Traveling to India: Insurance Information & Travel Tips for a Memorable Experience
From the bustling streets of New Delhi to the sacred Hindu temples of Varanasi, traveling to India is an exciting adventure and a bucket-list trip for many. If you have your tickets booked, your accommodations confirmed, and your excursions scheduled, you’re likely counting down the days until you’re basking in the sun on the beaches of Mumbai.
But, you may be missing one vital element that’s essential to consider when planning a successful trip to India: travel insurance. Travel insurance is often forgotten or disregarded when planning vacations, but it’s actually one of the most important parts of travel planning for a handful of reasons.
Whether you need to make a last-minute cancelation to your trip, recover lost luggage, or need emergency medical attention while you’re away, travel insurance can provide you with a backup plan to recover your money and belongings, and pay for medical care or other emergency situations that may arise.
Here, we’ll discuss what travel insurance is, how much it costs, and whether or not you should invest in it for your vacation to India. Then, we’ll share some of our best travel tips for getting the most out of your trip to India!
Travel Insurance for a Trip to India
Whether you’ve booked through a travel agent or service or did all the planning and heavy lifting yourself, you’re well aware of the cost of your trip to India. But, life has a way of throwing surprises our way, and a lot can happen in the time between making your reservations and the moment you step onto your flight to India. And that’s where travel insurance comes in! If you have to cancel your trip for a covered reason, travel insurance offers pre-departure trip cancellation coverage that will help you get your money back.
Beyond cancellation coverage, travel insurance can also provide you with options for medical coverage in case you need to see a doctor while you’re abroad. Even if you have healthcare coverage at home, most policies (including Medicare) do not extend treatment coverage outside of the country. It’s smart to get travel insurance to ensure you’ll have a way of covering any unexpected emergency medical expenses that you may incur while you’re traveling.
Do I Need Insurance to Travel to India?
The short answer is no, you don’t need travel insurance to go to India. However, it’s in your best interest, both personally and financially, to protect the investment you made and yourself for potential mishaps while abroad.
From work-related cancellation coverage to assisting with lost luggage, equipment, or passports, travel insurance can provide you the peace of mind to truly enjoy your trip. And with so many reasonable prices that you can find online, getting covered is simpler and cheaper than you may think.
How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost for My Trip to India?
There are numerous travel insurance companies, and the costs can vary significantly between them. You can typically expect basic, pre-departure coverage for 3-4% of your total trip cost, while more premium and platinum options can cost 10-12%. Depending on the options you choose and the amount of coverage you feel comfortable getting, your specific cost will vary, and many companies provide various tiers to select.
Because there are so many options for coverage at varying price points, you must make sure you do your research. This will ensure that you are getting the most value for your money.
While this might sound like a lot of work, it’s not as hard as you think thanks to our travel insurance comparison platform that does all the research and comparison for you. All you need to do is enter the total cost of your trip, information on the demographics of your party, and select what type of coverage you want. You’ll get back a variety of custom quotes for your trip from different insurance providers. You can easily compare pricing, benefits, and coverage maximums to select the one you want. And even better, you can purchase your plan directly through our site to guarantee you’re getting the lowest price for your needs. It really doesn’t get much easier than that!
Now that we’ve got your travel insurance squared away, let’s get back to the planning and preparing for the fun parts of your trip! To help you get the most out of your trip, we’ve put together a list of tips to help you with money and packing, plus suggestions that’ll ensure you have an immersive experience.
Money: Currency & Tipping
The official currency of India is the Indian rupee. Notes are available in denominations of ₹5, ₹10, ₹20, ₹50, ₹100, ₹200, ₹500 and ₹2000. Be sure to carry cash with you at all times, as many street vendors and small shops will not take credit cards.
Exchanging money is pretty smooth throughout India. There are banks, ATMs, and private money changers throughout. However, be aware of black-market money changers. If someone approaches you on the street and asks if you need any money exchanged, simply decline. In many cases, they’re trying to set you up for a scam.
When you are given change, make sure that none of the notes are damaged. Don’t accept any bills that are dirty, ripped, or falling apart, as other retailers and banks will likely refuse them. You should also be aware that at many markets and vendors, haggling is a way of life. Be sure to bargain fairly, but with a sense of humor. You’ll also need to negotiate for the price of a ride before you get in a taxi or rickshaw!
Tipping is customary in a variety of settings, many of which match the Western culture. For example, private drivers, tour guides, trekking guides, and porters should be tipped ₹200 to ₹500 per day. At restaurants, you’ll want to tip 10% after confirming that the service charge hasn’t already been added to your bill. Taxis and rickshaws don’t expect a tip, however, if the driver was excellent and had a fair price, it’s a nice and appreciated gesture.
Weather Conditions & Packing Suggestions
If you’re traveling between December and March, you’ll be in India during the peak season. The warm days and cool nights draw tourists and, therefore, cause a spike in pricing. If you’re planning on visiting high altitudes during this time, you’ll see freezing temperatures in December and February, so you’ll need to make sure that you pack for both summer and winter temperatures.
Between April and June, temperatures begin to rise sky-high. June also marks the beginning of monsoon season, and along with it comes a draining humidity. When packing for travel during this period, make sure you have sweat-wicking clothes and lighter fabrics like cotton and linen.
Going to India between June and November is prime time for visiting Ladakh and the high Himalaya, whose passes open in June. You’ll still experience monsoon-like rains through September, so you’ll want to make sure you have a waterproof jacket in tow.
For the most part, when packing for India, you should bring a lot of sweat-wicking and light clothes. Many women will wear light, linen, or cotton tunics over a good pair of breathable leggings or loose pants. You’ll also want to make sure you bring clothes with sleeves. If you’re planning on entering any temples, you’ll need to ensure that both your shoulders and knees are covered. This is true for both men and women. And if you’re planning on entering a Jain temple, you’ll need to make sure you’re not wearing anything leather, as this is customary in their culture.
Anytime you’re traveling to another country, one of the best things you can do is immerse yourself in experiences that you can only find at your destination. And luckily for you, there are tons of unique experiences that you’ll find in India.
Float your way down the Ganges River, beginning in the high Himalayas and flowing down through the country into the Bay of Bengal, the “Spiritual Backbone of India,” which follows through some of the country’s most sacred cities.
Don’t miss out on your chance to experience the Himalayas! This majestic mountain range includes some of the highest mountains in the world, with peaks that are over 8,000-meters tall. Take the train from Delhi to the mountains. You’ll experience first-hand the wonderment and magnificence of these mountains, and it’s definitely worth the 12-hour trip!
Make your way to the Golden Temple! As one of the most well-known tourist attractions and a spiritual center as well, the Golden Temple is one of the most beautiful, awe-inspiring, and sacred places in the region. Take in the gold-plated building, white marble walls, and sacred pool before browsing the Central Sikh Museum and gallery.
Get a taste of Bollywood! If you want to understand modern Indian culture, visit a local cinema and experience Bollywood, which is the Hindi-language film industry. Join in with the singing and dancing in the aisles, and hoot and holler for your favorite actor. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience you can’t miss!
Popular Destinations in India
When you’re planning to visit India, it can be overwhelming to figure out exactly where you should go. To help you make your decision, we’ve listed our top 10 most popular places to visit in India. Plus, we’ve thrown in a few less-popular, off-the-beaten-track places if you’re looking for a less-touristy vibe for your vacation!
Top 10 Most Popular Places to Visit in India
- New Delhi
Top 5 Unique Places to Visit in India
- Mount Abu
- Pangong Tso