Travel Tips to Remember on Your Solo Trip in India
Updated: Jul 6, 2022
The idea of traveling alone for the first time in life is both thrilling and terrifying. It is a completely different experience that is both eye-opening and unique in its own way. It offers one an opportunity for self-reflection and growth with the joy of boundless freedom looming on for the first time. It can also feel daunting, especially if you’ve never traveled alone before.
As you travel the length and breadth of the country of India, you are greeted by diverse nuances of cuisines, faiths, arts, crafts, music, nature, lands, tribes, history, adventure sports, and countless other encounters. India has a mesmerizing combination of both the old and the new. The tips and tricks on this list are broad and thus, it will help you when you’re traveling alone for the first time in India no matter where you go or how long you travel.
Packing light can seem like a huge challenge. If you’re the kind of person who's always at the receiving end of being the one dragging your luggage, then you must reconsider that on your trip to India. The narrow but long stretches of roads in India aren’t very kind to huge and heavy luggage and while traveling alone, if your baggage becomes too heavy to carry, assistance in any form will be extremely limited.
Pack your travel documents, cash & cards carefully
Theft is a serious issue that has always plagued tourists in India so it is always advisable to keep your belongings as secure as possible at all times. You must always safeguard your travel documents, cards, and cash and this should be an important aspect of your packing. Never pack or store all of your cash and credit cards in the same bag. Split cash and cards and keep them in separate compartments of your bag and backups separately. Also, make copies of all your important documents lest you fall prey to theft or pickpocketing, and keep the business card of your hotel in your bag or wallet.
Safety first and foremost
Learn about your particular destination and its safe surroundings where you can avail yourself of assistance. Check and know if there are any areas you should avoid. Learn the safest routes to take and the best forms of public transportation. Understanding more about the area you’re visiting can help you choose lodgings with good safety ratings. When solo traveling in India, always be wary about going out by yourself at night, depending on where you are.
Research your destination
Every part of India has something to offer to anyone willing to visit but, picking the right destination can make all the difference, with some places more suited to solo travel than others. Make sure to be well-versed and acquainted with your destination before you venture out on your solo trip to any part of India. Do the required research, search through the internet, read blogs, find out people who have been to the place before, and talk to them. Getting enough information about the place beforehand is an absolute must.
Shared or communal housing
While on a solo trip in India, choosing a hostel or homestay where you are surrounded by people will likely increase your chances of meeting more like-minded people or fellow solo travelers. Not only this but staying in a hostel can also open you up to many interesting opportunities that one may miss while going solo. Also, it is considerably and comparatively safer than being in a hotel room all alone and having no one to socialize with.
Dress a Little More Reservedly
As with traveling anywhere in India where cultural customs are valued and honored, it is important to research and find out what the local dressing standards of the region are, and adhere to them. Indians can be quite reserved in this regard and dressing in provocative clothing can be seen as disrespectful to their beliefs and culture. In India’s case, modesty is of utmost importance, and for the women, keeping their shoulders and knees covered is a sign of respect to the elders. Take a scarf or a shawl when you're in India since you are expected to cover up at religious sites and temples.
Talk to the locals
An unforgettable and unique solo travel experience in India would be getting to meet and observe the local community in all the different parts of India. Locals in all the corners of India love it when tourists make effort to learn the language hence you will get to experience the love and hospitality of Indians and you might not feel so alone as you make friends along the way.
Choose public transport
While you solo travel in India, make sure to use public transportation or shared taxis for commuting from one place to another. It will give you two advantages: first, let go of the fear of hiring a rental taxi and go alone to wander the place. Second, it’s much easier to meet people if you use public transportation or a shared taxi. It is not only safe and pocket-friendly but also gives you more opportunities to meet new people.
Don’t be offended by Stares or Questions
It is very normal to get curious stares when you’re traveling around in a new country since you naturally happen to look very different from the locals. Don’t let these curious stares scare you and hinder your experience in India. In a few instances, some locals might even approach you and ask for a photo with you. If the situation makes you uncomfortable or you are not a picture person, you can politely decline and walk away. The curiosity may even be in the form of inquiries and Indians do this by way of asking a multitude of questions, some of them can be quite personal. A piece of advice would be that you do not get offended, as these are seen as more of an exercise for bonding.
Don’t trust everyone and anyone
India makes a great travel destination but like everywhere there are always places and people to look out for. Make a lot of friends, have fun, and share memories and moments with them; after all, that’s the beauty of solo trips. However, always use good judgment when meeting new people and never trust anyone completely. Be very careful about what details you choose to reveal with your newly found friends. Learn to say ‘no’ wherever required; keep your cool, and move around with confidence. However, make sure that you don’t draw a lot of attention to yourself.
Keep your friends and family informed
Staying in touch with your family and friends during your Solo travel is a must. Make sure at least one person back home is always clued into your plans. Always keep your family informed on where you are each day, your plans, and where you are heading to. Let them know that you are safe and having a good time. In order to stay in touch with friends, family, or colleagues, you must determine the kind of network services that are available at your destination beforehand.
If you want to travel but the only thing holding you back is someone to do it with, you should seriously consider going it alone. Treasure the benefits of traveling alone as it can be a healing experience and try to compensate for the difficulties. Only do what you want to do, cancel out some plans on your itinerary, wander around aimlessly, and don’t worry about what anyone else is going to think. There's no one out there to pass judgment. It’s your trip and you can experience everything you've always wanted to and be anything you want.
Getting around in India on Indian transportation like crowded public buses and trains, autorickshaws, and carriage-driven rides is an experience in itself. India is vast, and traveling around India can eat up huge portions of your time. Be sure to travel by the mentioned travel options at least once during your trip. It is a rite of passage for travelers in India and a tourist attraction in itself. It is one of the best ways to experience various local transportation in India as it accounts for a true cultural experience. Don’t miss it!