Time zone: India (GMT+5:30)
Best to visit: October – March
Before you go on a vacation or a business trip, there are a lot of things to take into consideration such as the weather, the activities you will have, vaccines and many more. All of these depend on the country you travel to, but when you want to visit India, you should know that there are a lot more you should know and do before your trip.
If you are planning to visit India any time soon, no matter where you are travelling from, here are the top 10 things to take into consideration!
- Plan your trip in advance
The first step is, of course, deciding where you want to go and what you want to do. India takes up an entire peninsula and it is a huge country, occupying a vast and varied territory. You should know that you cannot visit the entire country in just a week or two, so we advise you to plan accordingly.
It can be quite difficult to decide where to go, especially if your stay is not stretching over a longer period. We recommend making a list of the things you’d like to visit and see if it is doable considering the time. If not, try to visit only one area of the country. Most people fly to Delhi and explore Rajasthan, particularly the iconic Golden Triangle and Varanasi.
- When to travel to India
The second step is to decide when you want to travel to India. Do not mistake thinking that India is hot, as the weather varies dramatically from one area to another: while the far south is being lashed by monsoon rain, the far north will face snow. The tourist season in most parts of India extends from October until March, because in this period the weather is at its coolest and it is not the monsoon season.
- Consider travelling through a travel agency
You should consider travelling through a travel agency. It can also help you with a personalized itinerary based on your requirements and interests. They will work within your time-frame and budget and take care of all arrangements for transport and accommodations.
- Consider hiring a car with a driver
Consider hiring a car and a driver to travel easier and faster between destinations in India. This option applies to those who want to travel to India independently. Self-drive rental cars are relatively uncommon practices for tourists, due to the poor condition of roads and the frequent disregard for road rules in India.
- Book train and plane tickets
Many people prefer not to make reservations for transport in India, as they don’t like to be constrained by a fixed plan. Let’s face it, we all know there are a lot of people travelling by train in India, so mare sure you book yours in advance so you can enjoy a comfortable experience.
- Book accommodations
We advise you to book your accommodations in advance for major cities, particularly Delhi. Usually, international flights arrive in India at night and it’s easy to feel disoriented in an unfamiliar place. Nowadays, India has some fantastic world-class backpacker hostels all over the country, which makes it easier for travellers to meet other people.
- Visit your doctor before you travel
Before leaving your country, you should visit your doctor to find out what precautions you need to take against certain illnesses. Also, you need to know that the medication and immunization are necessary, but it depends on the regions you intend to visit (some areas are prone to malaria) and even the month you travel in.
- Apply for an Indian visa
Those who want to travel to India, except citizens of neighbouring Nepal and Bhutan, need to get a visa to enter the country. Most people are eligible for an electronic visa for visiting, business or medical purposes.
These types of visas are valid for 60 days, from the time of entry. Two entries are permitted on tourist e-visas and business e-visas, while three entries are permitted on medical e-visas. The visas are non-extendable and non-convertible to other types of visas. Visitors staying in India for less than 72 hours can apply for a transit visa.
If you want to stay in India for more than 60 days, you need to get a tourist visa. Otherwise, you will face problems at the immigration office and you risk being arrested or even deported. You should make sure your documents are in order before you travel. For this matter, the Indian Embassy outsources the Indian visa application process to private processing agencies in many countries, making it more efficient.
- Seek information about the Indian culture
If you visit India for the first time, you will probably have a cultural shock, whose intensity can be diminished if you read and document about the culture of the country. India is like no other country in the world, it is a unique mix of culture, cuisine, society and individual behaviours you cannot be too prepared for.
Moreover, you should know that a large part of the population still lives in extreme poverty, and this can lead individuals to a life of crime. Therefore, we advise you to be aware of scams.
- Pack smart
The last step you need to take, and perhaps even the most difficult, is packing smart. When you pack for a trip to India, it’s important to take into account the country’s conservative dress standards. Some people prefer to travel light to India and buy what they need when they get there. Others choose to bring as many things as possible from home, thinking that the quality of the products is better and they don’t need to spend extra money.
No matter how you like to travel, you need to first consider the type of luggage you are carrying. Secondly, don’t forget to pack the necessary things you need, such as clothes, shoes, medicine, personal care items, money and other useful items such as plug adapters, flashlights and padlocks.
Be careful not to overdue with medicine and personal care products as authorities might consider you are trying to smuggle them into the country.
These are the most important steps you need to consider before travelling to India, but every one of us should adapt them to our habits and desires. No matter how you like to travel to India, make sure you obtain your visa before your arrival.