Tips for First-Time India Travelers

India is a magnificent place with a rich culture, lush cuisine, and heartbreaking sights. But if this is your first time traveling to India, there are a few things you should know.

First off, India is very accessible for travel. The country is vast, but small compared to its population number of 1.3 billion. This makes it quite crowded, and you will experience this first-hand during your travels.

Secondly, you should go on your travel with an open mind and drop all the expectations. Chances are, you’ll either be a fan of the culture or be greatly disappointed. So, if you happen to hate it before you even depart, your trip will be miserable and it will only be a waste of time.

The smartest thing to do before visiting every new country is to go there with an open mind.

But there are tips out there that can help you make the trip much easier. We’ve decided to make such a list to help you get the most out of your time in India. So, without further ado, let’s start.

1. Plan Your Budget Beforehand

Source: Calculating Destiny

A general rule of traveling is to plan beforehand. A great deal of your time should go into planning your budget for the upcoming trip.

If you’re visiting from either Europe or North America, and even Australia, do know that India is quite cheap. The lowest you can rent a room is just under $5, and public transport costs nothing more than a dollar.

Without spending any money on food or shopping, a day in India will cost you an average of $10 – $15, max. If you decide to stay at a high-end hotel, then you’ll certainly pay more.

Instead of renting $5 rooms, you should opt for something better. That’s not to say that you can’t rent $5 rooms, but you’ll miss out on quite a few services, and chances are the room won’t be up to your expectations.

When it comes to cost for food, prices are quite reasonable for pastries and places to grab a quick bite. India is fairly cheap, but you should always plan the budget ahead.

2. Do Your Research

Source: Ancestry Blog

This next tip also applies to every other trip in the future, but more importantly, it applies to this particular occasion.

It will take you a lot more time than a simple week’s visit to see all that India offers. Hence why you should do your research on the places that interest you the most.

A general tip for people that love traveling and visiting a new country is to get a hotel room near the attractions and landmarks that interest them the most. This simple rule will save you a lot of money, time, and energy when trying to see everything on your bucket list.

For this specific reason, you can do your very own travel journal that will keep track of everything.

3. Obtain a Visa

Source: US Embassy in Thailand

Much like most of the countries around the world, India requires every new visitor to have previously acquired a travel Visa, or e-Visa. And much like most of the countries around the world, India has made it possible for everyone to obtain one electronically.

There are four Visa types you can choose to obtain prior to your upcoming trip to India, and those are tourism/ recreation, short-time, business, medical and conference Visa.

Each of these can be obtained electronically by simply filling out a form. The form will be then sent to your home and you will take it with you when your travel date arrives.

Since the tourist/ recreational is the type of Visa people mostly apply for, you can visit and apply for one that will allow you to stay up to 180 days in India.

4. The Natives Are Very Friendly

Source: Mind Switch Revolution

India’s native population can be easily described as some of the friendliest people in the world. However, they are quite shy and you might have to be the first to start a conversation.

And while this doesn’t apply to the entire population, Indians will likely want to talk to you on busses, trains, etc. They also might stare at you, seeing that you’re not one of them, but this is out of curiosity and not in terms of harm.

Surprisingly, not everyone from India comes from a very small village, so you can expect social interactions to be that of the Western Civilizations.

5. Learn the Basics of the Language

Source: Times of India(mob)

If you happen to be visiting for business purposes, do know that Indian businessmen take great pride when a foreigner learns the basics of Hindi.

This will, naturally, increase your chances of conducting business and of getting a favorable deal, whatever that might be.

Even learning the basics such as “Hello – Namaste”, “Good – Acha”, “Thank You – Krupiyah & Shukriyah” will put you on a good spot.

This also applies if you visit for recreational purposes. The same rules still apply, and this could come in handy when you have to engage with someone.

6. What to Pack?

Source: TripIt

You should always pack essential stuff, but there are a few things to note when visiting India.

Namely, the country is quite the Conservative bubble. This means that not every type of fashion or style is accepted, especially for women.

When you first arrive there, you will notice that women are quite traditionally dressed. This mostly includes the sairs, a traditional dress that can cover the entire body or parts of it.

Older women tend to dress lightly, while younger women tend to cover more. And this doesn’t apply to everyone, but it should be something noted.

With all that said, the wealthier women do tend to take off the sairs during the day and dress more like women around Europe or the Americas.

As for what to pack here is a general rundown of clothes.

  • 1-2 long skirts
  • 2 crop tops
  • 1 long sweater
  • A couple of shirts
  • A tank top
  • Underwear
  • 1-2 Pants

You can always pack more or less, but this should be the type of clothes you take on your very first trip to the country.