16 October 2013

10 Tips for Travel to India

The Chaotic Traffic near Crawford Market, Mumbai, India
India travel is very diverse given the enormous country - I am only commenting here on Mumbai, Goa and Kerala.
1 - Hotels: If you are a semi-luxury or luxury traveller or just enjoy very decent rooms, do not book anything less that 4* in India.
2 - Don't be in a hurry - travel is slow on the roads in India due to traffic congestion and the design of the roads.
3 - Enjoy the Indian people - they are friendly and very welcoming.
4 - If you are using a Travel Agent, get EVERYTHING in writing, including any cancellation policies. Get the hotel names specified on the quote and check the Trip Advisor Reviews before committing to payment.
5 - If using Jet Airways internally, ensure that you only have 15 kg of luggage! Otherwise, stuff as much as you can into your hand-luggage for the flight.
Excess baggage is expensive on the budget class air-fares.
6 - Get Malaria Tablets for Goa or any other malaria area that you are visiting. Whilst inoculations are not compulsory, they do give peace of mind.
Medication for Delhi Belly is another safe-guard - hopefully, you will never need to use the tablets.
7 - If you suffer from Motion Sickness, bring plenty of tablets - the roads are torturous and even the locals have to jump out to get sick!
8 - Although swimming in the sea is not advised during Monsoon season, most hotels at the coats have swimming pools so don't forget the sun-tan lotion and swimming costume.
9 - If you want to be part of the local scene, walk around - don't just get taken from place to place for a quick photo stop. One cannot experience the Indian culture without mingling. Indians tend not to travel to places like Goa during season (November - February) Being the only Westerners in many of the places that we have visited, has meant that we could experience India with the Indians.
10 - Everybody says this - do not eat street food, drink only bottled water and make sure the cap is not glued on! But do heed this advice - it will keep you healthy!

Restaurants with good Trip Advisor Reviews are fine as are the better class of hotel. Hygiene is still a matter of concern in India so do not take any chances.

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