Predeparture check list

Trip Planning

So many things to do before you leave to India, but that's half the fun - the planning. If your going to travel for 8 months there will be more to do then, say if you going or only 8 days.


Check1.Visa & Passport. India does not offer visa on arrival. You must apply at least three to six weeks in advance by mail. Most Indian embassy's ONLY accept visa apps by registered mail. What if it's rejected for some reason? (spelling mistake) it will have to be sent back to you and then sent to them again! You might miss your flight. This happens all the time, on a given day the Indian Embassies abroad are flooded with people who need emergency visas.

So, i recommend you get your Indian visa BEFORE you book your airline ticket. The visa date starts when issued not when you arrive. Do a search for Indian embassies in your country. Six months is the normal visa duration. The visa stamp takes one page and you passport must be valid for more than six months. You can apply online and by mail, allow more time.

Check the New visa Rules

2. Vaccinations. It is important to have all the vaccinations require for your India trip. Vaccines do work, do not fear the needle, they may save your life. Typhoid, Hep A, Tetanus, Polio, Diphtheria etc You should visit a qualified Travel Doctor for the best advice. Keep in mind it usually requires a few visit over some weeks if you've never had any jabs before. If you really need to save money and have extra time of course in India you can get them very cheap.Travel Insurance is also very much recommended(

See the Common Illness page and Malaria India for more info.

Check3.Flight tickets. If your coming from North America or anywhere east of India, you may find that flying to Bangkok is an easier option than Delhi or Mumbai. There are usually more frequent flights to Bangkok and cheaper. In Bangkok you can get an Indian visa in about a weeks time and there are many flights to many points in India including Calcutta, Madras. Kula Lampur is another option with flight Trichy. See get to India page for Nepal see the get to Nepal.

4. Gear. It's a good idea to buy new gear 1-2 months before departure, test it out before you leave, wear in your shoe or sandals. Your backpack and all the goes in it. Here is the packing page.

5. Your apartment or house. A sublet or notification to your landlord. Moving your thing to storage. Organizing a mover. Cancelling you phone and internet service etc.

Check6. Getting to the airport.Taxi or what ever you use. Plan out what your going to do on the day of departure. Try to rest before as much as possible, go to sleep early, have everything done the day before. Arrive 2-3 hour before departure.

7. Money. 98% travelers checks, some cash for odd purchases and times when there is no money changers. A credit card or ATM card as backup. See how to carry money.

8. Make an arrival plan. Pre booking is usually not necessary. Take a Prepaid taxi to the tourist area and soon you'll have a room. Guesthouse always have a night manager, Indian are always checking in and out in the middle of the night, often to catch a train. See the room check list . Arriving in smog filled Delhi is not always fun. I recommend a quick depart to some place green and peaceful to rest and acclimatize to India. It take 1-2 weeks or even months to acclimatize to India. See trip routes and Delhi Map

Check9. Avoiding jet lag. If your coming from North America or a far distance. Jet lag can be extreme. Tips: Avoid alcohol. caffeine, eating too much, get lots of sleep before you leave. Plan to brings some books or ipod to pass the time. Try to sleep as much as possible during the flight, if you can't sleep just close your eyes and try. Aspirin or the like can be a good idea during the flight. When you arrive to your guesthouse immediately take a nap or long rest. Make a point to drink lots of water on the plane, even though they only service a small glass at a time.

Check10. Packing for the plane. If you have a laptop or expensive camera gear you should carry it on because airlines do not insure these items if lost, stolen, damaged. Their insurance does not cover these items.

If you have a connecting flight it is quite possible that your luggage does not make the connection. This seems to happen every now so the wise and experience traveler will take with them as carry on, a mini pack with some essentials for a day or two (a change of cloths and bath items.)landing_plane_MSP


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