Tips for travelling to India
1. 'International Roaming' for your mobile costs a fortune.The best way to stay connected in India is to wait until you get here and purchase a mobile phone for about A$10. Buy a prepaid card and you can phone home for as little as R20 per minute. That is less than A50c.
2. To keep the sun off your head and face buy a cheap umbrella. So much more comfortable and much cooler than wearing a hat as it allows the air to circulate.
3. Eat the local curries wherever you go. They are delicious and the Indian cooks have been preparing them for thousands of years so there is less likelihood of getting Delhi Belly. They are not so familiar with western food .
4. Don’t try to do too much in a day. The human mind (and body) can only take in and process so much. Start early and do what the locals do – get out of the afternoon sun, read enjoy the hotel and take a nap.
5. Don’t rush from place to place. 'Enchanting India' who arranged our trip did a brilliant job in making sure that we were able to savor and enjoy our experiences. In most places they allowed one travel day PLUS a sight seeing day (2 nights) except in Jaipur where they gave us three nights. There we were able to take a mid-tour ‘lay day’ and enjoy being in our magnificent hotel.
6. We met French couple with three young children in the pool and got talking. “We think India is a wonderful place to holiday with children,” they told us. When we expressed surprise they said, “Well you think about it. We have our own driver who will take us wherever we want. The hotels are luxurious and cheap. We could never afford a hotel like this in Europe. And the staff are happy to prepare a meal for you at any time of the day or night.” They have a point!
7. Don’t give to beggars no matter how pathetic and sad they look. The Indian Government is doing its best to stamp out begging and there are signs everywhere saying, “Give a child a pen. Make a child a beggar.” Better to give a good tip to your driver, waiter, guide, bus driver. After all, he works hard for very little money and has a family to educate and feed.
8. The magnificent monuments like the Taj Mahal are amazing but they are just buildings. They are not what India is about. The people are happy colorful, generous, friendly and optimistic. Spend as much time as possible with them.
9. 70% of India’s people are rural and live in the villages. Get out of the cities and meet the real people.
10. Treat the people of India with respect. Smile and they will smile back to you.