India is mind-blowing and mind-boggling at the best of times. So its always best to do a bit of preparatory work before you embark on a journey to India. Especially if you are unused to India’s diversity and variety, its chaotic harmony and madness, taking the necessary precautions beforehand can ensure you enjoy your trip and minimize the culture shock.
Here are three tips to prepare for and make the best of your trip to India.
#1 Prepare Your Itinerary Beforehand
This is important if you want to stick to schedule. India has so many places off the main tourist maps that can catch you and keep you engaged for hours on end. End result: missed flights that will throw your whole vacation schedule off canter. So prepare your schedule beforehand and stick to it. The flipside to this is that if you’re the kind that likes to freewheel and be surprised constantly, you are headed to the right country. Random fun stuff is the norm in India, but be sure you this is what you want. Spiritual Gateway has a great list of places you can visit.
#2 Visit the Offbeat Places Too!
Varanasi, Konark and Khajuraho tend to get all the attention in India, especially among overseas tourists. But India is a treasure trove of temples, wildlife sanctuaries, hill stations, mountain retreats and oceanic paradises, all rolled into one. In fact, there is a famous quote from Jalauddin Rumi that talks of India’s complexity, and epitomizes this situation. If you just stick to the places that make it to most tourist guides, you are bound to miss the less-known but no less wonderful places that dot the entire landscape of the subcontinent. Consult blogs, social media and friends in the know to figure what else is out there. But as always, do your research thoroughly, and go prepared for the situation. It’s never a good idea to end up in the cold Himalayas with open footwear for example. All About Bharat has a list of such offbeat places.
#3 Get All the Right Apps
Train booking, flight tickets, carpooling, taxi services, all of these available on apps today in India. Make sure you get all these if you plan to travel by any of these transport methods. Depending on Internet cafes or physically going to booking counters can be a real hassle in India, not to mention foreign exchange issues and cash troubles.
Uber is present in most major cities, as is its cheaper Indian counterpart Ola. Major flight booking services include Make My Trip and Yatra. The Indian government has a monopoly on the Indian railway system, but contrary to expectation, their service is improving by leaps and bounds, though they have managed to keep ticket prices down.