I was lucky enough to spend two years living in India and traveled every chance that I got. Based on my experience, I have created the ultimate trip to India!
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India30 days / March 2019
Highs & Lows
The magnificent architecture of Rajasthan
India can be a tiring place. Make sure to include plenty of down-time and recovery days so that you don't wear yourself out.
This itinerary packs as much of India's incredible diversity in as possible. You can easily add in additional stops if there is something that really catches your eye. One thing that is important to remember......nothing in India goes quite as planned and you have to be ready for the unexpected. People will stare at you and take your picture. You will have beggars surrounding you and see some questionable things. Just remember that the good outweighs the bad and India is what it is - raw, real and incredible.
Q & A
What would you have changed?
I was lucky enough to spend two years working in India and I traveled as much as I could during my time there. I wouldn't change anything!
Anything go wrong during the trip?
Lots and lots of things went wrong during my travels. From delayed trains to dodgy hotels, I got used to things not going exactly as planned.
How was the food?
I am vegetarian and India is a wonderland for veggies. I ate pretty much everywhere and the only time I got sick was when I went to the Shangri-La Hotel in Delhi for brunch.
What tips would you give a friend?
India is an incredible destination and as long as you go into it with an open mind, you will love it. People are friendly and welcoming, the food is delicious, and there is a ton to see. Things are surprisingly well-connected and as long as you keep your wits about you, safety is not as huge of a concern as people lead you to believe. Take the same precautions that you would anywhere in the world and you should be fine.
Pack as lightly as possible. Jumping in and out of tuk tuks and buses is much easier if you have a backpack instead of a suitcase. Many parts of India are very conservative so leave the shorts at home and plan on wearing capri pants or loose dresses.
Check out the IRCTC website for train times. Buying train tickets can get pretty tricky and they sometimes won't allow you to book with a foreign credit card. Luckily, there is an allotment of tourist tickets that you can get directly at the train station. Book as far ahead as you can as tickets sell out very, very quickly. Don't be afraid to take the overnight sleeper buses as well. Families, single women and old people take them all the time so there aren't any specific safety concerns. Just make sure to keep ALL your valuables in your sleeper cabin.
Every day is a surprise in India :)
I booked almost all of my hotels on Booking.com and recommend doing the same. I also found that hostels feel much safer than budget hotels, especially if you are a solo female traveler. There are a lot of nice hostels throughout the country so find one with good guest reviews and have fun!