Wherever your journey takes you…bring a smile.
- Do not drink the tap water
- Only eat cooked vegetables
- To check the seal of a water bottle: hold it sideways and tip and squeeze; if water exits at all-DO NOT DRINK!
- Metro system is easy to follow: don’t be afraid to go to the window to ask questions or assistance
- In markets…Bargain, Bargain, Bargain
- Bring sleep sheets; when traveling hotels and comfort levels are different
- Hot water in hotels is often on a boiler system – may only be turned on at certain times of the day & take time to heat up
- Lights go out, hot water is minimal – BE PATIENT
Try different modes of transport
- Blackouts, brown outs and power surges are a regular occurrence-the power WILL go back on
- There are limited road rules-look in every direction at least twice before crossing a street (be aware of animals, carts, bicycles, rickshaws, tuk-tuks, pedestrians, cars and coaches)
- The rainy season is June and July
- Markets (as often in large cities) are filled with hawkers-Be savvy
- Local currency is available from ATMs (it’s often difficult to get rupees from money exchanges outside of India)
- Bring a good bug spray and reapply often
- India is a country of a more traditional dress; women/men should cover from shoulders to knees & dress conservatively
- At Dehli Airport: there is NO money exchange inside the airport (past security); be sure to change money before you reach the security section; rupees are a difficult currency to change in your home country
- Check with your travel doctor before travel to be sure of vaccinations & medications needed
- Leave enough time to get your Indian visa (time needed for processing can vary-check with your local embassy)
Follow rules & laws of the country you’re in
- Bring a money belt for security purposes when walking through crowded streets or visiting busy sites/markets
- Always carry the business card from your hotel (it will have the address written in local language)
- In choosing a taxi know that your options are local, non-air-conditioned, air-conditioned and luxury
- Be prepared for taxi drivers to need to ask directions often to get you to your destination. It is not uncommon for taxi drivers to take a fare and know the general idea of where they’re going but not the specifics (in our travels-this was our experience but each driver took the time to stop and ask a multitude of people directions to get us to our destination)
- If taking a taxi from Dehli airport-use the police station to get a secure taxi (do not hail one from the street)
- Take Acidophilus tablets or eat the local yoghurt to keep your ‘good bacteria’
- Do not give money to children on the street – food, clothing, or items are better options
- Try some of the meat-free dishes; if ever there was a place to be a vegetarian-India is it!
- Bring items from your home country that you might want to donate or share with others while traveling
- Ask before taking photos of locals – it is a sign of respect and do not photograph if someone says no
Meet new people, chat with locals, & share your story with others who may become friends.
- Respect religious rules when in places of worship (shoes, head coverings, photographs, language, bags)
- There will be poverty, despair, homelessness, opulence, extravagance & endless aromas – Be prepared
- Bring anti-nausea meds, tums, mints, gum or ginger tablets to help with an upset tummy
- Don’t be afraid to try the street food – just be sure to get a recommendation from a reputable source
- Spices are readily available – be sure they are in a sealed package and TSA friendly if you want to bring them home
- Carry both rupees and another currency with you at all times (ie: US dollar, Euro, British pound)
- At Dehli Airport: women are frisked in a separate secure cubicle; be prepared for the difference
- Embrace the diversity
- If you want it to be the same as you’re used to….stay home!
- It’s India-be flexible, bring patience and wear a smile
Stop for a moment. Take notice. Look around and enjoy the view.