Top 10 tips for first time travelers to India
India is a vast country in South Asia. The country is diverse in every way. When planning a trip to India, you can visit overpopulated cities, rural villages, the Himalayan mountains or the Indian Ocean. The people who live in India are as diverse as the terrain. There are many religions and cultures represented in India. First-time travelers to India often experience cultural shock. Make no mistake; India is a unique country unlike any other. Visitors are encouraged to do in-depth research before visiting. We are going to give you some basic tips on traveling through this wonderful country. However, you are going to have to be mentally prepared for this journey, as well.
In this article we brief you about some important tips one must take care if you are traveling to India for the first time. Things will be different and you will have to adapt in many ways to ensure you stay healthy, safe and have an amazing time in this amazing country. India has a lot to offer and you will have to learn how to make the most of your trip. But before that you need ensure you know these 10 tips especially on your first visit to India.
1. Arriving in India
If you incorporated a charter jet, you can look up Stratos Jets as they offer amazing charter jets to most amazing destinations (source: stratosjets.com), you can relax and make preparations for lodging, travel, and dining while in route. The last thing you want to do is end up in a city that is crowded and you being a tourist having no idea of where you are going or how to get there. Like any large and bustling city, there are scam artists waiting to take advantage of you. Select a hotel in the area you are going. Ship your luggage ahead. Professional baggage companies move college students abroad and help business travelers routinely. They can get your belongings to a nice hotel, and that will free you upon arrival.
2. Choose the right hotel
Do not stay in a cheap hotel. The price of a nice hotel is reasonable and much safer. Not only are the staff members helpful, but they have high standards when it comes to their facilities. If you take a ghetto room to save money, you may find it infested with visitors that you do not want to travel with. Bed bugs can get in your luggage, backpack, and clothing. Stay in a nice hotel.
Alternatively you could visit India as part of a cruise. With lots of Indian Ocean cruises on offer to choose from, by opting to go on a cruise, you can ensure that you’ll have comfortable and safe accommodation. It will also give you the opportunity to visit an array of destinations alongside India.
3. Stay healthy
Be very careful about the food and drinks you consume in India. Never eat food from a street vendor. Not only is the food different than what you are used to; poor hygiene, heavy pollution, and serious sanitation issues make this a serious concern. Remember, their customs are different than yours. There are over 1.2 billion people in India and 70% of those do not have access to indoor toilets.
Do not eat food unless they are fried
Eat fresh fruit that you can peel
Do not eat salads
Only drink bottled water
Keep your mouth closed while showering
Use bottled water to brush your teeth
Do not use ice
Carry antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer with you.
Avoid milk or any food prepared with milk
Carry a portable water purifier with you while traveling
If you are traveling in a rural area without access to bottled water, a freshly cut (cut while you watch) coconut can provide safe fluids '
4. Stay Safe
Do not travel around the cities with a purse or backpack. Wear a good quality money belt and only carry what you need for the day. If you must take a bag with you, lock it to your bus seat or firmly attach it to your body. Be watchful. Cities in India are crowded, and you are an easy target if you are walking around with a camera, handbag, or suitcase. Most places in India are safe and the country is beautiful. Enjoy your trip, but be watchful. Do not judge India on this tip. You should use the same precautions in your own city or in any country you are visiting. Most people are good and kind. But there are bad guys in every country.
One of the most common problem visitors to India complain about is burn-out. India is colorful and vibrant, with a rocking nightlife full of music, dance, and fun. Visitors are mesmerized by the culture and try to do too much at one time. Pace yourself. There is a lot to see and do. You cannot do it all at once.
6. Get out of the city
You hear this all the time, and it holds true. India has many villages outside the cities. This is where you can find out what life in India is all about. This is where you can meet people who can explain why they do the things they do. If you were visiting the United States and you never left New York City, you would not have a true image of life in the United States. India is more than bright colors and crowded streets. This is where you will see exotic landscapes, meet interesting people and have unique experiences.
Suggested read: Velas: Life in a village
7. Keep an agenda and let someone know where you will be
You are traveling to a vast area. If you are traveling alone, be sure to let someone know where you are going and how long you plan to stay. This is a precaution. If you meet an accident or are lost, someone needs to know where to advise the authorities to look. For the same reason, be sure you have an emergency contact name and number in your wallet or money belt. If you are hurt, someone needs to be notified.
8. Your smartphone may not work
We are so used to having service with our phones, that we give it little thought. But, you should call your carrier before you leave. Your phone may not work in India. You may need to get a new SIM card that will allow you cell phone access. Take care of this before you go.
Once you have the assurance that you can use your phone, download some apps to help you. There are many free apps that will assist you with money conversion, language differences, and identifications of the sites you are seeing.
9. Chargers and electricity
The voltage in India is 220 volts. You will need an electric converter to use anything that runs on 110 volts. This includes your phone charger, blow dryer, and computer. Be sure to take at least couple of converters with you. Also take a portable battery power pack for your cell phone, in the event that you are unable to charge your phone while you are out.
10. Be respectful
There are many different religions practiced in India. Roughly 79% of the population practice Hinduism. The practice of Islam accounts for about 14% of the population. India also has citizens who practice Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. It is safe to say there are other religions practiced throughout the nation that is not listed here.
While traveling throughout India, be respectful of all customs and religions. If you do not understand what is happening around you, simply stay quiet and reverent. You can ask people about their customs and faiths after the fact. In India, all religions are revered.
You may face challenges when you choose to travel through this country. You most certainly will experience beauty, rituals, and architecture like nowhere else. You can expect to be treated well, and welcomed. Use safe practices and be aware of where you are going and what to expect when you arrive. Your trip to India will be an experience that you will never forget.
Note that all views expressed in this article are of the author
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