5 Tips to Know Before Travelling to India
So, you’re planning a trip to India. With such a large country and so much to do, there is a lot to consider before your trip. What do you pack? Where do you stay? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered. We’ll answer all your questions about your upcoming trip—from securing a tourist visa to learning Hindi—so that you can count down the days till your flight is stress-free.
Here are our top five tips about what you need to know before travelling to India.
1. Know What You Need to Enter
The prospect of vacation fills us all with excitement. Whether you plan to relax on a beach along Goa’s coast or take in the historic sites in Agra, it’s a well-deserved break. However, inevitably, it’s not as simple as booking a flight and grabbing your passport.
It’s imperative you know what you need to enter India. You don’t want your trip to be ruined by forgetting necessary documentation from travel insurance to visas. To simplify the job, use the etourist visa for India, which makes the application process quick and easy. You’ll receive the visa within two to four days by email.
Also, make sure you secure a good deal on your flight. Fares continually fluctuate, so don’t settle for the first price you see. Make sure to shop around for the best flight deal, so you don’t have to worry about splashing the cash on your travels.
2. Plan Ahead
India is the seventh-largest country worldwide. Unless you’re going to live out there, it’s unlikely you will manage to do everything. Yet, there are so many unmissable attractions! How do you decide where to go?
The key is to research. What has been top of your bucket list for a while now? Maybe it’s the Golden Triangle, with access to metropolitan Delhi, historic Agra, and cultural Jaipur. Or, perhaps you fancy the southern states, beaches, and vibrant Mumbai.
Also, take into consideration the weather. India has a range of diverse climates across its landscape. The primary seasons are summer, winter, monsoon, and post-monsoon. Check what the best time is to visit your desired state.
Wherever you choose to go, make sure you stick to that area. It’s unlikely you will be able to fit Delhi and Mumbai into one trip—or at least, you’ll struggle to fit in everything there is to do in these exciting cities. And remember, you can always go to India again.
3. Get Out of the City
We all dream about how great it is to visit the Taj Mahal or the Holy City of Varanasi. And while these should definitely top your bucket list, have you considered a more rural destination?
The cities in India are famously overcrowded. Consider visiting Asia’s cleanest village Mawlynnong or the calming and scenic Lachung in Sikkim for a more cultural holiday. A week spent relaxing in these stunning, enriching, and peaceful areas will prepare you for the busier urban parts of India later in your trip.
Plus, you’ll get to explore a different side of India, try new foods and experience less touristy attractions.
4. Watch What You Eat
However, be careful of what foods you do try. You should always remain wary about what you put in your mouth as with visiting any foreign country. India—particularly the urban areas—has a reputation for causing travellers’ upset stomachs. Your body simply won’t be used to the different bacteria in India.
To avoid being holed up in your hotel room the entire trip, ensure you eat carefully (and bring diarrhoea medication just in case).
- Always make sure the food has been either fried or boiled
- Avoid salads, tap water, and ice—stick to bottled water
- Only eat peeled fresh fruits
- Be careful of street foods—you don’t need to rule them out completely, but check that they are cooked properly
Don’t let these warnings put you off from trying the local cuisine. There are few joys quite like eating rich, distinct Indian foods. It might be worth going vegetarian for the trip. India has a great many vegetarian dishes that leave the mouth-watering.
5. Learn the Language
India is the home of many diverse languages. While Hindi is the most commonly spoken, Bengali, Marathi, and Telugu are also used across its states. Hindi is not the primary language of all Indians, but most will understand you.
Don’t worry; no one is suggesting you know Hindi inside and out. However, learning a few words will show the locals you have done your research and respect their country. For example, saying “namaste” (hello/goodbye), “shukriya” or “dhanyawad” (thank you), and “haan” (yes) will go a long way. No doubt, you will pick up more along your travels.
Learning a new language is a fun, exciting, and diversifying experience. Just like your photos and souvenirs, you’ll carry what you’ve learned with you forever. English is also used widely across the country, should you run into any translation issues.
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