Visiting India First Time tips for touring India safely

To get to know the real India you need to get out and explore India. Getting to India is perhaps the easy part, most tourists are prepared for their flight to India, however, moving around within India takes some patience and resilience if tourists really want to see the real India up close. This page offers tourists visiting India a few tips that should help them enjoy their India visit safely. Most parts of India are safe to travel but common sense and staying alert is always recommended. With some pre-planning tourists can really have a great holiday in India.

Transportation for Airport to Hotel when visiting India - Taxi Safety Tips

Most international flights arrive in India late at night or in the very early hours, when it is still dark. Getting to your hotel from the airport late at night can be cause for concern, especially for foreign tourists. It is always preferred to get the hotel where you have reservation, to arrange to pick you up from the airport. Most hotels provide this service and charge approximately $15 for it. This is the safest way. In case you have not arranged for the hotel to pick you up, then always take a prepaid taxi. Information in detail on prepaid taxis at Indian airports is provide on our arriving page. Do not hire private taxis from the airport on your own. Prepaid taxi is the only safe way to go. With prepaid taxis you have need not worry about being cheated by the taxi driver and they are also safe as the police record the taxi and passenger information when the taxi leaves the airport. Do not share the taxi with any other passengers. If the taxi driver has someone else with him and claims he is a relative etc. Find another taxi. Never accept a free ride with a stranger who happens to be going in the same direction as you. Regardless of what car he may have or how well he or she may be dressed. While all these precautions may sound alarming but its just plain common sense.

Hotel Reservation Tips

If possible always have a hotel reservation before arriving, at least for the first night. This is necessary especially if this is the first time you are visiting India. In case you do not have a reservation and are reserving a room by walking in to a hotel. Perhaps you are taken to a hotel by a taxi driver, ask to see the room before paying. In this case if you do not like the room you can always ask for another room or perhaps go to another hotel, the chances are the hotel will have no problems in giving you a suitable room. I can tell you from personal experience that if you ask to see the room first, they usually show you the better rooms. Once you have paid and do not like the room, they may tell you they have no other rooms vacant. Tourist information desks are located inside the airport and once you clear immigration you can get information on hotels etc. from there, in case you do not have a hotel reservation. Tourist information desk will be able to provide you with names of hotels and rates. In fact they usually will also call and make a reservation for you if you choose to do so and the hotel has a vacancy. Normally hotel rooms are cheaper if you make a reservation before showing up there. Walk in to a hotel without a reservation and the chances are you will pay the rack rate which is usually more than advertised rates on websites. Hotel rates in India are available for most major cities and tourist destinations in India on hotel information pages. Information on various hotels, their rates and facilities are listed.

Making Phone Calls

Unless money is no problem, avoid making long distance phone calls from your hotel room. Hotels charge premium rates for phone calls and add their own service charges on each call. Making phone calls from India is now very easy and inexpensive. Look for STD phone booths in India. Most cities have them in just about every corner and these STD booths let you to make both local and international calls at very reasonable rates. All STD booths are manned by a clerk who will also dial the number for you and accept payment after the call. The amount you have to pay shows up on a meter attached to the phone. A call to the United States costs approximately 25 cents a minute. For long distance phone calls there is also an option to use the NET PHONE. A net phone call from an STD booth costs only about 10 cents a minute. Sometimes operators of STD booths put the call through a net phone and charge the full regular rate. So if you get an echo while calling you are on a net phone. Let the serviceman at the booth know and get him to use the regular phone line. Cell phones in India are referred to as Mobile phones. If you have your foreign phone with you there is a possibility to get a local Indian phone number for your phone. This way you not only save money by not paying roaming charges to your foreign phone company but you also have the advantage of having a cell phone with you where ever you go in India. For details check the link Cell phones-India.

Local Transportation

When hiring a taxi from airports or railway stations get a prepaid taxi. While at airports prepaid booths are inside the airport, at railway station they are located outside the railway station terminals. Check the arriving in India page for more information on prepaid taxi’s in India. In addition to hiring a taxi travelers also have the option of hiring an auto rickshaw. These are actually scooter rickshaws that can take two passengers. The fare is much cheaper when compared to hiring a taxi. Use the link provided to check the cost of a taxi and auto rickshaw ride in New Delhi.

Traveling on Indian Trains

Travel only with a proper reservation on Indian railways. Foreigners have a separate railway ticket reservation counter available in major cities so there is no need to line up at regular ticket booking windows at railway stations. All Indian railways trains have an official on board the train called the 'Train Superintendent' In case you have a concern do not hesitate to contact this official. If you wish to contact the Train superintendent, tell the ticket checker when he comes to examine your ticket that you wish to speak to the train superintendent. On Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains, you can also ask the attendants to convey a message to the train superintendent to contact you. Train superintendents have a log book where passengers have a right to write down their concerns. Naturally the railway staff do not want anyone to log complaints in their log books and will do everything to address your concerns without entering anything in the train log book. Ticket checkers on trains and the train superintendents wear name tags. It is a good idea to note these names down in case you need to refer to them later.

Tips For Tour Packages

Before signing up for tour packages make sure that the tour guide will be able to speak in English. Some tour buses will pick up tourists from various hotels. You don't want to be driven around the city in a bus for approximately two hours just picking up other passengers. Ask questions before paying for your tour package. Find out the time allotted at each site. Many sites are added to tour brochures to make without mentioning the time allotted and sometimes are just drive by sites. Most tours include the cost of entrance fees to sites. Check before signing up for a tour what the policy is. Tour buses sometimes will include stopover's at certain stores where they have a commission arrangement. Most items available at such stores can be purchased cheaper by shopping else where on your own time.

 Miscellaneous Tips

Do not accept any type of food from strangers while traveling by trains or buses regardless of how well dressed the person offering you the food may be. Do not buy water bottles from street water selling stalls. Always buy water bottles from a reputable store, many drug stores also sell water bottles. In case you are unable to buy a proper water bottle and really need a drink, then it may be a better option to go for a soft drink. When buying Pepsi or Coca Cola, if possible purchase the drinks in a can rather than a bottle. Refilling of old bottles by some small time crooks is common. Purchase food and drinks from proper shops. When traveling on trains and buses try not use your laptop. It is always prudent to avoid displaying valuable items in public.
traffice outside delhi station
© Copyright TravelIndiaSmart.com  2006  - All rights reserved

Travel India Smart

 
Complete Touring Guide for exploring India
We are not associated with any tour or travel business
TRAVEL INDIA SMART previous next page Top
Visiting India First Time tips for touring India safely To get to know the real India you need to get out and explore India. Getting to India is perhaps the easy part, most tourists are prepared for their flight to India, however, moving around within India takes some patience and resilience if tourists really want to see the real India up close. This page offers tourists visiting India a few tips that should help them enjoy their India visit safely. Most parts of India are safe to travel but common sense and staying alert is always recommended. With some pre-planning tourists can really have a great holiday in India.

Transportation for Airport to Hotel when

visiting India - Taxi Safety Tips

Most international flights arrive in India late at night or in the very early hours, when it is still dark. Getting to your hotel from the airport late at night can be cause for concern, especially for foreign tourists. It is always preferred to get the hotel where you have reservation, to arrange to pick you up from the airport. Most hotels provide this service and charge approximately $15 for it. This is the safest way. In case you have not arranged for the hotel to pick you up, then always take a prepaid taxi. Information in detail on prepaid taxis at Indian airports is provide on our arriving page. Do not hire private taxis from the airport on your own. Prepaid taxi is the only safe way to go. With prepaid taxis you have need not worry about being cheated by the taxi driver and they are also safe as the police record the taxi and passenger information when the taxi leaves the airport. Do not share the taxi with any other passengers. If the taxi driver has someone else with him and claims he is a relative etc. Find another taxi. Never accept a free ride with a stranger who happens to be going in the same direction as you. Regardless of what car he may have or how well he or she may be dressed. While all these precautions may sound alarming but its just plain common sense.

Hotel Reservation Tips

If possible always have a hotel reservation before arriving, at least for the first night. This is necessary especially if this is the first time you are visiting India. In case you do not have a reservation and are reserving a room by walking in to a hotel. Perhaps you are taken to a hotel by a taxi driver, ask to see the room before paying. In this case if you do not like the room you can always ask for another room or perhaps go to another hotel, the chances are the hotel will have no problems in giving you a suitable room. I can tell you from personal experience that if you ask to see the room first, they usually show you the better rooms. Once you have paid and do not like the room, they may tell you they have no other rooms vacant. Tourist information desks are located inside the airport and once you clear immigration you can get information on hotels etc. from there, in case you do not have a hotel reservation. Tourist information desk will be able to provide you with names of hotels and rates. In fact they usually will also call and make a reservation for you if you choose to do so and the hotel has a vacancy. Normally hotel rooms are cheaper if you make a reservation before showing up there. Walk in to a hotel without a reservation and the chances are you will pay the rack rate which is usually more than advertised rates on websites. Hotel rates in India are available for most major cities and tourist destinations in India on hotel information pages. Information on various hotels, their rates and facilities are listed.

Making Phone Calls

Unless money is no problem, avoid making long distance phone calls from your hotel room. Hotels charge premium rates for phone calls and add their own service charges on each call. Making phone calls from India is now very easy and inexpensive. Look for STD phone booths in India. Most cities have them in just about every corner and these STD booths let you to make both local and international calls at very reasonable rates. All STD booths are manned by a clerk who will also dial the number for you and accept payment after the call. The amount you have to pay shows up on a meter attached to the phone. A call to the United States costs approximately 25 cents a minute. For long distance phone calls there is also an option to use the NET PHONE. A net phone call from an STD booth costs only about 10 cents a minute. Sometimes operators of STD booths put the call through a net phone and charge the full regular rate. So if you get an echo while calling you are on a net phone. Let the serviceman at the booth know and get him to use the regular phone line. Cell phones in India are referred to as Mobile phones. If you have your foreign phone with you there is a possibility to get a local Indian phone number for your phone. This way you not only save money by not paying roaming charges to your foreign phone company but you also have the advantage of having a cell phone with you where ever you go in India. For details check the link Cell phones-India.

Local Transportation

When hiring a taxi from airports or railway stations get a prepaid taxi. While at airports prepaid booths are inside the airport, at railway station they are located outside the railway station terminals. Check the arriving in India page for more information on prepaid taxi’s in India. In addition to hiring a taxi travelers also have the option of hiring an auto rickshaw. These are actually scooter rickshaws that can take two passengers. The fare is much cheaper when compared to hiring a taxi. Use the link provided to check the cost of a taxi and auto rickshaw ride in New Delhi.

Traveling on Indian Trains

Travel only with a proper reservation on Indian railways. Foreigners have a separate railway ticket reservation counter available in major cities so there is no need to line up at regular ticket booking windows at railway stations. All Indian railways trains have an official on board the train called the 'Train Superintendent' In case you have a concern do not hesitate to contact this official. If you wish to contact the Train superintendent, tell the ticket checker when he comes to examine your ticket that you wish to speak to the train superintendent. On Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains, you can also ask the attendants to convey a message to the train superintendent to contact you. Train superintendents have a log book where passengers have a right to write down their concerns. Naturally the railway staff do not want anyone to log complaints in their log books and will do everything to address your concerns without entering anything in the train log book. Ticket checkers on trains and the train superintendents wear name tags. It is a good idea to note these names down in case you need to refer to them later.

Tips For Tour Packages

Before signing up for tour packages make sure that the tour guide will be able to speak in English. Some tour buses will pick up tourists from various hotels. You don't want to be driven around the city in a bus for approximately two hours just picking up other passengers. Ask questions before paying for your tour package. Find out the time allotted at each site. Many sites are added to tour brochures to make without mentioning the time allotted and sometimes are just drive by sites. Most tours include the cost of entrance fees to sites. Check before signing up for a tour what the policy is. Tour buses sometimes will include stopover's at certain stores where they have a commission arrangement. Most items available at such stores can be purchased cheaper by shopping else where on your own time.

 Miscellaneous Tips

Do not accept any type of food from strangers while traveling by trains or buses regardless of how well dressed the person offering you the food may be. Do not buy water bottles from street water selling stalls. Always buy water bottles from a reputable store, many drug stores also sell water bottles. In case you are unable to buy a proper water bottle and really need a drink, then it may be a better option to go for a soft drink. When buying Pepsi or Coca Cola, if possible purchase the drinks in a can rather than a bottle. Refilling of old bottles by some small time crooks is common. Purchase food and drinks from proper shops. When traveling on trains and buses try not use your laptop. It is always prudent to avoid displaying valuable items in public.
traffice outside delhi station

Travel India Smart

 
Complete Touring Guide for exploring India
We are not associated with any tour or travel business
TRAVEL INDIA SMART previous next page Top
       © Copyright TravelIndiaSmart.com  2006  - All rights reserved