Are you looking for some of the best India travel advice for your upcoming trip? Then continue reading…
Once you’ve traveled to India, you know that it’s a country that you either completely love or you completely don’t. And there’s definitely a reason behind it.
Chances are, if you’ve already had friends and family travel to India before, you got yourself some good travel advice, helping you to have a better travel experience.
People who travel to India come with pre-formed opinions about the country. Most of these opinions are just hearsay. This is also part of the reason why often times their India experience becomes a bit overwhelming.
But when you take some time to research all the best India travel tips before leaving, I assure you that you’re going to return home cherishing some of the best moments in life!
If you have any doubt about why you should visit India, then I think you should give our article on 10 things that make India an incredible country a read.
Here’s the best India travel advice I have for you…
Though India has some of the best food in the world, foreign travelers have to be wary. I have known a number of travelers who got sick only on the first day of arriving in India.
It’s not that you must totally avoid eating Indian food. What you should avoid is street food in India, especially if you have a sensitive stomach.
Most street food in India is cooked in unhygienic conditions and you don’t want to be the victim of many, many diseases only because something looked tempting to eat.
If, however, you want to experience street food anyway, a better option for you would be to go to any Indian restaurant and have it there. One, you get to taste what you want to and two, you avoid the risk of falling ill because restaurants prepare hygienic food.
Pro Tip – Look for restaurants that have some crowd in them. Chances are those are some of the best restaurants.
Also, if you hate everything chilly, you should let the cook know before he prepares your food. Indians like it spicy!
You must wonder why Indians don’t get sick from all the food they eat? We simply seem to have developed immunity I guess!
When you’re traveling to India, one thing you must absolutely expect is insane traffic, especially in cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, Hyderabad…
Congestion and pollution are a norm in many Indian cities. If you’re going out, the best thing would be to keep a face mask handy.
If you wish to reach a destination in half an hour’s time, best to leave your hotel at least an hour before. You never know how long you could be stuck in traffic on your way.
The public transport in India is not something I would recommend, unless of course you are fine with people squishing and pushing you. Because public transport happens to be very cheap in India, everyone wants to use it.
If you want to take a short journey, your best bet is a cab – Uber or Ola… they are in all the major cities in India (29 +). Your ride will not only be comfortable but also less hectic.
For longer or overnight journeys, you could either book flights or overnight buses. If you do happen to take a bus, book them via a private carrier and ensure they are AC, Sleeper. Private buses do not allow for more passengers than the seats in the bus. So they are far better than the public buses.
If there’s one thing that amazes foreign travelers in India is the customs and rituals. First of all, let me tell you a thing or two about temples in India…
All the places of worship, whether big or small, require you to take your shoes off before entering. And if you visit a Sikh Gurudwara, it is mandatory to cover your head as well. In case you forget to take a scarf with you, you will be provided with a head band outside the gates of the gurudwara.
It is extremely important for you to not wear revealing clothes in a place of worship. Doesn’t matter if you’re wearing jeans, a long skirt or traditional Indian attire, the point is you cannot expose your body…
Some women do wear sleeveless tops or capris, which is fine, but no plunging neck lines.
If you wish to visit any of the religious places in India, please ensure that you respect the sentiments of the people related to the place. It is very important for them.
On festivals like Diwali, Holi, Dusshera, Durga Puja… it can get extremely noisy but at the same time, they’re extremely beautiful, intricate and most of all, colorful!
Do yourself a favor, if you happen to be traveling to India on festivities, join the groups of people celebrating. It will be one of the best things you’ll ever experience.
Here’s a great post on how you can document the most colorful festival in the world.
One thing that you will find extremely striking about India is the dress scene.
Indian society is a mix of both conservatism and liberalism. Where on one hand, you’ll see a woman covered from her head to toe, on the other, you’ll witness a woman wearing shorts and tank tops.
And I know this can be extremely confusing for foreign travelers to India. Unless you want A LOT of unnecessary attention and eyes staring at you, dress appropriately.
Refer to No. 3 above for how to dress for a religious place. That’s very important.
Other than that, you shouldn’t worry too much about your clothes. Just carry a scarf with you at all times. It has multi usage, believe me. Whether you want to cover your face from all the pollution or a stooping neckline, it helps a lot.
5. Scammers, Pickpockets And Beggars
You will find plenty of beggars, scammers and pickpockets in India. And this is something that I’m really not proud of being an Indian.
Be vigilant at all times. If you think that a deal is simply too good to be true, it probably is. Being a foreigner in India, you are more vulnerable to being robbed.
Don’t take it in the literal sense though…
It just means that you’ll be offered a price for something 5 times higher than it normally is. The best bet for you is to either learn how to bargain (because that’s what most Indians are good at) or go to only fixed price shops to buy things.
OR if nothing else works, the some of my top India travel advice is to try and get the help of a local to help you around shops. Indians are very friendly too!
As for the beggars, yes, there’s a lot of poverty and you will come across n number of beggars (small children and women mostly) begging you to give them food or (mostly) money.
The truth is begging is a big drug-driven business in India and you’ll be better off not showing any mercy on beggars.
Personally whenever I come across a beggar, often times I will simply ignore and move on. But when I think I must offer something, I always give them something to eat or drink.
Another important travel tip for India is never keep a lot of cash with you. If you must, keep it in different places. But never in the obvious place.
Pickpockets will usually be hanging around in crowded places where it is difficult to even realize what has happened until after. So never keep your wallet in your back pocket of your trousers or jeans. You’ll be glad to have kept it elsewhere!
Another very extensive post I’ve read on India travel advice is this beginner’s guide to 201 India travel tips. I found this to be helpful so it’s worth a read!
Have you traveled to India yourself? What would be some of your top India travel tips according to your experience in the country? We’d love to know in the comments below…