Chaotic, disorienting, exhilarating, delicious, horrifying, sordid, intimidating, overwhelming. India is all of this – and so much more. How then to prepare for your first trip to India? Start by following our advice before embarking on the ultimate journey – to India for the very first time.
Traveling around in India
Many people with to travel by van when they have a group of people traveling together. If you’re not with a tour guide this can be very stressful in the larger cities. The larger cities have extremely bad traffic, and their appears to not be many traffic laws that people follow. Theres more of an unwritten code amongst drivers. Another thing to consider is, if you rent a van, what happens if you break down? India doesn’t have AAA or any type of roadside assistance. Furthermore, if you don’t speak the local language, how will you call for help? When I was researching this topic, this website talked about towing different types of vehicles. This further adds to the complications this could cause in India. We would advise you to take a guided tour or planes and trains, its much easier and more hassle free than renting a van.
Choose your itinerary in India
Think about what interests you, what you like to do, and plan your trip. The most popular circuit remains the timeless ” Golden Triangle “. If time is lacking, this somewhat stereotypical itinerary will offer you a fabulous taste of three major Indian destinations. Begin your trek through Delhi (Humayun’s Tomb, old fort), and continue with Agra (Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Fatehpur Sikri) and then Jaipur (Pink City, Amber Fort). Finally, go through the wonderful markets of Delhi for some last shopping before flying back.
For a more “oriented” stay, here are some tracks:
- Shopping – Delhi
- Beaches – Goa
- Hiking – Himachal Pradesh
- Yoga – Rishikesh
- Food – everywhere!
- Tigers – Madhya Pradesh
- Search for thrills – Manali
- Religious Fervor – Varanasi
- Relaxation – Kerala
Take your time if its your first trip to India
Many tourists want to see everything during their first trip to India. Do not imitate them. It is infinitely more rewarding to visit a place at your own pace than to browse several at a hurry. You will be more relaxed, you will better apprehend the place visited, and you will have more time to establish links with the people met on the way.
Avoid the crowd
In front of a population of one billion inhabitants, some travelers will have the impression to suffocate. Fortunately, India also has many places of retirement. If you feel the need to flee the hustle and bustle of big cities, head for isolated villages in Kerala to the south, Tibet’s highlands in the north, such as Ladakh , or stop in one of the many mountain villages in the country.
Do everything to stay healthy
Always avoid tap water, as well as any food that may have been washed in this way. Do not eat ice cream, salad or fruit that you have not peeled yourself.
During their stay in India, many travelers choose the vegetarian option. The idea is not bad. A piece of dubious meat will do much more damage than a plate of undercooked vegetables. On the other hand, many Indians are vegetarians, which translates into a rather fabulous variety in the matter. If you absolutely want to eat meat, make sure it is cooked. If in doubt, have your meal in a very busy establishment.
The notoriously bad reputation of Indian toilets does not mean that you have to put your health at risk. Consider the left hand / water jug method, preferred by many people (much more hygienic, after all, than toilet paper), but do not forget to provide soap so you can wash your hands properly.