Oh, boy do I have travel stories. Some are really great. Others? Not so much. I call those lessons learned the hard way. Kind of like a hard knock version of The School of Travels. I’ve been known to cut it pretty close when checking documents like my passport and now? Well, here’s that time I had to pay $300 to get out of India

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Visas to India are Confusing

When I flew to India for #loveMatija in December on UA 48: EWR-BOM, I arrived on Dec 27th. From that point on, I had 60 days (Feb 24th) until I had to leave the country with up to one return in between. While, yes getting a visa to India isn’t exactly easy, I thought I had a great plan. Two trips to India In 60 days: First the Rickshaw Challenge over New Years, followed by CUAsia 2019 in February.

Even though the process of filling out the visa can be confusing and ensuring you have all the documents at the airport is annoying, I thought I was well on my way. I was about 50% right.

When Travel Changes Set Off a Ripple Effect

My last flight leaving India was set for Feb 24th. That is until there was a domino of travel changes that included cancelled trips, moved client meetings, death, and of course flight changes. Trying to navigate all these different things from Goa, India with family in DC, business partners in Madison, WI and Mexico left my head spinning.

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I ended up taking the best offer I could from Air India on the alternative flight option they were providing due to the schedule change, and then had to cancel or rebook four different flight bookings,

Guess what that meant? Even though my travel was starting on Feb 24th, I was actually leaving India on Feb 25th…

Your Visa is Expired

Excuse me? More worried about whether or not my upgrade on DEL-EWR will clear, I stop dead in my tracks. How is that possible? It’s possible as mentioned above not realizing in my rush to cancel and rebook a handful of flights that I’d be overstaying my visa by less than 24 hours.

Not unfamiliar with the experience of being hauled into an office at an airport immigration check point, I’m informed that I am to pay 21,000 rupees, roughly $300. If I don’t, I will be escorted out of the airport with all my luggage. In order to leave India, I’d have to go to a non airport immigration office and pay $300. There was no way out of it.

After filling out endless paperwork, and speaking with no less than seven people, an hour later I am released, albeit $300 lighter. So, take it from me and learn from my hardship that sometimes it’s not smart playing travel details so close to the edge…especially when dealing with visas.

The post That Time I Had to Pay $300 to Get Out of India was first published on Coworkaholic.

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