If you are about to go for a holiday to India for the first time, prepare yourself! It is a country like no other. You will be struck by the extremes of this country. It can shock you, leave your mouth wide open at its beauty, scare you, intoxicate you, humble you and much more.

For a first time visitor, it can be overwhelming, but it will also be unforgettable. You will probably never see another country quite like India. Here are some tips to follow as you embark on your astonishing journey to India.

1. Plan A Route

Let’s face it, you are never going to get to see a lot of India on one trip. It’s too big and there is so much to see, do and experience. The best thing to do is to plan and prepare for the best route possible. Obviously, this will depend on you. Not everyone is the same. Depending on your taste and lifestyle, you can plan accordingly. You can do some research on your own, but at the same time, you can speak to your travel agent for the best advice. A very popular thing among many tourists is called the Golden Triangle. If time is a factor, this is a good introduction to India featuring three of India’s top destinations; Agra, Delhi and Jaipur.

2. Go Slow

It may be tempting to get in as much as you can. However, it will be better to concentrate your efforts on just a few places instead of trying to do everything. It ends up being more hectic and stressful and you might not enjoy it as much. If you end up seeing ten things in a short space of time, you may forget it and you may not appreciate it as much. Seeing one thing can allow you to appreciate it and take it all in. It can be more rewarding this way. You can also get to know the people better.

3. Look After Your Health

If you are not careful, you could get sick. For a start, never drink tap water. Always have bottled water. By that same token, beware of ice. If you buy street food, check to see how clean it is. Is food that has been sitting there being served, or is it being freshly cooked before you? Are there more flies than customers? Be careful and don’t get sick in your time there.

4. Be Careful About What You Eat

This is one reason many people choose to eat vegetarian food in India. A dodgy piece of meat is way more dangerous than a dodgy vegetable. Besides, what better place for vegetarian food than India? If you are going to eat meat (or food in general), then stick to places where you see a lot of locals, because this means the food should be safer.

5. Be Careful About Getting Scammed

Keep your wits about you. Things like this happen in many countries and India is definitely one of them. Be careful of taxi and rickshaw drivers. They may insist that you go to a specific hotel or restaurant. There is a reason for this. They can add higher commission. In the end, don’t get too upset. If you do lose some money, it is minimal for you. Don’t let it take away the enjoyment of your visit to India.

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Mo is a seasoned traveller and an adventurous spirit who dreams of visiting every country around the world. When he's not travelling, you might find him writing and cataloguing about his recent trips.