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India is a huge country. Every destination in Indian itinerary is unique in its own way. At every corner a new set of surprise awaits you. It is a country of many facets that you have never imagined existed on the face of earth. Only an expert guideline can help you throughout your journey in India and discover her minute nuances.


Essential Documents

All visitors to India must be in possession of a valid passport. With the exception of the countries of Nepal, Bhutan and the Maldives the visitors from any other foreign country needs visas. The visitors are advised to carry the passport all times. Visas can be obtained from the Indian Embassy or High Commission in your home country. Ask for a multiple-entry visa, in case you want to make a quick trip to a neighboring country. Visas are usually issued without much difficulty if you meet the application requirements.

 

These are: sufficient funds for the duration of your stay, a valid passport, ID photos, and a company letter for business travelers. In addition to a visa, you may need a special permit to visit certain protected or restricted parts of the country, such as areas in Sikkim, Ladakh, the Andaman Islands, Lakshadweep and some north-eastern hill states. Permits are available at foreign registration offices, immigration offices, and Indian Embassies, Consulates and High Commissions. For a tour to Sikkim you will need a trekking permit. If you have a visa for Bhutan, you'll also need a transit permit to cross the border. Permits are available at foreign registration offices, immigration offices, and Indian Embassies, Consulates and High Commissions.


Packing

Packing is probably the most essential part of the travel planning. The first and foremost condition of smart packing is packing light. At the same time you cannot afford to forget something without which the whole trip may turn miserable. So far as you are planning a trip to India, You must include the following items to the list of your packing and they are sure to make your trip as smooth as possible.


Sun protection

Whichever time you choose to visit this tropical country, never forget to carry a bottle of sunscreen lotion preferably with a SPF of 15 to 20 because in most of the parts of India, it may cause long-term damage to the skin exposed to the scorching sun in this part of the world. Other than keeping sunscreen, some additional must- haves for Indian trips are sunglasses, caps and lots of deodorants.


Insect repellent

Prevention is better than cure and that is why it is always better to protect yourself from getting bitten by mosquitoes rather than popping malaria tablets. That is why in your trip to India you should invest on some good quality insect repellent in any form like liquid burner to sprays. Most of the hotels in India provide mosquito nets on request, but it is always a good idea to carry your own stuff.


Back up for electricity

Although power supply is fine throughout the country, breakdowns and blackouts are not unheard of. Be sure to pack candles or a torch. Sockets usually have three round pins. European plugs will fit loosely into the sockets, but because they are slightly smaller, bad connections are possible.


Water purifying tablets

On your visit to India, always take care of the water you drink. Stick to the use of water from containers with a proper seal, or purify it by boiling or treating it chemically. Using Water purifying tablets is a very good idea for safe drinking water.


Dos and Don'ts in Custom

On arrival, expensive items must be notedin your passport on a 'Tourist Baggage Re-Export' form. This will ensure that you can take these items with you when you leave the country.

 

It is strictly prohibited to take antiques, art objects, animal skins (or products made with animal skin), and ivory and rhino horns out of India.


Duty Free Customs Allowance

Government of India offers various benefits to bonafide travelers and tourists, and their personal items can be imported duty free as part of baggage. Some of these duty free items include, the list of these items includes:

 

Personal Jewellery, Camera, Laptop, portable typewriter. One tent and other camping equipments, sports equipment, such as fishing outfit, tennis racket, one golf set (14 pieces) etc. To avoid misuse of the above allowance, passengers are advised not to bring these items in its original package.


Money

Visitors are not allowed to bring Indian currency into India or take it out of the country. However, you may bring an unlimited amount of foreign currency or traveler's cheques with you. Note that any amount exceeding USD2,500.00 must be declared on arrival in India. Most foreign currencies and traveler's cheques can be changed in the big cities. If you've been in India for more than 180 days, you must obtain a tax clearance certificate before leaving the country.

 

Medical Insurance

A good medical insurance policy is essential when visiting India, because private medical treatment can be very expensive. Be aware that health care facilities in India are limited. However, there are state-operated facilities in towns and cities, and urban areas also have private consultants and specialists.

 

Final Checklist

Following is the checklist of documents that you must carry with you while on a trip and also money which is most important.

  • Passport
  • Visas
  • Vaccination certificate
  • Travel cheques/cash
  • Emergency money
  • Debit/credit Cards
  • Driving license and ID-card
  • Address list (with phone numbers and email addresses)
  • Time tables and maps.

Generally, India is a safe country to visit. Violent crimes against tourists are unusual. Although, they are the most common targets of the petty thieves. It is always better to abide by some common rules of traveling never forgetting that you are on foreign soil. Here are some tips to make your life smooth going while in India.

 

Do not hesitate to ask for assistance, if in distress or in doubt of any kind. The people are generally helpful and warm towards the foreigners. Head for a crowded area to feel more safe and secure. Try to collect the important telephone numbers, especially help-lines and voluntary -organizations, including the numbers of police stations of the country. Consult the map to know your destination better. Do not go for transport at nights to avoid shedding of extra money that the transporter may ask for carrying it out at night instead of daytime. Enter any crowded place or a hotel, if being followed. In all probability, the stalker will give up.

 



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