Woman Traveler in India
If you are a female foreigner in India looking forward to travel across the country, India will amaze you like nowhere else. With the diversity in its culture, as you cover short distances, it is a totally different world. If you are a lover of geography, this country has a plateau, mountains, beaches, forests and a desert. India has everything. But for female travelers, there are certain things that ought to be kept in mind to make your travel a memorable one and of course, to avoid unwanted events. Wind Horse is extremely particular and cautious about safety and comfort of women travelers availing its services. Here are some tips and suggestions for you for your India tour.
Smiling makes life easier: It is a myth that not smiling would help a woman at a new place. The more alien you look, the more attention you end up attracting. Smiling makes you look confident about the people, the place and yourself. In a country of 1.3 billion people, you are definitely supposed to find people around you. Almost everywhere, here in India. Smile to reduce risk of gathering too much attention by people. Your friendly attitude would only make the other party act friendly with you.
Bargaining when shopping: The Indian market is both cheap and fancy for women. From junk jewellery to costly ‘lehengas’ (traditional dresses), you get everything here. But since you are from another country, you might not have an idea about the price of these. Ask your leader to assist you in shopping. They will help you bargain with the shopkeepers and prevent you from getting fooled.
Fix your guide beforehand: As you reach a new city, lay your foot on a new road, people are going to approach you. Indians take huge interest in foreigners and it so happens that a totally inexperienced and non-professional individual might want to show you around. One of the ways to stay safe is to avoid such an event and fix your guide and your hotel prior to your visit. Also, if you arrive at a place at night, make sure someone from the hotel is there to pick you up.
Make a scene only if necessary: India does have a lot of men staring at you and sometimes the situation could get unacceptable and intolerable. Talk to your leader first and he or she will take care of the situation. If you are alone, though, you should also keep the option of creating a scene in mind because, at the same time, India has laws to ensure women safety and making a scene could drive these people away in fear of being caught by the police and falling in deeper trouble.
Taking pictures with Indians: It is advisable not to take pictures with individuals. There are more likely to go to their friends back home and make up a story about you two in the picture. If someone does ask for a picture with you, ask your leader. Your leader will approve if he or she thinks it would not be of any harm. Moreover, just tell your leader to take the picture for you. If you cannot avoid taking the picture, take it on your phone and tell the person that you would email it. Another way to avoid these doubts is to take a group picture. If it is a family, though, who wants a picture with you, why not? Just go for it.
Wear the right attire at the right places: The orthodox Indian society has always rejected revealing clothes worn by women. Wearing sleeveless tops, shorts, miniskirts, skimpy, or tight-fitting clothing could be avoided. Apart from attracting unnecessary attention, it is best to forget the comfort factor in this case. As India is very particular about its culture and social norms, you might not be allowed inside temples and mosques because of the clothes you choose to wear. So choose traditional clothing like a kurti and dupatta which will keep you covered enough.
Fix your guide beforehand: As you reach a new city, lay your foot on a new road, people are going to approach you. Indians take huge interest in foreigners and it so happens that a totally inexperienced and non-professional individual might want to show you around. One of the ways to stay safe is to avoid such an event and let your leader know and your hotel prior to your visit. You can also leave a mail to Wind Horse Tours or simply give a call to our office to make arrangements for your safe arrival to the hotel. Also, if you arrive at a place at night, make sure someone from the hotel or our office is there to pick you up.
Social etiquettes: Avoid hugging people or shaking hands unless you are very sure of the intentions of the other person. If he has become a good friend, sure, go for it. If not, just join your hands and say Namaste. Greeting elders go best when you touch their feet. You will be blessed best.
Avoiding minor eve-teasing: A lot of times, among a bad crowd, you might just feel elbows touching you or somebody trying to touch you. If it is not absolutely necessary, avoid a bad crowd and take a private vehicle.
Your leader is your local friend: Your leader is not just a guide taking you around and stuffing you with information. He or she is your friend who is ready to assist you any time, for anything. Your leader is absolutely savvy with the lanes, shops and travel hacks in India. Utilize his or her knowledge to make your travel smoother in India. For any problem whatsoever, always feel free to consult your local friend, i.e, your leader.
You don’t need to wander around for first aid: Are you doubtful about where to go in case you need first aid? Your leader is completely trained to provide you with first aid. For better treatment of any ailment, you could be confused as to where to go. Consult the Wind Horse Tours office for hospital/doctor suggestions or simply talk to your leader and we will make sure you get well soon.
Keep an Indian SIM and helpline numbers: If you are going to travel in India for even 7 days, get a SIM card. It comes for a price of a burger. You can definitely shell out that much for safety. Helpline numbers like 1091 and 100 should be kept stored. When you do speak on these numbers, make sure you get to the point and your problem is explained by you crisp and clear. Also keep all the contact of Wind Horse office and the personal mobile number of your leader.
Say NO to “May I bring a friend?”
There are a few women who go back to their countries and criticize India for its problems with women safety. There are ways to contain this. It is important to understand that there is not a single place on Earth where you can guarantee women safety. It is the mentality of the people and the passion of a perpetrator that makes him take wrong steps. The best way we could adopt is avoid such problems instead of cribbing about them. A solution is always better than criticism. India is a loving and loveable country and we do everything to give you the best of experience in India. Wind Horse excels in maintaining proper safety and being extremely serious about the comfort and safety of women which makes them the best choice to avail when you are thinking of having a memorable journey across India.