Travelling Alone In India: Useful Tips For Solo Travellers

Travelling Alone In India: Useful Tips For Solo Travellers

In India , things are a little more complicate than in other regions of the globe for women and solo travelers, whether in terms of dress code (for the former) or prices (for the latter). As always, Homestay in Mussoorie a minimum of preparation is required. Here is a short guide and advice for anyone wishing to venture alone and especially for women in India.

The Ba-Ba of the solo traveler in India

One of the advantages of traveling solo in India is that it makes it easier to be “adopt” by local families encountere along the way, to make friends and better understand the local culture. The big tourist centers like Goa or Kerala are the best places to socialize with other travellers. To find someone to share the road with, check out Finding Teammates on our forum.

The number of sexual assaults on women and girls in India is on the rise. The introduction of harsher sentences since the high-profile gang rape and murder of an Indian woman in 2012 has not change that. Although several attacks have been perpetrate against tourists in recent years, it should however be kept in mind that the vast majority of stays take place without problem.

Unsolicited attention

On the part of men, it is often a problem.

  • Expect to be stared at; there’s no need to get upset about that.
  • Do not respond to insistent looks, at the risk of giving the impression of encouragement.
  • Sunglasses, a phone, a book or an electronic device will help you avoid unwanted conversations.
  • You can also wear a wedding ring and say you’ll find your husband, which should repel intruders.

Dress code

While middle-class women in Delhi often dress like those in Paris, elsewhere in India women wear traditional dress. Travellers will therefore have every interest in wearing clothes in keeping with the culture of the country.

  • Thus, avoid tank tops, shorts, short skirts (prefer models reaching the ankles) and anything that may be transparent, tight, or too little covering.
  • Dressing in Indian style (with a salwar kameez – traditional long tunic and trousers – for example) gives a positive impression and reduces risks.
  • A dupatta (long scarf) drap over a T-shirt is handy to avoid prying eyes; ideal for hiding, it will also be use to cover your head in some temples.
  • You can also adopt the kurta (long shirt) on jeans or pants.
  • Do not go out wearing a choli (bodice worn under the sari) or a sari petticoat (which many foreign women mistake for a skirt); it would be like walking around half-dress.
  • Most Indian women wear shorts and a T-shirt for swimming; it is better to drape yourself in a sarong to return from the beach to the hotel.

Sexual harassment

Many cases of sexual harassment have been reported by tourists, Homestay in Mussoorie consisting of inappropriate words or gestures most of the time.

  • Travelers have reported being subject to inappropriate gestures, teasing, “accidental” jostling in the street and being shadow.
  • Incidents are frequent during the festivities – for the Holi festival for example. If a crowd forms, stay away and find a safer place; you will avoid wandering hands.
  • Women who travel with a companion are much less inconvenience.

Useful precautions

The following tips are intended to help you avoid embarrassing or dangerous situations:

  • Pay attention to your surroundings. If it seems insecure, follow your instincts. Be careful. Don’t be afraid, but be careful.
  • Cut conversations with unknown men short. Prolonging an exchange of uninteresting remarks can pass for encouragement.
  • If you feel like a man is following you, tell him firmly to leave you alone, loud enough to catch the attention of passers-by.
  • Follow the example of Indian women: instead of shaking hands, say namaste, the traditional greeting.
  • Avoid wearing expensive-looking jewelry and flashy accessories.
  • In the cinema, you will attract less attention and minimize the risks by being accompanied.
  • In hotels, lock your door. Some employees (particularly in low-budget or medium-category establishments) enter without waiting for authorization after knocking.
  • Don’t let strangers into your hotel room, Homestay in Mussoorie even if it’s an employee of your travel agency pretending to have a problem solved.
  • Avoid places with little traffic, even in the middle of the day: galis (alleys), streets, beaches or deserted sites.
  • Act confident in public; avoid appearing lost (and therefore vulnerable); check the maps at the hotel or in a restaurant rather than on the street.

Taxis and public transport

Being a woman has certain advantages: you can usually get ahead of everyone else in queues for buses and trains; in the latter, Homestay in Mussoorie compartments are reserve for women. Some stations have specific waiting rooms.

  • When booking your accommodation, ask to be pick up at the airport; imperative if your flight lands after dark.
  • Avoid taking a taxi late at night; never accept the presence of a man other than the driver, even if the latter claims he is his “brother”.
  • Delhi and other cities have prepaid radio taxi services like Easycabs; more expensive than classic prepaid taxis, they are safer, with handpicke drivers.
  • Uber and Ola taxis are also ideal: you can retrieve the license plate number beforehand, which makes it possible to ensure that it is indeed the right vehicle, or even, if you wish to take all precautions, communicate the number to a third party.
  • When you borrow a rickshaw alone, pretend to call someone by indicating where you are.
  • Arrange not to be in bus or train stations after dark.
  • Tourists who travel alone by train seem less bothere when they do not use economy classes.
  • If you’re taking an overnight train, it’s best to book an air-conditioned upper 2nd class outer berth (2AC): you’ll avoid wandering hands, be surround by other people and won’t be lock in like in the compartments for four people in 1st class air-conditioned (1AC, in which you could find yourself alone with someone).
  • In public transport, do not hesitate to reject any inappropriate gesture; put a bag between you and your neighbour, Homestay in Mussoorie protest loud enough to attract attention, or switch places.

Health and hygiene

Sanitary napkins are available everywhere; tampons can only be found in pharmacies in large cities and tourist centers (the choice is often limited). Plan ahead if you go off the beaten track.


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