Stepping into a land of diversified cultures with several regional languages, crowded streets and a chaos and confusion that is customary to India is sure to leave you flabbergasted. How then do you prepare yourself and make the most of your time navigating the sights and sounds of this densely populated country. For the benefit of travellers, compiled below is a list of 9 top travel tips for your first ever visit to India.
Best Tips for Travelers Who Want to Travel In India:
1. Health is Wealth:
Make sure your travel kit is complete with medicines to brave the harsh effects of the Indian subcontinent. Anti-malarial drugs should be a priority as both rural and urban areas are mosquito prone. Antiseptic creams, pain relievers and antibiotics for skin infections should also be included along with indigestion and diarrhoea medication to safeguard oneself from the food and water.
2. Indian Rail Travel Tips:
Getting from one place to another is easily done by trains. It is least expensive and covers great distances providing one with a scenic view of the countryside. Long distance express trains are fitted with AC chair carriages and AC sleeper berths and all seats and berths are reserved, providing you with a safe and comfortable journey.
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3. Eat Healthy:
If you suffer from a weak stomach, the best thing to do is stay off the street food. If you still want to get a taste of it, be picky about what you eat and from where you eat it. For the first few days into your visit, go slow on the spicy dishes. Allow your stomach to get accustomed to the milder food options before letting your taste buds relish India’s spice-filled delicacies. Perhaps the safest choice would be vegetarian food that is much more nutritious and easier on the stomach.
4. Avoid The Maddening Crowds:
If you are looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the crowds that throng the city streets, a great escape would be to the tranquil backwaters of Kerala or the mountainous regions of India’s many hill stations. These places greet you with a calm and silence that can be found now here else in India. The sheer beauty of these scenic places in India coupled with the peaceful atmosphere will probably make you consider another trip to the country.
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5. Skip The Commode:
What India makes up for in scenic beauty, it greatly lacks in public hygiene. It should be a growing concern among international tourists if the trip involves excessive travelling. If you have to use a public toilet, using the Indian style squat pots, as they are called, is a far better option as you are less prone to contracting germs and diseases than from sitting on commodes. Be sure however to stack up on toilet paper as most public toilets can be found without them.
6. Bring out Those Bargaining Skills:
Don’t be fooled when you’re out shopping in India. Be it for handiworks, clothes, shoes, knick knacks, and even vegetables and fruits, don’t go by the price the shopkeeper quotes you. If the vendor gives you a price, purchase your article for half that price but start bargaining at a quarter of the price which can at times prove lucky.
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7. Go Slow on Public Display of Affections:
Indian locals do not take kindly to public displays of affection with many considering it taboo. Hugging your partner or blatantly kissing in public is generally frowned upon. So if you want to avoid embarrassing stares and disrespecting the locals, go easy on those affections.
8. Don a Scarf:
For women, venturing out with a scarf or stole would be an ideal thing to do. It especially comes in handy when visiting holy places of worship like temples and mosques where women are required to cover their heads. It also is an added protection for the hair from the ill effects of the harsh pollutants.
9. Be Safe Rather Than Sorry:
With the increase in rapes and sexual harassment cases taking over India, women travellers should be well prepared to avoid or safeguard themselves against such encounters. At all costs avoid travelling in public transportation or empty buses or trains at night. Try not to wear skimpy clothes which can attract the wrong attentions. If caught in an uncomfortable position whilst travelling in crowded transport, create a ruckus which will make the offender step away from embarrassment or will have the public dealing with him. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.