Checklist for First-time Visitors to India

With snow-covered mountains, golden deserts, glittering cities, pristine beaches and diverse cultures, there are hundreds of reason to visit India. The country offers ample options to treat your eyes, places that you’d never thought to visit. If it’s not your bucket list yet, it should be. If you are among those who love to globetrotter, India should be your next destination. You’re guaranteed with unlimited thrill and excitement.

No matter where are you travelling to, a trip with proper planning ends with abundant satisfaction. In line with that, if you’re travelling first time to India, by considering a few things you can ensure a smooth stay throughout-


  • What to Bring and What to Keep Behind


Let’s face it, India is a place of many climates. You are going to face mostly the hot weather. Pack light, breezy clothes to ensure optimum comfort while roving on Indian streets. India is a hub for shopaholics as well. So pack less so that you can bring home a lot of exotic items back.

The most essential part-don’t forget to keep sunglasses, a stylish hat, sunscreen, phone, passport and a bottle of water along with while out for sightseeing. To avoid long security queue, keep bags locked in the hotel room.


  • Consider Travel Insurance


It might be the last option that comes to your mind or you completely ignore it. However, travel insurance is a necessary purchase these days. It saves you from spending a bomb in case of an accidental emergency or other risks such as flight delay, trip cancellation, hijack etc. However, no Indian insurer directly provides travel insurance to a foreigner. You can check with insurance companies in your country which have Indian partnership. AIG, Lombard, Cigna, AXA, Allianz are few overseas insurers that have tie-ups with Indian insurers. Oriental insurance also has expanded its business to Nepal, Dubai and Kuwait. Based on your country of origin, choose a travel insurance cover with a company that is also present in India through a joint venture. This way, roam around your dream destination fearlessly.

  1. Keep the Passport Handy

With the advent of the internet, electronic visas can be accessible within a few clicks. To visit India you will need a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival. Double check every minute thing. The major tourist places require you to show the passport. So, always keep it with you.


  • Getting Around Can Be Tricky


There are much more to see in India than just the cities like Delhi or Mumbai. The peace-lover can go to enchanting mountain places or a thrilling road-trip to Chennai to Pondicherry along the East Coast Road. However, bear in mind that, getting around can be tricky as you might face chaotic places like a railway station or bus stops. Traffic jam is another concern during the rush hours which may bound you to stuck for hours. To avoid this, you can choose domestic flights, which are economical to cover as many destinations as you want. However, make necessary arrangement in prior like bookings, transportation from the hotel to airport etc.

If still the idea of roaming around in India seems daunting, avoid doing it alone. You can opt for luxury travel companies that arrange group trips to experience creative travel. The best part is all airport-related arrangements are taken care of the travel agency.


  • Bargain, Bargain and Bargain


When in India you should learn the art of bargain. Price for everything is surprisingly higher for the foreigners since the sellers in India misinterpret that foreigners are rich. You can approach local people or whom you can trust to know about the exact cost. Assess the market a little. Spare the artists or farmers they are genuine and earn money the hard way.


  • Try Indian Foods


If you’re not trying Indian cuisines when in India, your trip is waste. India offers a plenty of food options to bring your taste buds into the fourth dimension. The 29 states have different cuisines and each offers something unique from the other. In the north, you can experience delicious Punjabi food, while in the south, spicy vegetarian cuisines indicate the authenticity of their culture. If you think of giving a try in the next time, you shouldn’t as you don’t exactly know if the next time will come or not.


  • Don’t Ignore Stomach Discomfort


Speaking of food, the chances of yours getting ill is higher. Almost every traveller experience some kind of indigestion problem due to food or change of weather. Sometimes it may get serious if you don’t pay attention. Before kick-starting the trip, you can buy some immune-boosting supplements to keep you active. When in India, must follow the “peel it, cook it, or leave it” rule while having fresh food/vegetables. Politely decline to have tea or coffee from the local vendors. Keep some medicines along with for emergency.


  • There is No Hard and Fast Rule to Visit Monuments


If you don’t feel like, avoid it. You have complete freedom to decide your itinerary. Mostly, tourists’ spots like Taj Mahal, Red Fort are always over-crowded, tickets are difficult to get and hotels are overpriced. If it is not at the top of your list, avoid it. Otherwise, if you going to stay in Agra to see Taj Mahal than only consider it and spend the night in a good place.


  • Luxury Comes with Every Penny


Only if you can afford! India offers some of the world’s best travel experiences with luxury. However, you really don’t need to be royal to travel. 5-star hotels in metro cities are approachable under $200 in some cases. Vilas or places are more expensive though. However, you would be thankful for the service, food or other requirements which are unparalleled anywhere else on the globe. If you are targeting to visit Taj Mahal, stay a night in Oberoi Amarvilas, splurge with spa and keep yourself rejuvenated. However, make sure you save these places for the end of your trip and relax.


  • Consider the other Side of the Coin- India Vs Poverty


Although India is one of the most beautiful destinations for travellers globally, there are certain things that make you shatter. Poverty is one such concern that trolls the country big time. Even you’ll see the baggers including children as well in most of the tourist spots asking for money or food. Be discreet, handle them tactfully. You can offer food rather giving them money. If you eagerly want to contribute then seek help from an established charity to donate. But, don’t pay them directly.


  • Feminine Hygiene


If you are a female, unfortunately, this going to be tough for you, Feminine hygiene is a great challenge in India. The common supplies may not at per. Keep an extra stock as per the need. To avoid those long-cramp days, you can go for the medicines like brufen/ibuprofen.

Special Advice:

If you’re travelling for the first time, don’t even think of covering everything. India offers a lot to explore that really can’t be seen in just one visit. And this will keep you calling again and again to this incredible place. However, with a little planning, you can cover most of this blissful place.

So, don’t stop your itchy feet and head to explore thrills!