You can never really be fully prepared for India, but you’ve got to at least try.
Here’s 10 tips that we at India Someday can offer to help you get started
- Basic English is widely spoken, particularly in metros: An after-effect of colonialism, English is still the de-facto national language. That doesn’t mean everyone can speak it, or speak it well, but you’ll be surprised how many can. So don’t worry too much about communication. Street names, important signs and public transport messages are all written in English as well as the state language.
- Always eat hot food: It’s an easy trick to avoid literally throwing your holiday down the toilet. Stay away from salads and juices completely. Make sure your food is freshly cooked and served piping hot.
- Don’t settle for any price you’re not comfortable with: You’ve probably heard that India is bargain heaven. Alternately that shopkeepers will consistently rip you off when they realise you’re a foreigner. Bargaining can be a sensitive business, so always look out for a fixed price sign before you start anything. If indeed you do feel like you’re getting ripped off and the seller is refusing to bring down their price, it’s best you just walk away. There’s no point in risking offence.
- People are friendlier than they look: Especially in the metros, everyone may seem completely absorbed in their own lives, but they will always help you if you just ask. Taxi drivers and keepers of tiny cigarette shops on street corners moonlight as bottomless sources of information, so always try there first.
- Dress appropriately: You’ll never hear this enough. Throwing on an extra dupatta over your outfit won’t camoflage you completely, but it will help with the blending in. This doesn’t mean you have to only wear Indian clothes, just cover your legs at the temple and save the booty shorts for the club.
- Beware the scamsters: Delhi is crazy chaotic and full of scams, so are Agra and Jaipur. Familarize yourself with them before you leave.
- India’s not all elephants and snake charmers: There’s even gourmet restaurants and hi-tech amusement parks now. That said, if you really want to relive the 60s, we can always get you a slot at Elefantastic.
- You need a visa: Sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t know this.
- You’ve never really ‘seen’ India: No single individual ever has, it’s just too much, and changing everyday. But to experience even a tiny slice of it, two weeks of passion and chaos and fun, can change your life forever.
- WE CAN HELP: It can be confusing, we know. If the pre-packaged tours stifle you and going solo is too challenging, we’re just what you’re looking for. Tell us all your dreams and soon enough, you’ll be living them.