India is a magical place filled with stunning vistas, rich culture and friendly people. Its vibrant cities, ancient temples, vast mountain ranges and varied cuisine offer something for everyone to enjoy. A visit to India will be an unforgettable journey for anyone who is willing to experience its beauty and mystique. However, it is important to be familiar with a few important details before travelling to India to ensure that your vacation is prepared and enjoyable. This article will provide some essential tips to consider before visiting India.

Get Vaccinated

India is home to a variety of health risks, with many still prevalent in some parts of the country. Therefore, it’s important to make sure that you are up-to-date with the recommended vaccinations before traveling there. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that travelers get the following vaccinations before going to India:

• Typhoid
• Hepatitis A and B
• Rabies
• Japanese encephalitis
• Meningitis
• Polio

In addition, the Indian government highly recommends that travelers get vaccinated for cholera if they are visiting rural areas, as well as for hepatitis E. Make sure to check with your doctor or local health department regarding vaccinations prior to your visit.

Get Acquainted with Indian Customs and Etiquette

India is a country steeped in tradition and customs. To ensure that you do not inadvertently offend someone, it is important to familiarize yourself with the local norms before travelling. Here are a few customs and tips to keep in mind when visiting India:

• Respect for elders is important in India, and you should always show respect for them by greeting them in a respectful manner.
• Dress modestly and avoid sleeveless tops and shorts in more conservative areas.
• Take off your shoes when entering temples and other religious places.
• Many Indians do not eat beef, so respect these dietary preferences.
• Avoid public displays of affection, as this is consider socially unacceptable.

Have a Plan

India is a large country and with its size comes a range of climates and types of terrain. It is essential to have a plan before visiting India, as this will ensure that the trip runs smoothly and is enjoyable. Here are some plans that should be put into place prior to visiting:

• Research the different cities and regions of India to determine which ones are most attractive for your particular interests.
• Decide on an itinerary for your trip, so you have a plan of the places you want to visit and the activities you want to do.
• Decide on the type of transport you will use to get around India. It can be difficult to get around by public transport, so it might be best to hire a car or driver.
• Allow yourself enough time to enjoy all of India’s famous sights and experiences.
• Research the cost of accommodations and remember to haggle when shopping in India.

Get Smart with Money

India’s currency is the Rupee, and it is important to make sure that you have enough cash on hand at all times. ATMs are widespread throughout the country, and most credit cards are widely accepted in India. It is advised to exchange some cash at the airport or bring US dollars, as they are accepted in many places.

It is important to be wary of pickpockets, and always be aware of your possessions. Make sure to not carry around too much cash, and keep your valuable items secure at all times. Always plan for the worst, and have a small stash of Rupees available in case of an emergency.

Know India’s Language

English is widely spoken in India, and most people in the bigger cities and tourist locations can converse fluently in English. However, not knowing the local language can make communicating difficult in smaller and more rural areas. Therefore, it is recommended to learn the basics of at least one of the languages spoken in India prior to travelling. The most popular languages in India are Hindi, Tamil and Punjabi, but depending on which region you are visiting, it might be beneficial to learn some of the regional languages as well.

Stay Safe

It is important to be conscious of your safety when travelling to India. Always be alert and aware of your surroundings. Join up with tour groups, as they provide an additional element of safety. Be cautious when exploring in rural areas and avoid travelling alone at night.

India has a variety of cities and regions that are at different security levels, certain areas in the north such as Srinagar, Kashmir are off-limits for tourists and should be avoided. Keep your passport and other important documents stored securely, and inform your loved ones of your whereabouts whenever you can.

India has much to offer travellers, with its beautiful terrain, rich culture, and friendly people. Travellers should keep these tips in mind before venturing to ensure that they stay safe and make the most of their experience while visiting India. By preparing adequately before travelling, visitors can make sure that they are ready to experience all that India has to offer.