India is one of my favorite travel destinations. The sights, flavors and people are just a couple of the reasons why it's such a great place to visit.
Although I enjoyed my time there, there are a couple things that would've made my trip even better. To keep you from making the same mistake, I've come up with a couple of tips to ensure you enjoy your time in India.
1 | Read, read and read some more
It's important to read up about where you are going. India is a large country with a vast array of cultures. You may experience certain foods in the North of India that are not traditionally made in the South. Embracing these difference is the best way to get the most out of your time there.
2 | Try to eat the local food
The one thing that that makes Indian food so great is that there is something for everyone. As a vegetarian I was in heaven!
As far as safety goes, a good rule of thumb is to stick to foods that are piping hot and boiled or fried. If you love fruit, stick with ones that have a peel. Also, don't don't forget your bottled water. If you stick to this you'll spend more time enjoying your trip and less time being sick.
3 | Book in advance
The months of October until March are considered peak tourist season and May until June is the season of Indian holidays. If you plan to travel during these months, book in advance. If you're on a budget you can find a variety of hotels, tourist bungalows, traveler's lodges, youth hotels, holiday homes, and YWCA/YMCA's.
4 | Be prepared for the stares
One thing that was a little difficult to get used to was the way people unabashedly stared at me. Although it was unnerving, most people were friendly and it was only out of curiosity. Although this is mostly true, it's still a good idea to stick with a friend or a guide in places you're unfamiliar with since you're an easy target.
5 | Remember to bring your important items
If you take any medication, buy as much as you need before your trip. You can probably find a similar medication but since it's under a different name it could make it difficult to figure out what type you actually need.
6 | If in doubt, book a guide
Traveling in India can be a bit intimidating. A great tour guide can make the difference in how you experience the country. You can book a tour guide online and see what people say about the agency beforehand. Having an advocate who knows the culture, customs, and language will definitely make your trip more enjoyable.
7 | Pack Smart
It's always good to determine what area you will be in pack with that in mind. The country's geographical position gives India a varied climate in the different regions.
Although most of the country experiences a subtropical climate, if you plan to visit the northern plains, it can be a lot colder or hotter than expected.
Climate Tips: October – March is dry winter, the climate will tend to be cooler, April – June is dry hot summer, mid June – September is a season of torrential rains and southwest monsoon.
8 | Have a working form of communication.
If you have an old unlocked phone, be sure to bring this and purchase a local sim card. It's also a great idea to bring a power bank so you have access to a charged phone in case of an emergency.
9 | Look after your travel paperwork.
Although make sure you have you travel paperwork in a secure place. If you feel uncertain you can purchase a travel belt from amazon and keep your important items there.
10 | Always show respect.
Although you will see beautiful temples and mausoleums, make sure that you remove your shoes, sandals, or slippers before entering. It's also a good idea to check and see if you can enter and avoid being that person who is loud or takes photos when there are signs saying you shouldn't
At the end of the day, you will get out of your trip what you put into it. Don't be afraid to get the most out of your experience and try new things!