India Holiday Tips

Jan Leeming

Shoreham 2007

Shoreham Airshow 2007
Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.

 

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Jan's Blog

Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.

INDIA - HOLIDAY TIPS

Date: 12th February 2016

I know I said I couldn't possibly deal with the hundreds of emails you've so kindly sent but one theme is recurring - that of asking advice with regard to having a holiday in India.  Many of you have said that it was on your 'Bucket List' but now it is on your 'Definite List'.

VISA -   Ensure that you apply for this well in advance of your holiday.  British Bureaucracy is still part of their culture especially when it comes to 'form filling' and it can take a long time.  Thank Goodness we were all spared this exercise because the Production Company did it for us.

INNOCULATIONS - Make sure you have all the necessary ones or you might just be refused entry and could get very sick.  These requirements might differ slighty according to the season and which part of the country your are visiting. There are Travel Centres around the country which will, not only give advice, but administer the jabs.  Many are expensive so factor that into your budget.

PACKING -  I find that if I carefully fold clothes in tissue paper and then ROLL them, they stand more chance of not looking as though I slept in them when I unpack. Put any liquids and creams in plastic bags - in the hold they can expand and leak.  And remember to keep any necessary medication, valuables etc in your hand luggage.  Another note is that you cannot have any liquid more than 100 mls in your hand luggage - and have those in a small plastic bag to be taken out and put separately in the tray at security.  Personally I wouldn't take expensive jewellery other than the pieces you wear all the time like watch, wedding rings etc.

DELHI BELLY - I think I was the only one of the Eight  Marigolds who didn't suffer.  I was totally surprised as my stomach is quite delicate and usually if anything is going around like that, I'm first in the queue!  

BUT I did observe the golden rules

No Ice in drinks (Not anywhere even the posh hotels)

No fruit you cannot peel

No salads

Bottled Water - always buy and carry water with you

When I returned and told my Physio of my 'trouble free' sojourn she remarked that much Indian food contains spices which are digestives.  People tend to think of Indian food as Spicey Hot - but it can be deliciously spicey without burning the mouth and causing heavy perspiration.

TIPPING Ensure you have small notes for tipping.  Most Indians are not well paid yet they give fantastic service and, in my opinion, deserve tips.

BEGGING - Unfortunately it is part and parcel of the country. But we were advised:-

Beggars with children - Don't give. Yes they will tug at your heart strings but they invariably belong to gypsy  'gangs' and I did see women pinching or slapping children to make them cry so that we would give.  We were told that the babies are passed round as 'props' and that there is more than enough around for them if they want to do an honest day's work

Old people and crippled - Yes do give and you will probably find they are very grateful and will give you the wonderful Namaste.  (You won't see many old people begging because they are usually well cared for by family.  There is enormous respect for family and the elderly in India)

STATIONERY - Buy copious amounts of pens, pencils, erasers, colouring pencils, paper, colouring books to give to the children.  Try to avoid a stampede!  They will erupt from everywhere once you start to give so have a ration with you and when that is gone they will leave you alone.  I bought for the equivalent of £10 about £100 of stationery.    

HAGGLING  - I've never been good at this and couldn't do it in India where almost everything is so inexpensive.  The only time we all haggled was at Tourist spots where they will try and rook you for the guide books etc.

THIEVING - As far as I know the only one who had anything stolen was Roy who sadly had his wallet taken but it was on view - and that can happen anywhere in the world.  Just be alert.

GENERAL - In my bag, in case you wondered why it was so large - I carried Toilet paper, Hand cleaning gel, Immodium tablets (just in case especially when travelling) insect spray, insect bite relief, water, sun glasses and camera.

LANGUAGE - most people with whom you will come into contact in hotels and guest houses etc will speak a little English.  Hindi is the predominant language but there are different dialects.  Knowing a few polite words and Thank you should get you by.  And, of course, joining your hands together as if in prayer and saying Namaste is always the polite thing to do.

If I think of anything else I will add to this Blog.

ACCOMMODATION - Sorry I don't know how one sources places to rent for longer periods but perhaps the Internet would be of help. 

What do you think? Send your feedback to contact@jan-leeming.com.