India is widely believed to be not only multicultural and colossal, but also beautiful in an awesome manner. Besides, it’s a country known for its spirituality. Once you visit India, you would like to re-visit time and again for it’s a country that attracts the visitors in more ways than one.
However, you might be rather overwhelmed in case if you are visiting India for the first time. But, there is no need to fret. Here are a few tips that will help you keep your visit safe, secure, and yet pleasant.
Know the Entry Requirements
You would require the passport, visa and of course, a return ticket. Besides, all the tourists with a stay for 30 days should apply for ETA i.e., Electronic Travel Authorization. It’s advisable to apply online prior to arrival and the details can be acquired from the Indian Government’s official website.
Take it Slow and Steady
Besides being geographically vast, India offers a lot to the tourists, and cannot be explored within one go. So, it’s better to go slow and steady. The attractions are great many in number and might bewilder you as to where to start with. The North prides itself on the Himalayas. The south coast boasts of the serenely beautiful backwaters. The Eastern countryside is pristinely beautiful. And the Western deserts, though arid cannot be ignored either!
It’s a good idea, however, to begin with the ‘Golden Triangle’ including the capital Delhi, the Pink City Jaipur and Agra.
Your own bent of the mind, matters, of course. Varanasi is of a paramount importance for the spiritually inclined. Himachal Pradesh is good for the adventure lovers and trekking. Go to Delhi and Mumbai for shopping. Kerala deserves a visit by those who want an Ayurvedic massage. Rajasthan has a rich cultural royal heritage. Goa would give you a broad glimpse into the Portuguese culture and Pondicherry is known for its French air.
Plan According to the Weather
Due to the varying geographical conditions, India experiences a varying climate as well. You may visit the hill stations including Manali, Shimla, Darjeeling, Mussoorie, and Nainital etc., during the summers. However, quite a few of the tourist spots in India including Kerala, Mumbai, Rajasthan, Agra, Hampi, etc., should be visited in the winters.
Health is Wealth
Eat the freshly prepared meals only. And drink only from the sealed bottle. Otherwise, your digestive system might pose a problem. Put on a mask or wrap a scarf around your face when you walk down the streets in the metropolitans to safeguard yourself against pollution. Besides, it’s a good idea to keep some medicines handy for common ailments including headache, diarrhea etc. And, it’s wiser not to forget to talk to your doctor in case you have any health problems so that you manage well if need be while on the travel. And there are pharmacies all across the country if you run short of the medicines.
Beware of Fraudsters, Scammers and Touts
It is best to tour by means of the travel companies recognized by the Ministry of Tourism/Government of India. It will keep you safe from the touts, scammers and fraudsters. You may check the relevant Government websites including the one for the Ministry of Tourism.
Learn a Few Basic Words in the Local Language
Though English is understood all over India, it is advisable to learn a few Hindi words to communicate yourself with ease. Though Hindi does not happen to be the first language for a sizeable number of the Indians, there are a great many words that are understood across the country. Here are a few words that would help you:
theek hai (alright or OK),
shukriya or dhanyawad (thank you),
garam paani (hot water shower),
chalo (let’s go).
It’s good to blend well with the way the majority dresses up in the town/city that you visit. However, it’s best to dress modestly and also cover your head while visiting the places of religious significance. Besides, if you are visiting a locality that is far from being a metropolitan, it’s better to dress in a way that can be called modest.
Know the Transportation
Transport including trains, flights, local buses, autorickshaws and taxis is easily available. Getting around the entire country is never so much of a problem. Besides, the network of the railways in India is among the longest in the world. If you would like to enjoy the travel, see the real India and also prefer to save a little cash, opt for the Indian railways. However, lock your luggage and keep it chained, apart from getting your ticket booked in advance. In case, you make brief tours via the cities, the taxi-services that are pre-paid, would do well. You may also make use of the OLA Apps and/or Uber services. However, it’s advisable to start for the journey, leaving your accommodation a little earlier as the traffic can really be a bit of a problem while navigating by auto rickshaws or whatsoever conveyance you choose.
Stay within a Budget
A number of the local tourist offices in various states including Rajasthan, Mumbai etc., run the Paying Guest Schemes or the Homestays. However, you may find economic hotels as well. There are dharamshalas also at the pilgrimages. The Volvo buses and trains are economical to travel across India rather than flights. Besides, haggling would do well while shopping at the local markets.
Also take the services of the locally available networks including Vodafone, Airtel, Idea etc., so that you can communicate with your friends. Skype calls or the packages for International calls would keep you connected with your mother country.
Using the following helps:
– debit cards,
– credit cards,
– travellers’ cheques
and money wallets for transactions.
Money can be exchanged at travel companies, banks and airports. Access to ATMs and International Banks is easy in the metropolitans, but not in the little towns. However, you may get the money transferred by the Western Union.
Pack as per the climate of the area you are going to visit. However the winter in one part of the country differs from another in intensity. The same applies to summers and rains. However, it’s advisable a take a sweater, shawl and an umbrella. Besides, do not forget the sun protection cream, a power bank to charge the mobile devices and a sanitizer.
Keep the emergency phone numbers with you. Do not travel by public transport at odd hours. Do not interact much with the people you do not find to be reliable and use your discretion in this regard for you are new to the place. And do not travel with much of the cash. Also get your Passport photocopied and keep it with you.
Travel Insurance is Vital
Get a travel insurance so that you are safeguarded against theft, accident etc. It would not be sensible to leave your home country without the insurance.