Bargaining in India is almost like breathing, as it is a day by day routine on every moment about anything you are looking for or purchasing.
Basically, you are a tourist, you have a better life than them, and they want to take as much money as they can from you.
So it’s normal they increase a price sometimes five times more than they originally cost. It’s up to you and your bargaining skills to decrease that price and pay much closer to the regular price.
Knowing what you are purchasing and the rule of supply and demand are the essential aspects to be taken into account in any transaction.
For example, in Mumbai, all rickshaws have a meter working, and they charge Rs 20 / km.
So anytime you are bargaining for a rickshaw, make sure you know the distance to your destination. However, if there are a few rickshaws drivers around or there are many people for a few of them (this hardly happens), it will be hard to reach the price of Rs 20 / km.
2. Street Food and Water
Street food equals, in many occasions, to deli belly. Some of the times are your lack of tolerance to spices, but sometimes can be caused by overused oil or lousy food.
Not eating street food in India is not a rule, and you should not be afraid of it. But you must make good choices, based on your instinct, the smell of the food and, a good pointer if many people are eating there.
Of course, this won’t guarantee you won’t get deli belly, but at least you will get to try amazing street food in India.
Perhaps you can avoid street food in big cities, like Delhi or Mumbai, but you should not prevent the fantastic omelet, made by a street vendor in Jodhpur, or the excellent street food in Punjab region, where you will find the best food in the country.
3. Travel in Trains in India
Traveling in India and not trying the experience of being on a train, is almost like not fulfilling all the best experiences there.
To get the most valuable experience in a train in India is traveling in the Sleeper class, the cheapest one in a train.
You will have the chance of being with families, young people, traveling with you, perhaps sharing nice conversations about each other culture.
However, during the night, while you sleep, make sure you keep your most valuable items well protected. For example, put your camera, passport, money rolled up in a towel, inside your bag, and use it as your pillow.
About your shoes, use it also as a pillow, or you may wake up without them.
And, not even for a moment, leave your most valuable items out of sight. Train thieves in India, only need an opportunity.
4. Travel overnight trains
Traveling in India by train is the cheapest way and, sometimes, the only way to get to some destinations.
And catching an overnight train can save you time and money. If you are on a short vacations trip, this is a great solution to allow you to get the most experiences you can in India.
5. Avoid unnecessary luggage and clothing
When preparing a backpacking trip in India, choose well what you will be taking. Check the weather and get a perfect knowledge of the climate you will find there, and choose well your clothing.
Don’t take more than you can carry, and remember, if something is missing, you can buy there.
6. Spend money on experiences, not on luxury items
A journey to India should be a trip to remember, full of adventures, rememberable moments and unique sights.
And you can’t get that if you prefer to stay in fancy hotels, restaurants, and bars.
It doesn’t matter how much money you have. It can pay your travel expenses, but won’t buy you experiences.
Going there, understanding the culture, be with locals is the best thing you’ll get in India.