India Travel Guidelines
A general guide to ensure you has a pleasant time in India.
- Carry your passport, other travel documents and your money separately. You don't want to lose them all together.
- Keep extra photocopies of the relevant pages of your passport. This is needed for various reasons in India, at the hotel, to buy a SIM card etc.
- Never travel without mosquito repellents and other essential medicines. Carry a doctor’s prescription all the time if you are on specific medication.
- Inform your tour operator beforehand if you are allergic to a particular substance or a drug.
- Ensure that your luggage is waterproof.
- Many women travellers prefer to carry a high pitched whistle that would scare away stalkers.
· Travel as light as possible. Clothing and laundry are both affordable in India.
· It’s better for women to avoid tank tops or short skirts / shorts.
· Winters are pleasant in southern India while you will need heavy woollens as you progress in the Northern region.
· Summers are harsh throughout, so light cotton clothes are most comfortable.
· Best to avoid miniskirts / shorts both for men and women while visiting temples. Some temples may insist to cover your head as well. A small handkerchief or a scarf can suffice.
· If you give the impression of being from a different country, chances are that you might be stared at, especially in the smaller towns. Don’t be offended-they mean no harm, it is just curiosity.
· In India, public toilets facilities are few and far between. Take every opportunity you can to use a clean toilet in places such as hotels and restaurants. Make this a habit wherever you go.
· Do not let them hassle you, and do not encourage them by giving them money.
Food and Drinks:
- Drink only bottled water. Many popular brands are available. In restaurants insist that they bring a sealed bottle to your table.
- Beef is not served in many parts of India. Pork is also not easily available.
- Eat non-vegetarian food only in good restaurants.
- Good quality vegetarian food is easily available.
- Curd or yoghurt is served with most meals. It is a natural aid to digestion and helps temper the spicy food.
· India is shoppers’ paradise. From decorative items like pottery, masks, bronze items to jewellery can be purchased at reasonable rates in India. India is the largest producer of branded jewels which are exported and can be bought here at affordable rates.
· Various types of silk is manufactured in India and is easily available at good shops. Embroidered cloth, leather items, various spices like pepper, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and saffron, miniature paintings, wooden and marble objects, cotton clothes and much more. If you have got the taste of Indian food, ready to eat packets of various dishes are also easily available. Various pickles and snacks can be bought.
· India also produces a huge variety of tea and you can get a good choice. Along with that you may also go for some herbal beauty products and last but not the least various music and cinema CDs to keep your Indian sojourn going can be bought!
- In hotels and restaurants, tips are not normally included in the bill
- Some hotels include service charge on their bills. In such cases tipping is not necessary.
- The standard tip is 10%.
- In hotels, porters and room service attendants are normally tipped at the end of the stay,
- Tipping of taxi drivers is not customary.
Weather in India:
· Temperature in India can vary from North to south and east to west.
· There is snow in the northernmost part of the country while you sweat in the southernmost part of the country.
· The climate is extreme in the north while it is constant in the south. The east and the west do differ but not much.
· The sun is strong. Remember to use sunscreen of exposed parts of the body. Wear Sunglasses to screen out harmful rays.
· The dry summer heat can drain you completely. Drink lots of water and fluids.
- Dress codes for religious places can include covering your head, being barefoot etc. Ask, So that you don’t unwittingly give offence.
- Some temples do not permit any leather articles at all on their premises.
- Certain temples are not open to Non-Hindus. Please check with the local tourist Information office.
- Most museums in India are closed on Monday and Site Museums, those near Archaeological monuments, on Fridays.
- Photography is not always permissible, and at many places it is permitted only at a fee.
- There is usually a higher fee for using a video camera.
- Smoking is not allowed at public places. All properties of the Indian Railways including Trains and railway stations are strictly non - smoking zones with stiff penalties for Violations.
- English is spoken at almost all tourist centres, but you can also request Government-Trained and approved guides who also speak Chinese, German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Italian or Russian.
- Always drink bottled water.
- For the first few days it might be advisable to clean your teeth and bottled water.
- Eat fruit you can peel.
- Always wash fruit well before eating it.
- Wash your hands before and after eating.
- Always keep a tube of mosquitoes repellent with you.
- Always carry a kit of the basic emergency medicines you might need for diarrhoea, fever Etc. Also, band aids and an antiseptic ointment.
- If you do catch a bug, do not panic. It will go away in a few days-but try to following Tips to keep it down:
- Drink lassi - a yoghurt drink. It will help tone down the bacteria.
- Eat plain rice, or try to simple khichdi – an easily digestible mixture of rice and lentils.
- Drink plenty of coconut water. It’s cooling, and naturally sterilized!
- Drink plenty of fluids and take some electrolyte salts if the bug persists.
- Everything in India takes time- longer than in most places. So always give yourself extra Time for whatever you may have to do- even it is just a visit to the Post Office or Changing money.
- Keep extra photocopies of the relevant pages of your passport. This will be request for Indian permits. Also, keep extra photographs of yourselves. These will be request for Permits, filling out forms, etc.
- Voltage in India is 220 V for Plugs C & D. If you have a different plug you will need a voltage converter, and plug adapter in order to use your appliances. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit.
- In cities you can change most major foreign currencies and brands of travellers’ cheques- but you’ll widen your options and save yourself hassles if you stick to US dollars or pound sterling, and either Thomas Cook or American Express travellers cheques.
- Most big cities have ATMs which accept Visa and MasterCard as well as American Express. The ATM network is ever expending and in some states, you can find them even in some smaller towns.
www.t2india.com wishes you a safe and wonderful stay in India.