What documents to obtain before your trip to India?

Planning a trip to India? It sounds like major fun but before you get too carried away with shopping for saris and scarves, there are a couple of documents you should have on hand. Having these documents will ensure that you have a hassle-free departure and arrival in India so you can enjoy the beautiful wonders that the country has to offer. Like most countries, India is very particular about security so it’s pretty cool to make sure that you have all the necessary paperwork that you’ll need.

Here are a few important documents that you’ll need:

  • Passport – Yeah, what a cliché, you may be thinking but make sure you have a valid one at hand.
  • Visa- You’ll be surprised some people don’t know they need to apply for a visa before traveling. There are countries that you don’t need a visa before entering them but India is not one of them.

iVisa a website to check out to see the countries that require a visa before entry and those that don’t. You can also get your visa directly from them for a small fee.

  • Entry Permits- Some places in India will ask you for an entry permit so if you have one, keep it close by just in case.
  • Copies of your passport photograph and a copy of your latest visa- You’ll need this for booking tourist train tickets, buying a SIM card and also for lodging in a hotel, especially one that doesn’t have a copy machine.

The worst thing that could happen to you is to be sent out of your room at 4 am to get these copies. Have them before traveling and undisturbed sleep is guaranteed. They need this copy to fill out a special C form for each guest. You’ll be surprised at how much attention to detail is given to your entire stay.

  • A2 × 2 passport photograph- As I mentioned earlier, you’ll need this for getting a SIM card and also if you want to visit an ashram. You can’t predict when they will ask for this so just have at least 10 copies. You never know when you might get an opportunity to meet the Dalai Lama and you’ll be glad you had some in your pocket.
  • Driver’s License- Everyone knows that you need a good local license to drive a vehicle but even if you are pulled over on your scooter, you have something to show them that will get you out of trouble. It’s very easy to get a license these days so just get one and keep it.
  • Student ID- If you’re a college student, this little piece of identification can seriously come in handy. Who knows, you could get a discount on a movie ticket or at the museum.
  • Travel Insurance- Make some copies of this document if you have it and take it with you on your trip. Also, write down some important phone numbers to call in case it’s needed.
  • Vaccinations- It’s important that you get vaccinations before traveling to some countries and in India, you may be asked for proof of Yellow Fever vaccination. Keep all the necessary paperwork with you so that you don’t get quarantined or turned away at the airport.
  • Debit card numbers- It’s alright to have your debit card but you might need to write the card numbers down somewhere and keep them close to you just in case your card gets stolen and you need cash urgently.
  • A copy of your E-ticket– Some airports in India will ask you for this and you may not have access to the Internet to show them the details on your phone. To avoid any problems, get a copy of your flight ticket and keep it in your backpack.
  • Journal- It’s not a document but keeping a record of your adventures will make your trip more memorable for you. You could write down some peculiar sights, an inspiring quote or a new recipe that you learned.

A Bonus Tip: Keep your passport photographs and debit cards in your wallet and the rest of your documents in your backpack. Then sit back, relax and enjoy your trip!