People often ask us if it’s safe or easy to travel in India. Especially if it’s safe for women. We know very well that what media show all over the world might give you impression that India should not be a first choice for wandering girls. I guess our own example proves the opposite! We live here and travel all over India…solo, with friends, with clients. All you need is to be a smart, well prepared and joyful traveler. Except from all those very obvious and generally applicable travel guidelines (about your documents, your cash and so on) here are some small, useful tips to give you better comfort while discovering India:
1. SCARF – Light cotton scarf will serve you always. Even when it’s hot and you would rather wear nothing this is a must have item. You will use it to cover your head and arms in religious places, to protect from sun and dust, to sit on it, to ward off mosquitos and flies, to carry stuff in it etc etc….
2. SWISS KNIFE – useful tool in multiple life situations. From opening a bottle of chilled beer after a whole day of trekking to fixing your suitcase or plucking your eyebrows. Traveler’s must. NOTE- remember not to keep it in your hand luggage for the flight!
3. TISSUES and SANITARY TOWELS – dry and wet tissues in your pocket must be there. Toilet tissue is not always an obvious item in India. Tampons and sanitary towels may be challenging to find in smaller cities on urgent basis.
4. SIM CARD and OLD PHONE- for your own comfort have a working sim card and some simple phone that will work in any condition without charging it every single day. Make sure some essential emergency local phone numbers are saved there (ex. Delhi Police 100/1090, Delhi tourist city information center-1280, India Tourist Helpline- 1363, local taxi, your insurance company etc.)
5. LIGHTER and TORCH – while on Jaisalmer desert safari or even in the big city where electricity cuts still occur. Be prepared and nothing will surprise you.
6. PICTURE OF YOUR FAMILY AND HUSBAND (even imaginary!) – It will first of all be a great subject to talk about with local people. Indians love their families and always ask about health of your parents and siblings. Showing them your beloved ones will quickly break the ice. If you are a single girl and you want to have a masala chai just on your own without a Romeo trying to steal your heart keep a photo of your husband/fiancé waiting for you in next city 🙂
7. DONATION – in most areas foreigners are still perceived as people from west who are surely wealthier than them and therefore oftenly approchaed by homeless and poor people. We generally don’t advise to give money or gifts on the street. There are NGO’s doing great job and you can support them with donation. But if you want to help someone on the way just buy a warm meal to a person in need.
8. WHISTLE –it’s there to instantly make yourself hearable. Really useful in chasing away cheeky monkeys like those in Rishikesh!
9. TRANSPORTATION RELATED CHOICES – while chosing a berth in a train always go rof upper berth. Avoid uncertified carriers, overnight empty buses or taxis caught on the street. Try to reach your destination in daylight and don’t walk around in the night. If you need a local city taxi ask your travel agent or hotel t arrange.
10. PEPPER SPRAY – easily available in every drug store for around 400 Rs. We have never actually used it while all those years in India but it gives you the psychological comfort when you find yourself alone somewhere. Even just showing that you have it is enough to discourage all possible taunts. They come in pink!
ONE MORE EXTRA!
11. NOMADAY TRAVEL CONTACT – to get the best out of India and travel safe with freedom contact boutique tour organizer and let us plan your tailored India trip! firstname.lastname@example.org