Table of Contents

  1. Travelling
  2. Food
  3. Health
  4. Shopping
  5. Communication


Do not travel alone after 8:00 pm.

It is advisable to travel in groups after 8:00 p.m . Though it is quite safe , we suggest you take precautions.

Ignore touts in all places.

Don't arrange for accomodation/bookings with individuals  who might approach you with a        tempting offers. Such people may be found in railway stations,airports or other tourist spots .           Always contact authorised personnel.

Try to confirm bookings in advance.

Reservations for train travel can be made two months in advance. Reservation for bus travel is not of vital importance. You can manage without it though it is always advisable to have them. Confirm Hotel reservations in advance. Tickets and hotels can be booked through travel agents also. But be very careful on how you choose your travel agent. Contact Indian Fellows and Alums for more info.

Plan your travel in advance.

Plan your schedule in advance, so we can help you with the bookings. We also suggest that          you keep your travel options open to enjoy at your leisure.

Be cautious while asking for information. 

Don't ask shady looking people (though you might find us shady looking too!) for information. Chances are that you may be misled or conned. You may ask shopkeepers/ traffic cops on the roads for directions.

Do not carry too much cash in your wallets/purses. Beware of pickpockets.

Keep your money safely in your pouch/bag. We suggest you don't keep them in back pockets where they might be picked on the busy roads.

Keep an eye on your luggage.

            Don't ask strangers to watch your luggage.

Try to carry Maps of cities you visit.

Maps of major cities will be available in book/stationery shops.

Try not to pay beggars on the street.

We warn you that the sight of beggars may move you, but try and refrain from going out of way to help them.

Do not pay unreasonable amounts to the taxi drivers?

Taxi drivers may demand excess fare at unearthly hours. Under no circumstances , can the driver demand more than double the fare shown on the meter. Also make sure the driver sets the meter as soon as you get into a taxi.

Carry a roll of spare toilet paper. 

You may not always find toilet paper in the public toilets. So we strongly recommend that  you carry a roll of toilet paper.

Try to avoid public toilets (if you manage to find them!!!!).

Public toilets are not always well maintained. We suggest you avoid their usage. Please use toilet facilities in hotels/restaurants.

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It is safe to drink only mineral water.

            Do not drink tap water. We suggest you buy mineral water or soft drinks.

Do not eat food bought in road-side stalls.

Though it will give you  a real taste of India, it may not be completely hygeinic. Always buy food over the counter or eat at restaurants.

Instruct the waiter to make the food less spicy.

This is not practical in small restaurants. But you can ask for less spicy dishes at major hotels.

While travelling long distance try to carry your own food packets.

The food you may get during transit from vendors/hawkers may not be hygeinic. So it is advisable to pack eatables from restaurants/bakeries found all over the place.

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Carry essential medicines.

Incase you need to visit a doctor, try to visit a good hospital. Make sure the doctor uses disposable syringes.Carry prescriptions of medicines you are used to taking.

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Never pay in dollars.

No foreign currency/traveller's cheques are accepted in local shops/establishments. International Student ID will not fetch you discount........that is what we think.

Always bargain in small shops or in shops where the item does not have a decent looking price tag.

        You could even reduce the price to less than half the originally quoted (yes, it has been done)

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Accessing the web.

Internet surfing facilities are only available in big cities at places called cybercafes. We suggest  that you create a hotmail account or any other web-based account ( yahoo/ rocketmail/ aol etc.) as you may not be able to use telnet into your regular account.                        

Telephone Facilities.

You cannot use phone cards. You may use telephone booths available at every nook and corner. The booths have a running meter which will display the amount you have to pay.


English is commonly used and understood almost everywhere. You may use the following phrases in hindi which ought to be understood throughout India.

            How much (does this cost) ?                          Kitna ?

            Where ( is this place / thing) ?                        Kahan?

            Water                                                             Pani

            Food                                                             Khana

            Money                                                          Paisa

            What time( does the train/bus leave/come)    Kitne baje ?

  Note: For words like @#$@, $%@# and &^%$, contact the Indian alums and fellows  .


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BMS Melton Foundation
Copyright [BMS Melton Foundation]
Revised: February 22, 1999.