18 Things You Should Know Before Traveling to India 

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Traveling to India is an adventure that promises to overwhelm your senses in the best possible way. India is a diverse country with ancient traditions, artistic heritage, and beautiful landscapes. The country’s culinary creations will ignite your curiosity, shake your senses, and warm your soul. An important aspect to consider for your digital safety and freedom while traveling is using a Virtual Private Network. Using ExpressVPN in India can enhance your online security, protect your privacy, and allow access to content that may be geo-restricted or censored in some areas of India. It’s crucial to keep your personal information secure, especially when using public Wi-Fi networks. To help you navigate this vast, fascinating country, here are 18 essential things you should know before you embark on your journey to India.

1. Consider the Climate and Plan Around the Seasons

India’s weather varies dramatically across its vast territory. From the snow-capped Himalayas to the tropical beaches of Goa, the climate can range from cold to oppressively hot. The monsoon season (June to September) affects most of the country, bringing heavy rains. For most regions, the best time to visit is between October and March, when the weather is more pleasant.

2. Vaccinations and Health Precautions are Crucial

It is recommended to consult a healthcare professional before traveling to get vaccinated for hepatitis A and B, typhoid, and Japanese encephalitis.Malaria prophylaxis may also be recommended, depending on your itinerary.

3. Be Prepared for Cultural Shock

India’s vibrant chaos can be overwhelming for first-time visitors. Embrace the cultural shock with an open mind and take it as part of the experience of discovering the diverse cultures, traditions, and ways of life in India.

4. Dress Modestly and Respect Local Customs

India’s conservative dress code means it’s advisable to dress modestly, covering shoulders and legs, especially when visiting religious sites. This respect for local customs will enhance your interaction with locals and enrich your travel experience.

5. Stay Healthy: Avoid Tap Water and Street Food Precautions

Stick to bottled or purified water and be cautious with street food to avoid the infamous “Delhi Belly.” Hot, cooked foods are usually safe, but raw salads, unpeeled fruits, and ice can be risky.

6. Get Comprehensive Travel Insurance

Medical facilities vary greatly in quality, especially outside major cities. Comprehensive travel insurance like ICICI Lombard, which covers medical treatment and emergency evacuation, is essential.

7. Respect Religious Etiquette

India is a deeply religious country. Remove your shoes before entering temples, cover your head where required, and always ask permission before photographing.

8. Embrace the Art of Haggling

Haggling is a part of daily transactions in markets and with street vendors. Approach it with a smile, and remember it’s about finding a fair price for both parties.

9. Be Prepared for Crowds

India’s bustling cities are known for their dense population. Cultivate patience and stay aware of your belongings in crowded places to avoid pickpockets.

10. Transportation: Plan and Book in Advance

India’s vast distances make planning essential. Book trains and domestic flights well in advance, especially if you’re traveling during peak seasons or festivals.

11. Use Local SIM Cards for Convenience

Having a local SIM card or eSIM like Nomad will make your trip much easier, allowing you to book tickets, navigate maps, and stay in touch with new friends.

12. Understand the Importance of Consent for Photography

Always ask for permission before taking photos of people. This small gesture of respect can lead to meaningful interactions and is often appreciated.

13. Know the Basic Etiquette

The traditional greeting in India is “Namaste,” accompanied by folded hands. Eating and passing objects with your right hand is also a sign of respect.

14. Familiarize Yourself with Local Scams

Be aware of common scams targeting tourists, such as inflated prices and fake goods. A little research and common sense will go a long way in avoiding these pitfalls.

15. Venture Beyond the Cities

India’s rural landscapes and small villages offer unique insights into the country’s soul, with slower-paced lives and untouched natural beauty.

16. Stay Informed About Local News

Keep abreast of local news, especially regarding weather conditions or political situations that might affect your travel plans.

17. Enjoy the Local Cuisine Safely

Indian cuisine is diverse and flavorful. Start with less spicy dishes and street food from vendors with high turnover. Always ensure food is freshly cooked.

18. Learn a Few Words in the Local Language

While English is widely spoken, learning a few phrases in Hindi or the local language of the region you’re visiting will endear you to the locals and enrich your travel experience.

Embarking on a journey to India requires preparation and an open heart. By embracing its complexities and respecting its customs, you’ll uncover the beauty and depth of this extraordinary country, creating memories that will last a lifetime.


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