It is said that there is not one India, but many ‘Indias’, a fine way to refer to India’s incredible and unparalleled diversity. The only way to truly appreciate how India changes every few dozen miles is to explore it! And India has indeed become traveler friendly like never before.
Just like any country, there are still preparations you need to make to keep yourself healthy and happy every minute of your journey.
While backpackers can manage on bootstrapped budgets, a bit of money can get you a great insurance plan that provides comprehensive medical cover. Just in case you fall ill in a different state, you can rest assured that your medical bills are the least of your worry.
Medication doesn’t necessarily have to be packed in fear of catching scary bugs – you can just suffer from motion sickness, or have natural allergies to the most ordinary of things. Imodium is great to have on the go, and a packet of rehydration salts is available at any local pharmacy in case you’ve been out in the sun for a while and have been sweating quite a bit.
Your medicine kit should also include a tiny bottle of alcohol based sanitiser. Even in the cleanest nations in the world, commonly touched surfaces like doors and transport will have germs, and this holds true for India too. Wash your hands often, and carry disinfectant wipes or gel for when you can’t. Dab on a bit before eating, and you’ll be fine.
Always buy the cleanest water possible
Most restaurants serve ‘RO’ (Reverse Osmosis) treated water free of charge, but for when you’re feeling thirsty on the go, buy sealed mineral water, or pack water from your hotel in your canteen or thermos.
Insist on your food being made fresh, even with dessert. Indian dessert recipes, like gulab jamun are always best friend anyway! Also buy fruit from local markets, as it’s fresher and tastier than the stuff you’d get in a supermarket. You’re guaranteed fresh food at a busy restaurant where meals are being cooked and served instantly. Also ask your friends for recommendations for restaurants known for their high standards of hygiene and service.
Probiotics are your best friend
Even though you’ve taken all precautions regarding your food’s freshness, you might suffer a stomach upset simply due to changes in how your stomach bacteria processes new cuisines. Probiotics, which are healthy bacteria, put your digestive system in fighting form to digest new cuisines. You can buy a travel pack that doesn’t require refrigeration.
If you do get sick, don’t panic
If you’ve followed the above precautions, you might just have an ordinary flu that’s ‘in the air’. You need to rest a day, soak in the glorious Indian sun, and get some rest. India has some of the finest medical facilities, and your insurance can take care of most check-ups.
Paranoia might ruin your trip more than an actual illness!