Is India Safe to Travel To? Tips for ALL Travellers to India


I live in India, I’m married to an Indian and I’ve traveled to every single union territory and state here in India. And today we’re going to talk about is India safe or not to travel in and I’m going to give you a bunch of tips to keep you safe while you’re traveling here in India, and we’re gonna do it from this incredible place I’m traveling alone here in Odisha and I’m literally in the middle of nowhere in a very very rural area. But first oh my god, on the way here so I’m coming here to film a video about travel safety and I stupidly put my tripod down on the side of the road for five minutes so I could get some drone shots and you know and I knew it was a dumb thing to do but it was, it was the risk I took to go and get those shots because I couldn’t carry the tripod with me. Came back the DSLR tripod is gone. I don’t know what a rural person out here would need a DSLR tripod for but whatever they got one now. Let’s go. Let’s take a seat. Let’s chat. India is of course safe to travel alone just like any other country is but you have to prepare yourself, okay? So for example my country New Zealand isn’t save. Tourists get attacked there just like they do here in India. No place is safe and today we’ll talk about a bunch of challenges for foreigners here and then some tips on how to you know deal with these challenges. And the first thing I tell people when they come into India is take a guided tour if this is your first time in India. If you’re naive or an inexperienced traveler, you really really should follow this advice. Take a guided tour. I know you hate guided tours. So do I but you know, the benefit of a guided tour is they are gonna ease you into India. They’re gonna teach you how to survive here in India. You’re gonna be with a guide and with other people for five days sharing experiences sharing stories. It’s just the best way to ease yourself into India. Okay? So what I did the very first time I came here I took the golden triangle to it. They took us to Agra, they took us to the Taj Mahal, to Jaipur and to Delhi and yeah, absolutely the best way for beginners to arrive in India. Okay? Do not just come and think you can handle it because India is a real culture shock and you’re gonna see it the second you walk outside of the New Delhi Airport. But then on the flipside, India is the most incredible country in the world and you are gonna have an incredible time and a very very memorable time. This is why I choose to live it because I love being in India so much and if you watch this entire video and you watch some more of my videos, You’re gonna come here and have an incredible time too. Because I will keep you safe while you are traveling here in India. Now living here in India for so long I’ve had a couple of bad experiences. When you heard about today, right? My tripod got stolen, but partly that was my fault. Another time I was with friend Davin walking down a back road near, near a temple and this old guy comes up to me and starts saying to me lollipop lollipop and used to keep repeating lollipop really creepily and then he he tapped me in my family jewels and I knew what he wanted and huh. So that happened that was gross and then the next time I was, where was I? Oh I was in Gujarat and I was at a bus station. I could feel somebody was watching me. You can feel when someone’s watching you right? I was walking around looking for my bus terminal and he just kept following me then I walked into the toilet and that’s when he followed me in there. He stood in the urinal next to me and he watched me. He looked at me, purved on me. It really creeped me out these two experiences. Then I have had issues in Sydney as well. Guy comes up to me and hugs me and asked me if I wanna, you know. Then in Bangladesh a guy comes up to me and he shows me his phone and he goes, please don’t be angry, please don’t be angry and it’s a text message, which says do you like boy to boy? Uh-huh? I am like hell no, man. At least not boy to boy, come on at least man to man not boy – boy that that’s wrong, it’s illegal. So yeah, I don’t know gay guys like me or something because I’ve had so many of these experiences and there’s more but yeah, let’s move on and so the reason I told you those was here it has happened in India, but it has happened overseas to me as well. There is nowhere which is safe for tourists and when these things happened I was always alone. I was always traveling alone. People see you as as weak when you’re traveling alone all right, and we’ll talk about some tips on dealing of this soon. But let’s talk about the three biggest challenges for foreigners when you guys come here as tourists, okay? First one is the stares. You’re going to get used to people staring at you. And honestly, it’s not malicious. It’s not pervy usually. It is just curiosity. A lot of Indians, especially rural Indians have never seen or met a foreigner before. So they’re gonna stare at you okay, it just happens and Yeah, it even happens in the big cities where they have seen foreigners before. Simply because you’ve got a lot of domestic tourists from outside of these big cities coming in it and it’s usually them who want the photo of the foreigner or who are staring, okay? It can be creepy though. Okay like yeah, You do get creepy guys who won’t stop staring at you and don’t smile back. Don’t, don’t kind of look, stare back at them because these guys have really warped minds and if you engage them Sometimes they think you’re interested win. Hell no, you’re not, you’re creeped out. So I mean to deal with these guys, you just have to move, you just have to get away. And sometimes they can get a bit too close to you as well. So just move, get the hell away from them. We’ll go over some more tips soon. Challenges, so the second one, scams and touts. They are absolutely everywhere and they flock to the tourist attractions, Humayun’s tomb, Red Fort, Connaught place. You can’t avoid them. They will find you and when they do find you just keep walking, do not engage with them. Their whole persona is of a friendly local but very very quickly they will turn in to how they can help you and That’ll turn into how much money can they take from you. Okay? And that’s a sad thing. You can’t trust friendly locals here in India because these touts and these scammers have absolutely wrecked that and to see all these scams and avoid them for yourself. I’ve got a travel scam playlist watch there, you’ll see all the scams that are operating here and you’ll how to avoid them. Okay? The third biggest challenge I find here is the Selfie mobs. Doesn’t sound like much of a problem right? And I want to take selfies of as many people as possible but when one person asks, sometimes it can turn into a queue. Which then people go, oh what’s happening over here? People get inquisitive and they come over and see what’s happening and this starts turning into a big crowd. People pushing to watch, people taking selfies with you and people queuing and pushing with their phones sticking in your face. Yeah, it can just get really annoying and it can get out of control and a little bit scary as a foreigner. The closeness and everything and things can go wrong. So one time a guy was taking itself with mean he tried to kiss me like. Yeah, yuck I just stepped away and yelled at him. Things can go wrong when you’re in these crowds or when you’re taking selfies with people in general and the key here is don’t worry about saying no to people for selfies, okay. It’s not rude. You don’t have to take selfies with anybody. They bring risk that you don’t need especially when you’re travelling alone because that’s what we’re talking about, right? Now let’s talk about some tips to deal with these challenges. And the first tip is do not be afraid to say no. This is the most important word in India and more than that, it’s the most important word in your life. ‘No’ liberates you but yes commits you to things in your life, right? And you have to be very careful about who you say yes to and how much time you put into certain things, when you should be saying no to focus on other things which are more important, right? So don’t overburden yourself in real life by saying yes to everybody. I know people like me we like that, we like to please everybody but I learned to say no and I learned to say no here in India. So if someone is asking you for a selfie and you don’t feel it safe or well, you don’t want to take it. Say no, it’s not rude. You don’t have to take that selfie, right? Someone is coming up to you and they’re asking you, can they help you or can they take you to a shop? No No is the most important word. No and keep walking and this leads me into my second point you have to be assertive here in India and that goes with saying no, right? If someone’s pushing in front of you in line, you got to be assertive. You got to tell them not. There is a line, do not push in front of me. This happens to me a lot here in India. If you don’t be assertive, you’ll get pushed to the back of a line. Someone will always be pushing in front of you or pushing you around and this is because strength respects strength here in India. You can either like, just let it be and let people push you in front of you or push you around. Or you can say naa, no, thanks. Imma take control of this do not push in front of me. Do not push me around and if you don’t learn to say no and you don’t learn to be assertive, you’re nothing but a pushover. You will get pushed around here. Not only in India, but in life, in general and actually bad people they prey on targets they see as weak. They prey on people who they know won’t push back. They are hunters like that. They want the easiest target. So if something happens kick up a fuss, yell, scream. Make yourself known that something is going on and people will come and help you. You have to make it as hard for that bad person as possible. You have to make it for them to go, Oh, I chose the wrong person. I gotta go, I gotta get out of here. You’ve got to be assertive. You got to say no and you got to make a scene if something does happen. Just let rip. This is what’s gonna save you and what is gonna help you here in India. Now guys when you book a super cheap hotel, like a ten dollar hotel, like a 500 rupee hotel in India. What kind of quality? What kind of service and what kind of staff do you think this hotel is hiring? Yeah! The quality is terrible, the service is young uneducated boys. So therefore the hospitality and everything is just going to be bad and we’ve seen so many times on YouTube woman especially staying in cheap hotels and having a bad experience. Surprise, surprise okay. For guys, it’s not so bad right? These young boys who they get from outside of the big cities and pay peanuts. They don’t, they generally don’t target guys. They’re targeting girls. So yeah, you get what you pay for here in India. There is no country where that is more true. You can say at a super cheap hotel, but I guarantee you your experience will not be good. And as a female, you should definitely not be staying in these unsafe hotels. So if you are traveling alone try and stay at a hostel. Somewhere where there are a lot of other people around or staff or family in an Airbnb. These are best for solo travelers here in India and that goes on to my next point, Try not to travel alone around the cities and especially don’t travel alone at night. If you stay at a hostel, if you stay with a family, especially a hostel You’ll find other like-minded people who will want to spend the day with you and they’ll want to travel around with you. You get a lot of solo traveler staying at these hostels here in India. Even if you’re not a super social person, right? You’re a bit timid. People will come and talk to you at a hostel, you know, go and hang out in the common area. You’ll meet people and you’ll be able to travel around the cities and go to all the tourist sites in a group rather than going alone. Eve-teasing or harassment like someone grabbing you for a feel here in India definitely does happen. A lot of people have a story about a stray hand. For example, we were on, I was on the Metro with my sister-in-law and someone in the crowd grabbed her butt okay. Gross yuck and It happens to everybody Indian women included. On public transport make sure you’re sitting in the areas dedicated for women. When you’re out in public you can wear your backpack on the front of you. I see a lot of women doing that. They might have two backpacks one in front one on back. You can’t always do that, right? So you’re just gonna have to be aware of your surroundings and if it happens like I said make a scene, there is always a lot of police around here in India. And there’s a lot of security cameras, especially in the tourist areas. So make a scene others will come and they’ll help you. Go find the police report it and hopefully they’ll find the guy and bring some justice for you. That was all really heavy, right? Try not to little that weigh let you down a bit. Just prepare yourself. Everything is going to be incredible and amazing when you come here to India and I can tell you’re a smart person because you’re here watching this video, you are preparing yourself. So you’re going to come here. You’re going to have an incredible time. You’re gonna love your time here and it will be a life-changing experience in a positive way, okay. So just go and check out the rest of my travel advice videos. Okay My scam videos they are gonna help you to know ends. Go to IndiaSurvivalGuide.com and get my quick start safety guide too. You can literally read this in 90 minutes while you’re on the plane and when you land here, you are gonna be off and running on your feet and having an absolutely incredible time here in incredible India. I love India. Please come and join me here.
Long live India

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