India is a lot packed in itself. It’s Chaotic, bamboozling, intoxicating, crazy, exasperating, wonderful, squalid, beautiful, daunting, overwhelming, and fantastic all at once. Travelling to India is no mean feat but once you are back home looking back on your journey, you will definitely see why despite all its contradictions, India as a travel is a catch. That set-aside before you go, it’s natural to get confused planning your trip and nothing comes in handier than useful tips to give you a headway. So before you plunge into this colourful country, here are some things to bear in mind.
Pick the perfect route
India packs a lot into a massive space, and you'll never have time to see it all on one trip. Think about what interests you, what you like doing and how much time you have, and tailor your trip accordingly. Be realistic about how much you can fit in. Rather than trying to see the whole country, you may get more out of your trip if you concentrate on the south of the country, or on the north. However, internal flights are plentiful and inexpensive so you can hop from north to south if you want a taste of both worlds. In our itineraries section you can find various options from Golden Triangle, Rajasthan Tours, Spiritual Tours, North India Tours and many more..
Many people try to cram too much into a visit to India. To get the best out your trip, concentrate on a few places rather than trying to tick off as many as possible. Seeing one place slowly can be much more rewarding than seeing loads of places, but not having time to appreciate any of them. Spend a few days in a place and you'll be less stressed, gain a deeper understanding of where you are, and have more time to get to know the people you meet.
Learning the local lingo when travelling to India would definitely be one of the best armour you can carry with yourself and while it’s surely not possible to learn a language in a short time, getting a hang of the local lingo is totally worth it. For the most common and useful lingo terms, read and remember the below.
Acha na-he: not good
Haan ji: yes
Shuk-riya: thank you
Ek, do, teen, char, panch: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
When in India, bargain like an Indian! Hang in between wit and a little bit of patience and you will find that Indians are one gleeful bunch of negotiators. The usual trick is to start from a pretty low price and then go up slightly to find a middle ground. But if you really don’t want to bargain then keep a look for many of those fixed price shops that you will find in most of the markets. Don’t get swayed or stuck at just one shop and move around to compare prices. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to approach the locals around you for a quick translation!
Learn how to bargain like an Indian -
Quickly learn how the bargaining process works.
Look for fixed rate shops if you don’t want to bargain.
Know that “maximum retail price” is not the price tag.
Shop around and compare prices.
Ask help from some local friends.
India can overwhelm but if you come here with a happy outset, travelling in India can be one of the most incredible and fulfilling experience. India is a land of temples. So be prepared to traverse through the landscapes dotted with temples. And since Indians, who are one friendly lot, endorse the idea of guests being the god, also be ready to be treated like one once and be ready to have your photo taken. For the scenes around you through the country, know that you are in for a riot of colours. There is colour all around, and so is chaos and cacophony. So, while you meander through the sea of people make sure you remind yourself that while India may not be the cleanest or the easiest country traverse through, but it sure is one of the peace-loving nations!
The predominant religion is Hinduism at over 78%.
India is home to the world’s largest religious pilgrimage site.
The railway system is vast.
Guest is God.
The people are so genuine & friendly.
Exquisite colour creates eye candy everywhere.
The resourcefulness and ingenuity are mind-blowing.
India is a mostly peaceful nation.
Some of the best food in the world.
Chaos is everywhere.
Personal space is rarely respected.
Almost everyone will try to get your money
You will find yourself being stared at but in most cases, it’s just curiosity or amusement.
Expect to see spitting
Littering and trash are ubiquitous across India.
List of some Do’s and Don’t
India can amaze, and India can irritate. If you have never come to India, a little checklist of dos and don’ts can go a long way! Because India has such vast and diverse popular, it has a multi-fold culture. You can be on the north pole and south pole of your emotions while traversing through India. Make a whole lot of space for patience and humour. It will make to see the strangest experiences while in India. Before you land, learn the legendary head wobble that Indians offer at almost all question. India awash in colour makes Indian attires a great result of retail therapy, but even if you don’t turn shopaholic make sure to wear traditional clothes at least once while in India. Also, once here, put away your punctuality on the backseat for in India times are just said figuratively not literally. So why not make peace with that and you are vacationing anyway, aren’t you? When it comes to don’ts, it’s basically some legal rules like public drinking is not be done. Other than that follow your gut feeling to avoid an unpleasant situation. Don’t get lured by any too good to be true deals and don’t be too friendly to strangers.
Be patient & have a sense of humour.
have an open heart & mind.
make friends with the locals.
wear Indian clothes at special occasions.
remove your shoes at people’s homes.
learn to understand the “head wobble”.
try to pay if at restaurants with Indians.
know that 1 min means 5 to 10 mins.
bring a small gift if you stay at a home.
be prepared to have your photo taken.
get angry in public.
give money to beggars or children.
point your feet at a person.
give someone an expensive gift.
be shy when asking a question.
drink alcohol in public.
shake hands unless they do first.
The golden rule is that never ever drink the tap water! Just don’t. Try not to eat any food off the street, but if you must, look for a clean and hygienic joint. Only eat freshly cooked food. Avoid eating too much in general and avoid too much spicy food, especially chilli based curries. Consider becoming a vegetarian while you’re there. Use your hands – it’s fun! Family home dining is a pleasure.
Only eat freshly cooked food
Don’t eat salads, juices or anything raw.
Eat exclusively from respectable restaurants that are busy.
Never eat street food.
Avoid too much spicy food, especially chilli’s
Consider becoming a vegetarian while you’re here.
Use your hands – it’s fun!
Family home dining is a pleasure
Tips for women
Let’s face it. India is surely a bit infamous especially in the matters of women safety. In all truth, though, with a little bit of carefulness, your trip to India can be nothing else but happiness and great memories. So, don’t let the paranoia overcome you from a great travelling stint in India. India is indeed Incredible and the rewards certainly outweigh the challenge! Here is a small checklist to give thought to:
Embrace the culture but be culturally aware! India is so diverse that what might be a no big deal in Delhi can become a big one, let’s say in Rajasthan.
Be confident while going to new places and talking to people.
Be friendly to people, but just like back home, don’t be too friendly to strangers. As said earlier, use your intuitive thoughts.
Do not wander alone in the night! Enough said.
Always carry a pepper spray with you.
Dress conservatively. Merging into the local crowd using local dressing style can come really handy in avoiding unnecessary attention.
Preferably use a local number while in India for better connectivity. Also, keep a small diary with numbers of authorities.
Packing is undoubtedly one of the most exciting parts of travelling but when you are travelling to the Indian subcontinent, owing to the diverse weather pattern, packing becomes more like a task. The best way is to start with researching about the region you are heading to. For the things that you most probably should pack, here is a list:
A backpack. It doesn’t matter what age you are and what other luggage you are carrying. Must have a backpack.
Hand Sanitizer and other regular toiletries.
A sheet or a sleeping bag if you planning to use the trains in India.
A pair of tough sports shoes. Especially for those who are planning to take a hike. And how about some flip-flops for unwinding at the beach?