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March 23, 2020

Top tips for your holiday to India: visa, vaccinations, and the best deals

India is a wonderful country to visit on your next holiday. Whether you are looking for culture, unspoilt beaches or a great nightlife scene, India has so much to offer! In this article I will give you my top tips when booking your next holiday to India from finding the best deals, to hygiene, to applying for your visa. 

#1 Find the best deals

You can get some amazing deals when travelling to India! As a developing country, the cost of living is low in India. As such, food and accommodation can be really affordable. However, many major tour operators do not pass these savings on to the consumer (you). Take a look at my list of recommended travel resources to ensure that you get the best deals and book local where you can. Booking directly with local people helps to maximise the positive economic impacts of tourism

#2 Sort your visa early 

Applying for a visa for India can be a little bit more complicated than in other countries. There is no visa on arrival in India! You will need to ensure that you organise the correct documents and paperwork and organise your Indian visa application in advance. A tourist visa for India is valid for 1 year, the visa allows you to say for 180 days, and it takes about a week to be issued.

#3 Seek medical advice and organise your vaccinations 

Alongside needing a visa, you may be required to have certain vaccinations when travelling to India. You may also need to take Malaria tablets. Make sure that you book an appointment with your local travel clinic in advance to see which medical precautions you may need to take. I recommend a few months, because sometimes clinics are full and vaccinations need time to take effect! Fit for Travel is a great website to consult in the first instance to see which vaccinations etc you might need for your trip. 

#4 Take a look at the map 

India is a HUGE country! Whilst you might want to visit multiple places during your visit, it can be difficult to realistically incorporate everywhere you would like to see into one trip. My personal favourites are Goa, Agra and Kerala. However, there is much of the country that I am yet to explore and I would love to travel more of Northern India too. 

#5 Don’t have unrealistic expectations 

India doesn’t generally have the same standards in terms of quality and hygiene as you might be used to in your home country. If you book a 3 star accommodation, for example, it might be more like a 1 star. When I travel to India I only ever stay in 5 star accommodations. Yes, the high end places are magnificent. But I also find that the cheaper 5 star hotels are quite affordable and are more in line with the 3-4 star accommodations that I would expect in Europe. 

#6 Embrace the culture 

Indian culture is quite unique. In some parts of the country you will not be able to buy alcohol. Women are not always treated with the same level of respect that they are in much of the Western world. There is a lot of poverty. There is a lot of litter. Don’t let all of this put you off though! Remember that there are cultural differences and embrace it! 

There are also some wonderful things about the Indian culture, such as the fascinating shows that you can watch in some of the tourist areas and the popular Indian food dishes– yum! Enjoy!

#7 Enjoy India

Once you have your flight booked and visa sorted, you are good to travel to India for your holiday! India has so much to offer. I loved sipping cocktails on the beach in Goa and I loved exploring the Red Fort in Delhi. Whether you are looking for a beach break, a city escape of a cultural tourism experience, India is a wonderful country to visit. There are plenty of books about India that can help to get you excited about your forthcoming trip too!

In conclusion, I urge you to travel to India! I love India and I hope to return someday soon. Once your flight is booked and your visa is sorted you are free to explore the treasures that this wonderful country has to offer! Yes, travelling to India does require a little forward planning in terms of getting the right vaccinations and organising your visa, but once you are in the country you will have a fantastic time. 

Are you considering a holiday to India? What are your travel plans? Leave your comments below! 

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