15 Tips for first time traveling in India

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Traveling to India for the first time for any traveling could be challenging as well as Amazing. Here I will discuss traveling to India tips that will help you to make your Journey memorable.

India is a colorful country. Also the Currency is very cheap as compare to Dollar. India is a an adventurous country whether it is Hills of Himalayas, Desert of Rajasthan, or Beaches of Goa. Every part of India will amaze you and will give you goose bumps.  It is said that if you can travel in India, You can Travel anywhere in the world.

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Here are some traveling to India Tips that will help you as a group traveler or solo traveler  :

  1. Try to Travel by Train : India is a big country, you need a year to complete your trip. Best way is to book a train instead of flight. As traveling in India by train will give a little glimpse of its culture and language.
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There are 3 type of coaches available for passengers. A.C, Sleeper, General.

In A.C Coach : Here you will get all  comfort, you would be having a big window for a nice view of landscape. In A.C 1st tier, you will get a sleeper bed like dormitory. In A.C 2nd tier, you will get Deluxe chair for comfort. but all this will cost you around INR 500 to 2500 depends upon your journey distance.

Sleeper Coach : It is little bit cheaper and comfortable. Although there would be no A.C in it. Try to book a upper seat for comfort and privacy. Take care of your Belongings. Here in this coach you will meet mostly middle class people. They are always ready to have a good conversation with foreign tourists

General Coach : It is the cheapest coach. Mostly lower middle class people and poor people travel through it. It is always full and no reservation is needed for traveling in this coach. Price ranges INR 20 to 350 depend on your journey distance

2) Always confirm and Agree with Price before hiring anything :Whether it is auto rickshaw, taxi (without meter), shops, booking agent. Always double check the price and ask, price is inclusive of everything or you have to pay surprises. Always check or ask for the price before having a food in a restaurant. Before buying anything from shops, Do check MRP (Maximum Retail Price) and don’t give money more than that.

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3) Drink Purify Water : Always avoid Tap water in India. Do double check the purity of water. You would fall sick because of changing water. If you are in a good restaurant, always use R.O. (reverse osmosis) water, it is free and safe to drink. If you want more clean water then purchase Plastic water bottles. Preferred brands are Bisleri, Kinley, Aquafina. Don’t purchase other brands, most of them are cheap and untreated water. Beawarere of Duplicate water bottle, there are plenty of bottles with similar names, the main difference is of Spelling. Check the spelling twice.

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4) Carry Toilet Paper : Toilet paper is not in trend in India. Although you might find western toilet in many places. but there are chances that you might not find toilet paper. Indian toilets are different than western toilets. A Mug water and left hand is used for cleaning. So, It’s better to carry your own Toilet paper with you

5) Be Respectful : India is a country of Deep rooted cultural heritage and religious traditions. If you follow local social etiquette, then you would enjoy more in India

6) Woman should wear modest clothes, try to cover your body in public places like arms, belly, legs. In Muslim areas wear full sleeves clothes, no short skirt.

7) Shake hands and eat with your right hand ( left hand is used by indians for toilet). Don’t show your finger or shoe soles to anyone

8) Take off your shoes while entering any religious place in India like temple, mosque. There are many shoe counters outside, if you don’t find any then leave it at any shop outside temple or mosque. Shoe theft is also popular story in India.

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9) Enjoy Festive Holidays : As India is a colorful country with lots of religions and traditions, so you might get a chance to enjoy festivals like Diwali, Eid, etc. Do check the Indian festive Calendar and plan accordingly. There are  always a religious and cultural celebrations going on somewhere in India. Often incorporating music, dance, colorful dresses

As the Hindus makes up 75% population of India, so most of these celebrations are based on Hindu religion like Holi, Diwali, Dussera, ganesha etc. Try the camels fair in Pushkar, rajasthan.

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10) Be Careful : Avoid bringing heavy cash and jewellery with you. Always keep Credit or Debit card with you for your purchases. Before planning a new place, make a plan for cash and credit  card uses. Check online whether that place has ATM’s or not. Protect your valuable things in Crowded places

11) Get an Indian SIM card with the help of your Passport. Women specially don’t roam alone in night or plan anything for night out. Dress conservatively. Be confident in case of any trouble and Shout loudly in case of emergency. Dial 100 it’s a emergency number of Cops in India. There are many network providers in India, AIRTEL is best as pe my experience.

12) Try the Street Food : Always go for a crowded shop for food items. Empty shops are left for some reasons. Many street foods of India are very popular like pani puri ( Crispy fried bread filled with tamarind ), Bhel puri ( puffed rice, onion, potato, chutney ) , Vada Paav ( soft roll stuffed with deep fried potato ) . Make sure that ingredients look fresh and cooked infront of you.

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13) Break foreign travelers rules often : Most of the foreigners follow the same pattern of traveling, try to go off beat little bit deeply. Hire a tuk tuk, auto rickshaw, travel in local buses, Visit Indian villages. These places will give you a different experience and information about Indian culture. You will get a genuine insight in to an Indian life

14) Go with the flow : India is a challenging place to travel, you will get lots of surprises, ups and downs etc. Be ready to face any upcoming challenge. Everything will make you more mature and experienced. If you really want to enjoy the India then go with the flow. Accept every challenge. Have patience and good sense of humor.

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15) Keep Important Contact numbers handy : In case of emergency, always keep the important numbers with you in two places. One in mobile and other in small diary. Contacts numbers like : family members, friends, Cops (police), medical emergency etc.  are must to have with you.

Traveling is a passion. India is a beautiful country. Don’t think too much, just go for it.

What do you think about traveling in India ? Do you have tips to share? Which place did you visited in India last time? Share with me in comments below.

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