“India is a place where colour is doubly bright. Pinks that scald your eyes, blues you could drown in.” Well, these are not my words. These words belong to Kiran Millwood Hargrave.
And you can’t put any question mark on this line. Everything in India supports this statement. Backpacking India means you will leave a piece of your heart out there after your first call in on right away. You’ll find beautiful hill stations, lush green forests, culture with deep pockets and so on. But, the thing that mesmerizes terrifically is the love and hospitality Indians are famous for. In fact, India is a wonderland for nature lovers.
Travelling, has more benefits no one can shake a stick at. But, where backpacking a new place gives a kick of new experience, it also can be frustrating at some stages if you are traveling India for the first time. Check out these tips if you are a backpacker and traveling to India for the first time. Let the cat out of the bag!
Give these tips a once over with a fine tooth comb and win yourself a tremendous tour of India.
- 1 The entry requirements
- 2 Booking for the accommodation online
- 3 Taking care of your health in India
- 4 Packing and arranging for cargo
- 5 Safety and insurance
- 6 Plan according to the weather
- 7 Dress accordingly
- 8 Don’t travel or hang out alone at night
- 9 Beware of pickpockets and scams and touts
- 10 Use public transportation
- 11 Keep your important documents safe
- 12 Make the photocopies of all your documents
The entry requirements
First of all, the thing you need to lay your eyes on is the entrance requirements in India. Entering India is as easy as falling off a log. You will be following standard immigration and customs procedures. To set foot in India, you have a call for these three things; a valid passport, an Indian visa and a return ticket. Apply online for the visa before planning the trip. Also, check out any special conditions that may exist for your nationality with the Indian embassy in your home country. Visa extension is not allowed in India except for severe emergency cases such as on medical grounds. Once you have gone through all the procedures, you are ready to go on. Off you go!
Booking for the accommodation online
Well, the truth hurts. India is a country with 1.35 billion people and hunting for the budget accommodation as a backpacker is pretty hectic. Prior to your arrival in India, consider booking a good-budget hotel. And it’s multum in parvo to go for a hostel.
These days, big cities like Delhi, Mumbai etc., putting forward the facility of budget accommodation in shape of a shedload of backpackers’ hostels. Hostels would be ideal place if you are gregarious, allowing you to meet new people from diverse geographical areas and are safe too. There are no two ways about the fact that hostels allow making friends from different regions of the planet and when it comes to shopping around the town, it’s super easy. I kid you not!
Taking care of your health in India
It’s rightly said that health is wealth. Backpacking India means you are about to dive in a world full of spice and mouth-watering cuisines. Speak to your doctor before planning your trip and the span of your stay and get proper medication prescribed by him, if any. It is recommended to eat only freshly cooked food and drink bottled water with a seal on it. Get medications against common infections like Malaria, diarrhea etc. Don’t get alarmed if you get a Delhi-belly or food poisoning. Take it easy as there are pharmacies all around.
Packing and arranging for cargo
Packing accordingly is the most important thing to look back on. Make a list of all the necessary items and pack as less as possible. And if you want to take excess luggage with you, that is more than the weight allowed by the airline you are traveling with, simply go for a well-reputed cargo from UK to India company to get it transported safely.
Safety and insurance
For mountain trekkers, keep in mind there are no rescue services above 3,000 meters. Only the Indian Air Force can bring you off once they know you are there. Can you leave insurance out of this? On that account, don’t hike alone.
Mother Nature is capricious and no one can predict her mood. It’s better to be prepared in advance for the emergencies and accidents. Get travel insurance from your own country that covers health issues, accident, travel delays, damaged or lost luggage, cancellation and other possible contingencies. No ifs, and, or buts.
Plan according to the weather
India is a country with diverse weather conditions. While planning the trip, watch out the latest weather forecast and instructions from the local authorities. That means an in-depth search will get you fruitful results.
Northern areas of India come in for a shedload of rainfall during monsoon season. Be that as it may, the perfect time to visit northern areas is between October and February. On the other hand, summers in Rajasthan are really harsh with a temperature rising up to 48°C during the daytime. Before planning the trip, fixing your gaze on the weather forecasts will hit the nail on the head. There you go!
India presents the amalgamation of different cultures and that’s the reason varying styles and influences can be spotted out there. It is recommended to dress modestly throughout your trip especially in remote areas depending upon the traditions. Religious places like temples, mosques and shrines entail you to dress accordingly such as taking your shoes off and placing a scarf over the head before getting in.
Another thing that’s crying up for attention is that Indians love to stare and you have to dress adequately all the time if you are a female backpacker. In big cities, you can wear whatever you want but covering your body parts appropriately there is recommended. It would be productive folding in with the rest of the people. Isn’t it?
Don’t travel or hang out alone at night
Yes, that’s pretty much important. Avoid stepping out late night especially if you have no companion. It’s not safe to roam alone at night especially if you are a female traveler. Kidnapping and sexual assault cases have been reported in the recent past. Hostels out there in cities allow you to hang out at the terrace with the fellow backpackers inside the hostel area. For this case, it is advised not to walk outside late at night. No kidding!
Beware of pickpockets and scams and touts
While traveling, you have to be on your guard regardless of the place you are backpacking too. Same goes for India too. Use your senses when you are out, talking to people or traveling by public transport. And remember, don’t keep a huge amount of cash with you, this will make the scammers and touts chase you immediately.
Use public transportation
Never put confidence in a free ride from anyone, instead use public transport. Using the public transport will win you safety and the risk of scamming or robbery will have vanished as well. Always confirm the fare before getting into taxis or rickshaws since drivers can try to charge you much more than the actual as for the sake of making extra money.
Keep your important documents safe
If you lose your passport, report to the police station immediately. Talk to your embassy for the replacement or other travel arrangements. You will need all of your valuable documents like passports, credit cards etc. at every single move. So, always keep them on you safely especially when you are out.
Make the photocopies of all your documents
Get the photocopies of all the documents and keep them with you all the time so that in case you lose them, originals stay with you. Your documents are very important and without them you have no identity in India. In case you lose them, report to the nearest police station right away.
In a nutshell, backpacking India is really entertaining but considering the above-mentioned tips will definitely save you quite a lot. Pack your bag and off you go.