How to prepare for a trip to India

Before I came up with the idea of traveling to India, I'd had a chance to meet  a few Indian people. It turned out that they are a very friendly nation. I quickly made a couple of friends and one of them invited me to visit him and his family in India. I couldn't say no, I was very excited because it was going to be my first journey to such a far away and different culturally land. I didn't know what to expect at all. I tried to prepare myself for what I might see there but it was hard to imagine how India could look like. I browsed through many websites and forums looking for information and experiences of people who had visited this vast country. Some of the articles scared me, saying that once you get off the plane your jaw is going to drop immediately because of what you see around. There were supposed to be crowds of people, bad smells everywhere and beggars that didn't want to move away from you no matter what. Other posts, however, filled me with even more excitement, I just couldn't wait to see for myself whether the reality is the way I'd read on the Internet.

 

Indian train

Indian train

Statues in Visakhapatnam

Statues in Visakhapatnam

Food market in Araku Valley

Food market in Araku Valley

Sunset in Visakhapatnam

Sunset in Visakhapatnam

 

Preparation before traveling to India

 

In short, tips on traveling to India:

  • book flights, train and accommodation way in advance
  • be prepared for cancellations
  • arrange your visa at least 1 month in advance
  • visit your doctor and take all medicines and vaccinations needed
  • do no pack too many alcohol items in one bag, this will save you the hassle of repacking at the airport 
  • make sure you have all documents (including the certificate of vaccinations)
  • don't forget mosquito repellent as the insects are everywhere
  • take sun lotion, the heat can be really scorching
     
Fishermen in Kerala

Fishermen in Kerala

Beach in Trivandrum

Beach in Trivandrum

Rice fields

Rice fields

Sunset in Araku Valley

Sunset in Araku Valley

A street scene in India

A street scene in India

Rocks in Hyderabad

Rocks in Hyderabad

Akshardham Temple in New Delhi

Akshardham Temple in New Delhi

 

We were going to go to India in March but we had started the preparation way earlier, in November. We had to book so many things, organize visas etc. that we would have got lost in it if we hadn't done it much in advance. There are many people using public transport in India so if you are too late you will not be able to get, for example, seats on the train. Bear in mind that services in India might not be very reliable and sometimes your flight or train journey may be canceled. So be prepared for surprises. It's better not to expect anything to save disappointment. When you are applying for the visa, do it at least 1 month before traveling (because of waiting time), you have to remember that your passport must be valid for at least six months. Unfortunately, visas are not very cheap (I paid 65 EUR - 85 USD, but it depends on the country of residence and might change in the future).

 

Ancient Temple in Mathura

Ancient Temple in Mathura

Hyderabad at night

Hyderabad at night

 

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