Is It Safe to Travel to India?
Tourism in India has been a topic of great concern the world over, especially with crimes against women in the past decade that gained worldwide attention. Many tourists that plan to travel to India have one common reservation: is it safe to travel to India? But the question itself needs tweaking. No matter where one travels, but more so in developing countries, it is important to be aware of areas that are less safe. And while it is a very natural thing to consider safety while travelling anywhere in the world, whether it has to do with health, security, food and water, adventurous trails or nightlife, it is also important to travel smart. So the ideal question would be: how does one travel safely in India? And that is something we can help you with.
Here are tips for safe travel in India.
Do Your Research
Before travelling to India, do an extensive research of the places you plan to visit. There are parts of the country that experience unrest, and it would be better to avoid those areas completely. Group tours are a great way to visit India for the first time. Metropolitan cities are far more welcoming to tourists and are accustomed to different cultures. But as you go into the hinterland, the communities are far more conservative and conscious of new visitors. Be ready for being eyed top-to-bottom, as if you are an alien. And in the rural areas, you are likely to be followed. Make sure you have company or a travel guide with you. As in any country, stay away from areas where drugs are sold and consumed.
Adjust your Manners
You may be accustomed to politely greeting people along your way while you walk down the street in your hometown. Or perhaps allowing for some physical contact like brushing someone’s arm, while having an enjoyable conversation. These habits will require changing in India. A largely conservative society that is protective of its space, such manners will not be valuable or acceptable to Indians. Most people on the street do not appreciate eye contact, unless it is to solicit more attention than one bargains for. And if you are in a situation where you feel harassed or uncomfortable – don’t be polite. Ignore, walk away or shout for help and make a scene. Assert your personal space. Crowds always help dissipate tension and mostly scare off harassers.
Avoid Travelling at Night
Try not to arrive at any destination at night time. Apart from most transport facilities being scarce at airports, railway stations and bus stands at night, it is the prime time for con men, wheeler-dealers and unsavoury characters to try and dupe the naive traveller into losing a lot of money. In fact, the best way to ensure safe travel in India is to book a prepaid cab from Uber or any local cab company. If it’s a long journey, either take breaks along the way or travel overnight so that you arrive during the day.
Indians are not accustomed to western fashion choices and most Indian families don’t take kindly to them. If you are in some parts of Mumbai or Goa, you are welcome to adopt your personal style. But elsewhere, we recommend you wear modest clothing. Indian outfits like the ‘salwar kameez for women (long tunic with loose pants) or ‘kurta-pyjama’ for men are actually quite a comfortable and popular pick amongst tourists.
Anna at the fort in Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh
Travelling to any new country can be intimidating. And while India has had a bad rap in the tourism world recently, it is still a country worth making the effort for. Now you can travel safely and happy through this beautiful country.
helping you travel your way
Everything you need to know about India is here We have tried writing about everything you may need help with for your trip to India, If you need help in planning a trip to India Get in touch with us to to plan your trip of a life time.