A few years ago I spent 2 weeks in India and Sri Lanka. India wasn’t a country I wanted to explore on my own so when the opportunity arose to go with Nomadness Travel Tribe I jumped at the chance! What is Nomadness? In short, one of the most amazing travel groups in existence with almost 10,000 members (almost all people of color) from all over the world. I didn’t have to plan a thing, everything was taken care of by Evita (read her study abroad feature here) and all I had to do was show up.
Here are 5 crucial tips you need to travel to India
1. GET YOUR VISA
This is the most important thing to do before you leave as you will not be let into the country without your visa. Start this process as soon as you start planning because sometimes this process can take a while and you need time to allow for any changes that need to be made on your application.
2. HAVE LOCAL CURRENCY
I always recommend getting local currency before you enter the country, no matter where you are traveling. ATM’s are plentiful in India but it’s always good to have local currency on you as you never know when you may need cash. I get my currency from my local AAA office but you can ask your local bank or look into Capital One 360 as I’ve heard they are cool to bank with and don’t charge any fees for withdrawing cash.
3. PACK LIGHTLY
You can buy clothes very inexpensively in India. You can actually get clothes made very cheaply and many hotels can do your laundry for a very reasonable cost. I had a pair of pants and a sweatshirt washed for less than $3 and I was staying in a very nice hotel (which normally are really expensive to wash clothes in other countries). You can pack lightly and get your clothes washed which will make it very easy to only take a carry-on bag.
4. GET NECESSARY SHOTS
I would not recommend traveling to India without the recommended shots. There are many people that go the natural route when it comes to meds and that’s a personal choice but I recommend getting your shots several weeks before you travel and also getting a prescription for CIPRO or Zithromax in case you have belly issues while you are there.
5. BRING $1 BILLS, CANDY AND SNACKS
I was surprised that so many people would take dollars. I tipped several people in dollars and they were very happy with that. The next time I go to India I will take about $100 in 1 and 5 dollar bills to give out. Also, kids loved getting candy so bring little packs of candy to give out if you don’t feel comfortable giving out money to the children who will definitely come up to you with their hands out.