TOURIST TIPS - Do's & Don'ts

Every tourist who visits Delhi should take into account certain points that can prove to be extremely vital.

  • Stay away from the so called "Tourist Information Centres" which are near New Delhi Railway Stations, as they are not tourist offices, but tourist agents out to fleece unsuspecting visitors.
  • Indian's take sports very seriously and especially relish cricket victories against the likes of England. Delhi has a surprising amount of sporting facilities for the active traveler including cricket pitches and a beautiful golf course at the Delhi Golf Club.
  • The main type of food available in New Delhi is Indian, with regional specialties including Tandoori's and Biryani. It is possible as in most large cities to get food from all over the world if Indian is not to your taste.
  • Guides, waiters and taxi drivers, will expect around 10% of the total bill as a tip. Porters and bellboys will only expect around five to ten Rupees per bag.
  • Try to never say no to offers from hosts. (Real hosts, not those wanting to make a buck off of you...) However, stick to your convictions.
  • Do not go out alone at night! If a knowledgeable person whom you trust tells you its okay, then go ahead. This is good advice for an unknown neighborhood anywhere.
  • Bring a phrase book or phrase list with you. You'll get the most mileage out of a Hindu/Urdu phrase book in the north, but try to get one for the local language of the place you're visiting. You won't likely need it to get your point across, but it surely shows a lot of respect to give the language a try. If you learn one phrase, go for "Your child is beautiful." That will surely get you a lot of smiles and warm responses.
  • It is simply not possible to take too many photos! Take plenty of films with you. If you run out, buy from a store, not from someone outside the Red Fort. At the very least, ensure the box has its original seal and is not out of date. Do not indulge into it, if doing so removes you from the experience and turns you into a human recorder, you'll miss out on a lot.
  • Remember to confirm all flights. All flights originating within India should be confirmed.
  • Firm patience is your greatest strength. If you aren't getting what you feel you need, take a moment to think about it. Is your request truly reasonable in the context you're in? If so, quietly and firmly state your position. Expect that things will take longer than you'd like, and be delighted if they don't.
  • The key is to keep the most valuable things closest to you. You shouldn't remove the security belt when you're out and about, so that's where you'll keep you money, passport, tickets (unless you're about to use them), medical prescriptions, and the like.

The important travel tips:

  • Apply several months in advance, for a new passport as it may take up to six weeks to receive it (though expedited services are available in emergencies).
  • Your current passport must have been issued within the last 12 years and you must have been at least 16 years old when passport was issued.
  • Before booking that “best fare”, read the fine print (if you can find it!). Look for “terms and conditions”, frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) or “customer service”. What may appear to be the “lowest fare” could cost you in the long run.
  • Most tickets cannot be cancelled, are non-refundable and non-changeable, which means if you make a mistake entering your dates or destination, get stuck in traffic, have a medical illness, or simply over sleep, you forfeit your ticket. Purchasing a new ticket at the last minute can triple the cost of your original fare.
  • Note your credit card number and customer service phone number in a separate location in case you lose your card and need to cancel it.
  • Inform your credit card customer service department in advance of your trip. Advise them as to when you will be traveling and in which countries so that they don't freeze your account as a security measure against theft when their computer notes several transactions in various countries.