Ensure that you are adequately insured for the entire duration of your travel arrangements with regard to illness, injury, loss of baggage and personal belongings
Check in / out times:
Hotels in India generally observe 12.00 noon as check-in & Check-out time. If your arrival or departure is before or after noon, There may be any additional charges levied by the hotel.
Baggage is at owner's risk and only covered by any personal Travel Insurance Policy held by the traveller.
Passport / Visa:
All travellers need a Visa to enter India. Most Tourist visas are issued for six months and are valid from the date of issue NOT from the date that you arrive in India. Your passport must have at least 6 months validity after your return home for the Embassy to issue a Visa. Please ensure you are fully aware of the new Visa regulation procedures for India, introduced recently.
Being vaccinated is a very personal decision. Some people prefer to be covered for everything that might happen and others prefer not to have anything more than is absolutely necessary. There are also homeopathic alternatives to conventional vaccinations. There is a lot of information on the internet about vaccinations but it is always best to combine your own research with the sound advice of your own doctor or a specialist traveller's medical centre .
It is strongly recommended to have travel insurance to cover you for all eventualities while travelling.
The climate in India is generally warm and can be humid. However there is a vast range of climatic conditions throughout the country and at different times of year. In the north of the country, the 'winter' months from December to February can be decidedly cool and a light woollen jumper and jacket are essential.
In theory, all exchange rates are set by the central government so there is very little advantage in 'shopping around' to get a better rate. In most cases it is easiest to change money at your hotel as this is a safe and controlled environment. The most widely accepted currencies are US Dollars, British Pounds and the Euro with Australian Dollars and major Asian currencies not far behind.
Many people now prefer to use Automatic Teller Machines using an account linked to a Visa Card; these are plentiful in all major tourist towns and cities. It definitely pays to check with your bank at home before you leave to ascertain exactly what charges you will incur by withdrawing money from an ATM in India.
Most shops accept Credit Cards for larger purchases.
You can change money on arrival at the airport. When you change money you will be given an Encashment Certificate. You need to keep at least one of these for when you leave India if you have Rupees left over and want to change them back into 'hard' currency at the airport
From the moment you arrive you will see that India runs on tipping, from the person who carries your bag, delivers your food or drives your vehicle. Many quality hotels are now implementing a 'centralised' tipping system. This is a much more equitable way of sharing out the tips as there are often dozens of staff in a hotel (cooks, gardeners, laundry people etc) who you never see, meaning that the front office and room staff get the vast majority of the tips. Please look out for a box on the reception desk at the time you check in. If you tip a total of 100-200 rupees per day in such a place this would be fine, although perhaps a little more in 5 star establishments. In restaurants you shall work on 10% of the total bill as a reasonable tip. There is no set amount as is the case in other countries.
Telephones and Email:
Many mobile phone companies around the world offer global roaming which may work while you are in India. If you rely on your phone for important contacts, business reasons etc, it pays to make absolutely sure that this is available for your service. Also be sure of the rates you will be charged for incoming and outgoing calls as well as for SMS/text messages.
You can find a wide range of food in India, from Multi cuisine in the hotels to all types of local dishes in the smaller restaurants along the way. If you would like to sample some of the dishes of the area you are visiting, ask your driver and they will select a good restaurant for you. If you want to sample local food the best advice is to be sensible- don't rush straight off the plane and dig into street food from the first vendor you see. Allow a few days for your stomach to adjust and then ease yourself into it. And always go to a busy vendor if eating street food- this should mean the food is fresher and if the locals are eating there then it is a good sign.