Kerala is a great holiday destination with several locales of tourist interest that continues to draw travelers from different parts of the world. The people here are hospitable and friendly, the climate quite pleasant and the environment typically suitable for tourism. While there are no undue concerns to be worried about, you must follow the usual standard safety and health precautions during your visit to God’s Own Country too!
From health precautions that are applicable to this destination to precautions for personal safety and those to protect valuables, there are quite few measures that you will need to take to ensure your journey is enjoyable, safe, and comfortable.
Even if you are familiar with the drill, let’s quickly recap and also update you on the destination-specific precautions that can be quite useful.
- Carry your medical records, regular and emergency medications and remember to get vaccinated before you embark on your trip to Kerala. Mosquito repellents and nets are bound to come in handy, especially if you plan to visit just after the monsoon.
- Though tempting, do not consume raw salads or cut fruits from roadside eateries. More importantly do not accept edible foods, fruits, biscuits, water or other drinks from strangers, especially on the train / bus. Carry and use bottled mineral water and remember to buy mineral water from decent restaurants. Check if the seal on the bottle is intact before you pay for it.
- Mosquito/bug repellants and your regular medications for indigestion or cold are a must. If you fall sick and your usual medicines seem ineffective, make sure to visit a local doctor/hospital at the earliest. Your hotel manager will be able to guide you to a reputed/credible health care specialist.
- Couples planning for Kerala honeymoon packages better avail the services of a trusted and reputed tour operator who can arrange for travel, accommodation, sightseeing and assistance of a reliable local tour guide to ensure they have a hassle-free holiday.
- Never pay service providers (tour guides, cab rentals) the full amount in advance and if you are not comfortable with the service levels or intentions politely avoid further interactions.
- Female travelers must be cautious when striking up conversations with strangers, even if cab drivers or other service staff. Limiting conversations to cover just essential queries will help prevent unwanted interactions.
- Irrespective of culture and fashion quotient, female tourists must dress conservatively to avoid drawing attention and respect local traditions. Revealing clothes and nudity are taboo here and are bound to create problems.
- Store your valuables and travel documents in the hotel’s safe deposit vaults. Ask for the facility once you reach your accommodation and keep copies of important documents when out on a tour, should you need to furnish them.
- The beaches of Kerala are the most appealing attractions that draw people from all walks of life. Do not linger on the beach after sun down. For that matter, it is not advisable to venture out at nights, lest you attract any trouble. While it may be safe when travelling in large groups, it is better to steer clear of trouble.
- Make sure carry just sufficient cash when in the cities. However, shops at the remote and rural regions of Kerala may not accept credit cards and it is advisable to be accordingly prepared as well. Hold your shoulder/sling bags close lest they get yanked away in crowded areas.
- While Bus travel is a cheapand easy way to explore the terrain and experience the local lifestyle, it may not be that comfortable for tourists who tend to become a point of focus. You’ll need to be extra careful about your belongings and not being jostled in the crowds. Of course make sure to buy a ticket and hold on to it carefully till the end of your trip for ticket checking en-route is quite a common practice here.
- Keep regular tabs on the news for latest information on weather, local events and of course health bulletins as well. Do not risk venturing out if the climate (natural / political) is not favorable. Stay away from areas that are experiencing local unrest or epidemic breakout.
- Kerala is typically a hot and humid region except for its hill stations that are a tad cooler. It is important for travelers to be fully prepared for the fluctuating weather conditions as well as their time at the beaches. Suitable beach wear, sun glasses, hats and sun screen creams/lotions, light cotton outfits plus sweaters and shawls for cooler hill station visits may be required depending on your travel plans.
- When exploring forested terrain, dress to merge with the surroundings and move slowly, lest you disturb the wildlife. If at all you need to run for your life, do not run on a straight path!
- Avid photographers must of course take necessary precautions to protect their valuable gear from moisture and be fully prepared to capture best images in low visibility, especially in fogged or forested terrain.
- Do follow the safety instructions when staying on a houseboat. Get familiar with the safety/emergency features and call for assistance when needed.
- Remember to avoid any public display of affection.Hugging and kissing in public spaces are not really welcome here. As for honeymooning couples, most Kerala honeymoon packages ensure enough privacy to enjoy your romantic moments in some of the most, scenic and secluded locales.
- Temples in Kerala have their own customs and dress code. Most of them are off limits for non-Hindus, while few allow visitors into the premises but not the inner sanctum. Check access permissions, temple timings, dress codes, photography permissions and other details before heading out for a visit.
Your standard set of precautions will work just fine when visiting Kerala as well. Staying in the good books of the locals makes all the difference!