India ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ

India can be a huge culture shock to a lot of people so here are some general tips on food, water, airports, seasons and scams to help you with the shock!

General Tips

Food

  • Only eat freshly cooked food and avoid anything raw including salads and juices. This is because uncooked food will more than likely have been washed in contaminated water.
  • Don’t eat from street vendors, you don’t known how long the food has been there and it just isn’t safe!
  • Take care too avoid too much spicy food, especially chillis. Your stomach probably isn’t used to it and it can act as a laxative!
  • Try to avoid meat if you can. India has one of the lowest meat consumptions in the world and the meat tends to look unsafe. It hangs in shops in the heat with flies and other insects buzzing around it.
  • Take probiotics and charcoal tablets with you. Probiotics will boost the good bacteria in your stomach, which helps to increase the natural immunity and charcoal tablets should help to stop Delhi belly. The toxins will quickly absorb the toxins. Always check with your doctor about these before travelling!
India

Water

  • Be sure to only drink bottles water and always use this for brushing your teeth. This is because the water is contaminated by pollutants. Always check the seal is intact.
  • Make sure you stay hydrated and they to drink and least 3 litres of water each day. I find it best to start my day by drinking a couple of glasses of water and a mug of tea and then I start off hydrated. India is a very hot country (even during the monsoons!)
  • Always avoid ice. It will be most likely be made from the same contaminated water so best to be missed.
  • Don’t bathe in holy rivers. If you are really desperate to take that dip in the River Ganges, try to keep your mouth closed and block your nose and ears to avoid much water going in. Shower afterward as soon as possible!
  • Always keep your mouth closed when showering!
  • Carry rehydration sachets with you. These can be used to replace your body with fluids if you unfortunately get Delhi belly but will also help if you start to feel dehydrated.
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Scams

  • Be vigilant!
  • Always bargain. Even do this in shops if you feel that the price has been to an extortionately high level. It may well have been!
  • Be warned that if someone on the street or in a shop tries to present you with a ‘gift’ make sure that it is actually a gift as this could very quickly turn into a sale!
  • Be sure to always arrange the price before hiring a taxi or a rickshaw. Drivers are known to take you to the wrong place or an extremely long route to try and get more money.
  • If you need cash, use an Atm as it can’t scam you! Money changers have been known to only give you have the value (or less) for the amount you are trying to exchange.
  • Watch your pockets and nags in busy places such as train stations and markets and on the street. Your pocket/bag may be picked and your bag could be slit underneath so everything falls out. Hold on to your pockets and bags if a random person tries to talk to you. It could be the distraction scam where one talks to you while his friend picks your pockets!
  • Be sure to always count your change as the person serving you might have ‘miscalculated’
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Airports

I have never been in airports like the ones in India so hopefully these tips will help you to navigate them successfully as they can be more difficult than expected!

  • Make sure that you have your tickets printed or properly downloaded before you arrive at the airport. They will be checked along with your passport before you will even be allowed in the door! I learned the hard way by showing up without the documents printed out and was sent here, there and everywhere before finding a staff member who printed them!
  • Your bags must be screened before you check in. Don’t forget or you’ll be sent back to have them screened and this will delay you.
  • Be sure to get tags for your carry on luggage and ask if you aren’t given any. This is because for some reason your bags are not allowed on the aircraft without the tags and they may be taken off you at the gate or you’ll be held up while the staff try to locate a tag.
  • Allow extra time to go through the airport as there are several lots of security before you eventually reach the gate!
  • If you have pre-booked a transfer when you arrive at your destination, don’t worry if no one is waiting inside for you. No one is allowed in the airport apart from passengers, all friends and family have to wait outside the doors. Your driver will waiting as close to the door as possible
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Seasons

India has 4 different seasons

  • Winter from December to February. In Delhi the temperature ranges from highs of 22 – 24 degrees celsius and lows of 9 – 11 degree. In Mumbai in the south its much hotter with highs of 32 and lows of 18!
  • Summer from March to May. In Delhi there are highs of 30 degrees while in Mumbai its a bit hotter at 34
  • Monsoon from June to September. In Delhi it will be nice and warm at 35 degrees with similar temperatures in the south. If you haven’t experienced a monsoon (rainy) season before then be prepared for heavy rains. Sometimes it will last a few minutes, a few hours or even all day! It will still be warm though. Take a pinch but not an umbrella as sometimes there can be strong winds.
  • Autumn from October to November. Temperatures in Delhi will start to drop to the late 20s while in Mumbai they remain constant at mid 30s!
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Safety

India can be dangerous for solo travellers, especially solo female travellers. Have a look at my Safety Tips page

C.King

Brit girl on a bummel. A solo female traveller accompanied by her camera, aiming to see as much of the world as possible and sharing what she's learnt along the way!

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