11 Solid Tips to Trip India First time
Deciding to travel to India is really amazing and can often be a terrifying prospect for even the most experienced of travellers. It’s a beguiling and incredible place that deserves at least one visit. It can also be confounding and chaotic and send your head spinning if you’re not prepared. The chaos and pollution seems to become overwhelming before you’ve even got off the flight.
India is associated with Bollywood, delicious curries, spirituality and slum dog Millionaire. There’s so much more to this wonderful country.
Here are our best tips and things we wish we would have known as a first timer in India.
- India is huge country.
Make sure you do your research and know what to expect in the region you’re going to. From mountain to desert to Jungle, India has it all. But make sure you go to the right places at the right time. You probably don’t want to be in Rajasthan during summers or attempt a trek in the Himalayas in January where it is freezing.
- Showing some respect while visiting the temples is a must:
some temples require going shoeless, but make sure you cover up your body. Modest is the word in India.
Only eat freshly cooked food to avoid getting sick due to bacteria or a parasite. Cooking kills everything.
- Become a vegetarian while you’re there:
India has the lowest meat consumption rates in the world. The meat products hanging out in the warm open air with flies buzzing around is not safe to eat. To reduce the chance of getting serious food poisoning switch on to vegetarian food while in India.
Tap water in India is contaminated with pollutants and amoebas. Drink only good bottled mineral water .The only brands that are best are bisleri, kinley and aquafina.
- Be aware of drivers especially auto rickshaw drivers.
They are known for their dishonesty and tricks and they try to make more money from you. E.g. they may take you to a wrong hotel or quote you a price that is five times the fair rate.
- Handling money in India:
You need to carry some cash, as credit cards are only accepted at larger business or hotels. Therefore you will always need to carry some cash so that you can pay for taxis, auto, cheap hotels and your food etc.
- Memorize a few key phrases:
Learning a few words of the local language shows you have an interest in the culture. No one can cheat you and also make friends with the locals.
- Be aware of your hotel locations:
Book your hotel rooms close to the tourist attraction, temples or towns. It can make a big difference by saving your time on travelling.
- Take a deep breath, enjoy and survive in India:
The biggest and the best trip for first time travellers to India are to enjoy it. If you ignore all the other tips don’t ignore this one. India is a beautiful and such a fantastic country to explore, that if you become wrapped in a worry, you’ll lose sight of all the enjoyment you are suppose to have.
Learning the art of bargaining is not only fun but can save your substantial amount of money. Shopkeepers and market stall owners are expert at ripping off tourists. Now it’s not so easily done in a shop, but always bargain for your goods at markets as the price will be tripled when you’re a tourist.
- Never pull out your map in public.
It’s very important to appear as if you know what you’re doing. As soon as you start looking lost, people will try to take advantage. When lost hide somewhere to look at you map or more efficiently ask your way to passerby or a shop owner.
- Be cautious but not scared:
Be aware and alert but don’t stare down everybody trying to talk to you or avoid street food because of fear. Roll with the punches and think responsibly and you’ll have an amazing first time in India.
- Understand the nod:
Aaah the nod to say yes. Indians don’t nod the way we do. Instead they move their heads from side to side. It seems to be a gesture of disagreement or indecision.
No doubt it is tough to travel in India, but you’ll find amazing food, outstanding history, festivals of colour and excitement and many. Very kind-hearted people who are thrilled and proud will show you their country.
Now that you’re officially ready for India, get psyched because it’s amazing. You are going to see, taste, smell, touch and feel things where you have never felt before. You will probably fall in love with India. But most of all you are going to have a trip of a lifetime.