No trip is ever perfect in every way. There are always those little things which remain in your memory long after your trip is over. So we have compiled a list of useful tips which might help in making your trip a lasting memory of a lifetime. These tips are by no means a comprehensive list but they will help you plan your trip before you embark on it and also when you are actually on holiday.

  1. Although India is a pretty safe place as compared to other parts of the disturbed world, it is better to be safe than sorry. Carry your money and travel documents (preferably wrapped in plastic to avoid dampness) in a Money Belt around your waist well hidden from sight.
  2. The best and the safest way to carry your cash around is through traveler’s cheques as they are readily exchangeable in most locations. ATM cards are another convenience. You can use them to withdraw cash from a couple of ATMs anywhere in India.
  3. The peak season in India is between October and January. It is also the time when India is most crowded, more festive than any other time of the year. The daytime temperatures are comparatively not too hot and the nights are pleasantly cool. It is also less humid than the rest of the year.
  4. Voltage in India is 220 volts ac, 50 cycles. Remember to pack a voltage adapter for your electric appliances. And please check the voltage before using electric shaver or any other electric appliances.
  5. If you are traveling on the train, don't leave your baggage unattended. You can clip it with a chain attached to the seat to foil most thieves.
  6. Carry on your person at all times, a small Emergency card preferably laminated or covered in plastic, mentioning your name, age, blood group and other relevant medical details and a phone number to contact in case of an emergency.
  7. On trains and buses, do not accept food items from strangers. These could be used to lull you into deep sleep while the stranger gets away with your valuables.
  8. Cuisine in India is not limited to just the Indian variety. In most places you can find everything from Continental, Chinese, Tibetan, Indonesian, Thai, Portuguese and even Mexican dishes on the menu. Prices for these vary from place to place and so does the quality.
  9. If you are a foreign national (probably coming for the first time), be warned that you will be quoted some truly exorbitant prices for most things that you ask for, right from the household goods to the taxi rates etc. And the rates might still seem cheap due to the currency conversion. However always check around with a number of sources for an approximate reasonable price before striking a deal.
  10. Do not hand out money to beggars, whose tribe in India has also increased over the past few years. Be aware that these are full time professionals who have migrated from surrounding states in search of easy money.
  11. Please note that use, possession and trade of drugs (hard or soft) is totally illegal in India. If caught in possession, 10 years of rigorous imprisonment in jail and Rs 10,000 in fine is your gift from the Indian Police. There is no bail for any drug offence, or any time off for good behavior; you serve every day of the given sentence.
  12. Beware of touts at most tourist spots who are ready to provide you with anything and everything at the drop of a hat.
  13. Articles made from rare, endangered hence protected species of animals are banned. Do not attempt to buy these from roadside sellers or even shops.
  14. The seas in India are often rough on certain beaches especially around the monsoons. There are life guards posted at most popular beaches in India. Do not venture into the sea before consulting the life-guard.
  15. Do not keep your valuables unattended during your stay at the beach
  16. Nudity on beaches and public places is forbidden and punishable under the law
  17. Use repellents and mosquito nets to protect yourself from insects and mosquitoes. Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants from dusk through dawn also helps.
  18. Your money, passport must be kept in a safe place at your hotel reception or on your person. Do not keep them in the custody of undesirable persons. In case of loss of any documents contact the nearest Government of India Tourist Office or the nearest State Government Tourist Office or the nearest Police Station.
  19. Traffic circulation in India is on the left. Keep your valid documents, driving license, passports etc., in your possession while driving. If you are a Foreign national you must possess an International Drivers license to be able to drive. Follow Police Traffic rules strictly to avoid any mishaps
  20. Do observe silence, due respect and proper decorum inside the places of worship and religious monuments that you might visit. Most importantly, always remove your shoes at the entrance to the main hall of any holy shrine. It is also a good idea to leave a small donation for the upkeep of the building when you leave.
  21. If you take the bus transport for traveling in India; be prepared for a rough ride. There are no fixed timetables and frequently no bus stops at even regular stops.
  22. Always be ready to bargain in most small establishments. As a thumb rule offer 30% of the asking price, and be prepared to pay 45-50% of the original asked price.
  23. In case you want to extend your visa, contact the Foreigners Regional Registration Office located in the Police Headquarters at State Capitals.
  24. Shop at Government emporia/handicraft centers for quality products at reasonable prices.
  25. Guides may be hired from Government approved agencies. For verification, you may ask for identity card.
  26. Tourists carrying cameras / video cameras should check whether photography / video filming are permitted at the tourist spots.
  27. Contact nearest Govt. of India / State Govt. Tourist Office / Counter / Tourist Police / Tourist Assistance Booth for any tourist information/assistance.
  28. While at the beach; please read sign boards before entering the water and please follow the instructions contained in the sign boards. Consult lifeguard before entering the waters and swim in safe areas only.
  29. In case you have to visit the hospital; please insist on sterilized / disposable syringes and make sure that the blood is tested before transfusion.
  30. Pay taxis / auto rickshaws by meter only or by tariff card issued by the Directorate of Transport and available with the driver.
  31. Do not smoke in public places / vehicles. Smoking and spitting is banned at all places of public use.
  32. Do not indulge in permissive sex as you run the risk of being afflicted by disease of AIDS. This disease has no cure.