- Carry your wallet and credit cards in an inside jacket pocket or side trouser pocket, never in the rear pocket.
- Keep pocketbooks (handbags) on your lap when dining out, not dangling over the back of a chair.
- Leave valuables and important papers, such as jewellery and passports in your hotel's safe deposit box. Never leave these items unattended in your room.
- Beware of unexpected persons coming to your hotel room. Never open the door to unsolicited room service or maintenance people.
- If you schedule a meeting with a potential client, research the company and the individual with whom you are meeting. Meet in a public place, such as a restaurant.
- Make sure that luggage is only given to a member of the hotel's bell staff and a receipt is issued for stored luggage. Never leave luggage or other expensive items, unattended at airports or taxi stands.
Carry Only Essentials
Taking cognisance of time, place and season of visit, carry only the most important things with you. Avoid unnecessary items like too much of eatables, bulky clothing, heavy items, etc.
Avoid carrying valuable items, wear a money belt or stitch a pocket inside your outfit to keep important documents like passport, credit cards, travellers' cheques, etc. It's always better to take photocopies of important documents and leave them with someone trustworthy. It is advised that you carry with details of important contact numbers, your age, blood group, etc, so that people may help you in the event of an emergency.
Taxis / Auto Rickshaws
Transport safety standards vary widely. You should understand the risks and plan your travel accordingly. Always book your taxi inside the airport. If you take a pre-paid taxi, pay stipulated fare while at the airport counter. After which you need not pay anything to the taxi driver.
Hordes of touts and taxi men will crowd around you and offer to take you wherever you need to go. You are very likely to get overcharged upon reaching your destination. You are not expected to tip taxis. If you are unsure about the cost conversions - which are usually one and a half times to twice what the meter reads, you can always ask for a meter card from the driver.
- It is best to visit Indian plains during cooler months from November to March.
- For a visit to mountainous regions of India, the months of April to October are better suited.
Food and Health
- Indian cuisine is a tad too spicy for European and American taste buds. Indulge in the gastronomical delights only if you have the stomach for it. Also, there are plenty of non-spicy cuisines and delicacies to choose from.
- You may occasionally need insect repellent cream. If you are allergic to dust, be sure to carry medication with you. Sunscreen is another must-have.
- Bargaining is the norm in local bazaars selling products without a written price. Resist the urge to buy without comparing prices from shops selling similar stuff.
- Be wary of roadside peddlers trying to sell you semi-precious and precious gems and jewelry. Visit state emporia and the Central Cottage Industries Emporia (most major cities have one) for fixed prices and a fair idea of the cost with a regular dealer.
- Trading in ivory, fur, animal skins, antiquities and the like is illegal. If you must have it, obtain a certificate of legitimate sale and permission for export before leaving the country.
- Public display of affection is not appreciated and neither is public nudity unless perhaps one is at a beach.
- One is expected to cover the head before entering a religious place such as a temple or mosque.
- Ask for permission before clicking pictures of women and religious complexes. Some places charge for taking pictures while it is prohibited at a few places as well.
Do's and Don'ts
- Do carry attested photocopies of your travel documents and keep the originals in a safely locked baggage.
- Do fill up a Currency Declaration Form along and a Disembarkation Card besides making an oral declaration of the luggage you are carrying.
- Do not smoke in public places.
- Do not give money to beggars