Five tips when planning a trip

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India is massive. There’s so much to do it’s difficult to know where to start.  Here’s four travel tips to help recently arrived expats and tourists prepare for thier Incredible Indian adventure.

Tip 1 – 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

United States Embassy: Security updates and travel information

United Kingdom Foreign Travel Advice: India

Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Tip 2 – Get to know India’s different climates

As a general rule, the best time to travel in India is during the winter months, from October to March, when the weather is cool. But, weather conditions vary enormously.  The Indian Metrological Service has segmented the country into a staggering seven different climatic regions.

This creates many plus points.  It means when the weather is ropey in one region, it can be perfect in another. The folks at Wildland Adventures have put together a good summary of what to expect when it comes to the weather.  I find it a useful starting point when planning my trips. Click here to take a look.

Tip 3- Take it easy and drink plenty of water

In the summer months the heat can be debilitating.  Keep hydrated.  Drink plenty of bottled water, use sunscreen liberally and wear a hat.  Remember that tempers start to fray when the mercury rises.  I’ve had the odd temper tantrum simply because I’ve been dehydrated.  I took me a little while to realise this, but now I know life is a whole lot easier.

Tip 4- Prevention is better than cure

Indian cities have medical facilities that match the best in the world, but get out into the country and medical provision is patchy.  Prevention is better than cure, so make sure vaccinations are up to date and medical insurance is appropriate.

In some areas malaria is an issue.  This malarial map taken from the UK’s National Health Service is a good source of information. Dengue Fever, transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, is another disease that’s worth taking note off.  I’ve had dengue.  It’s not something I’d recommend.  Here’s some advice on protecting yourself.

Finally, for the medical bit, onto dogs and rabies.  I was bitten by a dog in Jaipur, Rajasthan, during my first month.  It appears India’s creatures like the taste of me.

According to the World Health Organisation over a third of worldwide rabies deaths occur in India.  Again, seek professional advice about vaccinations and what to do if you are bitten.   It’s not just dogs that carry rabies, watch out for monkeys and bats too.

Tip 5 – Find out about festivals before you plan a trip

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 in themselves to travel, but some see human movement on a truly massive scale.  Hindu Kumbh Melas, or Simhasthas, the largest human gathering on the planet, can see upwards of 100 million people are on the move. If you want to avoid the crowds, find out what is on when you go travelling.

Festivals are a wonder to watch and a pleasure to participate in.  I’ve always been welcomed and I’ve experienced some very special times.

So, where are you going to go on your next adventure?

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