How to stay healthy in India

photo by CC user שיע.ק on wikimedia commons

Despite being a destination containing some of the world’s best cultural and historical sites, and some of its best food, many people hesitate to book a trip to the Indian Subcontinent out of fear that they will fall ill during their travels there.

By learning how to stay healthy in India, you can avoid these issues and have a marvelous time.

Buy a comprehensive travel insurance plan in place before leaving

Despite all your best efforts to stay healthy using the tips below, you might slip up anyway and get seriously ill.

While this is a rare occurrence for those that are mindful about their health on the road, it still happens, and costs for treatment can quickly exceed your ability to pay if you don’t have a robust travel insurance policy in place.

By buying coverage before leaving home and keeping it up to date on an extended trip, you’ll have a backup plan in the unlikely event that everything goes south for you on the health front.

Get all the vaccines recommended for the Indian Subcontinent

Make sure that you get poked for meningitis, hepatitis A & B, and typhoid fever before departing for India.

Get inoculated for Japanese encephalitis if you plan on spending significant time in the countryside, and if you are coming up on the latter years opposite to your last MMR and polio booster shots, now would be a good time to re-up your immunity to these nasty bugs.

Only drink sealed bottled water / bring water purification tablets if you’re trekking

Point blank: the water in India is not safe for human consumption due to industrial pollution and the lack of attention by civil authorities with regards to proper water purification.

As such, you should only drink sealed, bottled water while in India, and if you have to resort to drinking the tap water, boil it for a minimum of 20 minutes, or install / use a water purifier if you are going to living there for a prolonged period of time.

If eating street food, eat where tons of locals eat

Don’t avoid all that drool-inducing street food as a result of your fear of getting sick. Watch for the locals and observe where they are eating en masse: not only is a crowd a vote of confidence in the cooking and hygiene of a specific cook, the rapid turnover of food reduces the odds of spoilage occurring from ingredients that sit outside of safe storage for too long.

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