It saddens my heart when I comprehend fear in the hearts of foreign women travellers for my country. India is doomed when it comes to solo travel for women. But, to state the truth, most of the hype around it is media created. As far as crime is concerned, we all are vulnerable to it in any given country.
Therefore, let’s focus on the good part and adopt some simple wisdom, which is also known as common sense. By following a few rules, you can keep yourself safe and
solo travel in India.
Solo Travel in India
If you have never travelled to India and really wish to, follow my guide to solo travel in India, which should help you understand the country better and execute your travel smoothly – Be aware and conscious of Indian culture.
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Understand the Indian Culture
First thing first, do make it a point to understand the Indian way of thinking. I don’t intend to generalise, but people in India are mischievous. A certain section of men here like to stare at women in a strange manner. On the contrary, there are men who don’t even look straight in your face! They look down in respect.
So, if you get some derogatory gestures or remarks, you also get a great amount of respect from several men in India. As a foreigner, you can ensure that you dress modestly and don’t get friendly with just about any random man, ignore the unpleasant stares and embrace the respect and warmth.
Play it Safe
This may sound a bit weird, because the very purpose of travel is adventure in some way or the other. Just don’t get too adventurous. I mean, solo travel in a foreign country is an adventure in itself, so avoid putting yourself in dangerous situations.
Don’t loiter around after dusk, or spend the night at a deserted place where there is no network. Always be safe, well researched and well planned. Just don’t follow your heart, follow your mind as well.
Befriend and accompany good people.
There are lots of good people in India, who you can trust and be friends with. Well, don’t be friendly with people who offer themselves blatantly to you. Stay away from such people, because most probably they are devising plans to trick you.
Take help and advice from people who are modest and intend to help you according to ‘your’ interests rather than their own vested interests.
Always stay connected
Share your travel experiences constantly with your family back home. Stay connected via phone, email and social network sites. Also, keep in touch with your hotel manager, tour guide or travel agent.
But, don’t let anybody overprotect you. If you see someone getting too close to you, brush him off.
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Choose good accommodation.
Never ever compromise when it comes to accommodation. No matter how tight your budget is, make sure that you choose a good place to stay. Hold your purse strings in other things like food, transport and shopping, but never let a cheap hotel stay ruin your safety.
By a good accommodation, I don’t just mean comfort and amenities; I also mean a decent hotel manager, staff and co-guests. Consider staying at Airbnbs and home stays, which are safer and better in every respect.
Avoid using taxis when you are alone
Public transport, such as buses and local trains are always better modes of commuting compared to taxis. In a city like Delhi, where there are nice AC buses and a large metro network, it is absolutely smooth for a woman to travel on her own. And in case you need to travel by a taxi, make sure that you build a rapport with the cabby.
Talk to him before your journey begins and suggest him that your safety is his responsibility too. Trust your instincts and if anything doesn’t feel right, get out of it immediately.
Solo travel in India isn’t as unsafe as it’s made out to be. India is a beautiful country both geographically and culturally, thus, a traveller should feel free to visit it, explore it and embrace it.
Have you been to India? Do you have any tips to share about solo travel in India?
Renuka is a writer/photographer and a travel blogger from India. With her blog, Voyager For Life, she aims to inspire and awaken people to travel. She has been a native in four different cities in India and would not mind more city-hopping in the future. When she is not travelling, she likes to be a tourist in her own city.
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Read more from Renuka on ThePlanetD Travel Blog at 10 Lessons that Travel Has Taught Me