Technology through the years has only gotten better. It has connected the world in ways we never thought of. I mean for goodness sake people used to think the earth was flat and now we have Google maps to see its round! What a time to be alive! We have more than the whole world at our finger tips. So let me tell you about a few app -eroonidoonies that will help make your India trip profoundly easier! These all accept international cards or cash payment after receiving or at the time of service. If you have problems call or email the company.
You are going to need inter city transportation.
Uber: We all know uber, I have heard from people that it is sometimes cheaper than Ola. Uber is often be cheaper than autos, especially if you are in a group. You get A.C and you don’t have to bargain, it’s a win-win situation.
Ola: this is another transportation app. It is a lot like uber but it is the Indian version. However the difference is that Ola also includes Auto Drivers.
Delhi Metro Navigator: This is a simple and easy to read app for the Delhi Metro. Some cities don’t have metros but if the city does have a metro I would look up on the play store…. or whatever you apple users have…
Honestly I love auto drives, small seats, no doors, no roll down windows, loud Indian music with small shrines in the little green autos. It is a great cultural experience, and as a bonus point because of the small size they can weave through heavy traffic easier than cars. However if you get stuck in traffic in the middle of summer you’ll wish you were in a car.
For state to state to state travel I highly recommend these apps.
Redbus: This is a website and app. Here you can book buses and hotels all from your phone. Make sure you pay attention to the reviews and plan accordingly. I have only used this app for buses, not the hotels. My buses were all fine and dandy so I can only comment on that part of the application. They did give us the wrong bus number once, but we found a similar number on a bus and we talked to the driver and the Redbus customer service to check the bus. We luckily ended up picking the right bus.
IRCTC: The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation. This is where you are going to book your train ticket. They do accept international cards. If you experience some problems with your card, go to the railway station and book from the kiosk there. DO NOT go to street tourism offices or follow what people on the street have told you. I was walking with a group of travelers and a man stopped us all and showed a fake (but real looking) ID showing us that he was from the Indian railways. He was not, he was directing where his friends office was to scam us. Learn about Indian tourist scams here.
With this said if you miss your bus, for example usually at a location nearby where you were to be picked up (within a km) there will be the bus company’s small shop. However I still recommend you call the website’s phone number first before you start wondering around the streets.
For booking flights there is, Indian Airways, IndiGo, Jet airways, Air India, Go Air, Air Asia and etc. You can book from their websites, apps or sites like clear trip, or make my trip for example. Book your flights online or from well known booking sites or apps. You do not need anyone else to book things for you; they will charge you more and take their cut from it.
We all need a place to sleep, which is perfect because now we are going to go over accommodation.
Hostel world: This for obvious reasons is going to be my first choice. I have had the best luck on this app and website that is why I am mentioning it. However either due to less of a network in India or that there are less hostels here, in some locations there won’t be many listings. However hostels are becoming more popular as tourism increases.
Oyo: This is an app and website that owns hotels and is trying to standardize the experience across the board. I have not used this app in about a year due to some terrible experiences with their hotels. Take this with a grain of salt because my bad experiences happened a year ago (as of 2017) and things could have changed for the better.
Couch Surfing: I do NOT recommend this. I have met many great people in India. However I do not trust most men here. As a woman I advise against using this. Men you will have a different experience with couch surfing here than I would, so I can’t say anything on that. I have heard stories from other female travelers on how uncomfortable their male host made them or how they sexually harassed them. If you are a female and you want to couch surf here, ONLY do so with other female couch surfers.
I have said this before and I will say it again because it is profoundly important to do, READ THE REVIEWS! Read the reviews on the person or on hotel/hostel. Don’t waste your time or money on a bad place. You came here to have a great experience so if that means paying a few extra rupees, it is worth it.
I use Trip Advisor for reviews on hotels and places to go. I use it with every trip I take.
Here are some other booking sites/ apps for flights, hotels, train tickets as well.
I know you are going to want to go to some local events. The best place to find local events in India is honestly Facebook. Everyone here uses Facebook and there are tons of local events posted. Just look up the area you are in and you’ll find quite a few. I can usually find events easier on the app.
Book my show: Here is an app and website in which you can get tickets to events, movies, shows, really anything. Just about all of my Indian friends use it. This site also operates in other places such as, New Zealand and UAE according to their website.
Please note- My International card has not worked with e-wallets here in India- such as Paytm, Mobikwik, Free-charge etc
I hope this list has helped you in your venture to India. I will try to keep this list as up to date as humanly possible. If you have any great traveling apps, please let a sista know by commenting below.