Are you planning to travel to India shortly? India is a fascinating country with a rich culture and a diverse landscape, but it can also be overwhelming for first-time visitors. With more than 1.3 billion people, India is the second most populous country in the world, and its home to various languages, religions, and customs. If you’re not familiar with Indian culture, there are a few things to know before going to India and things to know about India.
This article will discuss some of the most important things you need to know before you go. We’ll cover everything from visas and travel permits to etiquette and culture shock. So whether you’re planning your first trip to India or just looking for advice on preparing, keep reading for everything you need to know. Below are the travel tips for India.
Carry cash with you
One of the first things you need to know before you travel to India is that you should always carry cash with you. The reason for this is that lot of places in India only accept cash and not cards. So, before you travel, withdraw some money from the ATM. I recommend carrying around 1000 rupees (about $12) with you at all times, in case you need it for something unexpected.
Greetings Etiquette in India
Though Indians shake hands for greetings and when they meet people, the posture “Namaste” with both palms joined is the most important greeting etiquette in India. Namaste means “I bow to you”. It’s a non-contact way followed by respectfully greeting others. Shaking hands is usually maintained for business or formal meets only. And in general, the public use “Namaste” to greet people, especially when greeting women.
Get a local SIM card with Internet.
When you travel to India, one of the first things you should do is get a local SIM card for your phone. This will make it much easier to stay connected with your family and friends back home and any local contacts you have. There are a few different ways to get a SIM card in India, but buying one at the airport is the easiest. You can also buy them at local stores or online, but you’ll need your passport and visa. Once you have your SIM card, activate it and top it up with data so you can start using it immediately. And if you’re planning on staying in India for a while, consider getting a prepaid SIM card to save money on your phone bill.
Prefer Vegetarian Food during your travel
India is famous for varieties of Vegetarian Food, and Indian food culture also depends on the person’s religion here. Most people in India are vegetarians. So better to choose vegetarian Food in India to taste India’s diverse food culture, and you get fresh, healthy, and homemade Food. You will also get non-vegetarian Food (famous in some places), but to avoid any health risks and unhygienic meet preparation, better to go with the vegetarian cuisine of India. Trust me; you will get to taste a lot of new delicious Food and sweet varieties in India, going Vegetarian also.
Avoid Public Display Affection in India:
PDA – Public display of affection is highly unacceptable in India – A big no. Any couple travelling to India must keep in mind to avoid any public display of love in public places in India, as it may seem obscene to the viewers. Considering the comfort and respect of locals, better avoid this when travelling with your partner.
Be wary of scammers
Indian people are some of the most friendly, helpful people you will ever meet while travelling. However, there are also scammers you may find, like in other places. It would help if you were careful of people who try to help you find your way and then ask for money. Also, be cautious of tuk-tuk drivers who say they will take you to a certain place for a low price but then charge you much more when you get there. If you do use a tuk-tuk, make sure to agree on a price before getting in. It’s always best to be aware of your surroundings and not let your guard down too much when travelling to India.
Bargaining at local shops
You’ll need to haggle for almost everything you buy from a local shop. This can be anything from fruit and vegetables to souvenirs. And it’s not just the item’s price—you’ll also need to bargain for transport and accommodation. Remember that the starting price is usually not the actual price, so don’t hesitate to negotiate. It’s also important to be polite and friendly—bargaining is all about building relationships. And finally, don’t be scared to walk away if you’re unhappy with the price. Plenty of other shops and vendors will be more than happy to give you a better deal.
Don’t shy away from the locals
The locals are some of the best parts about travelling to India—they can help you find the best spots to eat and drink, tell you about their culture, and help you with directions. So, please don’t be reluctant to start a conversation with them! Oh, and one more thing: haggling is expected in India, so don’t be afraid to bargain for better prices on souvenirs and gifts.
Eating with Hands in India
Eating with hands is one of the traditional practices in India. As per Ayurveda, each finger is believed to represent an extension of one of the five natural elements (Pancha Bhutas) that are in harmony with our body. For ages, eating with hands has been followed by the majority of Indians, especially with the Right hand. Eating with the left hand is again considered to be inauspicious and unhygienic, and the left hand is meant for “Toilet Business” only.
Wear comfortable clothes
Depending on the climate, you’re going to want to dress comfortably. The heat can be unbearable sometimes. You’ll want to wear light and airy fabrics even in the shade. Cotton is always a good choice. And while you might want to pack many clothes to keep your options open, remember that you can always do laundry while you’re there. Indian culture is quite conservative, so it’s best to err on the side of caution when it comes to what you wear.
On a concluding note, you should research a bit about India before travelling to India, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the culture. India is an amazing country with a lot to offer, but it’s also a very different place from what you may be used to. Keep these things in mind, and you will surely have an amazing trip to India. These are the few things to know before travelling to India, and we hope you like our travel tips for India.
Atithi Devo bhava – We are ready to Welcome You. Come Home to India.