Preparation Tips for a Trip to India

India’s colourful cultural celebrations, forty UNESCO World Heritage enclaves and dramatic landscapes allure waves of travellers to its magical towns and cities. The unique nature of this vibrant country is evident in every region, from the tropical coast of Kerala to the vast spectrum of wildlife in the Ranthambore National Park.

If you’re planning a trip to this truly extraordinary country, it’s advisable to have a few things prepared before you go.

India is one of the largest countries in the world and has 22 officially spoken languages, along with many smaller languages. Therefore, some key preparation tips to complete beforehand will help you have a smooth and enjoyable trip.

Visa & Documentation

Aside from your flight, to enter India you will need to have a visa that suits the purpose of your trip. It is recommended to apply for this documentation well in advance before you travel to India, and this can either be an e-visa or a regular paper visa.

Ensure your passport is up to date and that you have sufficient travel insurance too, with copies made in case you lose the original document.

Health & Vaccinations

When travelling to a new country, or if you’re visiting for the first time in a while, it could be wise to check if you need any boosters or new vaccinations.

Healthcare providers usually recommend you to be vaccinated against Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Tetanus and Typhoid. It is your choice whether you choose to do so.

Planning your Itinerary

Tackling the itinerary of your trip to India may seem overwhelming, but choosing what region you want to explore is a great place to start.

The Golden Triangle Route (Delhi-Agra-Jaipur) connects some of India’s most iconic landmarks including the Taj Mahal and the ‘pink city’ of Jaipur.

To simplify your journey whilst still having an authentic experience, consider booking an escorted tour to India. Local guides, comfortable transportation and organised itineraries allow you to focus on enjoying the sights without the stress of planning logistics.

Packing Essentials

Depending on where you choose to travel to in India, you will most likely need to pack for humidity and high temperatures. It may seem counterintuitive, but lightweight long sleeves do a great job of protecting you from the sun and heat.

Loose-fitting and breathable clothing, as well as comfortable walking shoes, are must-haves for your packing list. If you’re heading towards the Himalayas, opt for warmer layers.

Remember to be respectful with your clothing choices, particularly when entering temples. Always carrying a shawl and wearing modest clothing will avoid being caught short when stumbling across a religious building or shrine if you want to pay your respects.

Cultural Etiquette

Learning basic customs such as eating only with your right hand, greeting others with ‘Namaste’, and removing your shoes before entering homes and temples will help to avoid awkward (and possibly disrespectful) faux pas.

When entering Hindu temples, ensure you are not carrying any leather items, and find out what parts you are allowed to enter if you are not Hindu.

Make the most out of your trip to India with sufficient preparation. By following these tips, you will be well-equipped to handle both the challenges and delights that come with a trip to this wonderfully diverse country.