20 mistakes to be avoided in India by novice travelers
Travelling around India is one of the most amazing experiences that any traveler who has toured India, will vouch for. Its diversity will blow anyone’s mind away. With diversity, come a few surprises too. Some good, some bad. Here is a list of 20 common mistakes which a first time traveler is bound to commit in India.
- Not keeping time schedules
Every travel has a schedule in one way or the other. Failing to be there in time is one of the most common mistakes that a novice traveler does. For a smooth travel, it is so important to keep time schedules. Or else, you might be at the risk of messing up your own vacation.
- Taking your pre-bookings for granted
Imagine getting to a hotel at an unknown place late in the evening thinking that you have pre-booked and the guy at the reception politely tells you that you don’t hold a booking at all and there are no rooms available. Always, reconfirm all your bookings more than once and carry a copy of confirmation with you.
- Eat from any wayside shanty to save cost
Like it or not, India is not the safest place when it comes to wayside food. Never try your luck with such food joints or you might end up in a hospital. In most parts of India you find decent restaurants which you can trust and which are not very expensive too. Roadside food may be cheaper, but trust me, that little extra money is worth it.
- Too much luggage
Excited and nervous at the same time, you try and stuff each and everything possible into your bag making it too heavy to carry around. Remember, pack only what is necessary. You can always buy things as you travel. Learn about a place on the internet and try and understand what essentials are to be carried. And as they say, travel light!
- Excess cash in hand
Carrying a lot of cash while travelling in India, is an open invitation for robbers to come and loot you. For a safe and peaceful trip, keep your pockets as light as possible. You have ATMs everywhere; you need not carry much cash with you. On a travel, your attention must be at the new things you see, not towards your pocket.
- Too busy itineraries
If your travel schedule is too busy, it really doesn’t make much sense. You will be busy running from one point to the other and not have time to see and understand the destination properly. Try and spend as much time possible in one place and then move to the next. You cannot see everything in one go. You will definitely travel again to see what is left out.
- Not respecting the local traditions and beliefs
India is a land of Gods and Goddesses, and most places you travel, will have their local traditions and beliefs. DO NOT violate them or you are in trouble, big time. Respect the beliefs and you are totally safe.
- Violating the law of the land
Every land has its rules and regulations. Follow the rules and you will have a good time. It is better to know the rules beforehand rather than knowing it the hard way. Try to understand the rules and obey them.
- Blindly trusting strangers on the way with your valuables
Never ever do this! No place is completely safe and no people are 100% trustworthy. Be very careful with your valuables. Carry it yourself as much as possible.
- Venturing into rough seas and deep forests
No adventure is worth more than your life. Every year in India many travelers lose their lives due to irresponsible behavior towards forces of nature. Respect the uncertainties of nature and enjoy its beauty.
- Wandering after dark in remote alleys
Generally, in India, it is safe to be indoors after dark. Unless, it is a busy metropolitan city with lot of people and shops around, it is not advisable to be roaming around. Generally, these are times when robbers are on duty.
- Paying money to beggars
Beggars are a common sight at most tourist places in India. You may feel bad for them but you are not doing any good by paying them. The money goes to mafia dons of the multi-crore begging business.
- Getting too high on liquor or drugs in public
It is totally ok to chill out at a hotel bar with your drinks, on a holiday. But if you are out in public, never get too high or lose conscious. Chances are, that you may end up losing everything, including the dress you wore. Control your appetite for intoxication, while on a travel to various parts of India.
- Too much gold ornaments
Let’s face it. We Indians (not all) are too obsessed with gold and more so showing it off. Wearing gold ornaments while on travel is like sticking a placard on you saying “come, loot me.” So, better leave your ornaments in the locker and travel safely.
- Falling for cheap and unsafe sex
More often than not, certain places in India, you find pimps and sex workers trying to grab your attention if you are a traveler, though prostitution is illegal in India. It is strongly advised to keep away from them. The last thing you want is some kind of STDs or AIDS. Be safe!
- Hiring taxis/rickshaws without prior fixing the rate
Unfortunately, a very few places in India have taxi/rickshaw drivers who are fair with the fares. They might literally take you for a ride if you don’t fix a rate prior to getting into one of those public transports.
- Drink water from anywhere and everywhere
While travelling in India, be very particular about the water you drink. The safest bet is to buy a bottle of authentic, sealed packaged drinking water. Never drink tap water.
- Not dressing appropriate
Many parts of India, especially rural areas, are a bit sensitive to dressing. Unless you are at a club in Goa, do cover up well enough. This will help you avoid dirty stares and slimy comments. Strictly stick to the dress codes when at religious places.
- Withdrawing money at secluded, unmanned ATMs
Though there are a lot of ATM machines even in the remotest parts of India, there a few without proper security and privacy. Unless that urgent, it is better to avoid such places to withdraw money.
- Being too serious and over cautious
All the above points are not to freak you out, but to caution and enable you to have a great travel experience in this beautiful country called India. Most people here are good-hearted and helpful. Just take a little care and travel with a smile.