Planning to visit India for the first time? Then trust me, you are about to have the most wonderful and learning experience of your life. In India, you have so much to see, so much to explore, and so much to learn, particularly from the mistakes you are going to make while on your first visit.
So, here are some tips specifically meant to make your trip to India a lot easier and fun:
1. Research and Plan
India is a big country with a lot of places to explore. Try to learn more about the country before planning your tour. Doing thorough research beforehand will definitely help in a smooth trip. Find out which places that you can visit, when the best time to visit is, how to reach the destination, what food and delicacies you should eat. You also don’t want to miss out on any highlights and events that are happening when you visit. When you know everything, you can choose your destination and routes accordingly.
2. Choose the Right Destination
From music to dance, history to geography, foods to fests, temples to nightclubs, scenic beauty to wildlife, peace to hustle bustle, India has something to satiate anyone’s and everyone’s interest. So, just figure out what interests you the most when choosing which places to visit in India. If you’re looking for a family-friendly destination, there are many places In India to visit with kids.
3. Be Flexible
Planning ahead for your trip might be a good idea but try not to be so rigid with your plan. Keep your itinerary a little bit flexible while travelling in India. In between your planned routes and destinations, you might find a place where you want to stop over so that you can explore and spend some time enjoying the scenery.
4. Know the Linguistic Difference
You may find it difficult to communicate because India is a hub of different languages and religions. There are many religious places to visit. Numbers of different languages are spoken in different regions of India, but almost everyone understands basic Hindi. So, you better get acquainted with few Hindi words like Namaste (Hello), Shukriya (Thank you), Krupiah (Please), Thik hai (ok), acha hai (Good), Acha Nhi h (Not good) and Kese ho (How are you) for an easier stay in india.
5. Eat and Drink Right
While you are in India, especially for the first time, there are high chances that you might get sick. This might be because the food in India is normally all peppered-up and can leave you with a dodgy stomach. So, take good care of what you eat and drink while you are here. Choose fresh fruits and boiled food over raw veggies and uncooked food like salad.
Stick to bottled drinking water and avoid drinking water from taps.
6. Take Care of Your Health
Not only can the food and water get you sick but there are a lot of other factors like weather change, pollution, dirt and lack of proper sanitation (especially in small and rural areas) which might cause some breathing and other health issues. But, don’t worry these can be easily avoided with a little care. Just wear scarves and shrugs to avoid dirt and pollution. Also, carry a handy bag filled with some paper soaps, hand sanitizers, and tissues as they may not be available everywhere.
7. Conservatism Alert
People are a little bit conservative in India, especially the old bunch. So, dress conservatively, anything that is moderately covered will work. Avoid PDA at public places as it can get you some unwanted attention and odd looks from people and also, in some places, it can lead to some serious issues.
8. Bargain Works Here
Remember, everything in India is negotiable, all you have to do is just haggle a little before settling the deal. If you don’t bargain in India, you may end up paying an amount higher than required. So, it is always better to inquire about the prices from local people before buying anything or even commuting by the local transport like, autos and rickshaws.
9. Some Specialties
Kulhar ki chai (basically tea served in a handmade container made by clay) in a chilly morning, eating roadside golgappas, attending an Indian wedding, enjoying a festival, experiences rural life, trying and buying traditional Indian outfit and jewelleries, eating langar and bhandara (Free food served as Prasad) in a gurudwara or a temple and making a lot of Indian friends these are some small things you can experience only in India that will provide you a huge satisfaction.
10. Get Ready for Some Attention
You may find a lot of people looking at you and staring at you, but don’t feel odd. Believe me, it’s just out of curiosity to see someone different from them and means no harm. So, don’t let it bother you and just return their look with a bright smile and you’ll know what I mean.
Just keep these things in mind and come to India to enjoy this wonderful, exotic, dynamic and diverse country. Have a happy, safe and memorable visit to India.
Rohit is an Architect by profession, blogger by interest and traveller in spirit and soul. He also owns and maintains the website TransIndiaTravels.com which provides information about the various tourist locations in India.