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India Travel Checklist

Submitted by Navin Pathak on Tue, 11/19/2019 - 3:40am.

Whenever you are traveling to another country, you have to be prepared. Here is a checklist that you must follow before you begin with your travel abroad.

  • Make sure that your passport has enough valid time to get the visa for the country you are traveling to.
    • If you have had your visa stamped earlier, then make sure it is valid.
  • Keeping copies of your itinerary, visa, passport and other documents with close friends and relatives is a good idea. In case of any untoward incident like losing your passport, this will definitely be a lifesaver. 
  • Keep your mail delivery on hold or have a neighbor collect it for you. That way, you won’t lose your mail and will maintain some degree of privacy that you are not at home.
  • Cut down on your internet and phone services while you are away to save a few bucks.
    • In case you want to travel with your US number, then talk to your service provider if they offer any package that allows you to use your US phone service in the destination country for less cost.
  • You can buy travel and medical insurance coverage if you like.
  • Keep your utility providers such as water, gas, and electricity informed that you will be away.
  • You may want to leave the house keys along with a list of all your contacts’ names and numbers in the destination country with a relative or a friend of yours.
  • If you are traveling during the colder months, ensure that your house is winterized. That way, you will not return to a frozen home or burst water pipes. 
  • Check if your credit cards and debit cards can be used during your trip and inform these card issuers about your plans to travel to the destination country.  
  • Cash is always a good option especially for India but a credit card with no international transaction fee when used abroad works equally well. 
  • You must also make sure that your online banking services are activated. If you need any extra funds during the trip, you can have the money transferred online from your bank account to you at your place of accommodation or to an agent who is close by.

Now in case you are traveling to India, then here are some tips that will help you enjoy your trip better: 

  • To get around within a city, use app-based travel services such as Uber or Ola. They allow you to make online payments and also ensure that you pay the correct price for each trip. 
  • Getting a local mobile number is a good idea as several mobile apps that are very useful in India require a local number.
  • You can get yourself a local mobile number at the Airport, where you land in India.  Alternatively, you can ask your hotel or AirBnB host to help you get a card as you will need several documents such as address proof and ID proof. 
  • For more details on getting a local mobile number in India, click here.
  • Always carry medicines for diarrhea, common cough and cold and other essentials. India has 24x7 medical stores in all metro cities. However, if you need the medicines to be delivered to you, you can use apps like Dunzo. In fact, Dunzo will get just about anything that you need delivered to your doorstep. 
  • It is a good idea to carry charcoal tablets with you when you are traveling to India. They help prevent infections and food-related issues. 
  • Finding medical assistance in India is relatively easy. From independent practices to major hospitals, you have everything that you need. To look for medical assistance close to you, you can use mobile apps like Just Dial and Practo. 
  • Carry mosquito repellants and sunscreen with you at all times. 
  • Always drink bottled water and opt for freshly cooked food when in India. Here is an article with specific details.
  • Keep emergency numbers handy. The most common ones are: 
    • 112- Emergency Helpline (equivalent to 911 in the USA)
    • 100- Police
    • 108- Medical Helpline 
    • 102- Ambulance 
    • 101- Fire Services 
    • 181- Women’s helpline
  • Pickpockets are common in crowded places. Use a neck wallet or keep your valuables under your clothing. 
  • If you lose your passport or valuables, file an FIR (First Instant Report) at the nearest police station and contact the embassy of your country. The list of contact details for all the foreign embassies in India can be found here
  • Thought travel insurance is not a must but advisable when you are traveling to India to cover medical expenses, loss of passport, luggage etc. 
  • Cash withdrawals must be avoided as you end up paying a rather sizeable fee. Every transaction requires you to pay a fee to your bank and the bank whose ATM you use along with a foreign transaction fee. 
  • The best way to transfer money from your International account when you are in India is to use a money transfer service provider. The money is transferred to your hotel or to a local agent for you to collect from. For details, click here.
  • If you wish to make credit card transactions, make sure that you are aware of the international transaction fees. With cards like Barclaycard, Discover, Capital One and Bank of America travel rewards card, you do not have to pay any fee. 
  • When in India, be prepared for a vast cultural difference. Here are some things that you should keep in mind: 
  • Always leave your footwear outside a temple or religious place. 
  • Carry a scarf or shawl with you as you may be required to cover your head in some places. 
  • Find out about the type of clothing that is permitted in these places. 
  • Alcohol is strictly prohibited in religious places as well as some monuments and historic sites. 
  • Photography in most religious places, monuments, and even at some airports is strictly prohibited. So make sure you check before you click a picture.

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