India does not practice sexual discrimination nor encourages so. The country which treats Guest as God (Atithi Devo Bhaba), will never victimize or paralyze your vacation. Hence, here are a few travel tips for women to ensure double safety.
Dress casually: I'm not asking you to cover yourself from head to toe, but opt for casual clothes. Team a knee length skirt with a loose top, or sleeveless tee with a scarf. Dress moderately. Mix and match kurtas are a rage in India now, they're nice and classy, give them a shot.If you are comfortable, put on salwar kameez. Jeans with loose fitting shirts can serve your cause too.If you are planning to visit a temple, gurdwara, church, monastery or mosque, make sure to go by the dress code. Precisely, avoid wearing revealing clothes which attracts undue attention.
Learn to ignore: If you are a foreign guest, people irrespective of gender will ogle at you. Take it lightly, walk across them. Be polite. But if you notice someone overdoing it, or forcing you to initiate a conversation, ignore. If you are being provoked, try to keep your cool as long as it's bearable. As they say, silence is golden. Looks dignified.
Raise an alarm: If you sense being followed or harassed, raise your voice and speak up. Dial 100, this will connect you to the cops. In case of extreme cases which are very rare (attempt to rape, sexual assault or molestation), rush to the nearest police station.
Travel: Avoid moving out at night. In case you have to, stick to women centric seats in trains or buses. Do not allow a fellow traveler to share a cab or auto with you.While traveling on trains, don't keep your luggage or handbags at a neighbor's disposal. Make it a point to choose upper berth or shed a few more bucks for better compartment, during an overnight journey. If you happen to lose your way, ask traffic constables to help you out.Do not avail public transport at night.
Jewellery: Avoid jewellery during travel hours. You might not get robbed. But it's better to be safe than sorry. Choose junk or costume jewellery.
Off the camera: You will be a part the spotlight owing to a different nationality. Do not pose for a photograph unless you know the person well. Never allow clickographies on cell phones. Don't think twice before saying no or moving out of the situation.
Food: Indian cuisines are mouth-watering, but don't let go off yourself. Keeping hygiene in mind, avoid eating at roadside kiosks. Roadside food stalls might look wow, but draw a line. Make it a point to carry branded mineral water with you. Do not accept food or water offered by a stranger. Who knows, it may be spiked! Turn him/her down politely.
Avoid getting drunk in case you hit a pub or nightclub. You have to return to your hotel, hence being sober is a must. A lot of unhappy incidents trigger when you pass out.
Don't smoke or drink in and around stations, bus stands or places of religious interest. You will be heavily fined and/or be detained for doing so.
Shopping: India will give you a run for choices, when it comes to shopping. In order to avoid being over charged or cheated, choose government emporiums.Don't carry too much of liquid cash. Switch to credit and debit cards.
Gestures: Avoid friendly or courtesy hugs. Keep it simple, shake hands. Don't allow anyone to come too close to you even if he is a colleague. Raise an alarm if you come across such situations at work or while traveling together.
In touch with family: Keep your family updated with your whereabouts frequently, through calls or messages.
Be armed: Swords and guns aren't called for! Carry pepper spray and pen knife. Chili flakes will be perfect!
These simple tips can be handy. Your safety is our responsibility. Explore the treasure trove of cultural heritage and landscapes now. You have a lot to look forward to!
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