India-Safe for Travel
India is a country of peace-loving and law-abiding citizens and a safe destination for domestic and international tourists. However, like any other civil society, there are aberrations, and a few persons break the law now and then. We should also consider the vast geographical area and world’s second largest population. India is always a safe country for travelers but it is desirable to take some safety precautions so that you can love this country again and again. Please find few tips for a safe travel in India.
Safety: As in most countries, common sense should prevail. Avoid walking in deserted areas particularly at night..Most Indian cities sleep early and roads may be barren after 10 PM. Don’t make stranger friends unless you know them through a reference. Always keep the emergency telephone numbers during your travel. In most Indian cities Police is reachable on dialing 100.
Local Mobile & Internet: Due to the security issues, foreign tourists can have local mobile connections on arrival in India from the Airports only. So take a note to have your local SIM (if you like to have one) before leaving the airport at your first arrival in India. It’s not safe to use a SIM card offered by a stranger.
Local Travel Partner: It’s always advisable to have a local Tour Operator to handle your tour in India. The infrastructure is not yet up to date for self discoveries at many places. You should ensure that you have a local contact to guide you throughout your travel by providing a professional chauffer, guide etc. opting the right hotels and giving you proper travel advices. Choose only a reliable Operator to handle your tour. Always travel with a confirmed reservation. The main advantage of a local Operator is that they will ensure your safety throughout the travel, assurance on the quality and reliability of your driver, hotels etc.
Online travel bookings: Always take extra care while booking your tours through online portals and booking engines of hotels. Make sure that you get a round the clock assistance contact in India and confirm this yourself before you travel. Always make sure the concerned hotels hold your reservations. If you have a late arrival at a particular hotel, double check and confirm that the hotel will hold your room ready for check in on arrival. At some places, it may be difficult to find out alternative hotels at late hours. It’s always better to have a local Tour Operator to make your bookings so that you are safe and sure about the quality for the money you paid. There is a presumption that online hotel rates are better but you will only know when you pay the hidden costs and the risks of not getting your room on arrival. This can happen.
Hotel Stays: Convince yourselves that you have opted a decent, licensed hotel. Make sure you submit your Passport for identity and verification and also confirm the hotel submits your stay details with Foreigners’ Registration Office in case of foreign tourists. Please use the Hotel safe deposit facilities for valuables and be aware of your personal possessions at all times. Don’t handover your passport, ATM Cards, Mobile SIM cards to any un authorized or unknown person including your chauffeurs etc. Please keep it in mind Less than 25% of the hotels in India are classified in Star category so make sure you are booking the right hotel if you are booking it online. Otherwise confirm with your local travel agent. Many websites say their hotel is 2,3 & 4 Star facility hotel but this does not mean that they are classified.
Transport: Its always advisable you have a pre booked transport through your local tour operator so that you have a chauffeur who will assist you throughout your travel. Keep the contact number of your driver with you for contacting on emergency. In case you opt to travel on your own, always use public transport or taxis through reliable sources and ensure that you reach your destination before late night especially in small towns. Taxi fares should be discussed before boarding the car. Don’t ever travel in a stranger’s car and don’t accept a free lift at night. It’s not advisable to travel on trains at night without a confirmed reservation. Make sure you travel in an authorized Taxi with Yellow Number Board. Travelling in unauthorized taxis may result in non availability of insurance etc in case of an accident or theft etc.
Women Travellers: Never travel without a confirmed booking. Always choose a reliable local Tour operator and get a local contact of the agency before you leave your country. Make sure your bookings are confirmed at opted hotels. You have the right to ask the contacts of your hotels also. Don’t entertain anyone offer you unsolicited help at an unknown place. Have more details of the places you visit and always be back to your hotel before late night if you are alone. Good to ask your driver regarding the driving hours from one place to other and approximate time of arrival at destination. Always contact Police officers for any emergency help if you are outside. Stay only at decent, licensed hotels. Don’t be afraid to report any sort of disturbances.
Group Travel: Always make sure that your group has a local Travel agent in India to assist you in situations. Make sure that your hotels are pre booked. Learn the travel plan and travel together. Better to have the contact details of hotels and local agent with every member of the group in case the Tour Leader is away. Always reach in advance at Airports and Train stations for boarding. Insist for an accompanying escort.
Etiquette and Dress code: Casual mostly but travelers are advised to dress modestly. Please cover up in towns and villages. Topless sunbathing is not allowed in public areas. Smoking is banned in all public areas, so please check before you light up!!
Travel Insurance : We strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance to protect you against any unforeseen circumstances including medical evacuation prior to departure
Emergency Assistance: Tourist Police are on hand at main destinations to help you in the unlikely event where they should be required to assist. Local Police also will help instantly on an emergency. If you feel stranded at an Airport, Train Station or Bus Station, keep yourself close to the security/police officers in charge of security of that place. If you need get a direction at night to your hotel etc, please ask to the concerned authorities or police officers on duty.
Currency & Exchange: It is advisable to ask your local office/agent to take you to the right exchange houses. There are Exchange buros at all major airports. ATMs are widely available but it would be sensible to exchange in major cities. Change money at authorized places only. Don’t ever entertain strangers for changing your currency.
General: Choose a reliable Local Tour Operator who knows about the region to plan your tour and assist you during travel. Travel with a plan and be informed about destinations and cultural differences. Tourist information offices are at all Airports, major train stations and metro cities. Keep away from people offering drugs or other unauthorized materials. Don’t allow strangers to enter your hotel room. Keep your meetings at public places like hotel lobbies, restaurants etc. Always keep your safe distance from unknown people.
Finally here is the link for your Indian Travel Partner