There’s lots of exciting things to think about when planning an adventure in India. There’s so many magical things to see that it’s easy to forget about some of the more mundane stuff. I always make the time to think about four things before planning a trip.
Safety and Security
I’ve always felt safe and secure in India, but like anywhere in the world bad things can happen. I make sure I check out what the experts have to say about the safety and security situation, so it’s over to three sources of information that I find useful
What’s the weather going to be like?
As a very general rule, the best time to travel in India is during the winter months, from October to March, when the weather is cooler.
But India is vast. Normal rules don’t apply. Weather conditions vary enormously. The Indian Metrological Service has segmented the country into a staggering seven different climatic regions.
India’s varied climatic conditions create many plus points. When the weather is poor in one region, it can be perfect in another. So, the best time to travel depends on the region and what you want to see and what you want to do.
The weather conditions can make travel tough and dangerous at certain times and in specific places. So do think ahead and plan for what might happen.
Wildland Adventures offer a good summary of the weather conditions and what to expect where and when.
Prevention is better than cure (and sometimes a cure don’t exist)
I’m not a doctor, but I’ve a couple of things to share on the medical side of things.
Top drawer medical facilities can be found in the cities, but get out into the country and medical provision can be pretty patchy Prevention is better than cure, so make sure vaccinations are up to date and insurance covers you for every eventuality.
In some areas malaria is an issue. It’s important to check with a physician about whether anti-malarials are required and when they should be taken. Click here for the India Malarial Map from the UK’s National Health Service to find out more. Stock up with anti-mossie sprays and use them wisely and widely. Dengue Fever, transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, (http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/dengue/Pages/Introduction.aspx) is something to be aware of too.
I’ve had dengue. It’s not fun. I now know why it’s called break bone fever. Take all the steps you can to avoid getting bitten. Here’s some advice.
Finally, rabies is an issue in India. According to the World Health Organisation over a third of the world’s rabies deaths occur in India. Again, seek professional advice about vaccinations and what to do if you are bitten.
I was bitten by a stray dog in my first month. India’s creatures like the taste of me.
Is festival time?
Indians love a festival. With so much diversity and so many people there’s a never ending supply of something to celebrate.
Festivals are a reason to travel, but some festivals see human movement on a truly massive scale. Hindu Kumbh Melas, or Simhasthas, are the largest human gathering on the planet and a 100 million people may be on the move.
Festivals are a wonder to watch and a pleasure to participate in. I’ve always been welcomed by the faithful and I’ve had some very special times. But, if you want to avoid the crowds, I suggest checking out what festivals and happening where and when.
Safe travels. You’ll have an amazing time. I always do.