11 Things To Know Before Traveling To India
Originally published October 21, 2015
If you’re traveling to India, there are a few things you should be aware of before you embark on your journey. It’s controlled chaos at its best and the more informed you are the better your experience will be.
Here’s a checklist to use when planning your next trip. Can you think of anything else? Please leave a comment below:
1. Be Patient
It will all get taken care of, just not at the speed and efficiency to which you are accustomed. The bus won’t show up and others will be fine with it, except you. Just go with the flow as much as possible.
2. Get a visa before you depart if that’s the relationship your country has with India
India has expanded its visa policies over the years. Now, most countries can do a visa on arrival as long as its citizens apply online before arriving. Also, the cost has gone down drastically. Start at this Indian visa page for more details.
3. Have a printed copy of your itinerary or your onward boarding pass
You will need this to connect to any flight in another terminal or to gain access to the departure terminal for your return flight when in India. You can only access the terminal within 3 hours of your departure flight.
4. Have your hotel accommodation information sorted out
I’m the quintessential travel who usually do not have a hotel booked. However, this is something they may ask you for when traveling to India. There are some places to stay in the airports depending on which airport you use.
Ensure that you print the reservations confirmation page to show to the Immigration authorities or the hotel when you arrive.
You can book hotels from this map below.
5. Get Travel Insurance
This is really not just for India, but for all your other travels. You never know what may happen on your trips, so being prepared for the unexpected with travel insurance is a good thing. There are many different packages available from our partner Trawick International. You can buy, extend and claim online even after you’ve left home. Trawick travel insurance is designed for adventurous travelers (and traveling to India is quite the adventure :)) with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.
6. Get some Indian Rupees
Use an ATM at the airport or the currency exchange counters on your arrival. I prefer the ATMs as you will et a much better exchange rate. Ensure you do the math right though as you may take out too much money.
7. Drink bottled water
8. Be cognizant of weight restrictions especially from Mumbai (BOM)
Weight restrictions reduces the amount of seats available for space available travel. So while a flight will appear open, once you get to the airport, the agents will advise that there is a weight restriction and subsequently you can’t board. This is why you have your backup tickets and/or alternate accommodation plans.
9. Get an Airport Lounge Pass
You can use an airline Lounge card or invest in Priority Pass which will give you access to Lounges worldwide.
Nothing like a shower in the airport before you depart especially if you are connecting and have a long layover. Also, these lounges will give you free WiFi and food. This is a worthwhile investment for all travelers.
10. Be Familiar With The List Of Local Airlines
- Air India (AI)
- Air India Express (IX)
- AIX Connect [Air Asia India] (I5)
- Akasa Air (QP)
- Alliance Air (9I)
- Indigo (6E)
- Go First (G8)
- Jet Airways (9W)
- SpiceJet (SG)
- Vistara (UK)
Airport taxis in Bombay, India (BOM)
11. Know The Nonstop Flights/Destinations From India
There are plenty of international nonstops flights and you should be familiar with them and have the appropriate tickets ready in case you need them. From these cities, you can then connect to your own carrier or other carriers with availability. Typically, you have to be checked in at least one hour before the scheduled departure.
Note that some countries may require a visa to transit them, so be sure to check this. Start at https://travel.state.gov.
Use https://www.passrider.com/reservations/advanced-search/ to help you with flight schedules:
Flights To/From Delhi (DEL) [including BLR and DEL]
International Flights To/From Mumbai (BOM) [including BLR and DEL]
- Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (AUH) – Air Arabia Abu Dhabi (3L), Air India (AI), Etihad Airways (EY), IndiGo Airlines (6E), Vistara (UK)
- Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (ADD) – Ethiopian Airlines (ET)
- Amsterdam, Netherlands (AMS) – KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KL)
- Baghdad, Iraq (BGW) – Iraqi Airways (IA)
- Bangalore IN (BLR) – Air India (AI), AirAsia India (I5), Akasa Air (QP), IndiGo Airlines (6E), Vistara (UK)
- Bangkok-Don Mueang, Thailand (DMK) – Thai lion Air (SL)
- Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Thailand (BKK) – Air India (AI), IndiGo Airlines (6E), Thai Airways (TG), Vistara (UK)
- Cairo EG (CAI) – Eqyptair (MS)
- Colombo, Sri Lanka (CMB) – SriLankan (UL), Vistara (UK)
- Da Nang, Vietnam (DAD) – VietJet Air (VJ)
- Dammam, Saudi Arabia (DMM) – IndiGo Airlines (6E), Flynas (XY)
- Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania (DAR) – TC (TC)
- Delhi, India (DEL) – Air India (AI), Akasa Air (QP), IndiGo Airlines (6E), Spicejet (SG), Vistara (UK)
- Dhaka Bangladesh (DAC) – IndiGo Airlines (6E), Vistara (UK)
- Doha, Qatar (DOH) – Air India (AI), Air India Express (IX), IndiGo Airlines (6E), Qatar Airways (QR)
- Dubai, United Arab Emirates (DXB) – Air India (AI), Air India Express (IX), Emirates (EK), FlyDubai (FZ), IndiGo Airlines (6E), Spicejet (SG), Vistara (UK)
- Frankfurt, Germany (FRA) – Lufthansa German Airlines (LH)
- Hanoi Vietnam (HAN) – VietJet Air (VJ)
- Helsinki, Finland (HEL) – Finnair (AY)
- Ho Chi Minh City/ Saigon,Vietnam (SGN) – VietJet Air (VJ)
- Hong Kong (HKG) – Cathay Pacific Airways (CX)
- Istanbul, Turkey (IST) – Turkish Airlines – Star Alliance (TK)
- Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (JED) – Air India (AI), Air India Express (IX), IndiGo Airlines (6E), Saudia Airlines (SV), Spicejet (SG), Vistara (UK)
- Katmandu, Nepal (KTM) – IndiGo Airlines (6E), Nepal Airlines (RA), Vistara (UK)
- Kuala Lumpur MY (KUL) – Malaysia Airlines (MH), TOR Air (OD)
- Kuwait City, Kuwait (KWI) – Air India (AI), IndiGo Airlines (6E), Jazeera Airways (J9), Kuwait Airways (KU)
- London-Heathrow, England (LHR) – Air Canada (AC, Air India (AI), British Airways (BA), Virgin Atlantic Airways (VS)
- Mauritius (MRU) – Air Mauritius (MK)
- Male, Maldives (MLE) – Air India (AI), IndiGo Airlines (6E), Vistara (UK)
- Manama City, Bahrain (BAH) – Gulf Air (GF), IndiGo Airlines (6E)
- Mombasa KE (MBA) – Rwandair Express (WB)
- Munich, Germany (MUC) – Lufthansa German Airlines (LH)
- Muscat, Oman (MCT) – Air India (AI), IndiGo Airlines (6E), Oman Air (WY), Vistara (UK)
- New York-JFK, NY (JFK) – Air India (AI)
- Newark-Liberty, NJ (EWR) – Air India (AI), United Airlines (Star Alliance) (UA)
- Paris-Charles de Gaulle, France (CDG) – Air France (AF)
- Phuket, Thailand (HKT) – IndiGo Airlines (6E)
- Riyadh, Saudia Arabia (RUH) – Air India (AI), IndiGo Airlines (6E), Saudia Airlines (SV), Spicejet (SG), Flynas (XY)
- San Francisco, CA (SFO) – Air India (AI)
- Singapore (SIN) – Air India (AI), Singapore Airlines (SQ), Vistara (UK)
- Tokyo-Narita, Japan (NRT) – All Nippon Airlines (NH)
- Warsaw, Poland (WAW) – LOT Polish (LO)
- Zurich, Switzerland (ZRH) – Swiss Airlines (LX)