5 top tips for your first time travelling to India
India is an extremely popular travel destination and for good reason – it has cultural and historical icons, a beautiful landscape (both urban and rural), world-famous cuisine, and a smorgasbord of experiences. But it can be a lot to take in the first time you go. We’ve compiled five tips to make your first trip to India easy, carefree, and as fulfilling as possible.
1. Have a basic knowledge of Hindi
Your first time in India is going to be a little unnerving regardless of what you do – you're going to want a basic grasp of the language to help you feel more at ease. There are several languages spoken in India, but the largest number of people speak Hindi. Develop a working (if only simple) knowledge before you go so that whatever you do – haggling, asking for directions, asking for help – you'll be able to do so with confidence. You'll also have the added benefit of being courteous to the people you speak to!
2. Don't try to do too much
India is a huge and very busy country, with a huge amount to see and do. If you try to pack too much into your trip – let alone your first trip – you’re just going to end up confused and exhausted. Focus on a few different highlights and plan them out – so you can get the most fulfilling experience possible out of your first visit.
3. Be properly equipped if traveling with children
Children require a lot more care when travelling – so make sure you're prepared to meet their needs. For instance, travel can take a long time in India – so you need to make sure that any kids you travel with are properly occupied, well hydrated, and well nourished. Healthy snacks, such as nuts and fruit smoothies, are crucial for keeping them energised throughout the day. There’s also a lot to see, so you need to make sure they’re not being overloaded with information. India can be an excellent trip for kids so long as they’re well looked after.
4. Be organised with travel.
Travelling in India can be a bit of a trial. There’s bartering for cab rides, overcrowding on buses and trains, traffic jams due to the sheer number of people travelling, and so on. Whenever you’re going to be taking transport, make sure to have it booked or organised as well as possible beforehand. Don’t rush around, and know where you’re going and how
5. Take important medical information with you.
A lot of people speak of getting sick the first time they visit India, but most of the time it’s no big deal and just a passing illness. However, if you or someone you know has a medical condition or does get seriously ill, it’s important that you have any vital medical information or items with you. This includes details of a condition or allergies they may have, and any medication they need, as well as emergency contact information. Keeping this with you will mean that even if you can’t communicate perfectly, there’ll be enough information for them to be treated properly. Make sure you have insurance to avoid paying for costly hospital treatment if the worst does happen – as with many countries, hospital stays in India can be extremely expensive.