Tips for Women Travelling in India You’ll Want to Know
I have been to India twice, and I think it’s one of the most magnificent countries I have seen. Walking through Indian streets you are treated to colourful clothes, bright green and yellow tuk-tuks, cows aimlessly wandering, and strong smells of incense and spices. However, there are a few things to be wary of while travelling in India to maximise your magical experience.
Tips for Travelling in India
Beware of monkeys!
As I walked in Hauz Khas, New Delhi, I noticed that I was the only person holding bananas…big mistake. Once I spotted the monkeys’ eyes following us I threw mine into the closest bin. Before I could warn the rest of my family, a huge monkey, followed by a smaller one, leaped in front of my mother. She immediately threw her banana to the monkey. Upset that he didn’t get it, the smaller monkey bit her on the leg! Monkey bites are serious in India due to the risk of rabies.
Even if you have had all your rabies jabs prior to your visit, you still need to go to hospital for further injections if you are bitten. Therefore, it’s a good idea to check what your travel insurance covers. We immediately went to the nearest hospital, and thankfully my mother was fine. However, the monkey would not have bitten her if we’d just kept our bananas inside!
Monkeys also love stealing sunglasses and hats right off heads. Once, when walking down an alley, a particularly playful monkey jumped out and cheekily plucked my sunglasses from my head.
Arrange tuk-tuk and taxi prices before getting in
Tuk-tuk and taxi drivers love tourists, as we don’t know what local prices should be. If you get into a taxi or tuk-tuk without agreeing on a set price, you may well be spending a lot more than you need. Always agree on a price before getting in. If you are unsure what a fair price is, ask at your hotel or locals around you. In my experience, they are always willing to help.
A few times I noticed that if I bought something for, say, 100 rupees, a local would come along and buy the same item for just 50 rupees! If you don’t bargain you may be paying more than double what you should. Bartering is a part of shopping culture, and the first step to getting a fair price is to initially suggest paying half the starting price. Show you aren’t an ignorant tourist and get stuck into negotiations!
Eat vegetarian food
One of the things I enjoyed most about India was the food. The flavours, smells and spices always got my tastebuds tingling! Due to a large Hindu population, the majority of Indian menus are vegetarian. If you wish to avoid the infamous Delhi belly, stay away from meat dishes, as these are more likely to upset your tummy. Instead, experience real authentic vegetarian Indian food, such as taka dal, roti, chapat, mutter paneer and aloo paratha. There are so many vegetarian dishes to try when travelling in India.
Research Indian laws and regulations
This may sound boring, but each country has different laws. Laws regarding alcohol in India are quite different to elsewhere. Some Indian states (such as Gujarat) are completely dry, and you can’t purchase alcohol. In other places, its availability is very restricted. It’s best to seek advice from your travel agent or the place you are staying in India, to check the specific alcohol laws for that area.