Every year India draws lakhs of tourists from all across the globe of various beliefs, faith and community. This one single nation has a platter full of countless cultures, festivals, rituals and places to visit, that missing out even a single one might leave us repenting in future. Being a traveler, you must explore the already explored and not so explored places of this multifaceted country. However if you are female backpacker please keep these tips handy.
Keep this the top priority no matter what. India has a bad reputation for being unsafe for women irrespective of her origin, race, and nationality. After dark, men lurk around just like wild, to prey upon a lone woman. Always carry a taser and a pepper spray in your handbag wherever you go. Move out in groups if you wish to or else make every plan during day time. Look for more tourist hotspots. Traveling in buses and trains might be a too uncomfortable with those glares and groping. Always double check from GPS regarding directions and do not blindly rely on Rickshaw drivers. Do Not Trust Anyone, No Matter How Friendly He May Sound! As an Indian it does not give me any pleasure to say this but this a reality and it should be known.
Medicines are easily available in India at extremely cheap prices and often you do not require a prescription for over-the-counter medical supplies. But India is hub of spices and least amount of cayenne pepper might turn out to be too much for you. Avoid street food as much as possible, no matter how tempting they are. Getting Delhi Belly would be the last thing you expect in a happening trip. Hunt for food corners which are custom made for west tourists along with Indian flavor. Do NOT take tap water and expose yourself to diarrhea or other water borne diseases. Packed mineral water is your elixir for health in India.
India is a conservative country. Not just men, even women would gawk at you if you aren’t properly dressed. Always stay conservatively dressed if you want to avoid rolling eyes and lecherous looks. Use your gut feeling to judge if it is going to be safe to be nude on beaches. As per Indian values, it’s important to wear ethnic clothes in temples and other religious places. While Indian women do wear denims or trousers to temple these days but religious crowd prefer ethnic wear. If you do not want to invest on ethnic clothes wear something which covers your body completely and carry a scarf to cover your head if need be.
Trust Your Hunches
No matter in which situation or place you are, if you find something not right, step back. Do not leave your luggage to any unknown or ‘friendly’ Samaritan. Plan your day and all the visits a night before including travel, eateries, shopping, etc. and how you’re going to carry them forward. Always have emergency helpline numbers with you; not just in your cell phone (it may run out of battery or get stolen). Do not accept drinks and ride to your hotel or hostel from anyone, even if they’ve accompanied you and made space for themselves in your good books.
Always get you travel bookings on-line if you’re planning to travel via train or bus in India. Consult your friends regarding local transport system and its fare base. People will try to fleece you as much they can. They’ll tell you price three times the actual. Stay adamant and act to get cheap deal somewhere else, the price will come down drastically.
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