Getting Prepared for an Enthralling Trip to India
India is a land of overwhelming diversity. You just cannot think of any other country that has people of different ethinicities speaking different languages, following different religions, and eating different cuisines living together as one nation. Then there is the incredibly beautiful Mother Nature and some of the most picturesque marvels of ancient architecture that are nothing less than a true delight.
As an “Angrez”, or a foreigner, you would fall in love with the spiritual and divine India from the word go. However, you need to know several things before planning a trip to India. Indians are great in hospitality, which is something everyone should experience at least once, although applicable for those whom you trust only.
Tips for Planning to visit India
You must understand the pointers and tips for visit to India, given below to make your India tour a truly memorable and rejuvenating experience for life:
- Don’t let your guard down: Indians are warm and friendly people. However, a very small few may take advantage of tourists. Watch out for con artists or you may lose your money (or possibly even your belongings) in no time. Do not give anything to beggars too, since most of them are part of local Mafia syndicates.
- Don’t eat or drink outside: Indian food is known to have loads of spices. Moreover, street food vendors often use old oil and stuff to cook those delicious-looking snacks that can make you fall sick. Avoid them! Instead, go for restaurants or better establishments where you get more hygienic food choices. Don’t drink tap water too, for it’s not at all what you are used to. Buy mineral water bottles of reputed brands like Aquafina, Bisleri, or similar.
- Keep yourself covered conservatively: This is mostly applicable for women travelers. If you are wearing a dress, take a shawl to cover your shoulders. If you are visiting religious places, this may be required.
- Immerse in the depth of spirituality with a little caution: India is the global capital of spirituality, there’s no denying that. When you immerse yourself in it, you find peace like you never felt before.
- Learn the art of following ‘head wobble’ language: Indians all across the country wobble their head to say yes, no, or acknowledge or accept something. It may appear weird at first, but over time you will find such gestures very interesting.
- Respect the local traditions: Indians love following their traditions, especially when they are at a place of worship or when it’s festival time. You can join them for most of these times. One such instance is Holi, the festival of colors (generally falls around March), is beautiful and loved by everyone alike.
- Don’t wander outside late without friends: It’s never advised to go outside your residence late. The dark allows miscreants to make your life more difficult. It’s not the same everywhere, but it’s not worth it to take any such risks.
- Don’t exchange currency at the airport: Airport currency exchange rates score past the sky limits. The same is also the case with many money exchangers. You can instead go to a bank or use the ATMs to get the exchanged Indian currency.
- Be wary of Indian pollution: India has a big pollution problem, especially in its major cities such as Delhi. Keep a mask with you or cover your nose when passing through these cities in the daytime. Nighttime and early morning have lower levels of pollution and so are good times to do some exercise and fill your lungs with better air.
- Buy a good travel insurance plan: Staying in India is an experience like nothing else. But its pollution levels and poor hygiene can make you fall sick. You need to seek treatment in private hospitals since public hospitals are mostly not equipped with good-quality equipment and English-speaking staff. Private hospitals have no such restriction; however, their charges can be pretty steep. You can buy a good travel insurance plan to get the appropriate treatment without worrying about medical charges.
Things to Pack on a Trip to India
Besides toothbrush, dental floss, and other essential must-haves in your bag, you can pack things like a power adapter, Indian map, suitcase lock, probiotics, body wallets for safekeeping, electrolytes, India guidebook, and anything else you prefer carrying along (camera, sunscreen, hand sanitizer, medicines, etc.).
A Few More Tips for Travel to India
If you can do it, ask an Indian friend for suggestions. He/she will be able to tell you some of the top tips for planning to visit India that will be otherwise invisible to you. Through them, you will learn about the beautiful art of bargaining. You will also learn that auto-rickshaws and cabs can rob you with highly exaggerated charges. However, with all the chaos, you will also come across the unmatched beauty of Indian culture that cannot be explained by mere words or a few pictures. To feel the aura, everything about India has to be seen, lived, and experienced from up close. Again, remember to obtain travel medical insurance for your trip to India to protect yourself from the unexpected.