*This is a guest post from Shalu, a blogger from Bihar, India.*
Undoubtedly India is an exciting place hence it’s one of the most visited countries of the world. India has a lot to offer to tourists from exciting trekking, mountain climbing, water sports, relaxing on the beach, great wildlife, great food and historical site seeing. In order to have a stress free holiday in India, there are certain things one needs to be careful off. Nothing too scary about India, it’s just the usual things.
Usually for the first time visitor, they can be overwhelmed by the crowd, the heat, the noise that can be frightening at first. That is something not to worry about; India may seem crowded and hot but there are certain tips one can follow to have the stress-free stay in India.
Here are some tips to travelling in India:
Keep yourself safe: Although India is a safe country; it can be unsafe at times. Often tourists can get scammed, pick pocketed or have their handbags snatched. Although this goes both for locals and tourists alike, visitors needs to be extra cautious. For the female travellers, it’s best not to go out alone in the dark. It’s often a good idea not to wear gold ornaments and keeping money hidden away. Since crimes on trains are very common, tourists need to be extra careful on trains.
Keep yourself cool: It can get very hot in India where temperatures can go up to 45 degree Celsius in the summer. You must keep yourself cool by drinking plenty of bottled water, wearing a hat, wearing shades to keep off the sun and wearing light clothing. The golden rule is to keep hydrated.
Golden Temple of Amritsar
Don’t give money to beggars: Tourists from richer nations travelling in India are often overwhelmed by the large numbers of beggars on the streets in India. It is advisable that money should not be handed since many of these beggars are part of begging syndicates. Begging has become a profession for many. If you are really feeling uneasy when someone shows a begging hand at you, you could always give them food.
Don’t get cheated: Tourists often get cheated by being overpriced for goods. You can always bargain for almost anything in India. Why not bargain, it can even be fun. It’s possible to bring the quoted prices down to at least 25%. Shopping is great fun in India but don’t get carried away. Shop around if you are looking for a bargain.
Moonlane in Lamayuru, Ladakh
Learn to use Indian toilets: The toilets in India are known as squat toilets. They are different from the western ones and require some sort of expertise for using it. Most hotels in India would have the western styles however, public toilets don’t. If you can learn how to sit down in a squat position, you can save yourself a lot of discomfort when using these Indian squat toilets. It’s a good idea to carry some toilet paper and soap with you.
Learn the local language: India is the 7th largest country in the world and has more than 100 local languages of which 22 have been recognised as major languages. Although English is spoken widely, it’s best to learn some of the local language, depending on your itinerary.
Mahabodhi Temple in Bodhgaya
Be careful what you eat: India is a haven for those who love to eat. Every Indian state has their speciality and it can be easy to get carried away. Indian food contains large number of exotic spices and unless you are used to it, eating less is a good idea. Try not to eat the street food. You can save yourself a lot of agony the next morning.
Get your jabs: India being a tropical nation, certain diseases still prevails and health risks are for real. It’s a good idea to have the hepatitis A, typhoid and malaria vaccinations before travelling to India.
These tips are not to scare the visitors away from India but a certain degree of caution is always a good idea irrespective where one is travelling. These tips could well be for those living in India but there is no harm in being careful especially for the first time tourists to India.
Amber Fort in Amer
You can catch her on Twitter @bihar.