Advice for people visiting India for the first time

Whether you are travelling with friends, or on your own, it is wise to make sure you plan your trip out to ensure that everything runs smoothly. You do not have to plan it down to a ‘T’, however, having an understanding of the route you wish to travel, how much you intend to spend, and an idea of some of the places you want to stay, whether cheap hostels or expensive hotels will allow you to have a stress free trip.

Sometimes travelling is all about the spontaneity, taking a backpack and visiting a place that seems completely alien to you, and going with the flow. But this can only take you so far, you do not want to be stuck in a destination with no idea of where to go and where to stay, this will only allow locals to take advantage, in some circumstances, by charging you excessive amounts on taxi fares if they can tell you aren’t clued up. This may not be the case for everyone, but it’s best to avoid it if possible.

So some things to consider…

Travel
It all depends on the time you have to travel; you could be there for a week, two weeks, or up to a month, so you can either visit one destination or several. If you plan on visiting several places, where do you intend on going to? It also depends on what you want to do. Do you intend on going to the cities or the beaches, or both perhaps?

If you only have a short amount of time to visit India the most popular ‘tour’ and route to do is the ‘Golden Triangle’, this includes visiting Delhi, Agra (which is home to the infamous Taj Mahal) and then Jaipur. This is a popular way to include the various sites that India has to offer, with a great amount of shopping available in Delhi, as well as all the culture that’s on offer with the ancient sites in Agra and Jaipur.
However, if you have a little longer, you can still complete the ‘Golden Triangle’ tour, but you could also visit Goa to see some beautiful beaches, but you may also be interested in a little thrill seeking adventure which you will find in places such as Manali and Himachal Pradesh, with the option to go Trekking and do many outdoor activities.

Food
Many people in India are vegetarians and it is often thought that it is a safe option to eat mostly vegetarian food whilst out there. It could be detrimental to your health to eat any meat, as it could be undercooked or dodgy and therefore could make you feel unwell. Further still, you should stay away from tap water and ice, this goes for many places in Asia, it is best to buy bottled water that hasn’t been previously opened from a supermarket, these even goes for brushing your teeth, use the bottled water, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Money
The currency that is used in India is called the Rupee. Unlike some other countries around the world, you cannot import or export Indian currency. They would rather you purchased the currency at the airport, or once you are in your desired destination. Therefore it is often advised that if you don’t wish to get the currency at the airport, which is usually renowned for having the worst rates, you are able to take an ATM card or a rupee travel card through to India with you. It will still depend on the exchange rates whether you’re able to get good rates so it is worth looking into this. You may only wish to take a small amount as you could find once you are India you are able to get currency cheaper out there at a better rate, but it is often thought beneficial to ensure you have some money on a card once you arrive, if you find yourself in need of money.

Hopefully, with all these points taken into consideration, you can ensure you have the best, most enjoyable trip to India and experience it to the fullest, without experiencing any problems!

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