Traveling to India. A million Questions (Clothes, health, customs, tips)?

Question by Honesty/Sincerity: Traveling to India. A million Questions (Clothes, health, customs, tips)?
Namaste, I am traveling to India in a few months. OCT. Please help!
Oy….I am not sure what to take, what to wear, how to stay healthy…
Well, here are some things I know…..so far. I am trying to prepare myself well and to avoid as much cultural shock feeling as possible.
I would like to be as relaxed and comfortable as possible while I stay so that I can enjoy all so much more….Any you can answer or have time to answer, I would be so grateful. (Thank you)

Things I know already.
1. Watch the cab meters and pre determine distance/price.
2. Everyone will try to price everything up because I am foreign so haggle away….
3. Men will stare at me constantly cause I’m white as a snowflake.
4. Don’t take buses or trains.
5. Eat only hot fresh foods
6. Don’t walk out at night alone
7. Don’t wear too revealing of clothes (especially showing cleavage)
8. Don’t carry too much money (wear a money belt)

1. Can I use tap water to brush teeth without getting sick (most likely)

2. Do I have to get inoculations to travel to/in India from USA? and what is your view on them effective/not so on…. (I am very health conscious and am not kean on having the shots because of how they are very poor for health but maybe I have no choice “shots or disease”) I heave read some places that they are not proven to be very effective and natural pre immunity boosting precautions may be just as effective (herbs and supplements) I really could use some opinions on this. I will be in the Jaipur area.

How prevalent are mosquitoes? I am going in Oct. What is the likelihood of illness from mosquitoes and what kind of illnesses?
I hate using insect repellent (unless someone has a more natural suggestion) DEETS is so horrible for health.

3. What are things like there as far as utilities and laundry.
where do you wash clothes?

4. What are bathrooms like (I have heard there are very different facilities) but that more than half the world uses this type. Where are restrooms out and about, usually, and are they safe to use?

5. Should I bring germex (alcohol hand sanitizer?) I have sensitive skin and have heard that India has mostly a powdered soap from UK, Not sure if that will bother my skin too much. Can you buy gemex in India?
(By the way, for anyone else that might wish to know, germex or similar products kill way more germs than soap and it would take 30 seconds of scrubbing at least, to do same job with soap and water.

If you were EU or US and went to India for the first time….How did you feel and how did you adjust? Did you get used to the different bathrooms, food, and accommodation style ways…?
What are showers like?

6. Did you get sick from water or food? If so, how long did it last and what medicine should I bring?

7. Can I bring any natural supplements into India when traveling on a tourist visa? And if so, how do I find out what ones are allowed?

8. What should I wear near Jaipur? I wear jeans a lot and sleeveless shirts and sometimes skirts. If I keep skirts down to half calf or ankle and my sleeveless shirts do not show cleavage, will I be ok? Or am I taking my safety in my own hands? I want to be comfortable without being too flashy or tempting trouble, but I like to dress as much like myself as possible and not like someone else. I love fashion but I respect culture. Please, any suggestions or advice would be so appreciated.

9. Where is the cheapest place to get good bottled water? and how much should I buy at once? I drink a lot and will drink even more there, I am sure…..

10. Are men in Jaipur respectful generally? Do I need to avoid taxi’s alone? And I have heard buses and trains are very iffy (that is putting it mildly) is this same in Jaipur?

11. Are there any short and cheap courses to learn Hindi in Jaipur? where you can begin anytime of year and take only for as long as you wish?

12. What are beds like (for sleeping) are they soft, hard, futon, on floor? Are they usually clean in hotels or hostels? (any suggestions for cheap, clean, and safe places to stay in Jaipur)?

13. Do I need to bring any kind of lock for my door? or baggage?

14. Is it safe for my to drink juice there? or will I get sick (likely)?

15. what kind of electrical outlet adapters will I need to bring for my blow dryer and flat iron?

16. I forget, am I able to eat fresh fruit? I read something about it or peeling or not peeling….Is it ok? Should I not wash and just peel?

17. are open toe sandals acceptable and is it rude to wear bare feet when you are at someones home that you know (good friend)

18. Should I try to eat with left hand always? (I read that all Indian people only eat with left hand) Should I observe the same?

19. Any suggestions on how much money I should carry and in what form for convenience and safety? How easy is it to access more money in Jaipur…..ATM/Banks?

20. Has anyone stayed with a

Best answer:

Answer by Mirja
NOTE: I haven’t been to Jaipur, but I’ve been to other parts of India.

1. Can I use tap water to brush teeth without getting sick (most likely)

Yeah, it won’t harm you (usually)

2. Do I have to get inoculations to travel to/in India from USA? and what is your view on them effective/not so on…. (I am very health conscious and am not kean on having the shots because of how they are very poor for health but maybe I have no choice “shots or disease”) I heave read some places that they are not proven to be very effective and natural pre immunity boosting precautions may be just as effective (herbs and supplements) I really could use some opinions on this. I will be in the Jaipur area.

You’ll probably be getting three or four shots, I didn’t get sick when I went to India, so I guess they helped.

How prevalent are mosquitoes? I am going in Oct. What is the likelihood of illness from mosquitoes and what kind of illnesses?
I hate using insect repellent (unless someone has a more natural suggestion) DEETS is so horrible for health.

THEY’RE EVERYWHERE. USE A MOSQUITO NET WHEN YOU SLEEP.

3. What are things like there as far as utilities and laundry.
where do you wash clothes?

It really depends on where you stay, when I was there I did my laundry by hand.

4. What are bathrooms like (I have heard there are very different facilities) but that more than half the world uses this type. Where are restrooms out and about, usually, and are they safe to use?

I don’t know about the bathrooms for females, but you have to crouch down to use a male toilet.

5. Should I bring germex (alcohol hand sanitizer?) I have sensitive skin and have heard that India has mostly a powdered soap from UK, Not sure if that will bother my skin too much. Can you buy gemex in India?
(By the way, for anyone else that might wish to know, germex or similar products kill way more germs than soap and it would take 30 seconds of scrubbing at least, to do same job with soap and water.

Unless you’re really careless, use whatever they provide.

If you were EU or US and went to India for the first time….How did you feel and how did you adjust? Did you get used to the different bathrooms, food, and accommodation style ways…?
What are showers like?

6. Did you get sick from water or food? If so, how long did it last and what medicine should I bring?

I had diarrhea once during my stay, it was from a party, but the food I ate made up for the after-effects.

7. Can I bring any natural supplements into India when traveling on a tourist visa? And if so, how do I find out what ones are allowed?

Not sure

8. What should I wear near Jaipur? I wear jeans a lot and sleeveless shirts and sometimes skirts. If I keep skirts down to half calf or ankle and my sleeveless shirts do not show cleavage, will I be ok? Or am I taking my safety in my own hands? I want to be comfortable without being too flashy or tempting trouble, but I like to dress as much like myself as possible and not like someone else. I love fashion but I respect culture. Please, any suggestions or advice would be so appreciated.

Wear whatever you want, the last thing you want is people staring at for because you’re trying to blend in.

9. Where is the cheapest place to get good bottled water? and how much should I buy at once? I drink a lot and will drink even more there, I am sure…..

I stuck to bottled water also, but the tap water isn’t horrible, it just tastes pretty bad. You’ll probably find bottled water at a general store of some sort.

10. Are men in Jaipur respectful generally? Do I need to avoid taxi’s alone? And I have heard buses and trains are very iffy (that is putting it mildly) is this same in Jaipur?

I wouldn’t know since I’m a guy and I blend right in. They’re like anyone else, I guess.

11. Are there any short and cheap courses to learn Hindi in Jaipur? where you can begin anytime of year and take only for as long as you wish?

Not sure

12. What are beds like (for sleeping) are they soft, hard, futon, on floor? Are they usually clean in hotels or hostels? (any suggestions for cheap, clean, and safe places to stay in Jaipur)?

From my experience, beds are harder than what you’re probably used to. It takes about a day to get used to.

13. Do I need to bring any kind of lock for my door? or baggage?

Use whatever lock they provide, always keep you baggage locked wherever you go.

14. Is it safe for my to drink juice there? or will I get sick (likely)?

I had no problems with it.

15. what kind of electrical outlet adapters will I need to bring for my blow dryer and flat iron?

I couldn’t give you much detail about that, but I can tell you that it’s different.

16. I forget, am I able to eat fresh fruit? I read something about it or peeling or not peeling….Is it ok? Should I not wash and just peel?

I wish I could go back and eat some fresh fruit right now. Go ahead, it’s safe (just peel and e

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Traveling Tips for Women Travelers in India

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Traveling Tips For Women Travelers in India

India, a nation of unity in diversity, has myriad of rich history, culture, heritage, religions, traditions, cuisines and people. It is a magical domain and most people fall in love with this country as soon as they come here. Even after the modern influence of western countries, India still remains, somewhat, a conservative country. Some western habits are perceived as inappropriate and degrading if practiced by women here. Some travel tips for women travelers in India would make their trip more exciting and easy. Because of the social conservatism, it’s important that women travelers educate themselves to India’s social mores and culture to best prepare for a safe journey.

Women travelers in India should be extremely particular about their clothing, safety, packing , monetary matters, language and shopping. These tips will prove beneficial making your journey a lifetime experience. With regards to clothing tips for women travelers in India avoid wearing too revealing dresses. Low cut, tight-fitting shirts, tank tops, skirts that fall above the knees, shorts and bikinis are highly discouraged. While swimsuits can be worn in beach resort areas such as Goa, consider wearing a conservative one-piece and covering yourself with a sarong and t-shirt when you’re not sunbathing or when you are interacting with locals. Short sleeve cotton shirts can be worn in warmer climates but they should be loose fitting and not revealing. Observe the locals and dress a bit more conservatively than the most liberally dressed woman. You can incorporate some of the local dress into your outfits by shopping once you arrive in-country. Purchase a locally made blouse or delicate scarf or shawl to wear over your Western-style clothes.

Safety tips for women travelers in India should be of the prime concern. You should be alert of the opportunistic thieves. Your personal safety and the potential theft of your belongings should be taken care of. To prevent sexual harassment, keep your arms folded in front of you in large crowds and on public transportation. It’s best not to initiate conversations that could be construed as flirtatious or personal and sidestep answering personal questions about yourself. If you’re traveling alone or with a female friend, invent a husband and make it clear that you are not interested in anyone else. Avoid situations where you may find yourself alone with a man. When traveling on public transportation, lock your bags together with a cable lock and then to a stationary object such as a bench or immovable seat.

The lighter the bag, the lesser you sag ! Nothing new to say here except ‘Travel Light’. Yet, in your enthusiasm to have a weightless bag, do not throw out the essentials. Inclusion of sun screen lotion, sun glasses, umbrella, brimmed hats is important to guard you against sun tan. Also include eye patches, camera, water bottle, first aid kit. Pack your bag according to the region and climate you are traveling in. Your day bag may contain the essentials (camera, book, lip balm, tissues, pen, journal, light snack). A bag made of slash-proof material and strap is ideal.

While traveling, you should be sure that you are carrying your money safely. Though there are no such risks of people snatching your money, it is always better to be safe than sorry. Pouches that can be fastened with an attached belt to your waist and can also be worn under clothing are best. This is the most popular and safest way to carry money safely. Your money and other valuable documents like ATM cards, passports and credit cards also in the pouch should be kept hidden from others. Keep some loose change in your pockets for giving to beggars who might mob you. Do not flash rolls of currency notes in front of them. You can also lose the purse and carry a variety of currency options in at least two locations on your body.

With regards to lingua franca, for most parts of India you won’t really need to mug up any local lingo. Yet, if sometime you get stuck, Hindi should help you get going. It is spoken in fair parts of north India and understood in the west too. Down south is the domain of the Dravidian languages. It’s either English or a regional language that will do the trick. So, pick up some words in both Hindi and regional language and get going.

The shopping enthusiast women cannot resist the temptation of picking up the Indian expertises. The the Indian bazaars – a place that puts your temptation resistance skills at test, are stuffed with bright and beautiful things – handicrafts, silks, ethnic jewelry, curios and what have you. You can shop till you drop. But you should try to strike the best deal so do not hesitate to bargain. Be ready to pay additional customs and handling charges.

No place round the globe is that safe for women traveler but keeping these tips in mind, your trip to India will at least be unscathed and secure. Wear your smile and stick tight to your sense of humor with presence of mind. It will definitely help you through the multitudinous complexities that make up a trip to this fascinating region.

Manjari Singh is an eminent travel writer, she have authored websites like :

www.travellinginindia.com