If you’re planning a big vacation, it can be hard to decide where to go. It’s going to be a large investment: both financially and in regards to your precious time off work. So you want it to be worth every penny and second of your time. So, where to go? Well, India has seen a rapid increase in tourism and for a good reason! It’s the perfect destination for any explorer. It’s such a large country that it has something for absolutely everyone. Urban spaces, beautiful beaches, cultural hotspots and expansive rainforests. Here are a few reasons you might like to make visiting India top of your bucket list.
Indian restaurants have established themselves around the globe. Curries are now one of the planet’s favorite cuisines. But there’s no beating the real deal. Whether you’re a carnivore or vegan, there will be plenty of options available to you. They will be some of the most delicious dishes you ever get your hands on. Menus will be as diverse as the country you’re visiting. The North will see more thick and creamy curries that are mild to the taste. It is heavily influenced by Persian and Mughlai traditional cooking methods. Southern Indian dishes will tend to use more coconut, spiced rice and will generally be more spicy. There are also snack-like street foods that you will want to try out.
India is home to one of the most famous architectural feats of the world: the Taj Mahal. This is, understandably, a UNESCO world heritage site. Made of white marble, this is a huge mausoleum built between 1631 and 1648. The emperor of the time commissioned the project in memory of his favorite wife. The result was a masterpiece and is visited by around three million people each and every year. There are also various other architectural wonders to keep a look out for while visiting India.
Indian is renowned for its bustling marketplaces. There are endless traditional markets spread across the country, selling wares and goods of high quality and the brightest colors. Visiting a local market is one of the most authentic experiences you will undertake on your journey. They’re also a great place to pick up little trinkets and souvenirs for your friends and family back home. Remember to barter for goods; it’s expected and you will be able to receive a better price for your purchase.
The state of Goa is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, with white sand, azure seas and clear skies for most of the year. There are also lower footfall beaches that you might like to check out as an alternative though. Maharashta, Kerala and Karnataka are all home to beautiful alternatives.
Remember that you will need to have all of your documentation and identification ready well in advance of your flight out. Make sure that your passport is well up to date and exceeds beyond the length of your stay. You will also need an Indian Tourist Visa. Without one of these, you will be denied access to the country. The process of gaining the visa is easier than ever and can now be completed online. So don’t delay and apply as soon as your flights are booked.
Check in with your local GP and ask for their recommendations regarding vaccinations for the area of India that you will be visiting. Vaccines are likely to include: hepatitis A, tetanus and typhoid. To be on the safe side, you might also like to consider diphtheria, hepatitis B, and (if you are planning on contact with animals) rabies. You should also take a course of malaria tablets, as the risk is moderate in most parts of the country.
What to Pack
The length of your stay will determine how many items that you need to pack. The weather will most likely be hot and humid. So make sure you have plenty of lightweight, breathe easy clothing to tide you over during your stay. Also, remember to pack plenty of sun protection: sun creams and oils are good options. Try out a high SPF lip balm (your lips are one of the most sensitive areas of your body) and to wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed sunhat too. You will also want to stock up on insect repellent. Most areas will have creepy crawlies that are prone to nip and bite. Prevention is better than cure, so remember to coat yourself with plenty of bug spray. For extra protection, wear an insect repellant bracelet.
Have you ever wanted to just stare at the most beautiful islands on Earth? Here they are, in their full glory.
Maui is one of the most unusual islands in the world. It sits atop a 10,000-foot volcano, but don’t let that put you off. The island plays host to many of the traditional tourist attractions, including golf and scuba diving in its warm Pacific waters. The island is also a great place to hike, thanks to the elevation of the central volcanic mountain. Along the way, you’ll discover waterfalls, black sand beaches from the volcanic ash, and marine life. Many people who venture to the island also enjoy watersports, including surfing and windsurfing. There’s even some fashionable shops.
Andaman Nicobar, India
The Andaman Nicobar Islands are a chain of more than 300 islands over 1,000 miles off the east coast of India. They’re famous for their dense tropic jungle and unique wildlife. In fact, the islands host some of the most unusual species in the world, being so far away from the nearest land.
Bora Bora, Pacific Ocean
The island of Bora Bora is a tiny volcanic island in the middle of the Pacific ocean. It’s just six miles wide and two miles long. James Cook, the eighteenth-century British explorer, called the island the pearl of the Pacific. And he wasn’t joking. Here you’ll find warm waters and a lagoon that circumnavigates the island. The primary industry here is tourism. Here tourists get to enjoy some of the most magical island experiences in the world, including swimming with fish. But because Bora Bora is so isolated, it costs a lot of money to service it with supplies. As a result, the prices are high. If you want to go to this little spot of paradise, you’ll have to save your money.
Galapagos, Pacific Ocean
The island of Galapagos isn’t just a beautiful tropical paradise. It’s also an island that had an enormous bearing on the future of science. It was here, more than 100 years ago, that Charles Darwin was inspired to think up the theory of evolution. Since then, his theory has stood the test of time. As you might expect, the wildlife of Galapagos is truly unique. It’s nothing like the life found throughout the rest of the world. It evolved separately, along its own path.
Galapagos is an island around 600 miles to the west of Ecuador in South America. There’s plenty of opportunities to enjoy the unique wildlife on the island at the Charles Darwin Research Station. There are also many white sand beaches teeming with island life. For the adventurous, a trip to the island’s Sierra Negra volcano is always a treat.
St. Martin, Caribbean
No tour of the world’s best islands would be complete without a mention of the Caribbean. St Martin represents all we associate with the Caribbean: laid back lifestyle and wonderful weather. But it’s an island that also has it’s own interesting history. The island is carved up into two parts. The north is controlled by the French, the South by the Netherlands. In the north, you’ll find beautiful food and high cuisine. In the south, you’ll find casinos and a healthy nightlife.
@muradosmann ‘s inspiring photo series called #FollowMeTo, which features photos of his girlfriend leading him by the hand through all of their travels—from the Taj Mahal to the Eiffel Tower and everywhere in-between.
Based in Paris,@kattanita is a fashion, beauty and travel blogger
who documents her stylish adventures across the world.
@chrisburkard takes adventurous snaps that range from kayaking to skiing and surfing as well as plenty of picturesque mountains.
@aladyinlondonis the official guide to London. Consider her feed your VIP pass to the best parts of the Brit city—plus a dose of quick trips to other Euro hotspots.
Follow for @lepostcar An inside look at jet setters’ travels around the world, especially highlights from fashion insiders working in all realms of the industry.
@passionpassport: A community of travelers and photographers sharing their best snaps (think waterfalls, rock cliffs and exotic sceneries).
The London-based blogger @hermioneolivia a picturesque photo stream of travel snaps, chic cafes, personal style like you’ve never seen it before.
@stephbetravel snaps An abundance of sunny beaches, exotic pools and warm-weather getaways in the most beautiful retreats around the world.
Follow@theblondegypsy for your ultimate insight into European travel—with a focus on the gorgeous seas and views from the Balkans.
@parisinfourmonths the story of a blogger who moved to Paris for what she thought would be just four months—but ended up staying there permanently.