While there’s no doubt that India is one of the most beautiful countries to visit, it can also be among the most challenging ones to explore. The challenge can be an especially hard one for someone planning a trip to India for the first time. First timers to the country will often wonder if there’s an India survival guide to help them through their maiden trip. For those who dare to venture to this mystical and beautiful land despite apprehensions, the rewards can be massive.
India travel tips to survive your first trip:
There are scores of India travel guide books you can browse through for good tips. However, not all of us have the luxury of time to read an entire book before the trip especially if you’re planning to travel last minute. So here’s our India survival guide offering you some of the best India travel tips to make your trip a less daunting one.
Weigh destination options carefully
Zeroing in on a location can be one of the most difficult things for a first timer to India. It would be wise to pick a fairly public place for the first time to avoid going off-course. A large city where pretty much everyone speaks English is advisable so you can communicate easily. Another thing to keep in mind when choosing a location is the weather. If it’s summer, a hill station would be ideal. Winters are a great time to explore south India. Pick accommodations wisely as well. There are several cheap places to stay in India.
India packing tips to keep in mind
Pack for your trip depending on time of the year and destination. Pack light clothes for summer and warm ones if traveling in winter. Pack good beachwear if you’re heading to a beach destination. Keep in mind things like covering your head and leaving footwear outside when visiting temples and other places of worship in India. Pack necessary medication even if you don’t need them. To save space, women can pack scarves and sarongs which can be reused in multiple ways.
One of the most important tips in our India survival guide is to make food choices smartly. Indian cuisine is among the most delicious ones in the world but not everyone has the stomach to handle the spices that go into its making. If you’re even slightly unsure about your ability to digest Indian food, it’s best to avoid it. Do not eat street food and try to avoid eating meat dishes. Ask your hotel to pack light sandwiches when heading out to explore the city. Also, carry your own drinking water.
Get set for the crowds
India is home to more than a billion people and the one thing you must be prepared for is an encounter with some of them everywhere you go. Speaking scores of different languages, following different cultures and religions, Indians are a prime example of unity in diversity. However, if the crowds seem too daunting to you, get a local guide to accompany you until you’re able to explore on your own. Don’t let a minor thing like this stop you from booking economy or business class flights for a trip to India.
India is so vast that even a good number of trips won’t help you in covering every attraction this country has to offer. Heed the advice our India survival guide has to offer and go slow when it comes to exploring a country as incredible as this one. Don’t cram too much into one trip as you won’t be able to enjoy anything completely and will only see a bit of many things. Pick one location and give yourself enough time to explore this one as slow as you can. Enjoy every little attraction it offers without hurrying onto the next destination.
Use public transport if possible
This is one of the best money-saving tips offered by our India survival guide to first timers. Public transport in India can seem downright scary especially ones like Mumbai local trains. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll realize they’re actually quite fun to get around in and are excellent money-savers as well. Buses and trains are the cheapest public transport in India. Get a local friend or a tour guide to show you the ropes of using them the first couple of times. There are cabs and rickshaws as well but they are costlier alternatives.
It can be challenging to book cheap flights to a destination you virtually know nothing about. Always make sure to keep a list of emergency contact numbers, local and otherwise. If you’re traveling solo, it’s a good idea to keep someone local informed of your whereabouts at all times. This can be your local friend, your hotel manager, or anyone you trust. Carry copies of important documents. A slash proof money belt is a great investment to carry around cash. Keep these in mind along with the other tips from our India survival guide and have the best first trip to India!