Showing posts with label Travel Talks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travel Talks. Show all posts

Monday, 27 March 2017

My 15 top travel tips for India.

This is my second post in my Travel series, In this post I am going to share my best 15 tips that I recommend when travelling in India.

The best time to travel to India is between October- March, this is when the weather is at its best. India is a very large country and there is so much to see and do that you really need to plan your itinerary to cover small sections of the country. This year we planned our trip to see Rajasthan. India is very diverse, there is a huge difference in the lifestyle and mentality of people. Large cities in India are very cosmopolitan and modern and are in par with western countries but in the rural towns and villages people still have orthodox beliefs and follow traditional lifestyle and customs.

My 15 top travel tips for India:

1. If you are staying in a hotel that has a safety deposit box, store your passports and extra money in there and only carry what you need for daily use on person. If there is no safe then invest in a bum bag or body belt to keep your pass ports and extra cash safe on person.

2. Be careful and discreet when taking money in and out of your purse. Have two purses one with a small amount of cash to spend in the day and a second purse securely placed at the bottom of your rucksack / shoulder bag with the remaining spare cash.( Tip pin your purse to the lining of your bag with a nappy pin, this way no pickpocket will be able to take easily it even if they tried.)

3. Do not wear skimpy cloths, not all places in India are modern, avoid shorts, miniskirts and vest tops. Be warned people will stare, they find foreigners intriguing, my advice is to fit in and not draw attention to yourself. In India you can get really nice cotton trousers and cotton kurta tops for a few pounds. Purchase a few and wear them, they are comfortable and keep you cool too.

4. Wear comfortable shoes, roads and pavements are uneven and lots of tourist places have dirt tracks and are in remote places.

5. Carry a thin shawl / scarf with you, many religious places will expect you to cover your head as a mark of respect. Be respectful in religious places.

6. Carry a couple of pairs of cheap cotton socks, you are not allowed to wear shoes in temples and mosques, you will need to take them off. It’s much nicer to walk with socks than bare feet and you can discard the socks if they get dirty, keeping your feet clean.

7. A lot of tourist spots charge for using cameras, the charge is a couple of pounds at the most. Some temples / forts do not allow photography or filming be respectful and don't abuse the system.

8. When taking pictures of locals, do ask permission, a lot of them will happily let you take a photo although don't be surprised if they ask you for payment. Generally a ten rupee note will keep them happy that is about 15 pence!!!

9. Carry a bottle of water with you at all times as it can get rather hot and you should keep hydrated.

10. Toilet facilities in India are not the best so be prepared and carry a toilet roll, antibacterial wipes and hand sanitiser in your bag.

11. In India unless you are in government run shops or large department stores where prices are fixed, it’s normal to haggle. The rule of thumb is to offer half of the asking price and haggle from there.

12. Take care when you get approached by beggars, if you give to one, in less than a blink you will be surrounded with more than you can manage. Do not encourage it although seeing small children begging is heart breaking.

13. In most tourist spots you will be harassed with tour guides, only use government approved ones that carry an official Id.

14. Travelling in rickshaws is dirt cheap but hold onto for your life, there are no seat belts or doors and always hold tight your belonging do not leave them unattended.

15. Last but not the least, be careful with food. Although street food looks tempting it can give you a bad tummy, there are no food safety standards in India, and you never know how long the food has been sweltering in the heat. Also do not add ice to your drinks and make sure if you enjoy a glass of sugarcane juice on the streets its not diluted with tap water.

Above all go with the flow, in India nothing happens in a hurry, be patient, traffic stops to let animals pass, people skim in and out of traffic and there are no highway code rules. People in India are happy, they are really friendly and welcome tourists, so respect their country and people and you will have the most amazing experience of your life.

To follow my India travel series do check out my previous post:


Thursday, 16 March 2017

10 essentials to pack in your carry on airline bag.

In February I finally achieved my dream of travelling around Rajasthan India. It was the most amazing experience and I am going to share my journey through a series of blog posts. What I learnt is that to enjoy your trip, travel light and be organised. In this post I am going to share 10 essentials that one should make sure you carry in your airline bag.
I highly recommend that you choose your carry on hand luggage that is practical light weight and fits within the airline size guide.

Image courtesy of

Choose a lightweight trolley bag or backpack. I would advise to pack light and only carry basic essentials, its often very tempting to take unnecessary items that just adds weight, the less you have to carry the more relaxed you will be.

My top 10 tips are:

1. Carry a small cross over handbag to hold important documents such as passports, tickets, phone and money. This will enable you to have your most important possessions on person at all times. Some airlines only allow one piece of hand luggage you can easily pop your crossover bag in your trolley bag whilst going through security checks and then you can remove it and carry on person.

2. Keep a paper list of emergency contacts, photocopies of passports and important documents such as insurance details in case you lose your phone or important documents. 

3. Keep pens and small notebook you may be required to fill in a customs form on the aircraft before landing.

4. Pack a book or tablet to keep you occupied.

5. Pack a light weight jacket, pasmina or shawl as it can be rather cold on an aeroplane and I would highly recommend flight socks also  as they will stop you getting swollen ankles.

6. Carry a portable battery pack and chargers and headphones. If you find having a pillow useful take with you the inflated one that can be deflated for easy storing.

7. Pack some energy snacks such as cereal bars in case of delays and some boiled sweets to suck in case your ears pop during takeoff and landing.

8. Pack paracetamol, ibuprofen, hand sanitiser (make sure not bigger than 100 ml), tissues and antibacterial wipes.

9. Lightweight change of clothing for long haul flights; t shirt, trousers, under cloths and socks. ( I always carry a toothbrush, spare pair of glasses too.)

10. Last but not least I always purchase a bottle of water to take onto the aircraft with me once I have checked in. It is very important to keep hydrated when travelling.

I find that having these items in my carry on really useful and it makes travelling comfortable knowing I have all my basic essentials with me. Also don't forget to weigh your hand luggage prior to leaving home to make sure it is within the weight allowed for the airline you are travelling with.

When travelling are there any items that you find useful to carry, do let me know your tips and suggestions in the comments section.


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