Wednesday, 25 January 2017

10 Not-To-Dos While Visiting India - Tips for Safe Travel

 Photo by Dennis Jarvis, CC BY-SA 2.0

A country of a thousand cultures and colors, of glorious traditions, religious harmony and of tens of thousands of gods, India is a land tourists flock to see and with good reason. It has sites to satiate your every mood. From adventures like rafting, skiing, parachuting and snorkeling to tranquil and peaceful seaside’s, there is everything one could hope for. But traveling here can be huge cultural shock as well. To help you prepare and relax during your trip to India, we have complied a list of ten things that you must never do while here. These tips will ensure your travel safety and to have fun at the same time.

1. Do Not Drink Tap Water
There is a reason why this is the first precaution. Drinking water from an unreliable place is a major cause of diseases. And you don’t want to be struck down by an ailment in the middle of a holiday, that too in an unfamiliar place. Always carry bottled water with you and only accept water when you are in a 5 star restaurant or a good store. Learn the names of some trusted bottled water brands while in the country.

2. Do Not Accept Food or Water from Passengers on The Train
While it might seem courteous to accept a biscuit or a cookie from fellow passengers, it is extremely dangerous to do so. Cases have been reported of food items being drugged and used to rob people. People might seem kind and helpful but it doesn’t hurt to be careful.

3. Do Not Dress in Skimpy Outfits
A very religious country with strict norms, people in India are of a conservative mindset and western outfits that do not cover you up are not just frowned upon here but attract eve teasers and can lead to other dangerous situations that are best avoided by wearing modest clothes. While major cities like Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai are gradually accepting the modern apparel, in many parts of the country, you will be stared at if you wear anything other than salwar kameez that is the traditional Indian wear. If you do want to wear shorts or short skirts anyway, travel safely and be with trusted people at all times.

4. Do Not Eat Street Food
No matter how famous the street side stall is or how tasty the food may seem, avoid the street food at all costs. Everything from the water and vegetables or fruits used at these stalls is questionable and you can never know when you might be bogged down by a disease. Always eat at well-established places or buy snacks from good stores.

5. Do Not Forget to Carry Sanitizers
Hand sanitizers or disinfectant wipes are the most important part of any travel and you must never leave your room without it. If you’re traveling by public transport like train or bus, you will definitely thank yourself for carrying a sanitizer.

6. Do Not Venture Out at Night
There a select few places in the country where you can freely roam around at night, but most of the tourist zones are not so safe. Special care must be taken by women since India is known to have places which are extremely unsafe. It’s better to step out early for sightseeing and be back before late night.

7. Do Not Engage In PDA
One needs to be extremely careful in India when it comes to PDA. Kissing, hugging or even holding your partner’s hand in public is considered immoral and will attract onlookers and angry stares. Best to be safe and do it in private. Cities like Bangalore and Mumbai are changing their opinion gradually but it might take some time to fully accept it. Better to be safe than sorry.

8. Do Not Forget Your Phone or A Guidebook
It’s easy to get fleeced in India by taxi cab drivers and shopkeepers etc. who will not miss an opportunity to overcharge you. With apps like Uber or Ola and online information about products, one can get an insight on the original prices. Also, it’s easy to get lost in a strange place so better keep that phone and GPS handy.

9. Stay Alert in Crowded Places and Public Transport
A pickpocket’s beloved hang out zones are public transports and crowded markets. Always be aware of your surroundings and stay alert at all times. This will help avoid being robbed at a public place. If you feel suspicious of someone, keep your distance and move away if possible.

10. Avoid Traveling at Night Via Train or Road
Highly unsafe specially in some parts of the country, traveling at night must be avoided at all costs. While flights are a hundred times safer and easier, you might have to visit a place by train or via car. In these cases, it’s preferred that you do so during day time.

Ten handy tips for safe journey through India. Enjoy the fabulousness of this country.

Author’s Bio:
A well-known travel blogger and an architect, Rohit Agarwal spends his free time traveling to fantastic sites in India and the world and shares his adventures with the world through his blog