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India Travel Tips

India is a place that can capture your heart, no wonder tourists come back for more. India is a hectic, daunting place with overcrowded bazaars, noisy music, pungent spices, dusty roads, cow dung on the streets; a mesmerizing place that will make you addicted to this amazing country. It will cast a spell that few will forget from the moment they step off the plane. Here is a compilation of travel guide and travel tips for India that you need to know before you make your trip to India.

Know before you Go - Staying Safe and Healthy

If you prepare well, however, you can skip the hassles of visiting the country and enjoy only the best that the country has to offer. Here are a few travel tips to keep in mind when you’re visiting India..


If you want to keep yourself cool in the Indian sun, a good supply of cotton clothing is essential along with a comfortable pair of open sandals. An effective pair of sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat will protect you against the strong rays, and it is advisable to use a high factor sun cream. In the cooler months, you will require some warm clothes such as light sweaters, jackets or shawls for the evenings. If your tour takes you to the mountain regions of India, then you will require warmer clothes. As it can sometimes warm up during the days, layers are always a good option along with comfortable walking shoes. For visits to the Game Parks, we recommend our travellers to wear light woolens and a windcheater as the early morning excursions can be quite chilly, with heavier clothing during the winter months of November to February. Khakis, browns or olive greens are best for blending into the environment. When visiting places of worship and mausoleums there are certain Indian religious customs to be observed. As a token of respect, it is customary to remove your footwear before entering all temples (a pair of light socks is useful if you prefer not to go barefoot), and dress should be fairly conservative, i.e. shorts are not really acceptable. In Jain and Hindu temples leather goods such as belts, shoes and bags will not be permitted.

Food and Drink

Avoid eating spicy foods when you first arrive in India, however tempting. Allow your system at least a day or two to get used to them, introducing one Indian dish with each meal for the first couple of days. You will in general find meals very good value for money with a broad choice of cuisine in most hotels throughout your tour (Western and Asian). In remote and outlying areas of India you will find mainly local cuisine. It is best to stick with cooked foods, and remember to peel fruit before eating it. The bestdrinks to enjoy with your meals or to quench your thirst are the bottled mineral waters, other bottled drinks, coffee and tea. Indian beer is very good, along with Indian gin and vodka. Indian wine is growing in reputation and can be most palatable, especially in the hotel restaurants. We recommend both the ‘Grover’ and ‘Sula’ vineyards. Local whiskey needs an acquired taste, and the imported scotch whiskey is very expensive, as is imported wine. Avoid drinking tap water at all costs!! The jugs of water supplied in hotel rooms is purified, but not guaranteed to be safe. Mineral water is very cheap and a far safer option for drinking and even cleaning your teeth, although do check the seal on the bottle is intact.

Health Precaution

There are no compulsory vaccinations for travelling to India, although it is strongly recommended that you protect yourself during travelling against the following: Polio, Tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Cholera and Malaria. We advise you to consult your doctor or Travel Clinics. Some areas including Bhutan and Nepal may be at high altitudes so please check with our staff before confirming your itinerary. We strongly recommend our travelers to carry mosquito repellent lotions / cream during holiday tour.Always carry a kit of the basic emergency medicines you might need for diarrhoea, fever, etc. Also, band aids and an antiseptic ointment.

Social Interaction/Street Life

Indian cities are bustling and exciting, and in most areas, quite safe. Please do not be offended if the locals stare at you – the Indians are friendly and hospitable people and very curious. Almost all city-dwellers speak and understand English, and you will find that most of the street and shop signs are in English as well.Avoid crowds, especially if you are female. Try to avoid shaking hands. Greet people with a 'namaste' (hands pressed together at chest level as if in prayer). You will be appreciated for using the Indian style of greeting.

India is a developing country with an enormous and growing population. Social and economic development continues apace, and tourism income undoubtedly has its part to play, but you will certainly experience many of the inescapable symptoms of poverty during your tour, some of which can be shocking to western eyes. For obvious reasons, beggars will be attracted to tour parties, but we would ask that you do not give to them. Many of the beggars will be operating ‘professionally’, and regardless of this, giving to them simply perpetuates the practice. Alternatively, our ground staff, in all locations, will be happy to suggest a charitable institution should you wish to make a direct contribution.


India is a shopper’s paradise with the promise of some excellent buys! Try to shop only in Government Handicraft Shops/ Cottage Industries. There the prices are fixed and the quality is certified. Get used to the fact that you will probably be charged little more than the locals. If possible, take a local along when you go shopping.


Everything in India takes time - longer than in most places. So always give yourself extra time for whatever you may have to do - even it is just a visit to the Post Office or changing money. Indians joke about the concept of "Indian Stretchable Time" (IST). Certainly, if you're a super-punctual sort, India can be frustrating. Make allowances for this.


In India, public toilet facilities are few and far between, and those that are there should not be ventured into. Take every opportunity you can to use a clean a toilet in places such as hotels and restaurants. Make this a habit wherever you go.

Gratuities & Tipping

This is entirely at your discretion. However, the following may be helpful. If service is not included in the bill, 10% is usually the accepted amount. Hotel and railway porters will expect about 100 rupees for one piece of luggage and about 200 rupees for a trolley full. At the end of your stay if you wish to tip your sightseeing guide and driver, an acceptable amount for the guide would be approximately between 400 – 500 rupees per day; and for the driver, it would be approximately between 200 – 400 rupees per day


Keep extra photocopies of the relevant pages of your passport. This will be required for Indian permits. When asking for directions, ask shopkeepers, not pedestrians. Cross-check with at least two people. Taxi and auto-rickshaw fares keep changing, and therefore do not always conform to readings on meters. Insist on seeing the latest rate card (available with the driver) and pay accordingly. Insist on the taxi/auto meter being flagged down in your presence.


Dress codes for religious places can include covering your head, being barefoot etc. Ask, so that you don't unwillingly give offence. Some temples do not permit any leather articles at all on their premises. Certain areas of temples are not open to Non-Hindus. Most museums in India are closed on Mondays and Site Museums, those near archaeological monuments, on Fridays. The dry summer heat can drain you completely. Drink lots of water and fluids. The sun is strong. Remember to use sunscreen on exposed parts of the body. Wear sunglasses to screen out harmful rays. Photography is not always permissible, and at many places it is permitted only at a fee. There is usually a higher fee for using a video camera. Smoking is not allowed at all public places. English is spoken at almost all tourist centers, but you can also request Government-trained and approved guides who also speak German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Italian or Russian.

The Responsible Traveler

Travelers to India are advised to adopt this travel code for their travel in the country.
We would also encourage you to choose hotels, transporters, tour operators, restaurants and other travel related services of those organisations who have pledged to follow these or other internationally recognized codes of Responsible and Environmentally sensitive travel.

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