4 Things to Know When Traveling To India for the First Time

India is one of the largest and most populated countries in the world and one that is very diverse in various cultures and attracts many tourists all year around. Preparing a trip to India requires careful planning and making sure that all your travel documents are in order among some of the most important criteria to check in to. Moreover, you will need to know essentials to pack, how to carry currency and what basic precautions you will need to take when traveling. Here are a few basic steps that you should consider.

Obtaining the Legal Documents and a Visa to Enter

Wherever in the world you are traveling from, you will need a passport to travel abroad. Next you must apply for the visa where a tourist visa is possible if your stay is less than 60 days. You can apply for visa even 4 days before traveling to India in your Indian embassy. You will be asked several questions including which regions you will be traveling to and where you will be staying at. Furthermore, it’s important to visit your doctor and get any vaccinations or immunizations 4-6 weeks before traveling.

Pack Light and Suitable Clothes for the Indian Climate

If you are traveling to India in the spring, summer or fall then you will have to consider wearing clothes that will help take away from any moisture or sweat. Make sure you take clothes that are mostly cotton, light and airy. During winter, it can get quite cold so don’t forget to take along some light jackets, a sweater and some scarves to keep yourself warm. When going luxury touring Kerala, you can consider dressing according to the local customs, for example a “kurta” which is a long loosely fitting top with cotton pants to enjoy the scenic views.

Carrying Cash

Carrying money in cash and dollars is always good in case you do not find working ATM’s in the region you are. However, you will need the local currency, which is the Indian Rupee for any transactions in the markets, restaurants and transportation since credit cards are not accepted everywhere. Roughly you can expect to spend about USD 30-50 daily depending on the accommodation and the food that you spend on.

Being Prepared

While most travellers will have a smart phone and/or a tab with them, it is invaluable to have a good map of the country and its regions when you are traveling to a new country. There may be instances when you will have no access to mobile reception and having a physical map will help you navigate through unfamiliar roads in case you get lost temporarily. It is best if you can purchase a good quality map that is precise and detailed from your home rather than arriving in India and purchasing them as they could be less detailed and of low quality. If it is a specific region you are traveling to, its ideal to have a detailed map of that particular region as well as this will be very useful.

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