India is a country rich in culture, tradition, and heritage. It provides travellers with unique and mixed experiences which might not be suited to everybody. If you’re planning a trip to India you need to have the ability to stay cautious and aware of the things going on around you. Although Indians believe in “Atithi Devo Bhava” (Guest is God), exceptions always exist!
In the mainstream cities like Delhi and Mumbai, people are habitual of seeing tourists and dealing with them. Still, many a time you might face some uncomfortable situations or experiences. Staying pre-immune to those things might help you not face a few of them.
This article is about everything that you need to do before travelling to India.
Mindset is the first thing you need to work on before coming to India. You might be well aware of the crime rate against women but it’s only one side of the story. The media has put on massive light on those happenings and it’s in no way a fault. But there’s a difference between fear and being aware and that’s what you need to understand. Knowing all those facts you need to put them aside and travel to India with a clear mind. You won’t be able to enjoy and explore if you travel with fear inside you. Most tourists have a great time in India and feel Indians are some of the kindest human beings they ever met. So, it’s mostly how you think about it. Remember, you just need to be aware and feel confident along with taking all the basic necessary precautions.
Although most of the people in urban areas are okay with female tourists wearing short clothes, many of them like stall owners, rickshaw drivers are still not used to it may be because they have a traditional mindset. So, it is preferred that you do not choose short or revealing clothes for sightseeing as they may attract unwanted attention and make you feel uncomfortable.
Another reason for not wearing them is the temperature! India is a tropical country and it is mostly hot and sunny here, especially if you’re visiting during summers.
However, you can freely wear your shorts around the mainstream city areas like Colaba or the Cannaught place.
This is something that might play a major role in the kind of experience you have while your trip to India. Many times your actions might seem to be inviting unwanted attention or openness towards certain things. So try not to be over-friendly with people as they are not used to it and might consider it as an open invitation.
Another important thing to keep in mind is to avoid strangers knowing about where you’re staying. While shopping, try not to show that you don’t know much about the place and prices. You need not be rude but you definitely need to be straightforward. Reading a blog on “Ways to build your bargaining power on your trip to India” might help while shopping from the streets.
Avoid giving money to the beggers, offer food items instead. Most of them are a part of a gang where money generally goes at the top. You can maybe read a blog on “famous scams in India” to be more informed.
Overall, your body language needs to show alertness and self-dependence rather than vulnerability, even if you need help with something. You need to develop this habit of figuring things out without showing it out to everybody. So, first-timers should prefer group trips to India before attempting solo.
There are a few basic safety essentials that you need to have by your side if you are on your trip to India. First of all, self-defence tools. These are something that you should carry not only in India but everywhere you go, just in case you meet an emergency. It can include pepper spray, a penknife, a strong hairpin, or any other tool that you think might help with self-defence.
Along with that, you need to make arrangements to stay connected to your close ones via call or text messages. You can take a Local phone number for which you just need to have your passport and identity card.
Exploring India can be overwhelming especially for the first time. So, it would be great if you have a little bit of knowledge beforehand. Try reading a few books or articles about the place you are going to visit in India. Learn about the culture, customs, attire, people, and life in that particular area. It would simply enhance your experience at the same time make things easier for you.
The best thing you can do is talk to a friend of yours who has already been to India and ask them about their experiences about how to tackle the little difficulties on the way.
Besides that, watching videos by travel bloggers has also come up as a new way to gain pre-requisite knowledge!
Being a woman we often spend a great deal of time looking after our skin and hair. If not, we are certainly concerned about it most of the time and it’s too obvious that skincare would be essential while travelling to an entirely different temperature zone. Let’s face it, you ARE going to face skin problems. So it’s better to take precautions to be less affected.
Don’t forget your sunscreen lotion which must be at least SPF 50. Along with that, you need to make sure you always carry your scarf, sunglasses, and a cap or hat. You might see a lot of Indian women okay with it, but don’t do the mistake of taking it lightly because your body is not habitual to it and may cause skin problems, or might make you fall ill.
You need to be ready to face the temperature change because you don’t wanna fall sick on a trip right?
Below are some quick tips that might help you while on your trip to India…
- If you carry a sling bag, don’t just carry it vertically on your shoulder as it may make you easy prey for pickpocketers. Instead, carry it diagonally on the other shoulder. This will make things difficult for them and they may not even target you in the first place.
- An Ola or Uber cab would be preferable if you’re travelling solo. However, if there’s no availability, try taking auto-rickshaws that have much more safety chances as they are open.
- While boarding a taxi or an autorickshaw, make a habit of placing a fake call or simply call somebody to inform that “you are on the way”. The idea is to put in the driver’s head that you have people waiting for you at the other end and that you are connected.
- Keep your GPS on while on a taxi or a rickshaw.
- Try to arrange for someone to pick you up at destinations like railway stations to the hotel, or the hotel to a destination. This service can be easily availed by the hotel you’ve booked.
- You can try wearing comfortable Indian clothes like Kurta and trousers. They are soft and just perfect for the weather. In addition to it, they give you a certain level of acceptance around the people and places you visit.
- You can learn a little bit of “survival Hindi” which would be fun and make things a lot easier.
Hope this blog helped you with all the information you were looking for!
Stay tuned for more.