Ten useful tips for UK citizens if you are travelling to India

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The ancient land of India is a treasure trove of travellers’ delights. From the lofty mountains to the azure oceans, from majestic palaces and forts to modern cities it has so much to offer that you might just want to keep coming back for its addictive charm.

If you are travelling to India from UK, especially for the first time, here are some tips to make your journey smooth.

  1. Book your visa inde with some time in hand. Short stay visas of 30 days for UK citizens can be applied online but for longer visas of more than 30 days you would need to visit the nearest Indian embassy. The entire process does not take long but it is a good idea to plan on time.
  2. Pack according to the weather. Contrary to popular belief India is not uniformly hot. Depending upon when and where you are going temperatures can drop up to -25C and rise up to well over 45C so look up the weather and pack accordingly.
  3. If you are visiting a place of worship ensure that you dress modestly. Simple jeans or long skirts with a moderately covered tee or a long dress should suffice. Carry a shawl to cover up if necessary. Take off your shoes before you enter a temple.
  4. In order to travel to India it is necessary to have your ten-year boosters for diphtheria, polio and tetanus up to date while typhoid shots are optional. Check with UK health guidelines to ensure that your health records are okayed for the journey
  5. It is not acceptable to hug or kiss a person, especially women as a form of greeting. Therefore, ask for consent before you greet them thus.
  6. You are likely to face a completely different weather than you are accustomed to, therefore, take some time to get yourself acclimatised. Do not keep any hectic plans right after you arrive. Try to take a day off to relax and get used to the new climate, roads, environment etc. before you start your trip.
  7. The change in weather, long journey etc. can cause stomach upset so to make sure you take your gastronomical exploration a bit slow. Start off with well-established restaurants and less spicy food before you graduate to the spicier ones and street food.
  8. You will mostly find tons of public transport options available in most cities of the country. There is also a good network of affordable private cab services, offline and online but if you want to explore the places like a local, put on your comfortable shoes and cherish the sights, sounds and smells.
  9. Maintain good personal hygiene, especially when you are visiting hotter places to avoid fungal infections, rashes etc.
  10. Tipping is not mandatory, but it is considered a nice gesture to tip. Depending on the service it is acceptable to tip somewhere between 5-10% of the bill.