earn enough miles to fly both segments for free, and in some cases upgrade to business class.
We recommend the United MileagePlus Explorer and Club cards. United partners with many India regional carriers within the Star Alliance network. Reward miles with United are easy to transfer for free seats on India bound flights. The United lounges are also very nice and make layovers very comfortable. Lounges include free food, drinks, wifi, and sometimes showers. Other airlines rewards systems are likely comparable.
To inspire an awakening to personal authenticity, as the highest expression of faith in oneself, on the path of self healing and self actualization. To evoke more mindful ways of living, thinking, and feeling. To provide tools for self knowledge. To bridge traditional eastern teachings and modalities to modern day living. To lead individuals to sacred places within themselves and on the planet. To remember to jump into bodies of water as often as possible.