India is all these things, and more. How can you possibly prepare yourself to visit India? Start with our tips for taking the ultimate travel : going to India for the first time! If you are planning to travel to India. Than do consider the things below.
Pick the perfect route
India packs a lot into a massive space, and you’ll never have time to see it all on one trip. Think about what interests you, what you like doing and how much time you have, and tailor your trip accordingly. Be realistic about how much you can fit in. Rather than trying to see the whole country, you may get more out of your trip if you concentrate on the south of the country, or on the north. However, internal flights are plentiful and inexpensive so you can hop from north to south if you want a taste of both worlds. The itineraries section at the front of Lonely Planet’s guidebooks to India can be a great help, but here are some possible itineraries to get the ball rolling.
Many people try to cram too much into a visit to India. To get the best out your trip, concentrate on a few places rather than trying to tick off as many as possible. Seeing one place slowly can be much more rewarding than seeing loads of places, but not having time to appreciate any of them. Spend a few days in a place and you’ll be less stressed, gain a deeper understanding of where you are, and have more time to get to know the people you meet.
Escape the crowds
With over a billion locals, many parts of India are certainly crowded. The bustle and mayhem can be fun, particularly if there’s a festival in town, but it’s easy to reach the point of saturation. Fortunately, India has plenty of quiet retreats, so plan some relaxing escapes into your journey. To keep your batteries charged, spend some days or weeks in a city, followed by some days or weeks in the countryside or in a small town. For inner (and outer) peace, head south to the backwaters and beaches of Kerala, or north to India’s captivating hill stations or the Tibetan-influenced valleys of the Himalaya in Ladakh, Sikkim and Himachal Pradesh.
No one wants to get ill, particularly if you’re on a shorter trip, so it pays to take steps to avoid a dodgy tum. Never drink tap water, and steer clear of any food that may have been washed in it. As a precaution, avoid ice, ice cream, and salads and fruit you haven’t just peeled yourself. Let your stomach acclimatise for a few days before launching into a street food feast, and whenever buying street food, do a mental assessment of standards of cleanliness. Are the owners freshly cooking the food or has it been standing there for a while? Is the stall busy with lots of customers or only attracting hoards of flies?
Keep your cool
As well as its beauty and wonder, India has an often deserved reputation for touts, scams, and other hassles. There are ways you can reduce the chances of being overcharged or cheated, but you will have a few encounters with scammers on your trip, so keep your wits about you and remember that deals that sound too good to be true usually are. In particular, be wary of taxi and rickshaw drivers who insist on taking you to specific hotels, shops or travel agencies – the cost of their commission will added to your bill.