- Know what you want to see and experience
Do some researches about what India has to offer and spend some good time thinking about what you want your trip to be like. Would you rather see the countryside, relax at beaches, become part of their traditions, or would you rather travel to the big cities and see some famous sights? Or maybe a mix of all?
Come up with a plan and schedule your days – when to be where and what to do. You may also consider booking hotels/hostels/homestays in advance so you don’t have to bother with any of that while you would actually want to have fun and experience the country.
If you plan in advance your trip will proceed a lot more smoothly.
- Don’t fall for scams
India is a country with lots of poverty. Many citizens are little sellers and if they have goods or services to sell, some try to do so for high prices.
Some others may trick you into something or just beg for money. It is nothing that would make me dislike their country, just simply something that is different. Be aware and know of it so you won’t be overwhelmed or shocked when you get there, which actually leads over to travel tip number 3:
- Prepare yourself for negative things that may occur
By that I don’t mean you should picture the worst situation possible and prepare yourself for it to happen, but rather to know what India is like and that not everything is always sunshine and beauty.
A traveller who has no idea what will expect them in the streets of India may be negatively surprised. Be prepared to see a lot of poverty right in front of your eyes – the gap between rich and poor couldn’t be any bigger. Especially in Delhi it’s not a random occurrence that a business man and his chauffeur pass by homeless people who slept the night on a piece of cardboard.
As I mentioned in bullet number 2, a lot of people are really poor and try to get money, no matter how. Some choose to do very active and direct begging and it did not only happen once that they were hitting our car windows while we were stuck in the traffic and screamingly asked for money.
Also oftentimes criminal gangs send children to sell overpriced things (like roses) to tourists. However, those kids aren’t allowed to keep the money but instead have to give it to their bosses, and probably will never see any of it.
But besides all of that there definitely is a lot of beauty, pretty colours, and smiling and friendly people with amazing culture and tradition. I found it to be a great country and hope you do too J
- Know how to get to places
Knowing how to go places kind of goes hand in hand with paragraph number 1. It for sure makes it already a lot easier if you know which places you want to see during your stay, but also knowing how to get there makes it even less stressful.
There is no perfect transportation type I could recommend – it depends on the location and what you want to experience. Whereas a car is really great for travelling interurban, it might annoy you to be stuck in the traffic jam of the cities.
Do some researches in advance whether to rent a car, hire a private driver, ride the train, use the public busses and metro or just ride a Tuk Tuk or Taxi.
- Be careful with your belongings
This does not only apply to India; but just as in all big cities, thieves are present and do not hesitate to act.
Carry things tightly to your body and don’t leave them anywhere.
- Safety for your health
India has to offer a lot of street food & snacks, as well as many little booths and shops at the roadside. This may sound odd, but anytime you buy a bottled drink check if the bottle is sealed and unused.
When it comes to buying food at one of the booths, some are convinced they are a must try while others urge to be very picky and only eat things that were either peeled or cooked. It is up to you, but you may want to consider waiting a few days so your stomach can adjust before you leap at the Indian street food.
- Get among the country and its people
No matter where in the world you would go, there is not another tip as important as actually getting to know the country by getting among the people. Talk to them, learn some of their words, be part of their culture and tradition and simply experience the country as it is.
Simply be aware and not afraid of the things listed above. Let yourself in to their way of living and enjoy your time!