So you’re thinking about traveling to India for the first time? Whether it’s because of the alluring tales of its exotic landscape, culture, and food or because you want to explore somewhere new, there are a few things you should know before embarking on your journey.
While India is an amazing and rewarding destination to visit, it can also be challenging due to the varied climate, cultural norms, and intense street life. By arming yourself with some knowledge ahead of time, however, you can help make your first trip to India an unforgettable experience. So why not give it a try?
Plan your trip well in advance
One of the best ways to enjoy a hassle-free vacation in India is by planning everything out well in advance. This includes booking flights, hotels, and transportation, as well as deciding which destinations you want to visit and when.
The country is large and varied, with a lot to see and do. You’ll need at least two weeks to get a sense of the main sights, but longer if you want to explore more off the beaten path.
The first step is to choose your destination. There are many different regions to consider, each with its own attractions and culture. Some popular choices are the crowded cities and temples of Rajasthan, featuring many amazing palaces and forts; the tropical beaches of Goa, with their idyllic setting on the Arabian Sea; or southern India’s vast backwaters region, which is teeming with wildlife.
Whatever you choose, be sure to do your research ahead of time so you know what to expect!
Obtain a visa before your trip
Planning a trip to India? Make sure you check visa requirements and obtain your visa in advance, to avoid any last-minute delays or problems.
If you are coming from one of the countries eligible for an electronic visa, you may be able to get an e–Visa to India online. Otherwise, you will have to apply for a traditional visa at an embassy or consulate.
Different types of visas are available depending on your purpose for visiting India, so make sure you choose the right one!
Check on the recent entry requirements
Make also sure to check on the latest entry requirements, as they may have changed in light of the covid-19 pandemic. The Indian government has announced a number of new restrictions that travelers must now meet in order to be allowed into the country.
One of them is the Air Suvidha, India’s recent health declaration form, which is now required for all international travelers who plan to travel to India amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The form asks passengers about their health history and recent travel itinerary, in an effort to screen for potential new cases of Covid-19. Travelers are urged to complete the form truthfully and accurately, in order to avoid delays or possible detention.
Get travel insurance
Before you even start packing for your trip, make sure that you have a good travel insurance policy in place. This will protect you from any unforeseen circumstances such as lost luggage, medical emergencies, or flight delays/cancellations.
Be sure to read the fine print carefully so that you know exactly what is and isn’t covered by your policy. During the coronavirus pandemic, choosing the insurance with Covid-19 coverage will be the best choice!
India is a country with diverse cultures and religions. When traveling to India, it’s important to dress conservatively in order to show respect for the local culture. Wearing shorts, skirts, and tank tops will likely make you stand out and may even be seen as offensive. Instead, opt for clothing that covers your skin and is respectful of local customs.
There are many great places to shop for traditional Indian clothing in India, so you don’t have to go without fashion just because you’re visiting a different country.
Be prepared for a lot of haggling
Those planning a trip to India will undoubtedly be looking forward to experiencing the country’s rich culture and gorgeous scenery. However, before you go, it’s important to know that one of the most common activities in India is haggling.
Whether you’re trying to buy a souvenir or get a taxi ride, expect to bargain hard for a good price. With a little practice, you can become a pro at haggling and bag yourself some amazing deals!
It’s best to start high and then come down in price gradually. Remember, the goal is to get the best deal possible without offending the other person!
Don’t forget to pack some essential items
When packing for your trip to India, make sure you don’t forget some essentials. From sunscreen and mosquito repellent to Indian currency and snacks, this list will help you prepare for an amazing journey:
- Sunscreen and mosquito repellent
The Indian sun can be very harsh, so make sure you pack sunscreen to protect your skin. Mosquitoes are also a common problem in India, so it’s a good idea to bring along mosquito repellent as well.
- Indian currency
Make sure you have some Indian rupees on hand before you arrive in India. You’ll need them for things like taxis, food, and souvenirs.
- Comfortable shoes
You’ll do a lot of walking in India, so make sure you have comfortable shoes that can help you explore all the sights.
There are so many stunning sights in India, and you’ll want to capture them all on camera! Make sure to pack a high-quality camera or smartphone to remember your trip forever.
- Small first aid kit
Even if you don’t normally pack a first aid kit for trips, it’s a good idea to do so when traveling to India. You may need supplies like bandages, antiseptic cream, or pain relievers while exploring the country.
- Local guidebook
In order to get the most out of your trip, pick up an Indian guidebook before you leave home. This will help you learn about the country’s history, culture, and attractions.
- An open mind
You’ll experience a wealth of new and different sights, sounds, and smells, which can be overwhelming at first. But if you go on your trip with an open mind, you will have an amazing time in India!
India is a vast and diverse country, with plenty to offer tourists both adventurous and those looking for a more relaxing holiday.
If you are planning on traveling amid the Covid-19 pandemic, be sure to pack all of your necessary items and documents, arrange travel insurance if it’s not already included in your package, and set off for the adventure of your life!
With a little preparation and common sense, traveling for the first time to this amazing travel destination can be perfectly safe and enjoyable. Safe travels, everyone!