Here are some practical tips to help those travelling to India. By now you should be well underway with vaccinations, and don’t forget to apply for the Indian Visa.
What to bring
You could conceivably arrive in Delhi with no luggage and buy everything you need cheaply within a few hours. So don’t be too concerned if you forget anything. Your case/bag: We’re moving around a lot. Often you’ll have to carry/wheel your own luggage over rugged terrain, poor footpaths etc; it’s useful not to bring large cases. A soft holdall on wheels is probably best or a smaller sized suitcase.
The contents: Remember whilst evenings can be cool (but rarely very cold) days will be warm. You can buy most things in India such as toiletries, clothes, sunhats and sandals. You may want to bring some smart clothes if you want to dine in style some evenings.
Your luggage should include:
- Shorts and t shirts,
- Good fleece top, light jacket/pullover
- Pyjamas (optional)
- Small toiletries
- Mosquito repellent
- Binoculars (not essential)
- A small overnight bag that you can use for the desert (you can buy in Delhi too)
- Hand cleansing gels (used regularly make a difference)
- Concealable wallet/money belt.
- Your main luggage should be lockable or at least have one pocket where you can store money by padlock – few hotels have safe deposits
- Medications in case of an upset stomach: these can include ‘electrolytes’ or rehydration powders, medicine for diarrhoea, and anything else recommended by your pharmacist
- Any personal medication you need
- Small torch for desert
- Bring a photocopy of your passport (the picture page). Sometimes hotels ask to photocopy this for check-in; it’s useful
There are cheap laundry services along the tour (bring a carrier bag to store laundry) so there’s no need to pack enough clean clothes for a full three weeks.
You can change sterling in India. It’s better to change large amounts at a time as exchange bureaus are not always easy to find and non existent in remote places. Changing around £100/200 or more per person in Delhi is recommended. You can also use ATMs in cities, but tell your bank you’re going to India. Your bank will charge you per withdrawal so it is better to withdraw larger amounts.
In tourist quality restaurants you can pay anything from £3 to £20 (but rare) for a meal. For an approximate budget the average meal will cost around £3 – £10, a large beer or Gin/Tonic £2.50 and soft drinks 50p. Wine can be bought but not everywhere. Tax and service charges are added to your bill and can add up. Overall you’ll find India a great deal cheaper than the West. Souvenirs can be bought very cheaply. Local markets offer fabulous bargains. Don’t get taken to any emporiums by rickshaw or taxi drivers.
We hope this advice helps to prepare for our great trip. Bring some luggage space for shopping!