The most important piece of advice that I would give to a solo traveler through India would be to begin early and make sure of reaching the intended destination before dusk. Doing this would enable the traveler to find a budget place to stay and also minimize chances of trouble, by not travelling in the night.
The street food in India is notorious for causing some form of food poisoning or what has commonly become known as “Delhi Belly”. This usually only applies to the meat products, as it seems that foreigners have trouble breaking down this type of food.
Overall you’ll find that the local cuisine is very affordable, so you shouldn’t have any trouble being able to afford to splurge at a fancier restaurant that’s more reputable amongst foreigners.
Though the way of the world teaches us to be extremely cautious when travelling alone, there should be little cause for concern while adventuring through India. The people are kind and more than anything simply curious about new faces.
If you do find yourself in a situation where you are being harassed, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and be firm or even shout. The embarrassment alone will usually put an end to any negative behaviour.
Aside from walking on them, try and keep your feet out of the equation. Feet are deemed to be dirty and even gesturing towards them can be seen as an insult. Don’t ever put your feet up on a chair or table and remember to take your shoes off before walking into people’s homes or sacred places such as temples.
Again, this is more prevalent with women, but you shouldn’t be alarmed when your presence is requested in a photo. Consider it a compliment! It’s perfectly innocent in most cases and is also usually aimed at women.
You can always mention that you’re married and your husband won’t approve if you start to feel overwhelmed or annoyed. Fine with it? Then don’t forget to smile!
Travelling alone will result in you meeting people and them wanting to make you feel at home. Indians do this by way of a multitude of questions, some of them quite personal. It’s best not to get offended, as these are seen as more of a bonding exercise. They’re simply trying to get to know you and make you feel more at home.
You’re going to be far from home and alone so why not just let your parents relax and give yourself the peace of mind that comes with the security of travel insurance. Err on the side of caution by taking up some comprehensive travel insurance, as it’s not expensive and will be your very best friend if the worst happens.
Should you get injured, travel insurance could be the difference between you having to navigate your way through local hospitals on your own or being flown back home to familiar territory.