1. REACH SAFE: Arrange for trustworthy airport transfers through a women’s venture.
2. SLEEP SAFE: Reserve a private, comfortable room with ensuite in a woman-friendly B&B Homestay (not too far from New Delhi’s international airport), where you can kick off your shoes and let down your hair in a serene ambience. Ensure the homestay is in a decent neighborhood, far from the madding crowd yet close enough for comfort, with medical facilities and a full-fledged shopping center nearby.
3. BREATHE SAFE: In a hygienic, no-smoking accommodation with garden, veranda and terrace, situated in a leafy and quiet part of South Delhi suburbs, with the countryside bang next-door.
4. EAT SAFE: Prefer meals that are fresh, clean, tasty, nutritious and home-cooked, to unknown market or restaurant fare. Drink only purified, bottled, or well-boiled beverages.
5. TRAVEL SAFE: Accompanied by a mature, well-traveled, western-educated (and protective) Indian guide with insider knowledge of New Delhi’s delights (well-known and lesser-known) and those of its surrounding States, a guide who speaks your language, understands your needs and those of the local population, one who will also teach you the ropes. If the guide has had some training in self-defence/martial arts, that could prove an added advantage.
6. SPEND SAFE: Take the advice of your homestay hosts on what to buy from where, and how much to pay for it
7. TALK SAFE: Pick up basic words and expressions of Hindi or a regional language, from your hosts, to break the ice with locals
8. DRESS SAFE: Let your Indian homestay hosts advise you on what best to wear, when and where
9. REJUVENATE SAFE: Take lessons in Yoga & Meditation, swallow a daily dose of a popular Ayurvedic tonic, bathe in a natural spa, go on nature walks, cycle tours or treks
10. IMMERSE SAFE: Get first-hand, authentic information on Indian culture, travel and tourism from your knowledgeable hosts who can introduce you to the local community/their circle of friends, make you participate in local festivals, fairs and other cultural events, recommend eco or cultural activities in the neighborhood dear to your heart, that you could enroll for.
These tips followed, you, solo woman traveler, or foreign senior couple, will probably enjoy every single day of your (minus any stalking or Delhi-belly) Delhi holiday!
And now for the BIG QUESTION: Does anyone know of a single reference point providing all the above safety valves?
Sure, I DO.