Travel Tips

Arrival

On arrival, you will be picked up from the airport. A driver with your name card will be waiting for you outside the airport.

Greeting

‘Namaste’ with hands folded is the official greeting in India. Although, shaking hands and hugs are also common greetings in the country.Public showof affection may not be accepted in some areas.

Food

India has 29 states and 7 union territories and about, as many cuisines. When you experiment with different cuisines, do remember the spices are hotter than the European and western cuisine. If you do not have a strong stomach, give it a few days to get used to the food. Avoid food from vendors and street food stalls.Drink only bottled water. You can find bottled water almost everywhere easily, but be careful while buying bottled water, the seal should be unbroken. Recommended bottled water brands are Kinley, Aquafina, Himalaya, Catch.

Tips

It is polite to tip anywhere between 8-10% of your bill. If the service was not up to your standards, then don’t feel obliged to tip.

Weather

January/February is when winter arrives, the temperature is between 15-5°C, warm clothing is recommended. If travelling to India from December-March, the temperature ranges are (4-20°C or 40-68°F), in April-September summer and monsoon (20-40°C or 68-104°F) and,in October-November (15-30°C or 59-86°F).

Local Transportation

Local bus, taxis, auto rickshaw services are available, and ofcourse, the Delhi metro.But if you are in India for the first time it is advisable to use the metro or autos.Buses are full to the brim. Before getting in to an auto, ensure you ask for the fair or ask them to ‘run the meter’.

Hygiene & Toilets

Hotels, good restaurants, and coffeeshops will have international amenities.Public toilets don’t. Please carry soap, toilet paper, and a hand sanitizer with you.

Clothes

In places of prayer, you are not allowed to wear shorts and, are expected to cover your head.Its best to dress modestly in public places like railway stations, airports, city centres, bazaars, if you do not want to attract unwanted attention.

Tailoring

India is the land of textiles, and tailoring is affordable. Don’t miss the opportunity to get some funky clothes tailored.

Internet

Generally all hotels and modern coffee houses will provide a Wi-Fi connection. Free or paid depends from place to place.

Mobile Cards

These are easily available at Airports. It is advised that you buy one as soon as you land. Please carry a copy of your passport and visa with 2 passport size photographs for the same. Popular networks are Airtel, Vodafone &Aircel.

Bargaining

Bargaining is part and parcel of the Indian experience. You may bargain at small shops, bazaars and local markets, since the shopkeepers tend to quote the price higher than the original price (especially for foreigners), it’s recommended to bargain a lot with them. If they are chargingRs 300, ask firmly for Rs 150 or even less.

Language

There are more than 19 state languages and 1500 dialects, although, English will get you by in most of the country. It is advisable to learn a few necessary phrases in Hindi, and take a small travel dictionary with you.

Credit Cards, Currency and Money

Credit Cards and Debit cards by Visa, Master Card and Amex are accepted in almost all hotels, restaurants and shops, but there are also a good number of vendors like car rentals, taxis, small shops, food vendors that will only accept cash, so it is a good idea to always carry Indian Rupees – INR. Most of the destinations also have ATM machines, but international ATM withdrawals will  charge extra.Do not exchange currency at Airports, as the rates there arerelatively low. If, it is an emergency, only exchange a small amount.
It is advisable to carry some of your local currency and get it changed in India. You will not find any difficulties in withdrawing money too. Please familiarize yourself to the Indian rupees-INR denominations –Rs 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000 and coins for smaller denominations.
 

Getting Around

Be very careful with your luggage and personal effects such as cameras, laptops, mobile phones at all times as they can easily be stolen especially in public places. Do not expect to find anything if it is once misplaced, lost or stolen. Keep the passport and visa photocopies with you at all times.Do not leave them in the hotel room or a rented car.
While visiting monuments, contact the certified guides available at the ticket counters. Sometimes, audio guides are available, too. Beware of touts who will show you around and then pull you into handicrafts shops to buy stuff at much higher prices,of which they get a cut.