India can be a difficult place even for the frequent traveller. Here are some of the best tips one must keep in mind when travelling to India.
There is no doubt that India is an exciting place to visit. It is one of the most visited countries of the world. India has a lot to offer to tourists. Activities include, tiger trekking, mountain climbing, water sports, trying various Indian foods and historical site seeing. However there are certain dangers for the first time traveller.
The first time visitor to India can be overwhelmed as soon as they step out of the airport. The first thing they encounter is the heat and the overcrowding which may seem frightening. Although, India may seem crowded and hot but there are certain tips one can follow to have a great stay in India.
Here are some tips when travelling in India;
Stay safe. India has a lot of people of over 1.21 billion. It is easy to be pick-pocketed, scammed and run over by speeding vehicles. Traffic rules are not obeyed by drivers therefore crossing the roads carefully is very important.
Keep money hidden away: The tourist must protect themselves by not flashing their money or gold in public. It is advised to keep their money hidden away in wallets and travel bags.
Keep cool: India is a hot country where temperatures can frequently rise up 40 degree Celsius. The tourist needs to keep hydrated by plenty of drinking bottled water. Tap water may not be safe hence bottled water is the best option that can be bought at every street corner.
Keep away from the crowd: This may not seem obvious but there are chances that one can get scammed or perhaps cheated at overcrowded places. At crowded places there is a remote possibility of being pick-pocketed and followed by large number of beggars. Best option is to avoid large crowds.
Learn to use the Indian toilets: The Indian toilets are different to westerns ones. To use Indian toilets one needs to familiarise themselves where they need to sit in squat position. This may be difficult for those who have not used Indian toilets before. In addition, the tourist must remember that toilet papers are not used in public toilets so they must carry their own.
Always bargain: Once can always bargain prices for everything in India. So remember when buying something make sure that prices can be brought down to at least 25% of the quoted price.
Learn the local language: India has more than 100 languages of which 22 are officially recognised. Hindi is the most widely spoken hence it is worth learning a few words in Hindi. However it must be noted that English is also widely spoken by large section of the Indian population.
Be alert on trains: Many crimes are carried out on the trains hence tourists and residents need to take particular attention on trains.
Fake notes: It must be noted that there are large number of fake notes in India. The best thing is to avoid 1000 Rupee notes.
Don't eat too much: If one is not comfortable with spicy foods then one must avoid them. Spices in India are more powerful than elsewhere around the world.
India is a safe country in general but there are some things one needs to take care off then travelling in India. The golden rule in India is to keep hydrated and be safe.
Shalini Singh is a resident Indian and an avid traveller and a contributor on " travel tips to India " blog. For more travel tips to India read the 101 travel tips to India.