Many people ask me ‘Is India safe to travel solo?’ – particularly solo female travelers. Yes, I completely agree that it is safe for a woman to travel alone in India. I have done it myself, and I also know many other female travel bloggers who have travelled alone.
Dress Conservatively and Avoid Scammers
You should definitely not wear clothing that draws attention to yourself. Don’t wear short skirts and take a headscarf and sunglasses.
Always make sure that you know where you are going and avoid walking the streets alone after dark. Have a small change with you at all times so that you don’t get overcharged or lose your change. There are a lot of scammers and con-artists in India, so completely avoid talking to random people who approach you on the streets.
If Men ask, you are Married!
Is India safe to travel solo for women? Men may try to hassle you, and unfortunately, foreign girls are seen as ‘easy’. Don’t be afraid to lie, and tell them that you are meeting your husband, even if you don’t have one! Some girls even wear a fake wedding ring in India. Just don’t draw attention to yourself as a single female.
Delhi can be Tough!
If you’re flying into Delhi, this city can be a little overwhelming at first. Tuc-Tuc drivers will take you to their friend’s restaurant, hotel and travel agency rather than where you want to go! Be firm and assertive and always have a booking.
Local travel agents Will probably tell you that the train is Full because they want to put you on overpriced bus! Just tell them that your friend already has the tickets and move on. There are lots of touts in the train station, so ignore them and walk straight through to the ticket office or platforms.
You will probably need to push your way in when you get to ticket offices and banks. Learn to use your elbow to keep your position! If this is all a little too much, you can always pay someone at your hotel to organize a train ticket for you.
Plan your journey particularly well, and make sure that you know EXACTLY where to go in Delhi, or you could be ripped off or find yourself in a sticky situation. But, there are many amazing things to do in Delhi.
Holy Cities – Varanasi, Pushkar, Rishikesh
Personally, I felt much safer in some of the smaller Holy cities such as Pushkar than in Delhi and Jaipur.
In holy or religious places such as Varanasi, Haridwar, and Rishikesh, do not except flowers as gifts from strangers, because they will take you to hungry Brahmin who will overcharge you for a Puja. If you do want to do a Puja ceremony, a donation is Rs.40 or Rs.50 should be plenty. They will probably ask you for 500, at which point you can laugh and say 10! They try to blackmail you into paying more sometimes, which is quite a horrible experience – they may tell you that it will bring bad luck to your family. Don’t be phased by it and just say that you don’t believe in karma. Puskar Brahma temple – don’t accept flowers from anyone inside the temple unless you want to be ripped off!
Eat Well and Drink Bottled Water
One last thing, you will probably get Delhi belly. It is normal to be sick for a few days because of the difference in food and climate. If it doesn’t pass after a day or two, your hotel will phone you a Doctor. Drink bottled water and be aware of where you eat, particularly cleanliness when you buy street food.
So, is India safe to Travel Solo for women?
All in all, it is possible for a woman to travel alone. Have your wits about you, dress conservatively and take advice from people who you know and trust. But India is such an amazing and vast country, you could spend years there and still not see it all! Have an amazing time traveling India solo!