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15 great tips how to Plan a Bhutan Road Trip 

Planning a trip to Bhutan requires some specific steps due to the country’s unique tourism policies. Here’s a guide to help you plan your trip:

1. Research and understand Bhutan’s tourism policies:

Bhutan has a “High-Value, Low-Impact” tourism policy that limits the number of visitors and ensures sustainable tourism. Familiarise yourself with the policy and understand the requirements and fees associated with traveling to Bhutan.

2. Determine your travel dates:

Decide when you want to visit the country. Consider the weather, your availability, and any specific festivals or events you may want to witness.

3. Set a budget:

The country is known for being one of the more expensive travel destinations. Decide on a budget considering the cost of flights, visas, daily tariff, accommodations, meals, and transportation.

4. Choose a licensed Bhutanese tour operator:

Travel to the nation is only allowed through authorised tour operators. Research and select a licensed Bhutanese tour operator who will arrange your itinerary, accommodations, transportation, and visas.

5. Plan your itinerary:

Discuss your interests with your tour operator and develop an itinerary that includes the places you want to visit. Popular destinations in the nation include Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, and Bumthang. Consider including cultural and historic sites, trekking opportunities, and exploring Bhutan’s natural beauty.

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6. Obtain necessary travel documents:

Contact your selected tour operator to start the visa application process. They will apply for a visa on your behalf, and you’ll need to provide a scanned copy of your passport. The visa will be processed by the Tourism Council of Bhutan.

7. Book your flight:

Once your tour operator confirms your itinerary and visa, make flight arrangements to Paro International Airport, the only international airport in the country.

8. Ensure travel insurance:

It’s recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical expenses, trip cancellation, and any unforeseen circumstances during your trip.

9. Pack appropriately:

Check the weather conditions for your travel dates and pack accordingly. The country has varying climates, so consider bringing warm clothing, comfortable shoes for hiking, sunscreen, and insect repellent.

Haa valley Bhutan

10. Familiarise yourself with Bhutanese customs and culture:

The country has a rich culture and traditions. Learn about their customs, dress code, and etiquette to respect the local culture. Dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites.

11. Stay informed about health and safety:

Check if any vaccinations are recommended for your travel to the nation. Also, familiarize yourself with safety guidelines and emergency contact information.

12. Exchange currency:

The official currency is the Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN). Exchange currency upon arrival at the airport or in major cities. However, Indian Rupees are also widely accepted in Bhutan.

13. Prepare for hiking and trekking:

If you plan to engage in hiking or trekking activities, make sure to pack appropriate gear such as sturdy hiking boots, moisture-wicking clothing, a waterproof jacket, a hat, a reusable water bottle, and a backpack.

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14. Stay connected:

Check if your mobile network provider offers coverage in the country. Buying a local SIM card upon arrival may be an option. However, be aware that internet access may be limited in some areas.

15. Respect the environment:

The country places a strong emphasis on environmental conservation. Respect the natural beauty of the country by following guidelines like depositing litter in designated areas and avoiding damage to flora and fauna.

By following these steps and working closely with a licensed Bhutanese tour operator, you’ll be able to plan a unique and enriching trip to the country, known as “The Land of the Thunder Dragon.” Enjoy the country’s breathtaking landscapes, vibrant culture, and spiritual heritage.

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