1. General mannerisms and advices
• Don’t arrive at a new destination at night or arrange a pick up from your hotel.
• No need to wear traditional Indian clothes but try to cover your shoulders and upper legs, especially in remote places. Always have a scarf with you for Muslims monuments.
• Learn 2 or 3 words in Hindi, it makes the first contact easier with the locals
• Arrive in India with some information about their religion, their culture etc…
• If you feel threatened in any way, or get “a bad” feeling about a situation, don’t hesitate to shout loudly or to ask someone to help you.
• Don’t be too naive and be ready to bargain.
• Watch your drink and avoid getting drunk.
• Don’t always trust the police in the street; they are not as trustful as in occident.
• Book your hotel before reaching a city and take advises from forums or tripadvisor.
2. Essentials: what to have on you
• Always have a phone with you with possibility to make calls if any urgency.
• Police number in India is 100.
• Always have cash and debit card with you and eventually a map. No need to always carry your passport with you for visits, a copy is enough.
• Check your maps and transportation schedules before leaving your hotel/train/rental car/tourist office.
• Don’t hitchhike.
• When travelling by overnight train, choose an upper berth to avoid prospective gropers and have more privacy. Prefer the AC class if you can.
• Avoid public transportation at night, and never ride in empty buses. Prefer a taxi that you already know or that you booked with private companies; don’t take a random one in the street. You can always take the number of the plate in front of the drivers to show them that you know the security rules.
• Ride in women’s cars on trains, where they exist, and try to book seats near the front of long-distance buses. Sit next to other women when possible.
• In the metro or city trains, always use the ladies coach.
• Never let your taxi driver or tuktuk driver to take another person with him and if you know the way, don’t hesitate to indicate him.
• Travel light and leave anything obviously valuable – an expensive watch or special item of jewelry – at home.
Please read also our article on taxi and tuktuk scams: