From chaotic to tranquil and beautiful to crazy, there are so many words travellers will use to describe India. And with it being such a diverse, overwhelming place, where do you even start to plan your trip to India? Below, we’ve put together 5 tips that’ll help your travel plans run smoothly – and make sure you get the most out of your holiday in one of the most intoxicating places on Earth.

1. Plan Your Route
There’s so much see in this vast space called India, which is why you’ll want to plan your route carefully so you don’t miss a thing. Think about what you’re most interested in and how you like to spend your time and tailor your trip around these aspects.

Try to be realistic about how much you’ll be able to fit into this trip, perhaps choosing to concentrate on the north or south to start with. That said – internal flights and long-distance trains are pretty inexpensive, so you can hop around the country as you wish.

2. Look for Accommodation
Once you’ve planned your route, you’ll need to find appropriate accommodation at each stopover. And as much as there is to do, you might want to try staying in each place for a least a couple of days. This will give you the chance to explore and get to know the local culture.

Yes, you might have to visit India a number of times to cover the length and breadth of it, but is that such a bad thing?

3. Escape the Crowds
You’ll want to head into all of the cities that hustle and bustle all day and night, but be sure to plan some downtime in quieter areas. This will give you the chance to recharge your batteries and stop you from becoming overwhelmed by the crowds

There are some stunning retreats throughout India, whether you want to spend a week on a beach in Kerala or several days in the countryside.

4. Pack the Right Clothes
The culture in India is relatively modest which means you should try to cover your legs and arms in order to respect this. And it’s always polite to remove your shoes before you step into someone’s home or a temple. Equally, if you’re about to enter a shop or other building where there are shoes outside, this is a key sign you should remove your own.

5. Watch What You Eat
Unfortunately, ‘Delhi belly’ isn’t a myth – nor is it limited to the poorer areas or outside swanky hotels. This means you need to be incredibly careful what you eat.

As a rule, this means avoiding tap water – including any food that may have been washed in it. Also avoid ice, ice cream and any fruit or salad you haven’t peeled for yourself. And try to give your stomach a couple of days to get used to its new environment before devouring street food and other local delicacies.

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