Top 10 tips for those traveling to India for the first time

There is absolutely no denying going to some Asian countries such as India might bring a massive culture shock, especially on the first trip there. It comes as no surprise, this one is a multicultural and, thus, greatly bewildering country, with dozens of different religious and cultural teachings, intertwined together in large cities roaring with traffic and street bustling which are basically non-stop. Keeping all those in mind, you need to prepare yourself for an assault of local traditions and customs. So, today would like to present the top 10 must-know tips on surviving (and enjoying too) your journey to India.

  1. Do not try to touch all the hot buttons in one go
    Probably the main complaint expressed by the first-time travelers to India is simply trying to see and try out too much in a short time. India is multilateral, colorful and pretty addictive, yet be advised to have more or less realistic expectations about how many places you can visit on your trip. Plan your visit to a particular location wisely in order to experience far more unique emotions and feel the spirit of the country fully. Anyway, India will not go anywhere – you’ll return there another time.
  2. Watch what you eat and drink there
    Remember consuming only freshly cooked stuff. This is by far the easiest way to avoid catching some nasty diseases caused by bacteria or other parasites. Cooking process will kill most harmful organisms. Do not eat salads, drink juices or taste anything raw. If you are a raw food lover, we recommend you reconsider your diet while your stay. Another tip of huge usefulness: never try street food. Although some of your friends may brag about surviving Indian street food experience, you hardly need such gastronomic “adventures” there.
  3. Do not be excessively precious about your private space
    You might have even known this before. You will be easily squished in a bus and no less easy squashed in a lift. Locals might be asking you seemingly bothersome questions you will likely find quite intimidating. Be aware of the fact this is a whole different culture, so the local people’s questions may be polite as hell when a foreign person will find them extremely annoying.
  4. Watch your feet and hands
    Feet are traditionally considered to be unclean there, thus if you have accidentally stepped on someone’s foot – it will be highly appropriate to politely apologize. Similarly, taking food or passing something with your left hand is regarded quite unpleasant for particular reasons. If you’re unsure of local traditions, keep an eye out for how locals act and consider acting the same.
  5. Keep in mind that “time” is a relative concept in India
    You might successfully find yourself waiting for two hours when your friend from around there has assured he will be in a matter of minutes. Traffic issues and some other interruptions may also mean getting to the right place can oftentimes take longer than expected. Have plenty of room for unplanned situations and don’t forget to check the opening hours – many local stores usually close for lunch there.
  6. Stay conservatively dressed
    Keep in mind that India’s culture is pretty modest. If you’re a woman, having your arms and legs covered is a simple gesture towards respecting local customs. Indians are polite enough to those unfamiliar with their traditions, but consider making a good impression by, for example, taking off your shoes when entering somebody’s home. It is especially important when entering a sacred place, such as a temple, for instance. What’s more, if you notice shoes outside a store, it is a sign for you to remove your own.
  7. Be generally cautious
    While “avoid walking dark streets alone” may sound obvious enough, there is a ton of other straightforward ways to evade unnecessary dangers in India. Carrying racks in your pockets can hardly be a good idea anywhere else, but in overcrowded Indian city centers pickpockets are a very common problem. Same goes to bargaining at local markets. Always stay relaxed, but firm and try to escape the temptation of being put out of temper.
  8. Don’t forget the probiotics and charcoal pills at home!
    Probiotics will boost the good bacteria, improve your digestion and increase natural immune system. Those buds are an absolute must when packing things for a trip to India and during your stay there as well. Charcoal pills, on the other hand, can be incredibly effective when having swallowed something undercooked and now suffering from raging diarrhea.
  9. Print your plane e-tickets unless you want to deal with police at the airport
    The local police and security guards at the airport will never let you enter the plane back home if you fail to demonstrate your ticket in paper form or, at least, on an electronic carrier.
  10. Have a hired pre-paid taxi to reach your hotel as you step off your plane at the airport
    You’ll always discover a number of pre-paid taxi stands as you enter the airport, with quite fair prices and reputable drivers. So, make sure to use one of those stands to hire a taxi to your hotel to avoid being trampled in public transport and evade all the untrustworthy drivers asking way too much for their service.