India is a tremendous country, famous for its monuments, mountains, rivers, natural beauty, glorious past, and cultural diversity. India is the melting pot in which a myriad of cultures blends together.
This cultural destination is known to be one of the least expensive travel destinations for budget travelers. If you’re ready to spend $20-30 per day, you can expect to enjoy some luxuries such as occasional lunch or dinner in decent budget hotels, shopping from branded shops, stay in 2-3-star hotels, and travel in AC first to third class in the train.
You’ll enjoy every moment of your trip if you respect the cultural nuances of any country, let alone India. Here are some important travel tips that are very helpful for new visitors to this amazing country, right from an Indian girl!
If your tour is getting arranged by any tour operator, they’ll define the plan in advance. You just have to follow a set itinerary. However, if you’re not interested in any tour operator’s services and willing to explore this cultural cornucopia in your own way, then plan for at least a few weeks before you start your journey.
For thoroughly enjoying your trip, have a detailed plan. Get information and suggestions from your friends and acquaintances. Collect important information from travel websites and apps. Make a detailed plan about which places to visit in India, what activities to perform, name and location of the hotel where you’ll stay, current weather conditions, entry fees and time for all the chosen spots, do’s and don’ts, festivals, traditions, etiquettes, how to hire the cars and guides, details of your guide and so on.
Activities in India
As a first-time visitor to India, you may get mesmerized while exploring the flora and fauna, heritage, festivals, arts, religions, and traditions of this charming historic land. Indian festivals are abundant and colorful and something you don’t want to miss out on! There’s always a festival happening in India in some corner of the country. You just need to find it! Don’t miss a chance to attend an Indian wedding and other events because they give you a good chance to understand the essence of Indian culture. If you love sports, then go outdoors and play some games like cricket, football with kids in a nearby park.
If you wish to browse online, make sure you use a good VPN service for a secure connection over the internet. This will save you from safeguarding your internet activity, credit card numbers from prying eyes, especially over open WIFI networks. Here’s a guide to using a VPN while traveling.
Shopping In India
While packing your clothes, accessories, and footwear, pack less than required because there are high chances that you’ll do lots of shopping in India. You can purchase stunningly attractive clothes in India at a reasonable price.
When you explore local markets, always negotiate the price before making a purchase. It’s a common belief in India that foreigners are very rich. Many sellers ask for a price many times higher than the real price of the product. So, before making a purchase, it’s always better to ask your hotel staff and other locals about the cost of a product or service.
India is famous in the world for its amazing cuisine and unique spices. India offers a wide variety of eating choices to tourists. A large number of options are available even for budget travelers. Not just the big restaurants, Indian streets also offer mouth-watering, tempting delicacies that’ll force you to run for a bite. Enjoy the unique Indian dishes but don’t forget to watch what you eat or drink during your India trip because it is common for Indians to heavily use oil and spices in their food.
Expansion of your privacy borders
Prepare yourself mentally to get bombarded with questions. In western society, people maintain personal spaces and don’t allow strangers to invade their privacy. In terms of culture, religions, and traditions, there are myriad differences between India and the West. Indians, especially the older generation, are not familiar with the western concept of personal space. These seemingly invasive personal questions are just an indication of their polite interest in you. By asking questions, locals try to know more about your life. They may be interested in making friends with you.
Due to the difference in the social, political, cultural, and financial scenarios in this country, you’ll have some experiences that you probably never imagined or experienced in your life. Suddenly, a number of cows may appear and block your way on the road or you might find kids selling cheap knockoffs when you wait for a signal to turn green. You may be squashed or pushed while using lifts or public transport. You may see poor people living on the streets while rich people buying designer clothes from a nearby branded store.
Safety is always a major concern when foreigners plan a trip to India. Like everywhere else in the world, what you see in mainstream media is usually just bad news. It doesn’t talk about the kindness of strangers, smiling faces, and good people. India is just about safe as anywhere else in the world. As long as you respect age-old traditions, and live in harmony with the surroundings, you’ll be alright. Take precautions just like you would anywhere else in the world while traveling.
Although most of the Indians are very helpful and friendly towards the tourists, be mindful of who you talk to. Refrain from sharing personal details to locals and go with your instincts, always. Here are some tips for female travelers that you might find useful.
India offers so much diversity in terms of culture, food, landscapes, and so on. It’s truly a melting pot of diversity, and probably unlike anything you’ve ever seen if you are visiting India for the first time. I wish you a memorable and pleasurable stay in this heritage-rich country.
If you have any questions about visiting India for the first time, please let me know in the comments below.