India Travel Tips: A-Broad Overview

Welcome to our India page! I’ve traveled to India twice now, and between those visits, I’ve explored the Golden Triangle, i.e. Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, and Indore. Here are some of the travel tips I followed during my trips to India. Of course, this list is far from comprehensive, and I recommend you doing some additional research before traveling.

Table of Contents

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    Before Traveling to India

    Sara admiring the Taj Mahal in Agra, India

    Here are some important things to look into before traveling to India:

    Check out the U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs website for any travel advisories, cautions, vaccinations, visa/document requirements, etc. before traveling to India.

    An Indian travel visa is required to enter the country. You can get an e-Visa online through the Government of India. The basic tourist visa allows for a stay of 30 days. Give yourself a few weeks to allow for processing time, and don’t forget to print it out after you are approved and pack it with your passport.

    While You’re in India

    Sara in front of the Qutub Minar in Delhi, India

    Here are some tips to keep in mind while traveling in India:

    India’s currency is the Indian Rupee (INR or Rs), and you’ll want to have some on hand to pay for lunches, entrance fees, and tips. The India Rupee is a closed currency, meaning it’s not available for purchase or exchange outside of India, so you’ll have to get cash out upon arrival. We were able to exchange U.S. Dollars at most of our hotels, but ATMs typically offer better exchange rates. These can be found at airports, in popular tourist areas, and outside of banks.

    Don’t drink the water or brush your teeth with it. You’ll need to purchase water bottles throughout your trip, or some hotels will provide you with new ones each day.

    India’s culture is conservative, so dress appropriately. Covering your shoulders (and sometimes head) is customary inside temples, as is leaving your shoes outside.

    Carry water, snacks, bug repellent, tissues, sandwich baggies, hand sanitizer, lip balm, sunblock, a scarf (like this Embroidered Oversize Tassel Shawl or this Pashmina Shawl), and sunglasses around with you each day. All of these should fit in a cross-body purse or fanny pack and will likely come in handy.

    Don’t pet the stray dogs. I know, I know; they’re adorable, but they also could have rabies or be carrying other diseases, so it’s best to keep your distance.

    People may ask you to take pictures with them. Just decline! If you say “yes” to one person, you might get swarmed with other people asking to do the same.

    Book any tours in advance to secure your spot and to select your pick-up time and location.

    Avoid visiting Delhi on a Monday and Agra on a Friday, as some of the main attractions are closed.

    Pack light! You don’t want to have to carry around a ton of luggage (or have the hotel staff or drivers lug it around for you).

    Tipping is accepted for any and all favors (whether solicited or not) but is always at your discretion. We tipped with these guidelines in mind:

    • Driver used for an entire day or excursion: Rs 500 (per day)
    • Guide used for an entire day or excursion: Rs 1000 (per day)
    • Someone watching over shoes, taking photos or helping with some other small favor: Rs 5-10
    • Taking a picture of someone (like a snake charmer, someone walking with an elephant, etc.): Rs 5-10
    • Restaurants: 5%-10% of the bill unless a service charge is already included

    India Packing List

    Sara twirling around in her dress at Amber Fort in Jaipur, India

    Here are some of the things that we brought on our trips to India:

    Our India Blog Posts

    the group at the Taj Mahal in Agra, India

    If you’re planning to visit India’s Golden Triangle, you can find more details about Delhi, Agra and Jaipur in the following blog posts:

    We would love to hear some of your India travel tips. Feel free to leave your ideas for us in a comment below, and don’t forget to pin this post to refer back to it later!

    XOXO Sara at Travel A-Broads

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    2 months ago

    Watch what you eat and drink. Perhaps the most important India travel tip for first-timers! A dodgy stomach is pretty common on your first trip to India. There are ways to avoid though. Stay on bottled water and avoid salads or ice – these are often the cause of stomach upsets.