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Travel Tips
 
General Travel Information:
Travel in India will be a more comfortable experience if you keep a few things in mind.

To start with, travelers must have a valid passport and a visa to enter India. Visas, which are of several types, have to be obtained prior to arrival in India. Relevant and detailed information can be obtained from the Indian consulate or embassy in your country. Travelers must also provide an International Certificate of Vaccination for yellow fever if they arrive from an infected area. Avoid drinking tap water in India, for more than 80 percent of diseases in India are related to contaminated water. Distilled water is readily available these days.
General Tips:
  • Carry your passport with you at all times.
  • If you ever find yourself in a sticky legal predicament, contact your embassy.
  • Always keep your luggage with you, and don't leave it around for it is easy for anyone to slip drugs in. Drug trafficking is a punishable offence by law and can put you behind bars.
  • Carry a waterproof laminated card mentioning your name, address, blood group, and any other important personal or medical information.
  • Beware of pickpockets and don't carry too much cash at anytime.
  • Always rely on your common sense and should anything seem suspicious to you, keep out of it and report to the police if necessary.
What to take along:
Keep a copy of your passport, travel visa, airline tickets and travel documents, besides the originals, and carry them separately. Don't forget to take an international Driving Licence, which can be obtained through the Automobile Association. Otherwise keep your Driver's Licence with photo for identification even if you are not planning to drive. Do keep an 'in case of emergency card' that should contain your blood type, allergies and special medical conditions, along with the names and numbers of your doctors, and any other information you deem fit. Don’t forget to keep an extra pair of eye glasses and a list of your medicines in your carry-on luggage.
Travel Insurance Policy:
A travel insurance policy to cover theft, loss and medical problems is a good idea. There are a number of policies available, so check the fine print carefully. Some policies specifically exclude 'dangerous activities' which can include scuba diving, motorcycling or even trekking. You may prefer a policy that pays hospitals or doctors directly, rather than you having to pay on the spot and claim later. Check that the policy has ambulance and emergency flight home cover.
Tips for a hassle- free travel:
Check that your passport is not approaching expiry date. Sign each Traveler’s Cheque in the top left corner to protect yourself in case of loss or theft. Remember to put your name, address and telephone number inside each piece of checked and carry-on luggage. Don't miss locking your luggage. If possible, use your business address on your luggage. It is advisable to register valuable items such as cameras, laptop computers, and jewellery with Customs before departing. This will save you the importation fees when you return.
Precautions while on the move:
Never leave your luggage unattended. Place them between your feet or against your legs. Watch out for your carry-on items closely when you go through the security clearance. Try to avoid currency exchange windows or prefer exchanging only a small amount. Note down, beforehand, the number of pieces of luggage and other items you have brought with you. Avoid taking unauthorized taxis and buses to your destination. Make sure that your whole luggage is placed inside the taxi trunk and the lid is covered well. Unless the individual is known to you, do not accept an offer to share a taxi.
Customs:
Visitors are generally required to make an oral baggage declaration in respect of baggage and foreign currency in their possession. They are also required to obtain the currency declaration form from the customs. They should fill in the disembarkation card handed over to them by the airline authorities during the course of the flight. There are two channels for clearance at the international airports:

Green Channel is for passengers not in possession of any dutiable articles or unaccompanied baggage. Red Channel is for passengers with dutiable articles, unaccompanied baggage, or high-value articles to be entered on the tourist baggage re-export form.

Dutiable articles, unaccompanied baggage, or high-value articles must be entered on a tourist baggage re-export form (TBRE). These articles must be re-exported at the time of departure. A failure to re-export anything listed on the TBRE becomes a payable duty levied for each missing item. The following duty-free possessions are permissible - clothes and jewellery for personal use, and other personalitems such as camera, camping gear, fishing rods, skis etc etc., 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars, and 2 litres of spirit or wine.

There are no restrictions on the amount of foreign currency or travelers' cheques a tourist can bring into India provided he makes a declaration in the Currency Declaration Form given to him on arrival. This will enable him not only to exchange the currency brought in, but also to take the unspent currency out of India on departure. Cash, bank notes, and travelers' cheques up to US $1,000 or equivalent need not be declared at the time of entry. Any money in the form of travelers' cheques, drafts, bills, cheques, etc., in convertible currencies that tourists wish to convert into Indian currency should be exchanged only through authorized moneychangers and banks. The encashment certificate issued by them is required at the time of reconversion of any unspent money into foreign currency. Exchanging of foreign currency other than banks or authorized moneychangers is an offense under Foreign Exchange Regulations Act 1973.
Shopping & Souvenirs:
Most shopping areas have an opening times from 1000 – 2000 and most will have one closing day per week though this day will vary from place to place. Central Cottage Industries, State Emporiums and Delhi Haat are some of the prominent places that can we be visited for shopping.
Tipping:
In tourist restaurants and hotels, where service charges are usually tacked on in any case to 5 to 10% figure usually applies. In smaller places, where tipping is optional, you need only tip a few rupees, not a percentage of the bill. The porter who takes your baggage to your room can be tipped Rs.20 per bag or Rs.50 per trolley. (These estimates are for 4 and 3-star hotels and would be proportionately less in 1 or 2 star hotels). Tipping to taxi drivers for airport/railway station transfers is not customary. However, Tour guides and drivers do expect tips depending on the assignments and number of days spent on the tour.