You’re finally ready to take the plunge and experience for yourself all that India has to offer. You tell your friends and family about your travel plans, and all the things you plan to see and do—solo. And that’s when you might see the expressions on their faces fall, and the anxious queries start coming, giving rise to second thoughts.
A solo trip to India doesn’t have to be daunting or scary, and it’s not that different from traveling to any other place where the culture is not completely familiar. All you need is a little bit of preparation mixed with a modest dose of caution and common sense. Here are some things to keep in mind as you plan your trip so that you are not deprived of the opportunity to relish fascinating experiences and unique sights.
Take Advantage of Special Access Privileges
Separate reserved spaces for women and families are common across the country. Most buses and trains have seats or entire coaches reserved for women and accompanying children. Many larger restaurants also have special “family areas” that in many cases come with the added benefit of air conditioning, and in recent years luxury hotels have also started providing floors for the exclusive use of women travelers.
Be Thoughtful About What You Wear
While it’s often fine to dress as you please in many of the larger metro areas, it can get a little uncomfortable in rural areas or temple towns, and it does increase the risk of attracting unwanted attention wherever you are. Avoid the micro-minis and hot pants: loose-fitting, modest clothing has the additional advantage of providing additional protection from the sometimes punishing sun and humidity.
Steer Clear of “Party Spots”
It’s a good idea to avoid parties or events where you are not acquainted with anyone. Unfortunately, such places tend to attract predators looking for easy prey. Throw in alcohol, and things can get unpleasant very fast.
Stick to Well-Known Names and Brands
If you’re traveling in a new area, it makes sense to stick to major hotels, tour companies, and cabs with a national or international reputation to uphold. Lesser-known enterprises might offer you better deals, but the prospect of saving a little money pales in comparison to the comfort, safety, and facilities that come with a slightly higher price.