The Ultimate Guide to Traveling in India – India Travel Blog Experts Share Their Secrets

When planning to visit India there are so many things to take into consideration. I was extremely nervous about traveling in India for the first time. I read a lot, but also took things a little safe. Maybe a little too safe for an India tour. I wanted to make others feel more comfortable about visiting some of the amazing places to travel in India. The goal of this India travel blog is to offer a comprehensive look at what it’s like to go traveling in India.

We paired our own India travel blog advice with advice from local Indian bloggers and international travel blog experts to put together the ultimate guide to traveling in India. My travel experience to India is limited. That’s why I sought advice from these travel blogs. India seems to be a passion for many of them. And, why limit advice on a trip to India to only my travel experiences when we can learn from some of the best travel blogs out there. We include travel tips on the best places to visit in India, regardless of whether you are a luxury traveler or a budget traveler, or a family traveler, or a solo traveler, whether you are traveling to North India or South India. We cover it all, including recommendations for India travel packages.

India Travel Blog - Traveling In India

India Travel Blog

We paired our own India travel blog advice with advice from local Indian bloggers and international travel blog experts to put together the ultimate guide to traveling in India. My travel experience to India is limited. That’s why I sought advice from these travel blogs. India seems to be a passion for many of them. And, why limit advice on a trip to India to only my travel experiences when we can learn from some of the best travel blogs out there. We include travel tips on the best places to visit in India, regardless of whether you are a luxury traveler or a budget traveler, or a family traveler, or a solo traveler, whether you are traveling to North India or South India. We cover it all, including recommendations for India travel packages.

My Trip to India

Private Taj Mahal TourThere was a reason why we procrastinated on traveling in India for the first time. It is a place that is hard to travel and even harder to understand. From our very first experience taking a driving tour with an Indian guide in Southern Mumbai, and escaping the comfort and safety of the car to see the Gateway to India. To the end of our trip, when we explored Jaipur on our own and started to feel more comfortable with traveling in India. We felt like we understood India a little more by the end of our trip.

That said, it doesn’t make it any easier to wrap my head around our experience. It’s one of the reasons why I wanted to put together this ultimate India Travel Blog guide. To rely on others to round out the experiences that we had. Because some of the best trips to India involve ones where travelers are prepared!

Be Prepared! Grab This India Guide Book!

Traveling in India for the First Time

Before we started our India tours and travels, we had prior preconceptions about what travel in India is like. I think a lot of people do. It’s why we opted to travel in comfort, and with a reliable hotel brand – Marriott. I expected to receive a lot of negative comments about how we traveled India, I expected I would get flack from budget travelers and backpackers in India who felt like we were not seeing the “real” India. I didn’t. Perhaps there are a good number of people out there who agreed with me, that traveling in India is something that can be accomplished in a comfortable way. Particularly for a first-time traveler to India.

There is more to planning a trip to India than simply researching where to go in India and what to do in India. It’s why this India Travel Blog does more than make those recommendations (although we do that do). I wanted to provide travelers with advice on how to feel comfortable traveling in India, whether they are traveling solo, are female, are bringing kids, are traveling in luxury, or traveling on a budget.  All of these travel profiles are covered below, along with recommendations on the best tourist destinations in India, and how to explore even deeper.

Best Places to Visit in India

Private Taj Mahal TourThere are so many places to visit in India, some of them are more touristy and well known than others. Some of the best tourist places in India can be the more accessible places, depending on the traveler’s sense of adventure. For first time visitors, a Golden Triangle India tour is the perfect way to start. This triangle of cities includes some of the top tourist attractions in India.

India’s Golden Triangle includes New Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur, three cities that are all within driving distance to one another. And, it includes the world famous Taj Mahal. We took a private Taj Mahal tour too. This is where we focused our attention on the top things to see in India. And it’s where many first time travelers to India focus. And, that’s understandable. But, some of the best India tours are those that go behind the Golden Triangle, to explore India deeper. There is so much more on the list of what to see in India!

Book one of the most popular tours of the Golden Triangle in India – 4 days from $225

South India Tour Recommendations

Traveling in India - India Travel Blog - Kerala Backwater

In this “mini” South India travel guide, we offer suggestions on some top places to travel in the south, as well as some South India tour packages to help travelers plan their journey.


Sarah from ASocialNomad recommends Kerala for some of the best southern India travels. If there is an area that truly epitomizes Kerala and South India tourism, then it is the backwaters. Lush, green, slow-moving, and teeming with life, this is where you’ll find houseboats powered only by human endeavor. There are luxurious multi-room houseboats and ferries transporting a combination of Keralans going about their daily lives all along with tourists exploring the region.

Perhaps the quietest way to explore Kerala’s Backwaters is to take a houseboat where your only power through the water the is the man who punts you long. It certainly the most peaceful. Larger, more luxurious houseboats are found in their hundreds and thousands in Allepy. That’s also where you’ll find the ferries. It’s possible to take a ferry from Allepy to Kanjiram for less than 25 U.S. cents if all you want to experience is the ferry.  A further tourist ferry will transport you from Allepy to Kollam, where you can catch a bus (or two) to Varkala for a whopping 400 rupees for the 8-hour trip.

Whichever way you choose to see Kerala’s backwaters, you’ll get a glimpse into rural Keralan life. And, you’ll get stunning photographs of South India travel and hopefully meet some of the people who make up this wonderful part of India.

Looking for a little bit of comfort from Kerala tour packages? Book this Day Trip on a Kerala Houseboat – From $80. Or, book a Private 6-Day Kerala Backwaters Tour

North India Tour Recommendations

North India tourism is often dominated by Golden Triangle tours. But there is more to North India travel, particularly for travelers seeking something a little more adventurous.

New Delhi

New Delhi may be one of the most popular cities to visit in India, particularly because it is one of the primary hubs for flights to India. But, Dana from Adventures With Children offered some recommendations for some unique things to do in Delhi. From famous temples, heritage sites, performances, shopping, and world-class dining, there is plenty to keep any traveler busy in New Delhi!

India Travel Blog - Traveling In India - New Delhi

Dana love to slow things down a bit and wander around the beautiful (and free) public parks. Two of her favorite parks in Delhi – Lodhi Gardens and Sunder Nursery, are located right next to Humayun’s Tomb – which was recently restored and is an absolute must see! In the parks, I enjoy the green spaces, water features and most of all – the massive, beautiful, preserved historical buildings – many of which are designated as UNESCO world heritage sites.

Book this Delhi tour of Humayun’s Tomb with Breakfast – From $70 – Escorted Tours of India

If you want to do more than walk around and admire the architecture, sunrise yoga and meditation classes are popular with tourists and locals in Lodhi Gardens. If you’re a foodie, a local restaurant leads foraging tours through the park. Afterward, a meal using the foraged ingredients is served family style. In Sunder Nursery, micro-habitats were designed as an educational resource for kids, so it’s a great place for families. Dana recommends that to avoid crowds at all sites in Delhi, plan to visit early and on a weekday.


Jaipur Marriott Pink City - Traveling in IndiaAnother popular destination when planning the best trip to India is Rajasthan, in the north. Cat, from Walk My World, recommends visiting Jaipur and surrounding Rajasthan. When visiting Rajasthan, it’s easy to understand why it’s known as “the Land of Kings”. The main attractions in the desert state of India are the incredible forts and palaces.

The entry point for most travelers will be Jaipur. The “Pink City” is a great place to get to grips with Rajasthan, taking in both the Amber and Nahargarh Forts that dominate the skyline. Continuing the color theme, move onto Jodhpur: the blue city. Here all the narrow alleys are washed in bright blue paint and it’s possible to take it all in from one of the largest forts in India, Mehrangarh. From here move onto Udaipur, Cat’s favorite city in Rajasthan.  The ‘city of lakes’ is a great place to slow down the pace, it’s calmer than other Indian cities and a popular way to spend the day is rooftop café hopping.

Keeping with Cat’s colored city theme, Campbell from Stingy Nomads recommends another city in Rajasthan – Jaisalmer, the “Golden City.” Jaisalmer is a former medieval trading center in the heart of the Thar Desert in the Indian state of Rajasthan. A popular activity when traveling in Rajasthan is to go on a camel safari in the desert.  Riding a camel is very different from a horse and after two days it was exactly as uncomfortable as it was right at the start. But, the landscape was lovely and the night sky spectacular. Campbell’s favorite part was sleeping outside, under the sky, and making coffee on the fire in the sand dunes at sunrise.

Book this One Night Jaisalmer Desert Camel Safari – From $95

Spiti Valley

India Travel Blog - Traveling in India - Spiti

For something even more off the beaten path, Aditi from Travelogue Connect recommends exploring Kinnaur and Spiti Valley. It certainly seems to be a world away from New Delhi.

Kinnaur and Spiti is a Himalayan destination, where Spiti means the “Middle Land” between India and Tibet. It is raw and untouched natural beauty, and a challenging journey and one not likely to be found on typical India vacation packages. And, the region was named as the Best in Travel 2018 by Lonely Planet. It remains untouched by mass tourism and boasts one of the world’s highest drivable and inhabited villages. And in this area is one of the most dangerous roads in the world (talk about adventure travel in India). The best time to visit in between July and October, when the roads are open and the weather is favorable.

During a tour of Kinnaur and Spiti, it’s possible to visit the last inhabited village in India before the China border, one of the coldest places in India, a 550-year old mummy, and the world’s highest post office!

Book this 5 Day Tour of Spiti with Viator – travel India tours From $800


Traveling in India - India Travel Blog - Ladakh

Andra, from Our World to Wander takes things up a notch, by suggesting a trek in Ladakh, one of India’s hidden gems. Nestled in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, its capital, Leh, sits at around 11,500ft. and provides the starting point for exploring this incredible region also known as The Land of High Passes.

The best way to discover Ladakh and its Tibetan influenced culture is by trekking and doing homestays in remote villages. There are numerous opportunities for trekking, from easy 3-4-day treks to even three-week stunning treks. All of them will provide breathtaking views of the mountain ranges, as well as the peace and quiet found in remote places. Remember that the best season for trekking in Ladakh is June to September. So plan accordingly if you want to enjoy good weather and trail conditions.

Central India Tour Recommendations

Traveling in India - PuneYes, some of the top places to go in India are in what could be considered “Central India,” including Mumbai. But this is an area of the country that sometimes gets overshadowed by travel destination in the north and south. But, this center part of the country also offers some amazing places to see in India.


Jacky from Nomad Epicurean recommends visiting Pune. Pune is one of those cities many overlook on an all India tour. However, it is also one of the most exciting cities in Maharashtra and India in general. Once the base of the Maratha Empire, Pune is rich in history and culture. It is home to historic monuments such as the Shaniwar Wada as well as a selection of great museums. Pune is also known for one of the country’s biggest ashrams, Osho International Meditation Resort, a fairly popular tourist destination. Apart from history and spiritualism, Pune is also great for eating and drinking, thanks to its buzzing restaurant and cafe scene. And if that weren’t enough, Pune is the perfect base for exploring the lush green Western Ghats, a mountain range older than the Himalayas and designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Thinking of traveling to Pune? Check out this Full Day Cultural Tour of Pune – From $150


This next recommendation is in north-central India, close to Bangladesh. Rashmi and Chalukya from Go Beyond Bounds recommend Kolkata, the capital city of West Bengal, in eastern India. It is set on the banks of the Hooghly River. The city is well known for the marvelous Victorian architecture from colonial times, delicious cuisine, and the grand Durga Puja festival.

The major points of interest one should not miss on a visit to Kolkata are the Victoria Memorial, Howrah Bridge, two magnificent temples of Dakshineswar Kali and Belur Math and the Indian Museum. Durga Puja is one of the grand Indian festivals but no city celebrates it like in Kolkata. Colossal idols of goddess Durga beautifully and gracefully decorated are placed in pandals throughout the city and worshipped. The festival usually falls in September-October if you are planning to visit. If you visit in earlier months you should visit the neighborhood of Kumartuli Idol Makers where you can watch the artisans sculpting the idols.

India Tour Packages With Prices

To help find the best tour packages in India, we’ve come up with some recommended tours to help with planning.

All India tour packages included below are recommended tours with Viator. There are several companies to choose from when planning a visit to holiday destinations in India. Many tour companies require back and forth e-mails and phone calls, sometimes to India. Using a company like Viator means there is an immediate confirmation, which makes India travel planning that much easier.

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Tourism in India

“Incredible India” has so much to offer every traveler, but to make the most of any India tour, it’s important to consider the type of traveler you are. The remainder of our India travel tips are focused on the type of travel at hand – luxury or budget, family or solo, adventure or wildlife.

Luxury India Tours

traveling in India - India luxury travelOf course, there is no best way to travel India, but for travelers who are inexperienced, or have the means, a luxury India tour is the perfect way to experience the hospitality of India, with a little more comfort. And, there are a variety of ways to spend an India vacation in a bit of comfort. Merely by staying at a luxury hotel, the experience of traveling India can be enjoyable. Or, it’s possible to hire an India travel guide and driver to make the journey easier. My trip to India was similar. We stayed at Marriott properties, in style, and booked a series of day trips through Viator in order to see the sites, also in comfort and in good hands.

But, luxury trips to India can go above and beyond my trip to India. It’s possible to experience every level of luxury travel. India offers it all. Angie from Feet Do Travel had a great luxury India experience. Much like us, her husband braced for the difficulties faced by independent travel in India. They figured to make their trip more comfortable, they booked an organized tour.

She said it was the best decision they made. A luxury Golden Triangle with Tiger Safari Tour around Rajasthan that included Ranthamborne National Park. It was a-maze-ing! One of the best adventures of their lives. They didn’t have to worry about a thing, the travel, plush accommodation and restaurant choices were all included. Their Indian guide would also shield them from persistent hawkers, and help us with haggling. All we had to do was show up, and marvel at the beauty of Rajasthan (and we did plenty of that!).

We left India with very special memories, endeared to the warmth of its beautiful people.

Backpacking India

India Travel Blog - Traveling in india - Backpacking India

From luxury travel through India to backpacking India. It’s probably one of the most popular things to do in India, particularly for young travelers. And, because I haven’t slung a backpack in many years, I relied on advice from our expert India travel blogs to set the stage and provide better advice than I could on this part of traveling in India.

Patrick from Germany Backpacker travel blog loved backpacking in India alone! He spent several months backpacking around India. While some people seem to be a bit scared of traveling in India by themselves, he had a very good experience. Sure – India is not as easy and convenient for a backpacking trip compared to Thailand, but if you already got some travel experience in Asia, it’s a lot less intimidating. Here are some of Patrick’s top tips for backpacking in India alone:

  • Be flexible, patient and have enough time. In India, everything takes a bit longer and you should avoid having a crazy and packed schedule. If you don’t have that much time for your tour in India, rather focus on one area or region instead of trying to squeeze the whole country into just a few weeks. Distances are long, and it will take you time to move around the country.
  • If hesitant about backing in India during your first visit, visit the southern area (e.g. Kerala) first. Southern India is richer, more developed, and more organized than the chaotic north. While the northern parts (e.g. Rajasthan) were the highlight of my India trip, backpacking around these places is a little bit more exhausting.

India Travel Blog - Traveling in India - Backpacking in India

Nicole from Travelgal Nicole offers some similar advice for backpacking in India, particularly when traveling on a train. And, if backpacking, then that means a lot of train and bus travel in India. Of course, as Patrick says, plan extra time. There are so many beautiful places in India to visit and Nicole thinks it is particularly useful to know ahead of time what you are getting into as far as transport so that you do not get upset when things do not go to plan.

But, her number one tip for backpacking via train is to book train tickets a week in advance and book the sleeper class.  Trains in India are hot, packed, and extremely long rides. Once you have stepped foot in the general class and been shoved in with thousands of other people you will truly appreciate that small sleeper bed to lie down and put your bags on it and know it was worth the extra cost. Sounds like Nicole and I would get along – she’s looking for a little bit of luxury travel, even when backpacking.

Traveling in India - India Travel Blog - Trekking in Spiti

Similar to Aditi from Travelogue Connect, Somnath from Travel Crusade also recommends a Spiti Valley trek, which was one of the best achievements of his travel life. He drove from Manali to Kaza Valley with a friend to see green meadows, high altitude lakes, and the amazing landscape of Himachal Pradesh. During his visit to Spiti, he hiked along the Pin Parvati route and saw the monasteries along the way.

His main tip about backpacking in India is to take it all in and to appreciate the landscape and the essence of nature in this part of the world. He also recommends trekking in India in the colder, winter months, when the skies are mostly clear. Plus, be prepared to go backpacking with a reputed trekking company, particularly for a trip for more than 7 days. Carry all your hiking gear and accessories required for the trip too.

Family Travel in India

Family Travel in India - Traveling in India with a family

Obviously, I cannot provide personal India travel advice when it comes to traveling with kids. I imagine it would be a challenge. Sally from Our 3 Kids V The World agrees. She was a bit concerned about traveling in India with her three children. Their travels in India were part of a project with Scoot Airlines on travel to Jaipur, where they wanted to film Sally and her family. Even so, she questioned how to travel India with children, and was, of course, concerned about them getting sick too.

They did a short trip to Agra for the kids to see the Taj Mahal. She took precautions to ensure the kids didn’t get sick. Hand sanitizer helped with germs. And, her children actually took India very much in stride. The kids occasionally were asked for a photo by curious Indians, but it wasn’t as overwhelming as others have reported. In fact, the kids loved travel and tourism in India, and ate everything in sight!

Honeymoon Destinations in India

Traveling in India - Honeymoon in India


The India travel advice above is a good start on choosing where to go in India, but for honeymooners, India can offer some surprisingly romantic destinations for more adventurous honeymooners. As for us, we traveled to Jamaica for our honeymoon, many many moons ago. We were novice travelers and hadn’t really traveled anywhere. I like to think that if we were married later in life, perhaps we would have chosen one of the top honeymoon places in India, including Goa.

An Indian honeymoon can involve a mix of adventure, relaxing on a beach, and of course, romance. And, Kathryn, from Travel With Kat, thinks Goa is all about romance! With palm-backed white-sand beaches, brightly painted heritage homes, bougainvillea tumbling over every wall, temples, churches, and jungles to explore, Goa is a colorful, laid-back location for a honeymoon. But, any honeymoon Indian honeymoon needs an amazing hotel.

Kat recommends a few of the top hotels in Goa for honeymooners. If you are looking for the height of luxury, The Leela in Mobor is an impressive large hotel set in 75 acres of gardens and lagoons leading down to a stunning beach. It’s reputedly the most luxurious hotel in Goa. The Nilaya Hermitage in Arpora, with just 13 beautiful rooms scattered through the grounds has an air of exclusivity and an off the beaten track vibe. It the perfect place to unwind for those who love quiet meditation, yoga and walks through the jungle.

In contrast, Casa Anjuna is a welcoming former heritage home in Anjuna with antique furnishings in each of the 24 unique rooms. While not as luxurious as some Goan hotels, it oozes character and charm with a feeling of stepping back in time.

Indian Honeymoon Hotels in Goa

We recommend for hotel bookings in India because they offer great prices and an amazing inventory of hotels. Here are Kat’s recommended Goa hotels:

Some of these hotels offer honeymoon packages in India as well.

Traveling in India - Indian honeymoon Kodaikanal


Priya offers a different Indian honeymoon destination, quite different from Goa. Kodaikanal is a breathtaking hill station in Tamilnadu, in southern India, fondly called by the locals as ‘the princess of hills’. It is popular as a summer retreat, but honeymooners claim it as their own even when the temperatures are super low.

There are amazing places to visit here like Coaker’s Walk, Pillar Rocks, Silent Valley, Berijam forest and lake, Dolphin’s Nose, Silver Cascade Falls and Bryant Park. But, it’s got some cool, romantic hotels as well. The Carlton is a luxury hotel that is located conveniently close to the beautiful Kodai lake and its boathouse. It is also just a few minutes walk from Coaker’s Walk, Bryant Park, and a few other lovely Kodaikanal attractions. Very romantic – an Indian honeymoon above the clouds.

Adventure Tourism in India

For many travelers, an adventure in India can mean just arriving in the country! It can be an overwhelming destination. But there is certainly no shortage of opportunities for adventure travel. India being such a diverse country, there is plenty on offer for any traveler looking to plan an adventure trip in India.

India Travel Blog - Traveling In India - Rickshaw Rally

Looking for an extreme adventure in India? What about a rickshaw race across the country. That’s just how Ric from Global Gaz spent his Indian travels – driving 2000 kilometers across India in a 7-horsepower rickshaw. The rickshaw is a semi-open, three-wheeled vehicle that is quite versatile but was never built for cross-country road trips. The engine revs, but it sounds like a lawnmower.  A puff of smoke coughs out. The rickshaw lurches forward.

The Travel Scientists are definitely one of the more “unique” tour operators in India. They organize five different rickshaw events a year in India with different routes and lengths. While competing against other teams in the rally, you are also competing against India.  India with all of its magnificence also throws a lot at you.  The adventure begins with incessant monsoon rains, blistering 40 degree sun-drenched days, and horrific traffic which will haunt you in your dreams after a 15 hour day driving in the rickshaw. If looking for adventure in India, this is it! So much so, that Ric even made a full-length documentary of this amazing India adventure called Hit The Road: India.

Hit The Road: India
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Wildlife Tours India

Traveling in India - Wildlife ToursI never would associate wildlife tours with India, certainly not as much as I think of an African safari, or exploring the Amazon. But, this is one type of adventure tour in India that is great for animal lovers. Wendy, from World Wide Wendy shared her experience with wildlife tours in Rajasthan India. She’s a real fan of wildlife, particularly after having many close encounters with the big five in Africa. But, she wanted to see a tiger in the wild (who doesn’t?).

India is one of the few places where you can go on a tiger safari.  Wendy booked a tent in The Oberoi Vanyavilas, an over-the-top luxury tented camp.  A driver and guide picked her up at the hotel every morning at 6 am and every afternoon at 4 pm. The nature in Ranthambore National Park is not as beautiful as the landscapes she enjoyed in Africa, but the first (of 4) close encounters with a majestic tiger was absolutely worth it.

Words can’t describe how impressive a tiger is. Huge and strong, but so elegant and relaxed. Wendy suggests April is the best time to see a tiger. It’s dry and hot, so the tigers are often spending their day near the water.  If you want to make your holiday unforgettable, book a tent in the Oberoi.

Book a 4 day Ranthambore National Park Safari – India Packages From $450

Nisha from Lemonicks also recommends visiting a tiger reserve in India. When she talks about wildlife in India, Kanha National park in Madhya Pradesh comes to her mind first. The national park is a popular tiger reserve and is one of the finest wildlife areas in the world. No wonder, the bamboo forests, lush grassy meadows, and ravines of Kanha inspired Rudyard Kipling for his famous book “Jungle Book“. It’s possible to explore the park during a jeep jungle safari to get close to all of the wildlife, including tigers and more.

Hop a flight from Mumbai or Delhi to Jabalpur, and book this 3 Day India Wildlife Tour in Kanha – From $524

Get an India Travel Book: DK Eyewitness India Travel Guide

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Is India Safe? 

One of the most asked questions when it comes to India travel advice: Is India Safe? Like any country, it’s important to take precautions, and be aware of surroundings, particularly during a solo trip in India, or when traveling as a woman.

And, as with any travel advice, we can not guarantee that nothing will happen for travelers going to India. For up-to-date India travel advisory information, check the Indian embassy in your country. For US travelers, check the US State Department Travel Advisory site. That’s one of the best places to confirm the current status of traveling in India. But, in the end, everyone has to answer is it safe to travel to India for themselves, based on their prior travel experience and comfort level.

Traveling Alone in India

One of the most rewarding ways to see a country can be solo travel. India offers one of the most unique destinations for solo travelers.

Miguel from Travelsauro runs and adventure and solo travel blog. And, he offered some tips for solo travel in India. And, because some of the best places for solo travel in India can be a little, well, rough around the edges, his tips vary:

  • Book at least the first hotel night because the Indian authorities will expect an address for your India tour in order to let you into the country.
  • Splurge on some of the more popular hostels, so that you can meet other solo travelers.
  • Similarly, splurge on a bed when traveling India by train, because theft is pretty common in third class train compartments.
  • Unlike other areas in Asia, Miguel recommends bringing closed-toe shoes because sometimes the streets can be pretty dirty.
  • Watch for scams! Here’s a typical India travel scam. If you are going to buy a bus or train ticket, it’s likely that someone will approach you saying that there are no more tickets left, and he’ll try to take you to an agency. Then, they’ll try to sell you private tours or expensive tickets.

Traveling in India as a Woman

Traveling in India as a Woman

I’m lucky enough to travel, obviously, With Husband In Tow. And, there is a benefit to traveling with a 6′ 4″ giant. I generally feel safe wherever I travel. But, not everyone has a partner in crime to travel with. Nor does a woman need their own personal travel giant to feel comfortable traveling, even in a country like India. But, when wondering is India safe to travel for women, it’s important to keep in mind some travel tips. Even with my giant at my side, there were times I felt uncomfortable.

Alex from Lost With Purpose offers her own tips for solo travel in India as a female. Traveling as a woman in India can be intimidating and it’s not always easy, but trust Alex when she says: India is an incredibly rewarding travel destination if you give it the chance. Yes, even for women.

She spent more than one year traveling in India both on her own and with friends, and in that time she picked up a few tricks to stay safe and keep the “creepers” at bay. The most effective solution is also the most simple: ignore (bad) men. Don’t even make eye contact. They do not exist, and you do not have to acknowledge them… unless they touch you inappropriately, in which case you should slap them! If a man is harassing you, put your stone face on and keep on walking. Don’t feel bad about it—they deserve it.
India Travel Blog - Traveling In India - Solo Travel

Claudia from My Adventures Across the World recommends Varanasi as one of the best places for solo travel in India. The city is hopelessly chaotic, yet incredibly charming. It’s one of the most touristic places in the country, attracting international travelers as well as multitudes of Indians who visit for religious purposes. Among the best tips for solo female travelers is to stay in the Old Town, where they are likely to meet other like-minded travelers and to dress appropriately. It’s better to wear long skirts or loose pants and to cover arms and shoulders: this will avoid many a stare. Also, remember that Varanasi is an important holy place for Hindus and that it is strictly forbidden to take photographs of the funeral ceremonies.

Gay Travel in India

India Travel Blog - Traveling in India- Gay Travel India

When researching this India travel blog, I knew I wanted advice about solo travel to India, and advice on traveling as a woman in India. But, another one of the issues that arise for travelers is whether it is safe for the LGBTQ community to travel in India. We asked our friends, Stefan and Sebastian from Nomadic Boys to share their experiences on traveling in India, as well as their advice for other gay travelers to India.

Stefan and Seb loved traveling in India, even though it is a country that doesn’t appear too gay-friendly at first. In 2013, the Supreme Court upheld a colonial law, dating back to 1861, that banned sex between two consenting men. This decision is currently being challenged.

Despite homosexuality being illegal in India, there is a large LGBTQ community in many of the big cities, including Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore, and Pondicherry. There are also annual Pride events and even some gay bars and clubs. In Mumbai, Stefan recommends parties organized by Salvation Star. In Bangalore ,there’s Pink Sky Bar and the Chin Lung resto-bar. And, in Delhi, there’s the Depot resto-bar, the PDA Martini Bar, and The Lalit, which each offer gay parties particular nights each week.

They even have a gay India Prince who is courting the international community, raising awareness for LGBTQ rights in IndiaOther gay events in India to look out for include Mumbai’s annual “Kashish Mumbai International Queer Film Festival,” which draws the likes of Sir Ian McKellen, and even a gay pageant event to determine who’ll represent Mr. India at the annual Mr. Gay World Pageant.

Check out Nomadic Boys advice on gay travel in India for more tips.

FAQs About India Travel

Jaipur Marriott Pink City - Traveling in IndiaSomething we didn’t cover above? Well, here are some last tidbits and advice about traveling in India. Our goal here is to provide the best advice we can to help travelers plan trips in India, with as little hassle as possible.

  • Where can I book the best flights to India? One of our favorite airlines is Emirates, which offers flights from the US, many cities in Europe, and Asia as well, normally with a connection in Dubai. Emirates flies to Delhi, Mumbai, and several other cities in India. We’ve flown Emirates business class, and economy class, on some pretty long flights, and always have a great experience. We also recommend using Travelocity to find great flight deals no matter your starting country.
  • Is it necessary to book India tour packages? There are plenty of travelers to India who are comfortable with independent travel. And, as much as I love to travel independently throughout most of Asia, I was happy to schedule a series of day trips when traveling in India, and was happy to book them before we arrived. Is it necessary? No. But, it can provide a lot of comfort and result in a much smoother travel experience, particularly for a first-time traveler in India.
  • How can I get an India tourist visa? India does require travelers from some countries to obtain an India travel visa, even for leisure travel. We obtained our India visitor visa from the Indian embassy in the US, and it is good for a full 10 years! Of course, these requirements depend on your country of citizenship and country of residence. More recently, India introduced more simple requirements for US citizens, who can now apply for an e-visa. Learn more here.
  • When is the best time to travel to India? India has a reputation of being hot year round. But, being such a big country, the decision of when to travel to India depends not only on the season, but on your destination in India. Some areas, particularly in the north, can get colder than many travelers would anticipate.
  • Who are the best tour operators in India? For day trips, we recommend Viator for both day trips and multi-day journeys. There are many tourism companies in India, but there are also some global travel companies, with great reputations, who can provide amazing and authentic experiences traveling in India. Both G Adventures and Intrepid are travel companies in India that offer adventure travel and comfort travel experiences.
  • How much would a trip to India cost? There are plenty of travel bloggers who swear that you can travel India on $10 a day. I’m sure they are not lying. The Marriott hotels we stayed at ranged from $75-$125 a night, and we felt like we were staying in the lap of luxury. The thing about India is you can spend as little, or as much as you want, depending on your budget. That said, overall, India is one of the more budget friendly destinations in Asia.

*This post contains compensated links. Find more info in my DISCLAIMER.

And thank you to all of our India travel blog contributors!

For more information about India, see our India Travel Guide, for information on accommodations, what to eat, and tours to book.

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17 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide to Traveling in India – India Travel Blog Experts Share Their Secrets

  1. Lisa says:

    Very interesting post. We decided not to go to India in light of our own preconceived notions about the country (and the advice of an Indian friend). Perhaps doing it your way will be in our cards in the future (once we accumulate more hotel points…).

    • Amber H. says:

      Even without points, I think the hotels were at a good value, with many of the rooms a little over $100, for a 5 star property. But, definitely consider it if you are Marriott points people! Good luck.

  2. Carly says:

    I really don’t think you need to apologise/feel bad for travelling like a ‘regular’ tourist using guides and comfortable hotels. Isn’t that more normal? There’s nothing wrong with taking tours, having experienced, knowledgeable guides and enjoying a destination in your own way. If anything, its closer to the everyday experience – you don’t have to sleep in a slum and force yourself beyond your comfort zone to have an ‘authentic’ experience. Anyone who says differently is just a travel snob! Sounds like you guys had a great time, can’t wait to hear about it.

  3. Susan says:

    I feel the same way! I always say that you can never describe India as nice – it is all the adjectives in the world all combined into one! And yes! Everyone should go!!

  4. Francesca (@WorkMomTravels) says:

    You’ve pretty much explained why I’ve never had much desire to go to India. The way you did it, though, for your first trip, probably made the introduction a lot easier so that you did end up wanting more. Now when (if) you go back, perhaps you can venture a bit more out of your comfort zone (if that’s what you want to do). Who cares what other people say about the way you traveled India. You went and that’s more than a lot of people can say.

    • Amber H. says:

      Thanks for your thoughts Francesca. I think we will return, and in particular want to explore the south and Lucknow. We hope to be able to travel the same way we did on this trip though!

  5. pragati says:

    What a candid and detailed post. I like that you have explained the rationale behind your impressions or feelings.

    I think what you did was very wise and realistic. As you mention, riding trains and metros is not everyone’s cup of tea. I am amazed at some travelers who brave the crowds seeking adventure. But to each his own.

    Chain hotels are good to get some expected service and comfort. Having said that, the JW being the flagship is quite highly priced in local currency. It is definitely a luxury brand in India.

    My country is diverse and complex to say the least :).

    • Amber H. says:

      I agree that the JW is a luxury brand in India, but in comparison to JW hotels elsewhere in the world, their property in Mumbai is such a good deal! Thanks for your kind words on my post.

  6. Michael Andrade says:

    “Our hotels were mostly airport hotels, and we ate most of our meals in the hotel.”

    Sorry, but you did not experience India.

  7. David says:

    Nice Post on India., Good stuff. We spent 4 weeks in India on a whirlwind itinerary visiting 6 different regions yet only really scratching the surface of this complex and diverse country.

  8. Phil M says:

    Really enjoyed the read here. India is great, isn’t it. I’m gearing up for my next photo tour. What’s your recommendation for a hotel in Delhi?

  9. Rose Clara says:

    I had visited India this year and so Taj Mahal. I fall in love with indian culture and traditions, though cuisine is little spicy. Thank you so much for making me experience India again through your informative blog.

  10. Clint says:

    Interesting perspective. India really is geared toward the more “take it as it comes traveller”. It is chaotic however within the chaos there is a system which makes it like no other place (that I’ve experienced). I do agree with the comment that every adjective can be used to describe India and I believe this is what makes it so incredible.

  11. Cat says:

    This is the most comprehensive blog post I have ever read! Lots of inspiration and food for thought on such a fascinating country 🙂

  12. shweta says:

    Great post, India is definitely a gorgeous country with an excellent assortment of culture and traditions. The places you have written about should be in every travelers list. Thanks for compiling a complete travel guide to India.

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