Travel Tips for India: When traveling in India, there’s a lot that can go wrong. You have to be prepared before you come here. Today, I’m here on the magnificent King’s Way… to take you over 10 quick tips, from my India Survival Guide, to help you stay safe and travel confidently here in India.
When you arrive in India, the first important thing to do is get to your hotel safely. So, make sure you book a hotel pickup from the airport. It’s going to save you money, and if you go outside to those scam rickshaw drivers on the road they’re gonna start… telling you fibs like, “Sir, your hotel is shut down and I’m gonna have to take you to another hotel” or … “Your hotel is in a terrible area, I can’t let you stay there!”
You’re going to have to deal with that the second you arrive in India. So, don’t do that. Take hotel transport. And also I recommend that you take a guided tour for the first few days here in India.
It’s gonna ease you into life in India. Then you can go off traveling on your own after that. Just ease yourself in with a professional guide first. You have to be assertive when you’re in India.
You’re going to be approached by scammers… all day long here in Delhi and other parts. And they’re going to be asking you to come to their overprices shops or worse… And you have to be able to just tell them to go away.
You can tell they’re a scammer pretty easily because the first thing they’re going to ask you is “Where are… you from?” Then they’re going to spout off some facts about your country that’s going to wow you and then… they’re gonna ask you a few more personal questions and then the conversation is going to go straight to money.
They’re gonna go, “How can I help you? Do you want to buy a pashmina? I can take you to the shop!” As soon as money enters the equation… you know they’re not just a friendly local they’re pretending to be. There’s something more. They just want your money basically.
So, you have to be assertive with them. You have to be able to tell them, “No, go away, I’m busy. I don’t want your help.” And don’t worry about being rude about it. And that’s exactly how you have to deal with them. You have to be like that. You have to tell them, “No, enough.”
Now I know this next tip is what a lot of people are worried about: sexual harassment here in India. And it is a problem. One tip I can give you is don’t be overly friendly here.
I’m a friendly guy and that has landed me in some trouble sometimes. If you stare back at a guy, if you smile back at a guy, here that’s a signal that you’re interested in.
So don’t be overly friendly, you’ve gotta… You have to keep a balance between guarded and friendly. You can’t be overly friendly. As one guy offering me chickpeas for breakfast cleanliness and food hygiene are an issue.
I can’t eat from the dirty bucket he’s been carrying around in the traffic and everything. And the same goes for ice. Don’t take the ice at restaurants. Even if you ask the waiter, “Is your ice clean?”
They’re not going to know and of course… they’re going to tell you “Yes” because what restaurant is going to say they serve dirty ice. Clean water for us and clean water for people here in India is a different thing, and we just can’t handle their water here.
When exchanging money here, especially on a street level you have to check the 2000 rupee notes that you are given It’s not rude to hold it up to the light and check that you can see Gandhi’s face in the white window and then you can… a solid black line next to it.
When you’re in India, you’re going to have to learn to bargain and one of the golden rules here is: Before you buy anything always negotiate the price upfront.
Don’t wait until after the taxi ride or whatever to bargain the… the price, because at that point it’s turned into a fixed price and they’re going to quote you something really high… and you can’t bargain at that point.
They’re going to get angry at you if you try bargain after the fact. So always check the price upfront and bargain upfront. If you get sick in India, and it happens to most of us here, you have to go straight to a hospital.
Don’t hang around if you… have a stomach infection. Because these stomach infections don’t go away on their own! They’re different from what we have… overseas.
They just stay there, and I waited like 3 or 4 days, and after 3 days I was so weak that it was just hard to go to the hospital. So go to the hospital straight away if you have a stomach infection and just be careful that they don’t overprescribe you too many… pills.
Ask whatever pill is they’re prescribing for you. And don’t take the ones you don’t think you need like they’re going to… painkillers when you might not need them, okay?
So, just check everything the doctor is prescribing you. And finally, it’s coming up to that time of year when all the farmers in North India, they burn off their crops and all the… pollution comes here to Delhi and the surrounding states. And it gets really unbearable.
You need to wear a pollution mask if you’re coming in Winter. During other times of the year, the pollution really fluctuates so I just wear… a mask when I can actually see the pollution is terrible.
And you will see how bad it is if you come here during peak travel season… in December. And you can actually see the pollution here today. It’s very polluted.