Is India Safe to Travel To? Tips for ALL Travellers to India

Is India Safe to Travel To? Tips for ALL Travellers to India


I live in India, I’m married to an Indian and I’ve traveled to every single union territory and state here in India. And today we’re going to talk about is India safe or not to travel in and I’m going to give you a bunch of tips to keep you safe while you’re traveling here in India, and we’re gonna do it from this incredible place I’m traveling alone here in Odisha and I’m literally in the middle of nowhere in a very very rural area. But first oh my god, on the way here so I’m coming here to film a video about travel safety and I stupidly put my tripod down on the side of the road for five minutes so I could get some drone shots and you know and I knew it was a dumb thing to do but it was, it was the risk I took to go and get those shots because I couldn’t carry the tripod with me. Came back the DSLR tripod is gone. I don’t know what a rural person out here would need a DSLR tripod for but whatever they got one now. Let’s go. Let’s take a seat. Let’s chat. India is of course safe to travel alone just like any other country is but you have to prepare yourself, okay? So for example my country New Zealand isn’t save. Tourists get attacked there just like they do here in India. No place is safe and today we’ll talk about a bunch of challenges for foreigners here and then some tips on how to you know deal with these challenges. And the first thing I tell people when they come into India is take a guided tour if this is your first time in India. If you’re naive or an inexperienced traveler, you really really should follow this advice. Take a guided tour. I know you hate guided tours. So do I but you know, the benefit of a guided tour is they are gonna ease you into India. They’re gonna teach you how to survive here in India. You’re gonna be with a guide and with other people for five days sharing experiences sharing stories. It’s just the best way to ease yourself into India. Okay? So what I did the very first time I came here I took the golden triangle to it. They took us to Agra, they took us to the Taj Mahal, to Jaipur and to Delhi and yeah, absolutely the best way for beginners to arrive in India. Okay? Do not just come and think you can handle it because India is a real culture shock and you’re gonna see it the second you walk outside of the New Delhi Airport. But then on the flipside, India is the most incredible country in the world and you are gonna have an incredible time and a very very memorable time. This is why I choose to live it because I love being in India so much and if you watch this entire video and you watch some more of my videos, You’re gonna come here and have an incredible time too. Because I will keep you safe while you are traveling here in India. Now living here in India for so long I’ve had a couple of bad experiences. When you heard about today, right? My tripod got stolen, but partly that was my fault. Another time I was with friend Davin walking down a back road near, near a temple and this old guy comes up to me and starts saying to me lollipop lollipop and used to keep repeating lollipop really creepily and then he he tapped me in my family jewels and I knew what he wanted and huh. So that happened that was gross and then the next time I was, where was I? Oh I was in Gujarat and I was at a bus station. I could feel somebody was watching me. You can feel when someone’s watching you right? I was walking around looking for my bus terminal and he just kept following me then I walked into the toilet and that’s when he followed me in there. He stood in the urinal next to me and he watched me. He looked at me, purved on me. It really creeped me out these two experiences. Then I have had issues in Sydney as well. Guy comes up to me and hugs me and asked me if I wanna, you know. Then in Bangladesh a guy comes up to me and he shows me his phone and he goes, please don’t be angry, please don’t be angry and it’s a text message, which says do you like boy to boy? Uh-huh? I am like hell no, man. At least not boy to boy, come on at least man to man not boy – boy that that’s wrong, it’s illegal. So yeah, I don’t know gay guys like me or something because I’ve had so many of these experiences and there’s more but yeah, let’s move on and so the reason I told you those was here it has happened in India, but it has happened overseas to me as well. There is nowhere which is safe for tourists and when these things happened I was always alone. I was always traveling alone. People see you as as weak when you’re traveling alone all right, and we’ll talk about some tips on dealing of this soon. But let’s talk about the three biggest challenges for foreigners when you guys come here as tourists, okay? First one is the stares. You’re going to get used to people staring at you. And honestly, it’s not malicious. It’s not pervy usually. It is just curiosity. A lot of Indians, especially rural Indians have never seen or met a foreigner before. So they’re gonna stare at you okay, it just happens and Yeah, it even happens in the big cities where they have seen foreigners before. Simply because you’ve got a lot of domestic tourists from outside of these big cities coming in it and it’s usually them who want the photo of the foreigner or who are staring, okay? It can be creepy though. Okay like yeah, You do get creepy guys who won’t stop staring at you and don’t smile back. Don’t, don’t kind of look, stare back at them because these guys have really warped minds and if you engage them Sometimes they think you’re interested win. Hell no, you’re not, you’re creeped out. So I mean to deal with these guys, you just have to move, you just have to get away. And sometimes they can get a bit too close to you as well. So just move, get the hell away from them. We’ll go over some more tips soon. Challenges, so the second one, scams and touts. They are absolutely everywhere and they flock to the tourist attractions, Humayun’s tomb, Red Fort, Connaught place. You can’t avoid them. They will find you and when they do find you just keep walking, do not engage with them. Their whole persona is of a friendly local but very very quickly they will turn in to how they can help you and That’ll turn into how much money can they take from you. Okay? And that’s a sad thing. You can’t trust friendly locals here in India because these touts and these scammers have absolutely wrecked that and to see all these scams and avoid them for yourself. I’ve got a travel scam playlist watch there, you’ll see all the scams that are operating here and you’ll how to avoid them. Okay? The third biggest challenge I find here is the Selfie mobs. Doesn’t sound like much of a problem right? And I want to take selfies of as many people as possible but when one person asks, sometimes it can turn into a queue. Which then people go, oh what’s happening over here? People get inquisitive and they come over and see what’s happening and this starts turning into a big crowd. People pushing to watch, people taking selfies with you and people queuing and pushing with their phones sticking in your face. Yeah, it can just get really annoying and it can get out of control and a little bit scary as a foreigner. The closeness and everything and things can go wrong. So one time a guy was taking itself with mean he tried to kiss me like. Yeah, yuck I just stepped away and yelled at him. Things can go wrong when you’re in these crowds or when you’re taking selfies with people in general and the key here is don’t worry about saying no to people for selfies, okay. It’s not rude. You don’t have to take selfies with anybody. They bring risk that you don’t need especially when you’re travelling alone because that’s what we’re talking about, right? Now let’s talk about some tips to deal with these challenges. And the first tip is do not be afraid to say no. This is the most important word in India and more than that, it’s the most important word in your life. ‘No’ liberates you but yes commits you to things in your life, right? And you have to be very careful about who you say yes to and how much time you put into certain things, when you should be saying no to focus on other things which are more important, right? So don’t overburden yourself in real life by saying yes to everybody. I know people like me we like that, we like to please everybody but I learned to say no and I learned to say no here in India. So if someone is asking you for a selfie and you don’t feel it safe or well, you don’t want to take it. Say no, it’s not rude. You don’t have to take that selfie, right? Someone is coming up to you and they’re asking you, can they help you or can they take you to a shop? No No is the most important word. No and keep walking and this leads me into my second point you have to be assertive here in India and that goes with saying no, right? If someone’s pushing in front of you in line, you got to be assertive. You got to tell them not. There is a line, do not push in front of me. This happens to me a lot here in India. If you don’t be assertive, you’ll get pushed to the back of a line. Someone will always be pushing in front of you or pushing you around and this is because strength respects strength here in India. You can either like, just let it be and let people push you in front of you or push you around. Or you can say naa, no, thanks. Imma take control of this do not push in front of me. Do not push me around and if you don’t learn to say no and you don’t learn to be assertive, you’re nothing but a pushover. You will get pushed around here. Not only in India, but in life, in general and actually bad people they prey on targets they see as weak. They prey on people who they know won’t push back. They are hunters like that. They want the easiest target. So if something happens kick up a fuss, yell, scream. Make yourself known that something is going on and people will come and help you. You have to make it as hard for that bad person as possible. You have to make it for them to go, Oh, I chose the wrong person. I gotta go, I gotta get out of here. You’ve got to be assertive. You got to say no and you got to make a scene if something does happen. Just let rip. This is what’s gonna save you and what is gonna help you here in India. Now guys when you book a super cheap hotel, like a ten dollar hotel, like a 500 rupee hotel in India. What kind of quality? What kind of service and what kind of staff do you think this hotel is hiring? Yeah! The quality is terrible, the service is young uneducated boys. So therefore the hospitality and everything is just going to be bad and we’ve seen so many times on YouTube woman especially staying in cheap hotels and having a bad experience. Surprise, surprise okay. For guys, it’s not so bad right? These young boys who they get from outside of the big cities and pay peanuts. They don’t, they generally don’t target guys. They’re targeting girls. So yeah, you get what you pay for here in India. There is no country where that is more true. You can say at a super cheap hotel, but I guarantee you your experience will not be good. And as a female, you should definitely not be staying in these unsafe hotels. So if you are traveling alone try and stay at a hostel. Somewhere where there are a lot of other people around or staff or family in an Airbnb. These are best for solo travelers here in India and that goes on to my next point, Try not to travel alone around the cities and especially don’t travel alone at night. If you stay at a hostel, if you stay with a family, especially a hostel You’ll find other like-minded people who will want to spend the day with you and they’ll want to travel around with you. You get a lot of solo traveler staying at these hostels here in India. Even if you’re not a super social person, right? You’re a bit timid. People will come and talk to you at a hostel, you know, go and hang out in the common area. You’ll meet people and you’ll be able to travel around the cities and go to all the tourist sites in a group rather than going alone. Eve-teasing or harassment like someone grabbing you for a feel here in India definitely does happen. A lot of people have a story about a stray hand. For example, we were on, I was on the Metro with my sister-in-law and someone in the crowd grabbed her butt okay. Gross yuck and It happens to everybody Indian women included. On public transport make sure you’re sitting in the areas dedicated for women. When you’re out in public you can wear your backpack on the front of you. I see a lot of women doing that. They might have two backpacks one in front one on back. You can’t always do that, right? So you’re just gonna have to be aware of your surroundings and if it happens like I said make a scene, there is always a lot of police around here in India. And there’s a lot of security cameras, especially in the tourist areas. So make a scene others will come and they’ll help you. Go find the police report it and hopefully they’ll find the guy and bring some justice for you. That was all really heavy, right? Try not to little that weigh let you down a bit. Just prepare yourself. Everything is going to be incredible and amazing when you come here to India and I can tell you’re a smart person because you’re here watching this video, you are preparing yourself. So you’re going to come here. You’re going to have an incredible time. You’re gonna love your time here and it will be a life-changing experience in a positive way, okay. So just go and check out the rest of my travel advice videos. Okay My scam videos they are gonna help you to know ends. Go to IndiaSurvivalGuide.com and get my quick start safety guide too. You can literally read this in 90 minutes while you’re on the plane and when you land here, you are gonna be off and running on your feet and having an absolutely incredible time here in incredible India. I love India. Please come and join me here.
Long live India

100 thoughts on “Is India Safe to Travel To? Tips for ALL Travellers to India

  1. Leave your travel tips for India in the comments ? My #1 tip? Learn to say, "NO." This is a rule for life too, not just India.

  2. I lost many things in Thailand but there will be always some Thai runing behind me to hand over my things back, I’m an indian , I’m so sorry that u lost ur dslr, I wish I could buy one for u, I’m broke now, I’m really very sorry

  3. I'm African I heard a few African students were bitten by mob also they think ask if you sell dr*gs. Some black British youtubers were saying the refuse them to inter a nightclub because they were black. I have been travelling in Europe I never experienced any racists. I was advised that is not good idea for dark skin people

  4. I just wonder why don't we Indians face this type of people.

    I seriously want to build a community of people who can be a free host to tourist and show them the beautiful India.

    Karl it would be best if you collab and collect people who can be a great help for tourists give them a great experience.

  5. Sorry, Karl, but NYC IS safe. Those 1970s jokes about getting mugged are out of date. My daughter lives alone in Brooklyn and doesn't like it out in the suburbs! You tripod is stolen in the boonies and you say well, everywhere is crap? NOT SO. I'll never go to India as a senior woman which is an effen shame, but who needs to be tense all the time fending off thugs and dacoits? You're a tall, healthy, young male so what chance does a person like me have?,

  6. Everywhere you could travel to has dangers . The choices you make during your travels determine great our terrible experience .

  7. Sorry, Karl, but you're whitewashing India. In a place like Rwanda, Japan, Iceland or Korea, neither would your tripod have gotten stolen nor do any of the issues you describe apply (scams, hawkers, creeps, etc.).

    India is in many ways a basketcase, the way many/most other countries are simply not.

    Don't run away from it or try to hide it. Acknowledge it, put it into perspective, give advice on how to deal with it. India is wonderful in many regards; it's hopeless and super irritating in others.

  8. It’s my birthday today (28th December.) I am from bengaluru Karnataka and I love this channel. Can I get recognised by Karl and can my comment get a like by him. Thx ?

  9. What about Nepal? And safety. I am there now and if feels very safe. Guided tour? Sometimes guided tours are very ECONOMICAL as well and you certainly save TIME.

  10. I live in India too. Your advice to take a guided tour is nonsense. For what reason would people need to take a guided tour? I don't get your logic. I feel far safer in India than I do in my own country of England. Of course, bad things happen in every country but they are very rare. The only big thing that happens is people overcharging and constantly trying to take money from you. Nearly everywhere is safe, and people here do not see you as "weak" when you are travelling alone. You are guilty of spreading a lot of fear mongering on your channel. Also, there are a lot of good hotels in the price range you have stated, so why do you put them all in the same bracket? Not all women are harassed in cheap hotels, in fact it is as rare as any other crime. Most women are respected. It seems you are making these videos for likes, comments, and follows, rather than giving real truth about India. I love India, and you are giving this country a bad name for no reason. And advising people not to go out in a city alone is the biggest fear mongering of all. As far as I am concerned, India is far safer than most European countries. The only difference is you get harassed a little more, mostly for money, but that is in no way dangerous.

  11. m indian still watch ur all vids HEHEHEHEHE
    u are osm
    still not every helpful local has eyes on money if u try u will find a lot of ppl
    well least in navi mumbai or mumbai

  12. Sounds like a bunch of great survival kit tips for travelling in India. Perhaps you could also think about a helpful video on survival kit with Indian bureaucrats ! There are some organised criminals.

  13. I used Ambey Tourism. My first international trip. 3 American women. We booked a private trip and he (vipul) made sure we were taken care of and safe. But honestly I felt pretty safe in most of the places we went. Even without our guide. India is beautiful. Thanks for helping with my trip. I read your book and also used your guide to hindi and learned quite a lot of hindi before we went. My videos are coming soon. Lots of aloha from Maui hawaii!

  14. I'm traveling through India atm, been for the past 2 months…Thanks for all your advice, I watched a ton of you videos before traveling here…I'm traveling solo and I'm a female and I have been staying in hostels and homestays and both have been fine but the homestays, with a local family have been the best…for me India hasn't really been such a culture shock, which I was actually surprised by but I have been traveling through southeast and central Asia for the past 5 years, so I managed just fine but I did a ton of research before coming as well…But yeah India is intense but def worth it…

  15. My first welcome to India was when I accidentally stepped on human shit on the beach, at first I thought it was dog shit but my friend told me that it was human. I couldn't believe when I seen people just pulling their pants down and shitting on the beach, it literally blew my mind and the Indian friend I was with, he just told me it was normal.

  16. Why not do a video on the air polutuon in Delhi? Its a killer. Surprised that you don't even wear a mask when shooting in Delhi.. It causes problems to more people than scammers do too!

  17. Why's it such a beautiful country if you're saying that you can't walk around alone as a westerner!? If an Indian person couldn't walk around the UK without being harassed, we'd be arrested for discrimination

  18. It is safe, if you do this, and dont do that, only stay in expensive hotels, stay in tourist places …
    So basically it is not safe as any other country.

  19. Hey Karl, I hope you visit Berhampur town and see you there…and you can ping me whenever you want at IG handle @itsashunayak

  20. go to kasol in himachal and check hotel there it is mini Israel,destination for marijuana , and for food lover view will stop your heartbeat don't be negative always be assertive karl all the best i am going to kasol for new year hope i will see you there

  21. Youtube is censoring your videos lol. This videos thumbnail is grayed out for this video. Also another one of your “be careful I’m India” videos thumbnail was also censored out. Fuck YouTube and they’re denial of the truth

  22. Anyone wanna buy a used DSLR Tripod? (No receipt). 😀
    Merry Christmas btw and thanks for all the nice videos out of India!

  23. What's with indians taking selfies with foreigner? Evey foreigner has to go through the same experience. It's gets scary I know. Random people approaching and forcing u to take selfies.

  24. I don't know. While India is beautiful and boasts a rich culture, it just seems too laborious of a place to travel to. Granted, traveling anywhere can be stressful but India seems to have too many scammers and other people pestering you all the time. If I ever go, I'd want to go to Punjab but that's about it.

  25. Good tips for traveling anywhere honestly.
    NO, mind your own business and if trouble comes your way get LOUD.
    Great video Karl!

  26. Hey @Karl, I'm 23 from France and after watching a tons of your videos, I'm planning to visit India in 2020. Thanks, thanks since your Ladakh ride from 2017 !

  27. Dear Mr Karl I am hearing how girls are not safe in India and how police are not there to protect but do just the opposite. Men are very creepy and disrespectful.

  28. Greetings from Boston….I have been to India few times and had a great time for the following reasons: being assertive as you correctly pointed out, staying in 5 star hotels , planning out your trip with a guided tour, drinking water from only SEALED bottle, having a mentality of "survival of the fittest" and doesn't hurt to have a "gym physique" …usually we stay for about 2 weeks but by the end of the trip it can be very exhausting because of the experience of extreme shocking poverty, traffic chaos, noise, pollution,etc and you are glad to be out of the country..scams and attitude usually start at the customs – men in white uniforms in the airport- never friendly or polite, followed by as you are coming out of the airport the smell of leaded gas and humidity hits you hard…on the other hand, amazingly beautiful places in Kerala, Goa, the Indian cuisine, surprisingly the 5 star hotels in India are lot lot better than here in US or in Europe..breathtaking beauty of Taj Mahal will shock you..people in Bombay, Delhi are stylishly dressed ( some women truly very beautiful & look gorgeous in Saris & Indian dresses ), speak good fluent English and time to time you will see chauffeur driven Rolls Royce, Bentley and high end cars…extreme Indeed..you need at least a week to recover after the trip….after a few months, interestingly and mysteriously you will start missing India !!!. Can't explain.

  29. Great vlog Karl, my partner and I have been to india many times, totally agree with you comments, spot on, ur guide is great too, must admit I didnt purchase it, but borrowed a friends ??

  30. KitBoga's videos are awesome, I assume you know him because one of his videos referred me to you. I wish you would contact me privately.
    jdcrunchman at protonmail dot com

  31. After 2 years meeting my boyfriend online, I left to India to meet him. And I traveled by myself from USA to India.. Landed in Mumbai, took another flight to Kolkata… And I have to say, I never been so safe in my life in India. And me being a girl… I was surprise. Is sad how people judge the country.
    And yes the staring is very common.. Just don't stare back.

  32. Everyone (Most) in India is a thief. Just like the case with your tripod, they will take what ever they can even if they don't know what it is or even have a use for it. That is not the point in their mind. Stealing is like breathing with these people. Not to mention the sexual perversion which is also second nature to the India person. Last but not least the less of their evils and that is they are rude and down right filthy. Just being around them is a loss for you. My advice is not to go to India the lack of hygiene is reason enough.

  33. Hi Karl ,one request Can you please explore the location where they shot the Hobbit/LOTR film in New Zealand when you go back there?

  34. I'm married to a foreigner and I'm an Indian and man is he right! People were flocking us to take selfies! They took him away and started taking pictures and soon it became a freaking crowd! It was soo shocking to me! I'm like really?? Indians? Crazy over foreigners like this? And the stares! Man if it was a cartoon movie, the eyes would just pop out of the head and spring around! Listen to Karl ppl, like with headphones, constantly, throughout the day, in loop!

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