Memos from Asia

Travel Tips When Exploring India

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India is a nation with different cultures in every nook and corner. As exciting as it is to travel to new places in India, it is also important to keep in mind your personal safety and have a general knowledge of the areas you visit.

India is the land of cultures, natural beauty, and exciting history. The same reflects in the minds and hearts of people while more so in the tourist destinations and even everyday places.

If you’re traveling to India, as important as it is to take care of your surroundings, it is just as important to take care of your body and safety.

This applies to every international destination, but here are some India-specific things to take care of:

Local Transportation

The best thing about traveling in India is the inexpensive modes of travel. In addition to rickshaws, autos, and taxis, you also have brands like Uber and Ola covering nearly every town and part of India.

But, if you’re using them for the first time, you may face a language barrier with rickshaw and auto drivers.

It is always best to look around and ask for help from the office going or local people for translation and help with the rates.

Cards and Payment

International cards are usually not a problem anywhere, but small eateries and cafes in hill stations or even cities may lead to some inconvenience.

It is best to carry the local Indian National Rupee in such cases.

Pro tip: AMEX cards might lead to payment issues at even general stores or eateries.

Tipping and Restaurants

Unlike in the US, there is no 20% tip culture in India. However, if you feel generous, any help to the locals is highly recommended.

Restaurants usually accept payment with a card or cash, but you have to keep cash ready for smaller eateries as they may not accept any cards.


Despite the growing number of public toilets in India, usability is not very high. You might want to stay away from public toilets unless there’s a real emergency.

It is always best to use clean toilets in eateries, restaurants, and hotels, although they may charge a fee. Moreover, carrying a seat sanitizer is something you should not ignore.

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