7 Reasons why Traveling in India isn’t as Difficult as you might think

Why Traveling in India isn't as actually as hard as you might imagine

Many people think that traveling in India is difficult, or even dangerous...

While I'll admit that, especially at first, traveling in India can be a bit overwhelming and quite a culture shock, I'm fed up of how the Western media seems to have a habit of over sensationalizing India and stereotyping this complex country, I think that this, as well as fears over safety and hygiene, sadly puts off many people, especially solo female travellers, from visiting this amazing country.

This is such a shame because I believe that India is arguably the most exotic, fascinating and rewarding country to travel in, in the whole world!

I've traveled to more than 30 countries and not one of them has captivated, surprised, delighted (and challenged) me as much as India. No other country in the world has changed my life so much or taught me so much.

If you go down to the Gateway of India in Mumbai you might feel like a celebrity as all the locals want to take photos with you

If you go down to the Gateway of India in Mumbai you might feel like a celebrity as all the locals want to take photos with you

I think it's important to keep things in perspective - after about 2 years in total of traveling here (and mostly as a solo female traveller) I feel that India is not a dangerous or difficult country to travel in and in many ways, once you get used to the country, traveling in India is actually quite easy.

I'm not going to lie, traveling in India can be hard at first, but it gets easier. Whilst my first trip was difficult at times (mainly because I was rushing too much but you can learn from mistakes by reading my Top 10 tips to make your first time traveling India easier)

Once you become more assertive and acclimatized to traveling in India, and adapt your way of traveling and thinking to suit India, it actually starts to feel like an easy country to travel in, in fact I feel I'm even a bit spoiled by India - I get culture shock when I go to Europe now and, with so much to see and experience, sometimes I begin to forget why I ever wanted to go anywhere else!

Here's 7 Reasons why Traveling in India isn't as Difficult as you might think:

Reasons why traveling in India is not difficult

#1 Traveling in India is so cheap - so even on a budget you can afford to splash out a bit

If you don't mind roughing it you can travel India easily for less than £10 / $16 a day meaning that you really don't need to worry too much about budgeting, you can eat out in restaurants every day, catch taxis or rickshaws everywhere and don't even need to stay in hostels or dorms even on a shoestring budget. 

If you need a bit more comfort then it's still very affordable, India is modernising quickly and you can eat at fancy restaurants and western fast food brands, shop in modern malls, stay in a luxury resort and hire a private car with driver without your bank balance breaking a sweat. There really is something for every budget and inclination in India.

To get more of an idea of the costs of backpacking and traveling in India check out my Average Daily Budget for Backpacking in India and Budget Tips and Typical costs to expect when traveling in India. 

Indian Rupees. How many of these will you need for your trip to India?

Indian Rupees - India is one of the cheapest countries to travel in

#2 English is Widely Spoken in India

Did you know India has over 22 official languages, and it is thought that over 1652 different languages are spoken in this incredible and diverse country! Luckily for travelers, Hindi  and English are the 2 main official languages which means that English is widely spoken in India and it's never hard to find someone who speaks English. Many signs, newspapers and menus are also in English. As well as making traveling in India easy its also great because its easy to have conversations and get to know normal local people not just those who work in the tourism industry.

#3 Indian Hospitality - The kindness of strangers and the warmth and generosity of the Indian people

Indian hospitality is so warm and welcoming and even after spending so much time here I am still constantly surprised and humbled by the kindness of strangers and even the kindness and generosity of people who have so little. Guests are treated like Gods and the Indian culture of community, cooperation, tolerance and togetherness means that there is also someone to help you out and this makes traveling in India easy and makes me feel safe. If you are lost or in trouble someone will always help you out and you will never feel lonely when traveling in India.

Incredible Indian hospitality

Incredible Indian hospitality

However, traveling in India does have it's fair share of scams, it's best to read up on these and be careful who you trust around places like train stations, airports and touristy sights as these people often don't have your best interests at heart but once you get used to traveling in India you should be able to easily tell the difference between a tourist scam and a genuine person who only wants to help.

Read more: How to avoid the scams and survive your first time visiting Delhi.

#4 There are so many ways to get around India

India is a huge country and yes sometimes getting around can be slow and does require a bit of patience but the good news for travellers is that there is affordable and efficient transportation reaching to the far corners of this sub continent from the super affordable Indian railways system - one of the world's largest networks where taking a journey is an essential Indian experience in itself, to a huge variety of buses, taxis, motorbikes, the buzzing, ubiquitous auto rickshaws (or tuk tuks) cycle rickshaws or even ox carts.

There is now an increasing number of domestic flights (did you know India is the country with the 2nd largest number of airports after the US) or you can even hire a car and driver without breaking the bank. There is a transportation option for every budget to every corner of this amazing country which makes getting around and traveling in India easy!

Despite the myriad of options I think that traveling by train is the best way to see, experience and get around India, a visit here wouldn't be complete without at least one train journey - see my Ultimate Guide to Train Travel in India which gives you all the tips and info you need to book tickets and navigate India by rail.

Traveling in a rickshaw is fun and cheap as long as you don't get taken for a ride!

Traveling in a rickshaw is fun and cheap as long as you don't get taken for a ride!

#5 India is so diverse - you will never get bored!

India is so diverse that it feels like so much more than just 1 country, with so many different landscapes, languages, culture, religions, cuisines and traditions. From the Himalayas to tropical beaches, from ancient temples and forts to buzzing modern cities, from deserts to lush backwaters, traveling in India can feel like visiting many countries in one.

India is also the most interesting and fascinating place I've ever visited, there is a surprise around every corner and even just walking down the street and seeing street life can turn into a fascinating adventure - no need to spend money on expensive touristy or sightseeing activities! One things for sure, you will never get bored traveling in India!

Want to experience all the diversity and incredible places India has to offer but not sure where to start? Check out my Perfect Itinerary for your first time Traveling in India

Lake Pichola in romantic Udaipur, Rajasthan

Lake Pichola in romantic Udaipur, Rajasthan

#6 Traveling India is Safe!

While women do need to be cautious here and adapt the way they travel to suit India's culture I've never felt unsafe in India. Most Indians are very peaceful and karmic people. I exercise basic common sense and take usual precautions and I find that in India I don't tend to worry so much about theft of my belongings or money or violent crime like you might in other places.

To learn how I stay safe as a solo female traveller in India check out my tips for traveling as a woman in India

Making friends at the Gateway of India in Mumbai wearing Indian kurta, dupatta and churidar.

Making friends at the Gateway of India in Mumbai wearing Indian kurta, dupatta and churidar.

#7 “Sab Kuch Milega” = Everything is Possible!

You'll find that India works in a slightly different way from anyway else, at first it may seem confusing or even chaotic but most of the time there is a method in the madness that you will come to understand and love. Life in India is more fluid, you may need a little patience or 'jugaad' (an innovative solution) to get things done but one of the delights of traveling in India is that Sab Kuch Milega which means "everything is possible."

Wandering Earl (a fellow India lover and travel blogger) explains it well "In India, “everything is possible” is an undeniable fact. Through a combination of resourcefulness, pure generosity and an uncanny ability to extort a bribe, the people of India will never let you down. You’ll get whatever you need, whenever you need it, no matter how bleak the situation or how absurd your request. Did your sandal just rip in half? Don’t worry, there’s a shoe-wallah across the street, ready to glue it back together. Do you want to pet the rare albino rhinoceros at the Mysore zoo? For a tiny fee the attendant will be more than happy to let you into the cage."

When everything is possible, everything is pretty cheap and the majority of people speak English and are kind, generous and happy to help you out maybe once you get used to this incredible country you'll see that traveling in India can actually be pretty easy!

Anna with Stone Chariot in Hampi

Exploring magical Hampi

If you still need some more inspiration to experience India for your self maybe my post about the 21 little, quirky reasons I love India will help you understand why there is simply nowhere on earth quite like India and why you shouldn't be put off visiting this incredible country - it's really not as difficult to travel, enjoy and love India! If your planning a  trip then check out my ultimate India travel planning guide. 

Have you traveled in India? Did you find it difficult or did you find it was easier once you got used to it?

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Reasons why traveling in India is not difficult

Why traveling in India isn't difficult

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Sunset over romantic Udaipur in Rajasthan

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21 Comments

  • Mukti says:

    Thanks for the review. I hope the info is not all outdated. I will be going for a month in December 2016, so I hope this all will help. I’m still contemplating a tour or not. I believe cash is the most preferred way, so I thought I’d ask, is it common to have safe’s or lock and key things to keep cash away in suit case’s, while some cash is with us on the road for the little that we would need for that day?

    • Anna says:

      No its not outdated but this is my opinion after traveling in India for 18 months. On my first visit I didn’t find it so easy but after I got over the culutre shock and understand more about India it became much easier. Your right, cash is king – most places in India don’t take cards. You can only take 10,000 rupees out of the ATM at a time anyway so I usually split my cards and cash and leave half in the room and just take out what I need for the day – that way if anything was to go missing I still have access to cash and cards. I normally stay in budget guesthouses so they don’t normally have safes but more expensive places do have. I usually lock the door with my own padlock anyway so no one can get it but generally I don’t worry too much about theft in India. Hope this helps and hope you have a safe and happy trip 🙂

  • Amine says:

    You took the right decision when you left job, and you started discovering the world, i liked too much your blog, and grace of the information and reasons you offered to us, will be able to visit this part of the world and discover it as soon as possible.
    Amine recently posted…Morocco day trips (2 days) from Marrakech to ZagoraMy Profile

    • Anna says:

      Hi Amine, thanks so much for your kind words – I don’t regret quitting my job to travel thats for sure and I’m really glad you found the info useful. Hope you get to visit India soon and enjoy Morocco – it’s another place thats on my bucket list that I hope to visit soon 🙂

  • Chris says:

    nice post anna 🙂 im currently doing my second trip in india (and im vlogging it https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5_zE3fWXh_BgU3RAeadulQ) check it out as I know you love india.

    keep up the good work 🙂

  • Eliza says:

    I’m really glad I came across your post! You brought up a lot of great points that definitely will make me consider visiting India in the near future. I had no idea traveling there was so affordable! It sounds amazing!

    • Anna says:

      Hi Eliza! Thanks so much for stopping by – I love traveling in India theres so much to see and its very affordable. Glad to have inspired you to visit and hope that you discover Incredible India for yourself sometimes soon! 🙂

  • Thank you for the inspiration. India has been on my list for quite some time now, but as you say – it has seemed a bit complicated. Maybe I should reconsider and try to convince my wife that we should visit the country. 🙂
    Jesper, The Biveros Effect recently posted…Sights in Bratislava – Bunker BS-4 “Lány”My Profile

  • Nice to read your thoughts about India.Yes,India is really safe to travel.

    Very well written and great post.

    Keep sharing such post.

    • Anna says:

      Thank you, yes India gets a bad reputation but it’s not so bad once you are more used to the culture – there are many other countries that are no so safe to travel as India.

  • NEHA says:

    Beautiful post, luved reading it Anna….xoxo, Neha

  • Laxmikant Swain says:

    Hi Anna,
    Loved all your posts on India.You are a great explorer.
    If you love architecture & temples ,then please visit Sun Temple & Temple City Bhubaneswar.The best time will between Nov-Jan.

  • Travelling in India can be a truly rewarding experience, in my view. With outstanding wildlife and nature, colourful urban areas and an interesting blend of traditions and modernity there are few countries that I’d rather travel in.

  • Hi Anna!

    The time has finally come…we are heading to India next week! Seriously cannot wait!
    I guess staying in Nepal for nearly 3 months has taught us some things and has definitely prepared us for India!

    I am not anxious or scared about it to be honest. Your articles about India say it all. I guess when people are travelling there they need to understand that it will be an experience, not a relax holiday! hahah

    Now is time to read all the other articles 🙂

    Telma

    • Anna says:

      Hi Telma,

      It’s so cool to hear that you are coming to India and that you’ve found my blog useful!

      Glad that you are feeling excited too, I think you have the right attitude about expecting an experience and so I think’ll you’ll have a good time traveling in India!

      Happy Travels 🙂

      Anna

  • Ayush Gupta says:

    Hi Anna,

    Nice to hear that you have received such warmth in India, I too travel blog sometime and based out of central India currently, I would like to interview you if you don’t mind please provide me with your email id so that I can get in touch with you!

    Cheers!

    • Anna says:

      Hi Ayush. Thanks for stopping by 🙂 If you go onto the contact me there my email there and also a contact form you can fill in to get in touch 🙂

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