Make Visa online
To make visa for India online it is really easy, fast and cheaper then to go to agency. You fill same questions you would answer in the agency and then you pay 29 Eur plus your bank money transfer and just print the paper. With that you will be good on the immigration desk.
Watch what you eat and drink
It is well known that most of the people that visit India they face some stomach problems. So to avoid spending your vacation in bed or hospital you should really be careful. First of all – no street food, no raw food, salads and NO TAP WATER. Take it seriously – not even when you brush your teeth or take shower. For face wash and teeth I strongly recommend bottled water. Also I recommend you to eat freshly cooked food, because then it is least chances to get bacteria. What I always use to keep myself healthy? Probiotics. It helps your body to fight agains bacteria you get with food and drinks.
Dress conservative (especially women)
You do not realize that until you go there. At home you think what the short dress or shorts would make to locals? But when on the street there are no white people and obviously no one showing there hands or legs, you consider to look like a crowd. otherwise you might get too much attention that you really do not want there in India. So try to get a loose clothes that covers at least half of your hands and legs, no short dresses or shorts. It is actually fun, personally me, I found these loose clothes so comfortable. Before, I never even tried them out.
Almost everyone will try to get your money
Poverty is a really big problem in India. Many people still live with the income that is less than 2 €, so be prepared that a lot of people will try to scam you, sell you worthless items. Kids sometimes are really aggressive. The best thing is to ignore those beggars and just pass, because if you start talking or paying attention, many more will come. Also, if you are white and you come to the shop or a better restaurant – you will get really higher price and more taxes. For the lower prices you should go to a fixed rate shops, local supermarkets. Also be careful with Tuc tuc drivers, they might take you to very expensive places and tell you that it is for locals. All in all – be aware.
Avoid burnouts – India is not running away
Many tourists are trying to see the most possible things in a really short time. In this case most of the time you just run, you are tired and you can not enjoy the things that you visit. So it is better to prepare the route before. Also when planning the trip, be aware of the distance. 200 km might mean 6 hours drive. Because traffic and road is nothing you could expect before seeing that. I really do not reccomend you to drive yourself, better go with a group or a public transport bus, or train.
Watch those hands trying to get something from you, even kids will try to get something from you. It is better not to walk when it is dark. If you really have to, then better go with the group. Also, take care of your credit card, they are pretty fast to copy the data from it. Also ATM’s sometimes eat cards, so you better look for the one that just read your chip and you do not put it all inside.
Be prepared for chaos
Be prepared for noise, smell and chaos all around you. Especially in the bigger cities. So if you are not looking for a chaos, it is better to leave the city and go to the nature. Traffic is just crazy, with all the possible animals on the streets, Tuk Tuk’s, Riksha, motorcycles, bikes, people and who knows what else.
Don’t be too precious about your personal space
There are really many people in India. So be prepared to be squeezed in public transport, waiting lines or just anywhere. Also it is considered a good luck to touch the white person so do not be too surprised if this happens.
Yes, it might be annoying that everyone tries to get your money. Also if you get answered ”yes” to all your question because someone simply do not understand you. ”no problem” might be used even more often. So just try to find someone that speaks better English. Even though English is official language but not everyone speaks it.
Bargain at the shops
In most of the shops there are no prices on the items so when you ask for it, do not be surprised to get a really really hight one. You are suppose to bargain, so for example from 2500 Rp (35 €) you can bargain to 800 Rp (12€). I was really bad at it, so I know how you might feel. This small example might help you:When I asked how much a certain dress was, the owner said, “2000 rs” (US $40).
I instantly replied, “150 rs”.
He laughs and says, “no way”.
I reply, “200 rs”.
He says, “1000 rs”.
I reply, “300 rs”.
He says, “800 rs”.
I reply, “350 rs”.
He says, “700 rs”.
At this point I say, “too much” and start to leave the shop.
He freaks out and says, “500 rs madam (always madam omg)! This is best price, I have wife and baby at home”.
While standing at the door of the shop I say “400 rs is my best price” and start to move away.
He comes running and says “okay, deal” with a slight grin on his face.
Remember this when you will want to pay 1800 Rs for the item that was 2000 Rs.