Traveling to a new country for the first time is always an exciting and unforgettable experience. With its ornate temples, rich heritage, colorful street markets and daunting population, it’s probably a whole world away from your usual daily grind. We’ve prepared these top 5 India travel tips to help you deal with the culture shock so you can make the absolute most of your first trip to India!
Top 5 India Travel Tips
1) Don’t Rush
When you’re on holiday, there can be a temptation to rush through lots of different sights and cities to “make the most” of your trip. Instead of trying to see the entire country during your first visit, make a list of attractions that you’re most interested in and commit to spending two days in the area. This will not only help you avoid traveler’s burnout, but you’ll probably also discover some hidden gems that the guide books don’t even know about yet!
2) Be Health Conscious
While India is an exceptionally beautiful country, many of the major cities still have sanitation systems that we’d consider completely untenable in the West. India travel experts advise that If you want to avoid picking up a bug, stick to bottled water and be wary of eating from any roadside stalls where vendors seem lax about hygiene (fried or boiled foods are safest). To beat Delhi Belly, you can also ask your local practitioner about taking an oral vaccine a few weeks before you go. Additionally, no matter how healthy you are, traveler’s health insurance is an absolute must for any savvy traveler.
3) Leave the City
Although cities like Delhi and Jodhpur are intense and exciting, you’ll want to get away from the big, buzzing cities to recharge your batteries. Take time out during the middle of your vacation by heading somewhere serene, like the beaches of Kerala. Rent a houseboat and cruise the balmy backwaters of Southern India, taking in the sights of the local villages and lush jungle canals.
4) Compare Prices
India is a great place for bartering, so you might want to brush up on your bargaining skills. When you hit the markets, be sure to check several different stalls to compare prices before making a purchase. Some vendors will charge higher prices for foreigners, so taking a local friend or guide with you can be useful. You may feel awkward haggling, but even asking for a better price on your hotel room is totally acceptable in most Indian cities. The more like a local you act, the better deals you’ll get!
5) Use Technology
When you travel to India for the first time, you’ll probably feel a bit out of your depth. Fortunately, smart phones can really help ease your nerves. Apps like “Sit or Squat” can help you locate Western-style toilets, while translation apps can bridge language barriers and Lonely Planet can act as your tour guide. Make sure to buy yourself a disposable sim-card once you’re in the country, though, or you’ll be in for some serious roaming costs on your phone bill!
Traveling to India for the first time is bound to be a memorable and exciting experience. Using these top 5 India travel tips, you can make the absolute most of your trip. Enjoy!