Some Travel Tips if you’re visiting India for the first time

India is a huge country with lots to offer in terms of culture, sights and activities. The prospect of touring such a vast country as an inexperienced traveler may seem intimidating and overwhelming, but here are some tips that should make traveling in India a little easier for you:

Make sure you know the climate of the place you’re visiting

Most places in India are extreme when it comes to temperature. Make sure you plan ahead and pack accordingly. Always carry a pullover if there is a nip in the air, an umbrella if the monsoon is about to hit, lather up on sunscreen if you are going to be visiting coastal towns or places like Rajasthan.

Don't be caught surprised! Image source:
Don’t be caught surprised! Image source:

Carry mosquito repellent with you

India is notorious for diseases such as Malaria, Dengue fever etc. Try to carry mosquito repellent with you wherever you go. If you’re stepping out at dusk, it’s advisable to wear full sleeved clothes.

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Watch what you eat

India has some lip-smacking, finger-licking good fast food, but make sure you keep an eye out for hygiene. You may see a huge crowd lining up to eat from a stall, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the food is healthy. Indians have stomachs of steel, which is why they may not fall sick easily, but for an outsider it may spell trouble.

Photograph by Saumalya Ghosh
Photograph by Saumalya Ghosh

Prefer paying in cash rather than by card

Even at places which offer the service of paying through a card. While big hotels and malls are safe, some dingy places do run scams wherein they clone your credit card. Better to be safe and avoid the risk.

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Don’t carry too much cash

India isn’t a very expensive country so you won’t need to carry much around anyway, but in any case, there are some places (mostly busy markets) where pick-pocketing is prevalent. Avoid wearing too much jewellery too, since chain snatching is also a common menace.

Don’t confine yourself to the metro cities

The lifestyle of metro cities reflects the lifestyle of foreigners. If you want to experience India in its most authentic glory, take a detour through some small towns and villages, interact with the elders there, splurge on some local handicrafts.

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Try to blend in

As with every country, India has a different culture than perhaps what you may have at your native land. Try to not be conspicuous and blend in as much as possible. Try to dress the way the people of that region do, and make an attempt to adopt their etiquette. More on that here: How to do it like the Indians do

Do a little research

Some places in India should be visited during the right “season” to be fully enjoyed. For example; Leh is best visited during th month of April and June, while Goa is best enjoyed between November to February. Do a little homework to plan which state you want to visit and when it should be done.

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