India has been a worldwide cultural powerhouse for centuries and it is no wonder that people around the world flock to the country to try to get a glimpse of where it all came from. Due to its experience of being a popular tourist destination, India is ready to offer tourists the best of what the country has to offer. Still, India is a massive nation to discover, so here are some tips that will surely come in handy when you travel.
While tourism is starting to recover in several countries around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic is still a real threat you will have to put into account. Stay updated on the COVID situation in India and follow the health precautions stated by your country’s and India’s health authorities.
Besides the pandemic, there are some general, common-sense health precautions you should take in India. Make sure the food and water you consume are not contaminated. We understand that a culinary adventure in India is incomplete without street food, but don’t jump headfirst into it, avoid unhygienic food, for example, meats that have stayed in the sun for too long, or simply unhygienic food spots.
Tourists have noted that it is way easier to stay safe with your food if you follow a vegetarian diet, as it is harder to get sick from vegetables than meat. However, that tip is also an oversimplification, for example, while all fruits are vegetarian, you should avoid fruits you can’t peel as the risk of contamination from such fruits is higher.
Get small change
It’s a common-sense tip that you should always have enough money with you, but when it comes to India, you should also take care that you don’t just carry 2000 rupee bills. Have some change with you. As some users in a tourist forum agreed: “No one has small change in India!”
This is also a good security tip. It’s always a bad idea to have too much money on your person, as it puts you at a bigger risk of theft and other crimes.
In this respect, changing in person is advantageous, compared to exchanging at ATMs. At ATMs, you can’t ask for small change, bar the risks of extra charges for ATM operations.
Stay connected (locally)
Even if you’re traveling to India to unplug from the bustling world and heal yourself from digital burnout, chances are you still need to stay connected. For that, you should consider what would be the right data plan for your stay in India.
Roaming packages provided by your home country’s providers might be enough if you only stay for a couple of days, but they’re generally pricey for the amount of service they provide.
You could consider local SIM cards. The local data deals are generally cheaper. It’s not difficult to get them, there are often official SIM kiosks at international airports.
Get to know the apps
Once you get your data plan sorted, be sure to make the best out of it. India, like other parts of the modern world, is rich with online services that make the locals’ lives easier.
You can start exploring the local culinary scene by browsing food delivery apps, then ordering through them if something catches your eye. You could also find travel and event aggregator apps to discover more of India and witness the contemporary culture just like the locals. And where would we be without ride-sharing apps?
You might want to go the traditional way, ride rickshaws, and haggle all around, but online services can be a good way to keep your options open and see the possibilities.
As mentioned above, India is no newbie when it comes to welcoming tourists. So while you do need touk, you can do it easily. The Indian government has a website ready for visa applications online. The documents you need to apply for an Indian e-visa:
- Your passport
- A scan of the data page of your passport in PDF format, no larger than 300 Kb
Once your visa is ready, you will get a notification in your email. You will need to print out the Electronic Travel Authorization form to show to immigration authorities. However, the proper form isn’t the same thing as the notification email, so don’t mix it up!
Bar the obvious areas of conflict like Kashmir and the border with Pakistan, India is generally considered safe, especially in places popular among tourists. However, you should always exercise common-sense safety precautions such as avoiding going out after dark, showing off your wealth, and staying in safe areas.
For women, the experience might be different, so if you’re a female traveler, take some time to get to know the experiences of fellow female travelers who have been to India and learn some tips from them.
Good luck with your journey!