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Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Going to India

How to stay calm while traveling in India.

When I first went to India as a college student I had very few expectations. All I knew was that India was this magical country full of history, saris, delicious food, and that if you told someone who had been there that you were planning a trip, their faces looked kind of terrified for you even while smiling. That first trip I went to Delhi, Agra, Varanasi, and Himachal Pradesh. It was fascinating, invigorating, and challenging. It was like no where I had ever been before and was intimidating. While nothing can really prepare you for the craziness of traveling in India, here are five things to keep in mind.

1. You will feel like you are going crazy. Okay, so maybe not everybody feels like they are going crazy, but India is an intensely challenging place. It is pretty normal for travelers to swing between loving it and hating it; and even while loving it, to still feel infuriated or frustrated multiple times a day. This is one of the draws of India. It puts the shocking in culture shock. It will wake you up and force you to pay attention.

2. Give yourself plenty of time. Going along with number one, you will want plenty of downtime hiding in your hotel. I honestly beat myself up over this the first time that I went to India. I had traveled all the way across the world and I felt like I wasn’t taking full advantage of my one month holiday if I took an afternoon break and stayed in the hotel reading. This probably exacerbated the feeling of going crazy. Also, it is a huge country and you understandably want to see as much of it as you can, but travel takes longer and is more exhausting than traveling around Europe, for example. You probably won’t want to be off to a new city every other day. Take a hard look at how much time you have and slow down the travel so you can enjoy it.

5. You might (will) get sick. Indian food is delicious, spicy, flavorful, and often not prepared in a clean environment. Pack some tummy medicines with you before you go, and don’t freak out if you get sick while traveling. Most of the time, you will feel better on your own. Also, don’t be afraid to be assertive when safeguarding your health. This includes peeking into the kitchen at restaurants, refusing to eat food that has been offered to you, and getting help if you are not feeling better on your own.

7. Be confident and stay calm. Did the tuk-tuk driver suddenly demand more than the agreed upon price? Did the sketchy guy try to grab your bag off the train to take it to the hotel for you? Frustrating moments happen in travel. Best to confidently and assertively state that it isn’t okay without freaking out. Also I feel I should say that India can be an especially challenging place to travel as a woman. Dressing conservatively and not traveling alone can help deflect unwanted attention. But uninvited groping can happen. Stay calm and figure out how to get yourself out of that situation safely. Don’t be afraid to be loud or get embarrassed.

9. Laugh, or at least smile, as much as you can. It may feel easy to get bogged down in the frustration but instead you can smile at it, shrug, and move on. Lots of things in India, like the train system, won’t work the way you think they should work. There can be frustration in that or there can be humor and learning in that. Don’t forget to enjoy your time in this crazy country!

Tip : If you are planning to travel alone, you can check out for the budget accommodation with the help of local travel guides, but if you are planning for a family vacation you need to research about the available accommodation options in advance specifically if you are planning to visit Indian tourist destinations in festive seasons like Diwali & Christmas as most of the hotels are pre-booked during this season. Advance booking in star hotels

If you are planning to visit Delhi for a family vacation, Taj Palace Delhi is a recommended place to stay with the comfort & perfect ambience.

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