Planning a trip to India is not a simple task as the country is filled with rush of color, noise, and people. Every state or the city has its own essence and promises an overwhelming experience. A trip to India is mainly an amalgamation of majestic forts, chaotic cities, spiritual temples, holy rivers, golden beaches, snow-capped mountains, tea plantations, and vast deserts.
During the travel experience of India the visitors will find themselves ringed by new as well as enticing sounds, sights, smells and other things that happens only in India. The country is captivating beautiful and at times overwhelming country, that why it is recommend planning the trip to India carefully. Every travel planning needs to be done by following some steps. These steps are mentioned below.
Where to go and for how many days?
India is a vast country with so much to see and experience. Every part of the country has its own beauty and charm which further adds difficulty in choosing the places to cover it the traveller has a limited number of days in hand. Planning an itinerary is the most indeed the most important step and for a country like India the planning should be a little flexible. A visitor needs at least a few weeks to enjoy its beauty and varied cultures. The land of India has something for everyone as for mountains the travellers can head to the north to admire the Great Himalayas or the mountain cities like Shimla, Manali and many more. For the beach fun the Southern Indian beaches are truly mesmerizing and for deserts as well as royal palaces the state of Rajasthan is the best to visit. Even the north eastern Indian states have so much to offer when it comes to serenity and peace.
So choose wisely as every place has their own aura that aims at leaving its visitors spell bound.
Apply for your travel documents
After planning for places, dates and days the next step comes applying for travel documents. You’ll need a valid passport to travel, as well as a 6-month tourist visa for India. For that one can contact the Indian embassy in their country to apply for a tourist visa. There visitors will be asked to supply a list of regions you’ll be visiting, as well as addresses where they will be staying. The applicants are also requested to visit website of the Indian Mission concerned for detailed information about Indian visa.
The e-Tourist Visa Facility as well as Visa on arrival is available for holders of passport of following countries:
Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Djibouti, Fiji, Finland, Germany, Guyana, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Laos, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Myanmar, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue Island, Norway, Oman, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russia, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tonga, Tuvalu, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Vanuatu, Vietnam.
The holders of diplomatic or official passports of the following countries do not require a visa for India — Argentina, Belarus, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Chile, Croatia, Ecuador, Denmark, Colombia, Cyprus, Egypt, El Salvador, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Malaysia, Malta, Mongolia, Mozambique, Netherlands, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, LCA, VCT, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, TCA, United Kingdom, Uruguay and Venezuela.
The fees could differ for citizens of different countries. Consular fee once received is not refunded even if the visa application is withdrawn or visa not granted. The Visa fee is by cash only and no online payment.
The next step of travel planning for India is bookings. The travellers can look for cheap hotels if they desire budget travelling. For this one needs to surf through various travel sights, compare the prices and read reviews so that it gives an idea about the hotel facilities in India. There are plenty of hotel websites that offer competitive rates. For example one can log on to http://www.justorbit.com/asia/india/ for best deal for hotels as well as travel packages.
As India is known for different terrains the packing should be done according to the cities one has planned to visit. The packing will vary greatly depending on the types of activities you plan to do and the areas you plan to visit, you should always bring enough clothes, sunscreen, insect repellent, a sunhat, a first aid kit, and a money belt.
For winter or heading to mountains o or the areas with Extreme Snow the following things should be packed:
- Thermals or base layers
- Thick leather gloves
- Monkey Cap
- Woollen Jackets
- Woollen muffler
- Woollen Socks
- Snow Boots
For Wet & Wild Weather which you could possibly find in north eastern states of India
- Lightweight folding umbrella (for rain or sun)
- Waterproof bags for rain protection while walking
- Waterproof & windproof jacket
- Waterproof trousers
For Hiking in Himalayan areas
- Walking or Hiking Shoes in all colors, sizes and designs can be bought very cheaply in India. So no need to carry those bulky shoes all the way.
- 1 pair of Havana flip-flops / sandals so that u don’t bulk your bag with many shoes
- 1 pair of comfortable walking/hiking shoes with good grip
- Hiking poles/walking sticks
- GPS (most mobile phones have it)
For hot areas or summers or beaches of South India
- Loose trousers and t shirts
- Large cotton scarves to cover your head, shoulders while visiting religious places
- Summer caps or hats
Surf the internet and look out for dos and don’ts in various cities one is planning to visit in India. Some of the cautions for travelling in India are as follows:
- Wear decent clothes
- Don’t be too friendly with men who approach you at tourist sites or with hotel staff.
- Take extra care of belongings.
- Carry a water bottle.
- Don’t accept anything from strangers especially anything to eat or drink.
- Don’t walk in the countryside or lonely areas on your own. If you must, always have a mobile to hand and a speed-dial number to call for help. Use it – even to make a fake call – as soon as you start feeling uncomfortable.
- Always rely on licences tour guides or tour operators.
- Avoid eating from roadside vendors.
- Haggle for your favourites in local markets as the price may get down upto 50 per cent.
Try to learn some basic facts about the Indian cities so that it can help you to explore better. If possible also try to learn some basic words in Hindi like excuse me, thank you, sorry etc.
Some essential or basic words are as follows:
- Hello = Namaste or Pranaam
- Morning = subhah
- Night = raat
- Left = baiye
- Right (direction) = daiye
- Yes = haa
- No = nahi
- Good = accha
- Today = aaj
- Tomorrow = kal
- Temple = mandir
- Local = desi
- Time = samay
- Okay/good/whatever = thik hai
- Stop= ruko
- Please = kripya
- Thank you = dhanyevad or shukriya
- Sorry or Excuse me = maaf kijiye
Enjoy the trip
The result of this whole task of travel planning is the trip. Don’t forget to carry your passport. Do your last minute checks, head to the airport, board the plane and enjoy your trip. Don’t forget to riding on rickshaws or bullock carts that offer the true essence of Indian experience. Indulge in cultural activities as much as possible.
With these steps the travel planning procedure for India will surely become less cumbersome as well as it leads to a great experience of the India subcontinent.