Home Cruise Preparation Preparing for Your Trip to India

Traveling to India can be a wonderful experience, if you're well-prepared.

India is a country full of beautiful landscapes, ancient architecture and delicious food. It’s also a country jam-packed with people and germs your body isn’t equipped to defend against if you’re not a local. To get the most out of your trip to India, it’s important to be totally prepared beforehand. There’s nothing that can put a damper on a trip quite like being ill for a large portion of it or heading out only to find out you don’t have the proper paperwork. These steps will help ensure that you’ll be good to go and in good health during your travels:

Secure your visa

Although many countries don’t require travel visas for short trips, India does. Even if you’re only going to be in India for a day or so, you need a visa to enter the country. To get a visa, contact your local Indian Embassy. If you send your application through express mail, it will take about five days to process. If you’re close enough to an embassy to apply in person, it will be processed that day. The cost for U.S. citizens is $60, not including mailing costs.

Get your passport in order

If you don’t already have a passport, you will need it as you would for any travel to another country. If you already have one, double check that you know where it is and that it will be valid on the date of your trip. If you’ve misplaced your passport, or need to renew it, apply for a new one as soon as possible. It can take a couple of months to get a passport processed, although you can have the process expedited (for an additional cost) if you’re pressed for time.

Talk to your doctor

There are some vaccinations and other medical concerns that need to be considered before traveling to India. All travelers are required to be up-to-date on all of their routine vaccinations. Most travelers should also receive vaccinations against Hepatitis A and Typhoid, since both of these diseases are relatively easy to pick up in India. Depending on various factors about your trip, including length, destinations and expected activities, your doctor may recommend other vaccinations as well. For example, if you’re planning to be in India for longer than a month, your doctor will likely suggest you are vaccinated against Japanese Encephalitis. If you’re traveling to rural areas, it’s best to get a rabies shot. Share your travel details with your doctor so he or she can give you the best advice for your trip.

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