What Precautions A Canadian Must Take Before Travelling To India?
From ancient times, India has attracted millions of visitors. Its ancient cultures, traditions and the varied heritage have people flocking to its land like moths flock to the flame. Some of the reasons that make India much-desired tourist destinations are as follows.
- It is a huge country: India's size is one-third of the USA and its countryside is picturesque. It is the second most populous and has one of the most diverse mixes of cultures in the world. To the north, lies the mighty Himalayas. Beautiful beaches can found in the South and South-West India. Discover the rich tribal tradition in the Eastern and Central India. The scorching and stunning deserts can be found to the west of India.
- It is a great value destination: the foreign films often paint India as this poor country filled with hungry kids, grubby hotels, shady men and women etc. But hey! That’s not fair to India. One can travel lavishly or in the budget, this country offers great options in both categories. For those who want to travel in style, can try out the palace hotels. The ones who want to get a first-hand taste of Indian culture can stay in a homestay. The ones who are on a tight budget holiday can stay in the budget hotels or backpacker hostels. They offer clean accommodation and all the modern amenities.
- India's heartwarming hospitality: Indians are known for their welcoming and kind nature. There is a Sanskrit verse, “Atithi Devo bhava". It means a guest is equivalent to God. The homestays are very popular because of the warmth exuded by the Indians. Contrary to the popular notion, India is not a land of thugs, goons, rapists. Visit India to know the kind and good-hearted hospitality of Indians.
- The best place to do some soul-searching: There are times in one’s life when one needs to get away and clear one’s mind; India can be that place for you. Initially, the culture shock might seem a bit too much to handle but once you will get used to it, one can do some soul searching or detach from the world he or she is used to. Let go of your worries in India. Your Indian experience will change you for the better.
- India is NOT unsafe in general: India has been shown in the international media as highly unsafe for women especially the international travellers. India might not be the most comfortable country for a foreigner to travel, but it is not unsafe on the whole. The southern part of India is considered to be safer than Northern India.
- Explore your spiritual side: India is the land of spirituality and has deep-rooted spiritual traditions. One of the most popular forms of India's spiritual traditions is Yoga. Immerse yourself in the Indian spirituality by travelling to places such as Haridwar, Rishikesh and Varanasi. Spend time in renowned Yoga centres or spiritual ashrams that helps one to reconnect with one’s soul. Who knows, one might get the answers one might have been searching for a long time!
These are some aspects that draw in crowds. However, one needs to be careful while traipsing through the country especially for an international traveller. Here are some guidelines designed for international tourists.
- Register with the embassy: it is a process where a person registers one’s personal information with the embassy. It is done online. This registration is important because, in case of an emergency or situation like the current pandemic, the embassy will help out the visitors in whatever way possible. Also, this registration ensures that the person receives important security-related alerts from the embassy.
- Why are these security-related alerts important? The traveller is new to the country and has no idea about the language spoken as India is a country of hundreds of languages. Therefore, one needs to connect with the embassy to ensure that there is no security lapse and the traveller is safe. These notifications will help a person to remain abreast of the important events happening in the country.
- Using public transportation: public transportation is not safe in India. The travellers might fall prey to thefts and looting as they carry their documents and money with them. It is better to have the transportation sorted before one lands in the country or hiring one online as the online cab drivers are vetted before they are hired. If you are insistent on taking the rickshaw ride, then be extra careful of one’s belongings.
- Check out the state department’s guidelines of one’s country: the state department issues guidelines to its citizens for travelling to other countries. Plan your travel based on these guidelines. If there is any country that is marked as a high threat, then DO NOT GO. Fortunately, India is not a red marked country but please check out what one’s state department says about India and follow the guidelines.
- Go local: Keep oneself informed about the latest happenings in India. Find a local person who will act as one's mediator. This will help one to have a hassle-free travel. These sources will also have information regarding political situations and will also help you avoid the places that are prone to volatile activities.
- Forewarned is forearmed: no matter how much we plan, things can go wrong. So make a list of everything that can go wrong. It can be overwhelming but is a necessary procedure especially if one is travelling with children. If one is travelling with children, then talk to them and make understand of different situations that they might have to face. Knowledge is power so keep oneself informed.
- Always carry your first-aid kit: India’s diet varies from corner to corner and it will be very difficult for the traveller to deal with the heavy spices commonly used in the Indian dishes. So, always keep your first aid kit with you. One never knows when one might need those diarrhoea tablets. Also, keep your vaccinations updated before boarding the plane to India.
- Dress conservatively: the temperature is perfect for wearing those shorts and crop tops but refrains from wearing them publicly. India is conservative when it comes to clothes so keep yourself covered as much as possible. Use lightweight clothes so that the Indian summer does not get to you. Carry light shawls and jackets to keep the skin show to the minimum. However, not all parts of India require you to wear conservatively. Do you research before you pack for your trip to India.
- Get a local sim card: this measure will help you to book cabs, check for hotel and restaurant reviews and make your travel easier. It is difficult to get one after landing in India, so buy an international sim card before you leave your country.
- Avoid travelling on the streets during the night: this is important especially for women. Avoid the streets during the night time to avoid eve-teasing and sexual assaults. Do not accept any invitation for tea, coffee or alcoholic drinks as they can lead one to be trafficked. Stay with your group or if you are a solo traveller, do not stay out in the night time.
- Be on guard regarding your documents: thefts and robbing the foreign tourists happens in every country across the globe. Therefore, be very careful when you are travelling to India. Enjoy the beauty but be alert about your things. Most of them are irreplaceable.
- Local pharmacies are safe: do not be nervous about the local pharmacies. In case one falls sick and ran out of medicines, then head to the nearest pharmacy. They will have either the exact medicine you had or the closest one to that. All common antibiotics are easily available in any Indian pharmacy.
- Be ready to haggle: fleecing the foreign tourists is a common practice in India so brush up your haggling skills and then board the flight to India. You might feel intimidated in the beginning but do not give up. Put your foot down if you feel that you are being overcharged. Therefore, it is always better to have a local contact who will help you in dealing with such situations. Do your homework well before going on a shopping spree.
- Carry toilet paper and sanitizer: the importance of sanitizer cannot be emphasized enough especially in current times. All toilets in India might not be equipped with toilet paper so carry your roll to avoid a difficult bathroom situation.
- Restrict to a vegetarian diet: Unlike several countries, vegetarianism is quite prevalent in India. Most of the restaurants offer both vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals. It is advised to restrict oneself to the vegetarian meals as one do not the sanitary conditions of the source of the meat. Badly prepared meat dish can leave your travel plans in a disarray.
This a comprehensive list of tips that will make your travel smooth in India. Enjoy your trip!
Now that you have learned, what precaution you should take while visiting India, You can apply Indian Visa Online