If you don’t already have a valid passport, please apply or renew yours. Your passport must be valid for the dates of your trip. If you do not have a passport, please allow ad- equate time to get one. You will not be allowed to board a plane leaving the country without a passport.
(A note: You may want to make a xerox copy of the visa page and the photo page with your passport information on it and pack it away in your luggage or carry on bag. This will be helpful if you by chance lose your passport.)
Once you have your passport, you will need to get a TOURIST Visa for India. We suggest a 6 month or 10 year visa, whichever makes more sense for your future travel needs. For information on applying for a Visa within the US go to http://indiav- isa.travisaoutsourcing.com/, for those in Europe or Asia go to www.vfsglobal.com.
***There is an option to apply for a Visa upon arrival to India:
Please know that we have had students that have had issues with the Upon Ar- rival Visa. So, we recommend to get your Visa before you travel to the Delhi Air- port.
WHEN FILLING OUT YOUR VISA FORMS:
1. WE SUGGEST A SIX MONTH VISA, UNLESS YOU THINK YOU’LL BE RETURNING TO INDIA AGAIN. THEN WE SUGGEST THE 10 YEAR VISA.
PURPOSE OF VISIT IS: TOURIST (THIS IS IMPORTANT: DO NOT CHECK OFF ANYTHING BUT TOURIST. YOUR VISA MAY BE HELD UP OTHERWISE)
CELL PHONES / INTERNET
Most networks now have international options, though the cost of your calls may be expensive. Most carriers will unlock your phone for you. For international travel please call your cell phone service provider for more information. Unlocking your phone will enable you to purchase a SIM card/phone chip in India, which you insert in place of your home SIM card. This allows you to dial home for a fraction of what it would cost you to use your locked phone from your carrier. You will be able to get an Indian Sim card once your reach India.
We recommend that you get traveler’s insurance for your peace of mind. We do not endorse any particular company. Your best bet is to do an online search or use one of these websites: www.travelguard.com/, www.csatravelprotection.com/ or www.in- suremytrip.com/ are a few companies that provide this service. If you have an Ameri- can Express card and charge your trip with an American Express card, look into what kind of trip cancellation policy American Express provides its members.
There are no required vaccinations for travel in North India. We suggest you consult with your doctor if you are concerned about this issue and do whatever makes you feel comfortable.You also can find information on vaccinations online.
CONVERTERS AND ADAPTERS FOR ELECTRICAL OUTLETS
India runs on 220V/240V. Please bring the proper adapters/converter for the electrical outlets there. The electricity in India can be delicate so please be mindful of how much you are plugging in. For a better idea of what you will need:
http://www.indiaquickfacts.com/content/india-electricity-electrical-plugs-converters- electric- sockets-electric-adapters
Weight limits for luggage are set by each airline. Check with your airline to see what their limits are. A note: International travel has different weight limits than flying domes- tic through India so, you may be charged for overweight on your domestic flight to Rishikesh.
If you go over the weight limit or exceed the maximum allowed pieces, you will be charged by the airline.
We suggest bringing one piece of checked luggage and one small carry- on bag. Use luggage locks, and bring extra locks in case your bags get opened by security.
HOW SHOULD I DRESS ONCE IN INDIA?
MODESTLY AND WITH RESPECT FOR THE CULTURE For women, do not wear clothes that are tight, transparent or show too much skin or underarms. This means no tank tops, halters, short t-shirts or short skirts. We also dis- courage wearing jeans or slacks. Instead wear loose fitting, graceful clothes such as long skirts and Indian kurtas. This is to not only show respect for the culture but to also not draw unwanted attention to yourself.
For men we suggest khakis/linen type pants and Indian kurta tops and no tank tops.
Once in India, there are many shops where you can purchase inexpensive and great clothing to wear and do yoga in.
WEATHER: In October/November , the weather should be mild/warm. Days will be in the 80’s/90’s F. The lows will be in the 50’s - 60’s F
SUPPLEMENTS AND MEDICINE THAT WE SUGGEST
• Acidophilus - non refrigerated - to help with your digestion (we suggest taking it two to three times a day)
• Grapefruit seed extract or GSE. This can be found at any health food store. It can be purchased in liquid form or tablets. The liquid is very bitter, so we rec- ommend buying tablets or capsules. This is nature’s antibiotic, antiseptic and disinfectant. Ingesting every day during your trip will help keep you healthy. For more information on GSE please Google it.
• Vitamin C packets are easy to use and also great for the flight.
• Magnesium/Calcium (will assist with constipation)
• Any medications that you usually take. Do not stop any medications you are already taking. Being in the energy of India does not replace the benefits of your doctor prescribed medicine you may be taking.
• Homeopathics, supplements or herbs that you usually take.
• Advil, Tylenol, or Aspirin, if you use these.
• Melatonin (or other supplements that could assist you with jet lag)
• Pepto Bismol or similar product if you wish.
A prescription for “Cipro” (optional). This is a prescription antibiotic, good for an emergency situation - it’s inexpensive. Like all antibiotics, once you start it you have to finish the entire course. We recommend it only in the case of a severe gastro intestinal situation. It’s not something you take because your stom- ach is a little upset.
STAYING HEALTHY WHILE IN INDIA
***Do Not Drink Water or brush your teeth from a tap or fountain!! Purchase bottled water or check to see if the water is filtered. If you buy bottled water it must have a seal to be safe.
Do Not Eat Food from street vendors! There are restaurants that we do consider safe to eat at which we can recommend when we are there. Eating ice cream in India is also not recommended.