Let’s plan a trip to Mauritius: Indian Ocean’s Sweet Reprieve

Let’s plan a trip to Mauritius: Indian Ocean’s Sweet Reprieve

190b Mauritius

This has been a benevolent year so far and I am enjoying everything that it has beautifully unfolded for me; especially the fact that my travel diaries are brimming with memories. And even though traveling can be wearisome, I hardly hear myself complaining. I get to explore new places and meet some very interesting people on my journeys. And now I am awaiting my visit to the sunny isles of Mauritius.

Here’s what you need to know to prepare for your dream holiday on the tropical island of Mauritus:

Visas: Visa on arrival is available for Indians so you wouldn’t have to worry about it.

Getting There: The secret is to book in advance so that you can take advantage of some good deals. Bangalore has a number of flights that can take you to Mauritius, so compare your options and choose carefully so that you can get the best price. My tip is to go through different websites before you settle for a price that is most viable.

For our trip to Mauritius, I chose Air Mauritius which will take us from Bengaluru to Mauritius in 8 hours and 5 minutes with a 1 hour 30 minutes layover in Chennai. The return journey is booked on a direct flight from Mauritius to Bengaluru. We plan to bask in the sun-kissed beaches, hike through adventurous landscapes and explore the true beauty of remote islands which bring a new meaning to living life at an incredibly laid back pace.

Stay Safe: Just as much as we look forward to traveling to new places, being in a new country means that we do not know a lot of things about the people or places we visit.

*Travel insurance gives me the peace of mind I need in anticipation of bad health, dental problems, accidents and mishaps that may include losing our passport, baggage or money.

*Even though Mauritius is a bit relaxed, ensure that you read the do’s and don’t from their Immigration site {e.g. check what you can bring into the country}.

*Read about local laws and local customs so that you don’t offend anybody while you are there.

*Ensure that you have done due diligence about the place that you are going to stay at. Even though Mauritius has a low crime rate, it is always better to be on your guard, more so if you are a budget traveller.

Accommodation: I have been sweeping the internet for good deals in accommodation at Mauritius. So far I have found that a number of these deals include a flight and hotel package which can save you from spending more in hotels. But, should you prefer to book hotels separately, then ensure that the ones to choose are not just as per your liking, but provide you with more choices to explore the island in a better way.

I will soon have a ‘Mauritius travel guide’ blog post up, so stay tuned.

 

Other Essential Information:

Time Zone Difference

India is 1 hour and 30 minutes ahead of Mauritius. The best way to keep track is by using your smartphone to know the correct time to whichever country you are travelling to. It is also advisable to use a wrist watch, especially if you have not taken a local SIM Card, as some apps and widgets on your smart phone can create confusion by showing different time zones.
Mauritius time = GMT +4

When to go and Weather

Mauritius has classic tropical weather for most of the year. The best time to visit this striking island nation of white sands and blue waters is between May and December. Make sure you check the weather at the time of your visit so that you can pack appropriate clothes. While you may end up shopping for Mauritian clothes, it is best to carry comfortable clothing which is suitable for the weather conditions in Mauritius at the time of your travel. The weather is expected to hover between 22 degrees and 30 degrees at the time of our visit.

Exchange Rates: The official currency of this island nation is Mauritian Rupee {MUR}
1 MUR = 2 INR or 1 USD = 35 MUR {approximately}

Most of the hotels, shops and companies accept major credit cards and there are a number of ATMs that dot the main island. There are quite a few Forex centers where you can use international multi-currency cards so that you can enjoy your trip to the island with adequate money in hand.

Local Travel

To explore this beautiful island on your own, renting a car would be your best option. Driving in Mauritius is very safe as Mauritians are known to be very careful when they drive. You may rent a car for a day at 2000 MUR. Should you prefer a more relaxed approach, you may rent a car with a driver which would cost you approximately 3000 MUR for 8 hours.

Local Supplies

Renting a bungalow with a kitchenette is a great stay option on the Island of Mauritius. Making a trip to the super market should be a fun experience, as the ones in Mauritius are of international standards, and provide ample food choices should you prefer preparing a meal to eating at the local eateries.

Charging PCs and Gadgets

It may sound trivial when you plan your journey to think of the standard voltage of the country, but condoning this small piece of information can be detrimental for your laptop or mobile. Fortunately, the standard voltage in Mauritius is 230V/50Hz which is closer to the standard voltage in India. So if you are using a laptop or a mobile charger that is built for such voltage then there should be no problems. All you may need is an adapter to match whatever type of socket you need to plug into.

How to Call Internationally

The country code is +230. Add the area code you are dialling to and then dial the phone number.
230 + area code + phone number.

Purchasing a Sim Card

Show your passport at the store to purchase a SIM card in Mauritius. The store keeper will make a copy of the passport for registration and fill out some forms. You may have to wait for an hour or a little longer for the activation of the SIM. A prepaid SIM in Mauritius may cost you about 100 MUR. The most popular networks are Orange, Emtel and Chili. Remember to switch off mobile data before you activate your new SIM because data use will otherwise cost you and it will reduce your balance.

Internet Connectivity

Most of the towns have internet cafes and all the major hotels and resorts provide internet access. So you will have access to the internet at your hotels or guesthouse, but if you want internet connectivity while travelling as well, then use a SIM card with a data pack. This will help you stay connected without incurring huge bills for international data roaming. Consider using Orange for your SIM card if you want good data connectivity. Orange is the largest GSM operator in Mauritius and it has 4G/LTE available in most of the locations.

 

You are now all set to soak up some sun. Make sure you do not forget your sunscreen!

 

Urban Diaries’ Tips

*Hotels in each category are generally three to four times more expensive than any other country. Although there are good hotels available at a decent price if you plan well in advance, or refer travel sites like tripadvisor.

*Shopping in Mauritius can be expensive if you are looking for branded goods, as everything is imported.

*If you are budget traveller, the local bus option would be a great way to get from Point A to Point B, especially if you are planning to stay there for a longer duration.

*Avoid the Port Louis area during peak hours not just to keep away from traffic jams, but mugging as well {although it is not common, stray incidents have been reported}.

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* I love bringing together a bunch of conflicting items and weaving my own sense of one-ness to them. *

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