If you’re thinking about visiting India then you’ve come to the right place. Here are my top 5 tips to help you make the most of your adventure…without getting Delhi Belly.
1. Get a guide
India is a country where I’d highly recommend getting a local guide. Whether it’s just to take you around the temples and palaces or to help you get from place to place, it will make your trip much more interesting. It also gives you the opportunity to ask questions about lifestyle, food, politics, history and more. It’s like traveling with Google in human form.
Having visited many temples and palaces with a local guide I realise that there was so much that I would have missed out on if I hadn’t had them at my side. I learned about Indian mythology, the history of the buildings and the connection of these places to the people. Having a guide enriched my experience of India for sure.
2. Dress modestly
My uniform in India was chinos (I bought mine in Mango years ago) and a t-shirt. That works for both guys and gals.
What I’d advise against are shorts, dresses above mid calf length and anything that displays cleavage, unless you want to be gawked at.
India has a very conservative society, so just try and dress sensibly.
3. Carry hand sanitizer, baby wipes, eye drops, Imodium and only drink bottled water
I love Indian food and I enjoy eating in local joints, however I also – like everyone else – want to avoid a dodgy tummy. For that reason I have a few rules which you may find useful.
- Carry hand sanitiser everywhere and use it regularly. In particular before you eat.
- Keep baby wipes handy. Many toilets don’t have toilet paper and to be honest are squatters and quite dirty. Keep those baby wipes close by.
- Only eat cooked food. Don’t risk eating salads as you don’t know what they’ve been washed in.
- Drink bottled water only and clean your teeth with it too.
- Carry Imodium and if your tummy feels dodgy don’t risk it, take the pills.
- Carry eye drops. Depending where you go in India the pollution can be very high and irritate the eyes. I used eye drops to settle mine down.
4. Travel through the countryside
Most people stick to the main towns when visiting India but if you have a chance drive out to the countryside and take a walk through some of the village markets. It’s nice to see what they’re selling and how they sell it.
You will also come across farming and see them harvesting corn, onions, millet, garlic, peanuts and all sorts. Sometimes we would stop and have a chat to them and in return I used to share toiletries that i’d taken from the hotel as i didn’t use them anyway. Bit cheeky, but the farmers appreciated them so much.
I’ve always found the people so welcoming and kind. It shocks me every time but warms my heart so much.
On my last trip we came across a gathering of people by a small temple and thought we’d get out to have a little look. The next thing we knew we were being invited to sit down for a meal. The elders were keen to explain their celebration and luckily we had a guide to translate. It was an incredible experience that I’ll remember forever.
5. Always be prepared for a selfie
Something that I wasn’t expecting when I visited India was to be asked for selfies. In my 3 weeks in India I must have been asked for a selfie more than 300 times. So I warn you…make sure that you’re selfie ready as you never know when someone is going to politely ask to have their photo taken with you.
I also found that once one individual had bucked up the courage to ask then every member of their family would want one too, so you could be there for a while! It made me laugh so much. I realised that we were an attraction, but everyone was so polite about it that I didn’t want to say no.
There you have it, my top 5 tips when visiting India. It’s such a enchanting place that I enjoyed visiting so much.
If you have any other tips then share them in the comments below. I’d love to hear them.