Is India Safe to Travel? Travel Tips Before You Book Your Tickets
India is a beautiful, culturally diverse and amazing country to travel to. Although you plan every day of your trip, every morning you will feel that tinge of excitement and an inexplicable joy rushing through your body. Paolo Coelho once said, “Travel is never a matter of money but of courage”. But, it cannot be overstated that the hard-earned money can be ignored. It does require some real guts to go out of your comfort zone and explore the world. But, while you do that, your safety and happiness all through your trip are important as well. Let's see how safe is India to travel.
1. Scams in India
India is world-famous for its vast cultural heritage, having almost infinitely many customs and traditions. It’s an irony that India is also famous for the best tourist scammers and con-artists. It is also the bitter truth that these swindlers are found in loads in other countries too. Travellers from various countries visit famous places to enjoy the beautiful monuments and peace-giving mother nature. But, they are also worried about getting ransacked. Do not let these money-grabbers take away your happiness too. Here are some safety tips when you travel and some common scams that you have to be aware of when you travel to India.
Tourists are always welcomed with many taxi and auto drivers yelling at the top of their voice to get their attention. Many of them might have broken and rigged meters that perhaps goes unnoticed by most of the newbie visitors. They end up paying more than the meter amount. Therefore, while boarding any taxi or rickshaw, always look for the fully working meter. It is also important that you keep an eye on the meter so that it increases gradually and not just shoot up. If you don’t find a metered taxi, then fix the amount beforehand.
After you arrive at your destination, give them the exact amount with change. They might divert your attention to swap your currency with the fake one and argue that your money is fake. Nowadays, ola and uber online taxi services are getting popular and reliable too.
Most of the Indian tourist places are overflowing with people at the same time, pick-pocketers as well. If you are travelling alone, it is best to put your money in not just one place. You must make it a habit to keep little money that is within reach and the rest should be put in various places. So, if you by any chance become the victim, you should have enough money to at least reach your hotel.
4. Phoney Guides
Whenever you go to visit historical or religious places, you will find many people dressed up as tourist guides asking you to hire them and stating their packages. Most of them might not be genuine. So, please check for proof and do not simply hire them without double-checking for their genuineness. Many of the places now, do not require any physical guides, you might get them on youtube or other websites. There is an app called Captiva Tour Travel Audio Guide which will guide you through your monument visits with just cost of INR 70.
5. Donation Scams
When you visit religious places, it is common to find many people coming to you asking for donations to improve the temple and with some other bluff. Do not get bluffed. No people from any religious organization have the right to ask for donations unofficially. If they come to you, shove them away by asking for proof and wanting to talk to the higher authority.
When you start travelling, it is always safe to give the details of your travel, like your flight number, hotel address, sharing live locations to your trusted ones.
It is wise to dress modestly irrespective of gender.
Research about the place and enquire about it from other people who have already travelled to that place.
If you are in trouble and in need of some serious assistance from medical or police, its best to keep these emergency contact numbers on your mobile.
112-National Emergency Number
Carry some general medicines with you so that you don’t have to depend on some strangers, you can at least hold on to yourself while you look for some real and certified doctors.
It is safer and advisable not to wander off in the dark in the tourist places, especially women. If you are a woman travelling alone, better carry safety pins, pepper spray or follow other safety hacks.
It is better to buy water bottles like Bisleri to avoid infections from the water.
Most of the Indian foods are spicy. So, look out for the chillies in the food. To avoid food poisoning, eat in clean restaurants. If you are looking for a typical Indian food, look for small but clean restaurants
So, dear travelling folks, now that you know how to deal with these scams going on with tourists you don’t have to be afraid anymore about it. Travelling is putting your comfort zone at risk, believing your instincts and exploring the world. Trust me, this risk is going to be the best one. So, let your wanderlust fly free and happy travelling!