Traveling to India can be a great experience, however, it’s a different culture to many of those we’re used to.
India is not very far and home to millions of travelers each year looking to enjoy its unique culture. Once you get your flight booked and accomodation in order, you need to get your visa organised via Travel Visa Pro. When this is done, you’re ready to go – however, read below first.
So, what do you need to know before you go.
- You’ll need to learn to fit is and let go.
Since India is one of the most populated countries on the planet, there’s no wonder everybody has to fight for money, space and food. The extreme poverty in this country will give you a cultural shock. Nonetheless, getting emotional about this doesn’t make any sense, so you need to learn to accept the facts. Your first day in Delhi will feel like a cold shower.
I’ve encountered people begging for money and I had to ignore them and walk on. Contrary to rumors in media, I didn’t feel unsafe in India. There are heaps of people everywhere you go, but nobody means any harm. The noise can be overwhelming, as drivers horn and beep like there’s no tomorrow.
- You’ll feel like a movie star.
Funny enough, when I visited Taj Mahal I noticed a lot of people taking photos of us, rather than focusing their attention on the impressive monument. Soon, I found myself posing for photos – who can actually blame me for that? Now I know how Hollywood stars feel. In addition, being a blonde woman I had people wanting to touch my hair and capture me on video.
- The traffic can go absolutely insane.
I couldn’t believe my eyes seeing that crazy traffic. The motorcycle rickshaws carrying huge items on their back, the cows, the llamas, the trucks, the horses and carts, and the people walking all over the place are just as many reasons for you to grab your camera and start shooting. You’ll have good reasons for a good laugh later.
- Get used to the fact that you’re going to get sick.
The truth is that I had a horrible night of nausea and vomiting, followed by severe diarrhea. As a matter of fact, my intestinal transit suffered for the entire duration of the trip. Nonetheless, the food is delicious, so it is worth it.
y advice is that you do to your doctor to get some antibiotics on prescription before your trip to India. Also bring imodium and disinfectant gel. Ask what shots you need for India, and take them all. I also had some malaria pills with me, because I intended to go to the jungle for a few days.
- Stay away from salads.
Refrain from eating anything that can’t be peeled. This is easy to overlook, but you should keep in mind that salads and raw fruit are dangerous because they may carry bacteria. In addition, don’t even think to get any tattoo while there. If you cut yourself by accident, use plenty of antiseptic solution and rinse with clean water.
- Use trains.
The Metro train is perfect for traveling inside the city. Buying tickets here isn’t any different than doing it in any modern city in the world. If you want, you can use the “Women Only” carriage which is up in front of the train. Using it is a very good idea, so do it by all means. For interstate traveling make sure you organize your trips one week in advance and book your tickets online. Always use first class unless you are keen on sharing your seat with some other travelers or with their children.
Don’t shy away from taking the overnight train. It’s true that it can be very late (even a few days late) but that’s a common fact in India. Going with the flow will save you from a lot of stress, so accept the way locals deal with time.
- Dress conservatively.
It’s good to show respect for the local traditions by keeping your outfits on the conservative side. Take long skirts and dresses, and sleeved shirts. Also, avoid showing too much cleavage. Conservative clothing will keep you away from trouble in many situations.
- Learn about all religions in India
India is a place where many religions coexist. You’ll find Hindi, Islamist, Buddhist and Christian communities and individuals living peacefully together. The Hindu religion is dominant, though. There are almost 100 gods, so you may need a lifetime to learn them all. While here, consider visiting the Lotus temple in Delhi, as you’ll be able to enjoy peace and silence. This is something rather rare in India, taking into consideration the crazy traffic on their streets.
- Try all foods without fear.
Indian cuisine is simply awesome. You may have to stick with a vegetarian diet and with very few beef dishes, but the dishes are nothing short of amazing. Try korma curries, Dal mukhana, dosa and anything else you may come across. You’ll be very happy you’ve done it!