Many of us are lamenting that we can’t really get away this summer due to the coronavirus pandemic. Rather than jetting off overseas, many of us can’t even leave our own homes other than to get essentials like food and medication.
But we can use this time on our hands to play our next big trip. Not only will it help to keep our minds occupied for a while, but it will give us something to plan and look forward to.
Eventually, the world will be our oyster again and there are a host of different places you can consider visiting. For now, let’s focus on India, the seventh-largest country in the world, and home to around 1.3 billion people!
Why visit India?
India is extremely popular with tourists from around the world, and for good reason.
It has a whole lot to offer any traveler. From the Himalayan mountains to soft, white sandy beaches, from bustling urban inner cities to expansive, luscious rainforests… there is bound to be something that appeals to you.
Now, India is also a huge country. So it’s important to do your research before settling on which parts you want to visit.
What will suit you best will generally depend on your personal preferences, interests, and what you aim to do with your holiday.
If you want to kick back and relax on a white sandy beach, basking in the sun, Goa may be the best place for you. It has stunning landscapes, a calm and relaxing atmosphere, and is a world-renowned beach holiday destination.
If you want to immerse yourself in traditional Indian culture, visiting bustling street markets and seeing city life while trying out the world-famous cuisine and street foods, then Delhi, India’s capital, might tick your boxes.
If you want to see temples galore, spend time in jaw-dropping National Parks with a wide array of wildlife, and surround yourself by nature, Assam tourism could be better for you.
If you want to go all out and see various regions of India in one trip, you might want to consider an extended backpacker style getaway where you can travel from one part of the country to another.
But don’t feel as though you need to rush to settle on exactly what you want to do in India. You’ll have plenty of time on your hands before you’ll be able to book the perfect trip, so now is a great time to research, look into experiences in different areas, note recommendations. and draw together a holiday you will truly remember.
Preparing for your trip
Now, if you do decide to travel to India, you’re probably taking a long haul trip and will be investing a whole lot of money into this venture.
You’re going to want everything to go as smoothly as possible so you don’t experience problems along the way and can simply enjoy yourself once you’re there.
This is why it’s important to prepare yourself properly, taking all recommended precautions and ensuring you’ve completed or packed everything you possibly should have before you board that flight.
The first thing you’ll need to ensure, as with any overseas trip, is that your passport is in date. You’ll also need to make sure you have a VISA to enter and temporarily stay in the country. These documents are essential and you won’t be able to enter India’s borders without them.
In terms of passports in particular, now may be a good time to renew yours if necessary, as you’ll have enough time for it to be processed without paying an added fee.
Visas often don’t take as long, and you can normally wait closer to the date you actually plan on travelling on, with most applications being able to be completed online.
In terms of vaccines and immunisations, the recommended precautions for visiting India are a course of malaria tablets and injections for Hepatitis A, Tetanus, and Typhoid. This should be sufficient for most travellers.
However, if you are going to be visiting rural areas, a rabies vaccine could be worthwhile too. It’s advised to stay away from street dogs and dogs you don’t know although it’s always best to be safe than sorry. After all, 36% of all rabies deaths occur in India.
In terms of essentials to take along, it’s recommended that you have plenty of high factor sunscreen, mosquito and insect repellant and sunglasses, as well as a good sun hat to protect your scalp from sunburn too. You need to protect your skin and eyes from UV rays.
Health and safety
Knowing precautions to take once you enter another country is also a good idea and you can pick up this knowledge well in advance.
Simple pieces of information can prevent problems from occurring and can make your trip a whole lot more enjoyable.
For example, you shouldn’t drink tap water in India. This is due to a prevalence of waterborne diseases in the country. Your safest bet is to drink bottled water (ensuring that the cap is sealed when you purchase it). Be careful with local street food that may have been washed in tap water too. While the bacteria may be a low count, you could still find yourself suffering from diarrhea.
Different countries and cultures have different etiquette, so be aware of some of India’s before visiting to make sure you are as respectful as possible.
Keep this in mind when visiting temples in particular. Within these sacred spaces, you should always remove shoes before entering and should also avoid wearing revealing clothes. It’s generally recommended that your lower half and your shoulders are covered. In day to day life, you should also avoid handing anything (money, gifts, etc) to others with your left hand.
India really could be the trip of a lifetime and now is a great time to start planning it. Hopefully, the above information and advice have helped to get the ball rolling in the right direction!