Travel planning tips for Havelock
Havelock has just recently entered the limelight for being a tourist destination. In many ways it still retains its remote and disconnected demeanor, which is appreciated by us and many others who get the opportunity to take a break from their hectic city lives. It can get frustrating if you don’t know what to expect, so we’ve prepared for you a list things you should know to make your trip as smooth as butter.
You must try to book everything well in advance, your flights, accommodation, ferries and your primary activities. That is if you want affordable rates or even space on the above. Flights and hotels should be booked months in advance as they can get very expensive or even be full during peak season. Ferries and activities must be planned a few days to a day before, as they can’t be relied upon to be free on the day you plan to do them. Havelock is usually buzzing with travelers and the best spots and seats usually get taken pretty fast.
Network and internet
Mobile network is unreliable on the island and the internet connection is negligible even with routers. BSNL is the only network that works on the whole island, while Vodafone and Airtel have limited range. If your trip is going to be long or you have long distance work engagements it could be better to buy a BSNL SIM card back in the city. Internet is chargeable, expensive and can be found at a handful of cafes, but is not guaranteed to work well or at all.
There are a bunch of ATMs on the island, but are very unreliable due to its remoteness. Also, though most establishments have a card machine, they have the tendency to give up due to unreliable network. The first best option is to make most of your payments online before you travel and the next is to plan and have cash ready in hand for the smaller activities you are interested in doing.
Havelock is a tropical island that is lucky to have plenty of sunshine all year round. Make sure you are carrying hats, sunglasses and clothing that is light but with full coverage for the sun. Most sunscreens are very harmful for the reef so we suggest investing in rash guards if you plan to spend a lot of time in water. It is also wise to bring your own swimsuit as options to buy them are very limited on the island. Flip flops are ultimate island footwear perfect for the beach as well as exploring the island by foot, even sandals will do but consider leaving those heels behind. Decathlon is a good place to find all these things and more.
You are likely to be accosted by small time agents as soon as you set foot off the plane in Port Blair, offering to book all your activities for you. They normally get huge cuts out of what you pay for your activities and are inclined to mislead you about a lot of them. It is always better to do your own research before you land on the island and it is very important to choose safe operators especially for an adventure sport such as diving, which is an area they normally compromise on without your knowledge. Even if you enlist their services it is advised that you triple check and verify any information they give you.