If backpacking across India has always been on your mind, but the very thought of it is giving you jitters, this is a must read for you. Amidst all the talks of India being unsafe for backpackers and Diarrohea scares, these easy, handy tips for backpacking in India are the silver lining. Don’t let anything scare you away from a dream trip to India.
1) Hop on for an experience with the Indian Railways
It’s world’s widest rail network, surprisingly inexpensive and quite safe. India has got a train connecting almost every place, where a railway track can be laid. With some planning, you can easily do a Kashmir to Kanyakumari trip aboard Indian Railways. Just for an add on, it traverses some of the most scenic routes in the world. Better hygiene standards are on their way as well. Plus, tickets can be booked online.
2) Stay with the locals, choose a homestay
Staying at homestays is, again, less expensive and ranks high if you’re eager for an experience. Cosy, safe stays with the host family usually comes with meals-inclusive tariffs. You end up saving a lot of money and aiding the development of local economy too. Ample of homestays can be found in the north-eastern region of India, most of the Himalayan states, Rajasthan, Goa, Gujarat, Kashmir, Kerala and almost every tourist attraction of this country. By your trips’ end, you’ll have families turned friends in this gorgeous country.
3) Relish the Indian street food
Because that is where the real Indian food is. While you save a lot of money by opting for street food rather than a meal at some plush restaurant, Indian street food is a great culinary experience as well. And yes, Diarrohea has no direct connection with street food. I’ve always found the food at stalls fresher and tastier than grand restaurants. The mantra here is to eat where the locals are eating and the chances of falling sick are bare.
4) Take onus of hygiene standards
Okay, so most of the rural (even urban) parts of India are still not using mineral water for cooking. Plus, there’s an acute lack of washrooms, forget the clean ones. But you would never skip a trip for those reasons, right? So, my tip is that you buy a Steripen, one of the best handy water purifiers, or chlorine tablets, pack hand-sanitisers, tissue paper rolls and face wipes. With all that in your bags, you’re literally taking onus of your hygiene standards.
5) Do not overplan
Be open to last minute changes in your travel plans while backpacking in India. I suggest that, for travelling has unpredictability for its twin. More so, when you’re travelling in India. Trains might run late, flights might get grounded, landslides might shut the roads for days, rains are more of pouring in India, cows are easily found blocking the roads and that is okay. Travel for travel’s sake, go back home with memories for postcards, fill in your scrapbook with selfies taken with strangers and, may be, cows. Don’t let planning kill the travellers’ quotient of your trip.
If you, too, have a tip or two to make backpacking in India easier and safer, do leave a comment below. Will be happy to add more to this list. And yes, don’t forget sharing this one with your traveller pals.
Till then, happy travelling.
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