With some great travel tips, Udayan helps you navigate through the exciting and overwhelming India.
What are some practical and useful tips you should know when traveling to New Delhi, India or another city in India?
Despite India developing rapidly, it still does not have most of the infrastructure and amenities that are so common in the western world. Following a few handy travel tips might make travel for you a whole lot easier while you are in India.
First, if you are taking a taxi from the airport, make sure it is a registered taxi. The best option is to take a prepaid taxi. If that is not available, you should fix the price or make sure that the meter is working. Do not wait till reaching your destination for deciding on the price even if your driver insists on doing so. This applies not only the transportation from the airport but any transportation in gerneral.
If you are traveling within India there are quite a few transportation options available. In India transportation ranges from the pragmatic to the imaginative. Within Delhi the metros the best way to travel. So if you are going somewhere, check if there is a metro route that can get you there. For short distances autos are generally a good bet. Unless the meter is not working. In which case you should find out what the correct rate is from the hotel you are staying at or from the person you are staying with.
If you plan to be sight seeing throughout the day, it is probably a good idea to get an air conditioned cab like this one. Especially so if it is summer. These cabs are generally cheap but check on the prices with your hotel or with the person you are staying with. Just incase. You might want to rent your own car to drive around here. But if you are not used to the streets in Delhi, it is not a recommended option. Always try and get bottled water instead of tap water in this country. Bottled water is widely available. But when you are buying it make sure that the top is sealed.
India has some great street food. But travelers should avoid eating it. If you are really keen, there is some upscale resturants that serve traditional fast food, that is actually hygenic. India has the finest hotels in the whole world. You will find attention and service here of levels far receding often those, even in the West. People here, from the concierge to the bell boy, will be more than willing to help you, even with your smallest bits of luggage. However, there is a slight catch. They all want to be tipped. Fortunately ten or tweenty rupee notes will do the trick, sometimes.
This here is a tweenty rupee note. This is a ten rupee note. This is hundred and this is five hundred. It is always a good idea to have as many as possible of these, that is a ten rupee ad a tweenty rupee note, for tipping and for just about everything else. When you ask somebody for dirrections it is always a good idea to ask somebody else, just to confirm. It is not that somebody wants to give you wrong dirrections or wants to ruin your day, it is just that sometimes people want to be way too helpful.
Most upscale and midscale hotels in the country provide you with basic accessories, like tissue paper and toilet paper. However, if you are putting up in one of those cheaper or small town accomodations you might not want to take these things for granted. All these essentials are available widely across the country. In general stores like the one behind my back. In India, getting your laundry done is not a hastle at all. Laundry takes a day. And the shirts can be ironed within the space of a few minutes. You need not worry about your laundry because it will not take more than a dollar. Getting your shirts wrinkled up is not too much of a hastle.
Always bargin in the market place. Unless you are in a fixed price shop. It is not a good idea to give beggers around the place money. Even if you are tempted too. It just incourages the wrong sort of placement. And anyways the money always goes to someone else and not exactly the person you paid the money. Avoid going to quiet and lonely areas if you are a woman. Dressing conservative is probably the best option. Medical help here is cheaper than any place else and widely available, at least in the cities. However, get a medical refference, like you get anywhere else, before you go to the facility.
When you are traveling back, I will equate enough time to make sure that you get to the airport on time. Even when you travel back late at night you are likely to encounter a traffic jam. Especially when you are traveling from central Delhi to say the airport. Take about an hour at hand but buffer some time in for traffic jams. With these tips you can enjoy a more comfortable, safer and healthier stay in the country. And get around to what is the most important, enjoying the immense beauty and culture you find here. This is Udayan showing you India.