Our number one priority is making your trip as safe as possible. This way you can concentrate on making an impact on your project and having fun. From years of traveling in and around India, we have compiled some of our experiences in ensuring a smooth adventure.
- Travel Insurance: Every volunteer and intern must get travel insurance. In case of medical emergencies, trip cancellations, weather and natural disasters, luggage loss, and more. It gives you the peace of mind to be covered in case of any unexpected events. Please get your own travel insurance or refer to some of the ones we’ve used in the past:
www.squaremouth.com (travel insurance comparison)
- Documents: Make several copies of your passport, visa, ID proof, flight info, and travel insurance confirmation. Leave a copy of each with family or friends in case you ever lose the originals. Bring several copies to India so you can leave them with the coordinators and your accommodation.
- Medical: Visit your health-care provider around 4-6 weeks before your departure so your vaccines can take effect. Recommended are routine vaccinations, Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, Rabies, Polio and Antimalarial drugs. Also bring any prescription medicines you normally take, over the counter diarrhea medicine, Iodine tablets to purify water, sun block and sunglasses, and insect repellant.
- Money: There’s no need to bring too much cash. There are ATMs readily available throughout India.
- Once you land at the airport, you will be greeted by your in country director carrying a sign with your name and “Leave Ur Mark”. Unless communicated otherwise, do not get into a car with any one holding up another sign. Taxis are safe but we would love to be there to welcome you ourselves.
- Luggage: Ensure that your security tags are still on your luggage.
- Carry around a photocopy of your ID proof and passport with you at all times.
- Always drink bottled water (check seal) or filtered water provided at your guesthouse. Carry iodine tablets if you are traveling to remote areas.
- Avoid seafood in non-coastal areas.
- Inform is if you intend to be away from your guesthouse overnight or for the weekend.
- Be careful with beggars and do not give them money as many are operated by organized gangs.
- Always keep a close eye on your wallet, bag, and purse.
- Make reservations well in advance for weekend trips and accommodation. Use reputable agents or web-sites. Ask any in country director when in doubt.
- Do not tell strangers that this is your first time in India. Put on an air of confidence like you are an expert on the area.
- Negotiate all your requirements with tour operators before your weekend trips and give them clear instructions.
- Bring extra locks for your luggage.
- Clothing: Women should be moderately dressed especially at night and when by yourself.
- You might get asked over to dinner by random local people to their homes. Only accept if you are absolutely sure who they are and have met them several times before. Avoid it if possible.
- If going out past midnight, try and take a taxi rather than an auto-rikshaw back to your accommodation.
- When traveling by auto-rikshaws, always get off a few houses away from your accommodation. This way you avoid letting them know where you live.
- Be in regular senses (like you would at home) while at a nightclub, bar, or after party.
- Don’t stress too much. India is generally safe as long as you take the proper precautions