India is a multicultural country with cosmopolitan cities. It’s vivid in every sense with generations intermingling with ages old values and 21st-century technology running in their genes. With such a huge mix of ideas, thoughts and values surrounding; it’s a good idea to gear up with some
Dos and Dont’s for a safe and happy journey. So are some tips to travel to India:
- Airports: Airports are the first thing you will encounter while being in India. While airports happen to be one of the safest places in India; it’s good to keep some things in mind. Allow yourself some extra time to reach airport as road traffics are quite unpredictable. So, leave at least half an hour early to reach on time. Always carry a print- out or paper – ticket as some airports might refuse entry if you DO NOT have paper – ticket with you. Security checks take a lot of time and immigration counters can have big lines; so prepared to stand for a long time in the queues.
- Scammed or Ripped: There are ways one can avoid being scammed or ripped in overly – crowded places. To avoid getting scammed, don’t get into bargaining instead walk into a fixed price shop, do not give alms to beggars, do not get into fake looking information centers, avoid buying trinkets and gemstones often sold on roadside of religious places, do not pay upfront for any service of any kind, always have GPRS with you, visit only known cafe houses and go by meter only if going by autorickshaws often found in small towns and villages. Best of all hire pre – paid taxis to avoid paying too much. And Exchange money only at Indian Bank ATM’s like State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank or Yes Bank. You can also visit the banks for the same.
- Visiting Hindu Temples or religious Places: If any of Hindu Temple or any other religious place in your list then you must take care some things. Before entering the place always remove shoes outside the monument/temple. Try to get special blessings given in the form of “ Special Darshan”. These prayers often include special prayers. However, this is not compulsory. You can take VIP entry to avoid huge crowds by paying $5 – $10 more. If you wish to donate in these religious places; then keep some change with you. Hire a temple guide to get real information about the temple.
- Drinking Water: Water can be quite contaminated in India. So, always get packaged drinking water. Some of best names include Bisleri, Kinley, Himalaya, Aquafina and such others. Even if you are travelling in winters; it’s good to keep oneself hydrated all the time. You can also carry electrolytes for cooler stomachs! Also, avoid spices like Ginger and Cardamom Indian tea.
- Money Matters: While you are in India; you need to carry cash even if you have a Travel Card with you all the time! So always keep Indian Rupees all the time. Try to avoid airport exchange counters if it is not necessary and can be avoided as airports give poor currency exchange rates. If you need more than INR 10,000 at a time; use a CITIBANK or YES BANK ATM for easy transactions. 10 rupees notes come very handy while in India, so always carry an entire wad of 10 rupees notes.
- Keep your passport safely: While travelling always keep your passport safely as there are pickpocketers all around; so keep it under wraps. You can either conceal it in your inner pocket or number lock travel pouch. Always keep photocopies of important documents like passport, credit cards and ID Cards.
- Transportation: Indian driving can make you go crazy, so avoid walking on the roads. Always walk on pavement and always hold hands of your kids while in crowded areas like markets or walk-ways. Try to take a ride in any of the Indian trains for a different experience; just avoid the food they give on trains as it can be quite spicy.
- Hotel Bookings: Try to book hotels pre – hand as they can be quite costly in tourist season. If you booking a 5-star hotel then its really not a worry but if you are looking for a budget hotel then you can tick OFF amenities like free toiletries, water bottles, extra pillows and bed sheets and even an assistance to carry your baggage to a hotel room. So, choose wisely or ask your tour operator to do it for you.
- Keep Sanitization with you: If you are overly sensitive to cleanliness, then keep hand – sanitizer and room freshener with you. Rather, it’s a good idea if you have kids along.
- Packing list: Here is a list of things which you should carry with you while travelling in India. Always keep Passport pouch, power adapter, Charcoal tablets, Probiotics, electrolytes, SteriPEN water purifier, first aid kit, Travel Insurance and a travel guide.
- For Women: If you happen to be alone women traveller or are a women group traveller then try to wear full body covered clothes like Jeans, t- shirts, long – skirts and likewise. Even 3/4ths are okay to wear. If have real friends in India, keep in touch with them. Try to travel in the group, keep your eyes and mind open, don’t trust strangers too much, be polite and be courteous but strong. AVOID GOING OUT IN DARK ALONE OR IN DARK AND UNKNOWN PLACES ALONE. DO NOT Eat or drink food items from strangers.
- Cultural Dos and DONTs: Don’t touch opposite sex, avoid drinking in public places, don’t give money to beggars, avoid taking photos in religious places, don’t wear short skirts or shorts in public in small cities and don’t show anger until necessary.
- Learn Vedas: India is lands of scriptures and vedas. If you happen to tour places like Varanasi; do try to get some knowledge about vedas and old scriptures. There is a lot of knowledge around.
- Enjoy Festivals: If possible enjoy at least one festival of India like Diwali or Ghanghor. These are a pure reflection of Indian culture and tradition. You will definitely enjoy.
- Keep Important Numbers with you: Always keep important numbers like Police Helpline Number 100 with you. In fact, memorise numbers like an emergency number, a hotel you are staying in number and your guide number; it will be very helpful in the time of need. Take the South India tour packages and explore the various destinations such as Goa and Kerala etc.