When’s the best time to go?
Whether you’re hoofing it up the Himalayas or want to enjoy the fantastic Festival of Light, the best India travel advice we can give you is to book your tickets to this amazing destination as soon as possible. Holidays to India will introduce you to a country where the weather is as stunning as the scenery. Lapped by the azure waters of the Indian and Arabian Oceans, you can expect a blissfully tropical climate, with warm temperatures throughout the year.
Summer is when things get really hot, with the temperatures well into the 40s°C. For less scorching conditions, book your break between November and March. While it might be considered by the locals to be the cool season, you can still expect temperatures between 20°C and 25°C. If you’re up in the mountains though, expect the temperature to drop accordingly, with plenty of snow the higher you go.
Back down on the coast, India holidays are perfect for those who want to top up their tans. However, there is a rainy season, which tends to fall between April and June. During these months, you can expect an increase in the humidity, plenty of rain, rumbling thunderstorms and even the occasional monsoon.
What should I pack?
With temperatures that range between 20°C and 40°C, sun cream ought to be top of the list for anyone taking their holiday to India. When it comes to clothing, think light and breathable. Linen and cotton clothes are recommended. Don’t worry if you can’t find any at home; you’ll find plenty of places to buy them in India, from high-end shops to busy market stalls.
It’s worth remembering that India is quite a conservative country and female travellers should be aware of this, especially around holy sites. As a rule of thumb, leave anything skimpy at home. Dresses should be over the knee and your shoulders should always be covered when you’re out in public.
A scarf or shawl is also a useful item to pack, particularly if you’re visiting mosques or sites of religious importance, as your head and shoulders should be covered.
Passports and visas
Do I need a passport?
India passport requirements vary between states and provinces. To be on the safe side, be sure to keep yours on you wherever you go. For further information on what you need for holiday to India, visit: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/india/entry-requirements
Do I need a visa?
If you’re a UK passport holder, taking India holidays, you should be eligible to apply for an e-visa. Different to the traditional India visa issued in the past, an e-visa can be applied for online and is issued by email. An official e-visa allows the bearer to remain in India for up to 60 days per visit. For longer visits, the ‘old fashioned’ India visa is required. To see how to apply for an e-visa, visit: https://www.hcilondon.gov.in/index
Health and Safety
Should I get travel health insurance?
Wherever you’re travelling, it’s always a good idea to have a comprehensive travel health insurance policy in place. If the unexpected happens, it provides you with the resources to pay for medicines, emergency treatment and, if required, the cost of repatriation back to the UK. Be sure to check exactly what is and isn’t covered in your policy and if you’re undertaking any ‘extreme’ activities on your holiday, make sure they’re included in your cover too.
Any other tips?
- Be sure to take more than one method of payment with you, such as a credit card and cash. In addition, make sure you’ve got enough money to cover the cost of any emergencies.
- Tips are an important source of income to many of those who work in the tourist and service industries in India. Before you go on your holiday to India, ask your travel agent what the recommended rate of tipping is.
- ‘Delhi belly’ is a common complaint for many first-timers to India. To minimise the potential of an upset stomach, try and drink only bottled water, avoid ice and salads, and only eat fruit that is unpeeled.
- If your mobile phone won’t work in India, you might need a SIM card for local networks. To be sure of getting one that works, buy yours from official offices for networks such as Idea and Airtel.