10 Things to Keep in Mind before Your First Visit to India

Your fist trip to India is guaranteed to be full of mixed emotions – wonderful, nerve wrecking, beautiful, thrilling and needless to say, very, very adventurous. The land of countless festivals and even more traditions, India is a definitive, on-the-bucket-list holiday destination.

Ensure you abide by these 10 golden rules on your first trip to India!

  1. Carry Lots of Change: Mostpeople shall ask you to give them change like the auto rickshaw driver (public transport) and you need it for food and everyday shopping, too. Keep ten, twenty and fifty rupee bills handy.
  1. Stay Hydrated: India is hot and humid, so consume water throughout the day to prevent dehydration. Ensure you drink bottled water, which is easily available in most stores.
  1. Dress Cool: Comfortable and breezy is the dress code in India. Wear comfortable pants, tees or skirts in cotton to keep you cool given India’s hot and humid temperature.
  1. Rules for Religious Places: Many temples, mosques and holy places may not allow one to enter if you aren’t dressed in a particular manner. If you are wearing short clothes, or clothing that does not cover your shoulders and head, you may not be permitted to enter certain religious places. Carry a wrap or jacket to drape yourself before entering any religious places.
  1. Beware of Hawkers and Beggars: Although street shopping in India can be a blast and can lead you to finding some interesting trinkets, be careful of beggars and pick pocketers. Beware of price hikes as well (time to brush up on your bargaining skills!).
  1. Never Be Shy to Bargain: Yes, you can, absolutely! Take a little help from the locals or simply check online to see how much certain things cost in specific areas before heading out for retail therapy.
  1. Use Safe Public Transports: Though trains and buses are very cheap in India, it can be quite a challenge if you are new or not familiar with the local language. Cabs and autos can be booked online, which is faster, safer, and you can travel at fixed rates.
  1. Ask for Directions: Google Maps can be a true savior. However, in a land that has tons of roads and multiple lanes, it is best to ask a fellow traveller if you feel you are heading in the wrong direction. Most Indians are very helpful.
  1. Research Before You Head Out: Check out the hotel vicinity, good restaurants to eat, places to shop and things to do in the location of your stay. Plan the essentials well before your stay.
  1. Beware of Street Food: As delicious as Indian street food is, go easy on your fist visit. Familiarize yourself with the flavor palettes and ingredients. If you have a sensitive stomach, you can opt for good restaurants that serve local hygienic food at a few extra bucks.

Whatever you do and wherever you plan to stay on your first visit, ensure to be safe and have loads of fun!

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