The prospect of travelling to India creates a sea of emotions in the mind of the first-time traveler. Initial enthusiasm gradually gives way to cautionary disapproval, before being overtaken by utter fascination. There are many who have nurtured a desire to visit this country of more than a billion people. Monuments, scenic vistas, Yoga – the list is finite, but the charms associated with them are not.
In any case, if you happen to be visiting India for the first time, there are certain tips which you should follow. These travel tips for first time traveler to India enable a visitor to acclimatize faster wile experiencing the best that this wonderful country has to offer.
# Adapt and adopt!
One of the things you can take for granted upon your arrival in India is experiencing a culture shock. Rather than resisting it, try to familiarize yourself with the new surroundings. Read up on various aspects of Indian culture before your arrival. Remember, this is a different country with different ideals and values, so keep an open mind, and things will seem less complicated.
# Being steady is the key!
India is a vast country, and any attempt in trying to explore it in its entirety will only end up in you being fatigued. Take it steady! There is plenty for you to see, and each sight will bring with it myriad experiences. Plan your itinerary in a way that leaves you satisfied, rather than wearied. Most of all, you can always come back to India, so what’s the hurry?
# Watch what you wear!
India is a conservative society, much of which can be attributed to its historical prejudices and patriarchal customs. That is the reason why, a first-time traveler to India would be well-advised to cover up! Dress in a way that reveals less skin. This way, you will be spared the ever-present “gaze,” while blending in with the rest of the population. Men and women would both be well –advised to cover themselves fully before entering any religious institution.
# Stay alert, be safe!
When in India, you need to be on the constant lookout for touts and scammers who are out to get your money and take you for a ride. It’s important to stay alert, and turn down such offers assertively without appearing rude. However, you have to accept the fact that being a foreigner, you will be paying more than the natives. Stop worrying about a few extra dollars. It’s not worth it!
# Health is wealth!
First time visit to India? Be prepared for a stomach ache! Unlike the locals who have developed a resistance to germs, foreigners are quite immune to falling ill here. Its advisable to always carry a hand sanitizer and toilet paper with you at all times. Watch the water you drink, the food you eat, especially stuff like salads. Prior to your departure, get all your vaccinations, they really help.
# Catch a train!
India is famous for two things – its population and trains! In India, opt for a train ride than a flight because not only is this hugely economical, but it will also provide you insights regarding the life of the common man. Almost every major destination in India is well-connected by trains. However, make sure that you books your tickets in advance, because in India, people love their trains!
# Away from the city!
Its important, during your trip to India, and especially as a first-time traveler, to get away from the bustling metropolises and the hullaballoo of the cities for a short while. Doing this is necessary for purposes of rejuvenation and relaxation. Besides, the hill stations in India possess a wealth of culture, heritage and culture waiting to be explored! So, head to the hills!
# Tackle the haggle!
Of course, as an outsider, you will be paying a tad more than the locals. However, while shopping, you must learn the art of bargaining with the shopkeepers. Always remember, in India, every price is negotiable. While availing an auto, always discuss the price with the driver before hopping in. Not doing so could land you in an unpleasant situation.
# Mix with the locals!
Any first time traveler to India would attest to the fact that the crowds in India can be very daunting. However, once you start interacting and approaching them under various pretexts, you will discover a different side of them. Moreover, India’s culture resides in the soul of its people, and you can never fully appreciate that fact without mingling amongst them. However, as with anything else, stay alert and safe while doing so at all times!