- Try to visit attractions in the early morning or later in the afternoon. The light is good for pictures and there are fewer crowds.
- I’ve always found the best clothing to take is loose, cool trousers and cotton T-shirts. Be respectful of local customs. You don’t see many Indian women exposing their knees, so short shorts and very short skirts are a no-no.
- A large, light cotton scarf has multiple uses. It keeps you warm in the early morning, and if you run it under a cold tap at lunchtime it’ll keep you cool all afternoon. It’s also very handy for covering arms when visiting temples or religious sites.
- Always travel with a medical kit. Although there are chemists, the drugs are often sold under different names and translation can be difficult, especially in remote areas. Include pills for nausea and diarrhoea, Enerlyte for rehydration, some melatonin to help with jet lag, and a good antiseptic antibiotic cream. A course of broad spectrum antibiotics can also be handy, as respiratory infections seem to be the most common illness.
- Talk to the people! A camera is a great ice-breaker.
- If you’re staying in a hotel that provides mini shampoos, soaps or body lotions, don’t be afraid to take them (they’re built into the cost of your room). Save them to give to anyone you may meet in a village – schoolchildren or whoever looks as though they may enjoy them.
- It is best not to give money to beggars. Many of them are controlled by gangs so that just perpetuates their misery. If you want to help, contact one of the aid agencies like World Vision or Save the Children.
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