Traveling to India for the first time can be a major culture shock. It is a vast country with different religions, cultures, cities and first-time travelers normally have incredibly mixed expectations whenever they are getting the India travel visa. But you should not be scared about taking a trip to India because of what you may or may not find, and provided that you do the right preparations and learn about a few tips here and there, nothing will stop you from having a fantastic trip to India. Here are a few basic tips you should consider if you will be traveling to India for the first time.
Don’t fall a victim of burnout
The most common complaint by first-time visitors to India is fatigue and exhaustion. This is simply out of the fact that they are trying to discover everything about India in a relatively short period. It is usually a big mistake to think that you can get the most out of India in one trip. It is one big, colorful and addictive country and you must wisely plan your visit with the precision of the military if you don’t want to get burnout amidst your trip. To avoid the exhaustion and fatigue during the trip, it is imperative to know in advance where you will be visiting and try not to cram everything in a short itinerary. Remember, India will always be there, and you are always free to visit again and again and again.
Don’t stick to the cities
Of course, the Indian cities are amazing, but you should stick to them only if you want to enjoy the great Indian street foods. If you want to get the true sense of India, then you must venture out into the smaller villages. In this manner, you will avoid the sprawling and immensely overpopulated cities and be in touch with real and authentic nature. Whether you want to take a trip to the mountains or you desire to experience the slow-moving land of Kerala, you will find destinations away from the cities fresh, more relaxing and very fulfilling.
Don’t eat and drink everything
India is a food ranger’s haven. The foods are not only delicious, but they are also available in a huge selection. However, as a first-time visitor, you don’t want your trip to be grounded due to a dodgy stomach. It implies that you must be very careful with what you choose to eat and drink. Street foods will be very tempting, and in as much as you would wish to try them, take your time to evaluate where you eat them carefully. If you doubt the standards of hygiene at the street food joint for any reason, simply avoid eating there.
Forget about being too stingy with your personal space
India is the home of close to 1.4 billion people. That makes it the second most populous country after China. As such, don’t expect a lot of liberty with your personal space. You will desire to move freely as much as you can, but expect a lot of squishing in the public spaces. The transport will always be packed with people and walking on the streets will also not be so luxurious, given a large number of human traffic. For first-time travelers, just know that this is common, and after a day or two, it will not bother you. You shall have gotten used to it.
Be conservative with your dressing
The culture in India is relatively modest. One of the simple things you should do to show some respect towards this is to cover your legs and arms, especially for the ladies. Indians will forgive you if you are not familiar with their culture, but sticking to modesty may make you have a good first impression, which will, in turn, lead to a nice relationship between you and the host. For example, it is not necessary, but it is very polite to remove your shoes when you are entering an Indian’s home.
Watch your hands and feet
In India, feet are considered unclean and should you step on anything or touch anything with your feet, be sure to offer a swift and appropriate apology. In the same manner, you should not eat or pass objects when requested to with your left hand as this is perceived as unpleasant for reasons that can’t be printed in this article. If you don’t know what you are about to do, don’t be afraid to ask or simply be keen and do as the Indians do.
Be very patient with Indians
If you are from the west, you know that when someone tells you they will arrive in twenty minutes, then you will expect them around that time. But in India, if someone says they will come in half an hour, you may end up waiting for more than two hours before they show up. Time in India is relative, and there are so many things that can make someone delay their arrivals. Be prepared to tolerate unexpected waits because you may find yourself waiting longer than expected. Have this tip in mind when you are going for your India travel visa since most offices and shops will close around lunchtime.
Expect some unusual noise
Noise is everywhere in the world, but when you are traveling to third world countries or India for the first time, be prepared for extra decibels hitting your head. The streets are noisy, either with human chats or people trying to find their way through the crowds. This should not affect you too much, and you will get used to it before you realize it, but if it is becoming a bother, carry along your headphones since you may have some use for them.
Observe personal safety measure such as not walking with huge quantities of cash and displaying openly as you make your purchases. You should also remain alert when you walk in the crowds as you might find pickpockets trying to defraud you. You should also avoid dark alleys at night and for first-time visitors, always stay cool, but firm and never allow yourself to get agitated.
Once you get your India travel visa, these tips should be sufficient to help you get going as you discover the various pleasantries India has in store for you.