8 Tips For First-Time Travellers Traveling To India

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by India. The country is vast, the population is enormous, and the cultural heritage is infinite. The best advice for any first-time traveller, traveling to India is to take your time to explore. Don’t feel like you have to experience everything in one go. There are 28 states and 8 Union territories to choose from. Pick one or two before deciding on an itinerary that includes time to rest and sightseeing. According to Ministry of Tourism, around 11 million Foreign Tourist travelled to India in 2019. If you’re traveling to India, kindly read till the end.

However, although India is not the most accessible place to visit, it is among the most rewarding. It offers some remarkable sights that are unlike anything else in the world. It also boasts delicious food, incredible nature, warm and charismatic people, and a rich cultural heritage that is a delight to explore.

So, to help you make the most of your trip to India, here are some clever tips and tricks you should know before you go.

Eating & Drinking

If you’re traveling to India for the first time, be brave and eat out at the small canteen-style restaurants packed with local people. These are a step up from street food stalls and often serve thalis, an authentic taster tray of different Indian food.

There are international-style restaurants in popular tourist areas all over India. These mainly cater to large coachloads by providing all-you-can-eat buffets and/or set menus. Unfortunately, these tourist restaurants are expensive, and the food is, at best, lacking in soul.

Prepare Yourself for Culture Shock

When you are traveling in India, it is guaranteed that you will experience culture shock. There is no use trying to fight it. Instead, prepare yourself and accept that things will not be the same as you are used to backing home. Try to open your mind and leave your expectations at home.

Bring Traveler’s Diarrhea Tablets

Unfortunately, one of the common experiences that many travelers to India encounter are the dreaded “Delhi Belly.” No matter how careful you may be, your body will not be used to the different bacteria in the water and food in India. This is why it is good to have traveler’s diarrhea medication with you – before you need it.

Know the Basic Words in Hindi

It would be great if you’re familiar with a few Hindi words which are widely spoken in India. If you’re not an Indian, we are sure you will not spell the Hindi words correctly, but if you learn a few words, it will be good for you.

  • Acha- good
  • Namaste- hello
  • Acha nahi-he- means not good
  • Tike hay- right, yeah or say ha/ haji –yes
  • Kitna rupia- how much?
  • Krupiyah- please & shukriyah- thank you

Take Off Your Shoes Before Entering a Temple

Many temples will ask you to take off your footwear before entering. So, it is a good idea to wear shoes that you can easily slip on and off, like sandals. If you are worried about your shoes getting stolen from the front of the temple while you are inside, you can keep them in your backpack or give the temple attendant a few rupees to keep an eye on them. If you get the time, you can visit the 12 Jyotirlinga.

Get a SIM Card for your phone

Using your phone while traveling around India will make things so much easier. You can look up directions on Google Maps, read TripAdvisor reviews before visiting a restaurant, quickly check out travel websites on the go for tips and scam warnings, and much more. When you arrive, getting a SIM card with data for your phone should be one of your top priorities.

Learn How to Eat With Your Hands

In many parts of India, cutlery is not used. Instead, you eat curry by folding over a bit of naan bread, using it to scoop or pinch some rice and curry, and then stuffing it into your mouth. This takes a bit of practice, but it’s worth trying! However, never eat with your left hand; traditionally, this is the one used to clean yourself after using the toilet and is seen as rude and unclean.

Count Your Change Very Carefully

This is a tip that applies almost anywhere in the world. Whenever you are buying items or paying for something, make sure that you check your change and count it carefully. Very often, someone will make a “mistake” and give you back the wrong amount of change.

Just Go For It!

The truth is that traveling in India will be much more challenging than traveling in other countries. You might find yourself overwhelmed and exhausted at times, so it is important to take care of yourself and be prepared for this. However, the experience of going to India is worth it. You will see some incredibly beautiful sights, meet unforgettable people and get to know a fascinating ancient culture.

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