While travelling to India, getting sick during your stay is almost inevitable, however with proper preparations and precautions, you will avoid consuming much of your precious vacation time in hospitals owing to simple ailments like malaria, food poisoning and diarrhea, the major ailments that affect travelers. Your health state while in India largely depends on the preparations you make before you even set foot in the foreign land. Plan ahead and you will enjoy a healthy and at the same time a safe trip. You will need to secure travel insurance, anti diarrhea medication, malaria medication, up to date vaccinations and insect protection among others.
Never travel to India without first getting travel insurance, even if you feel fit and healthy, it’s wise to take precautions as accidents do happen. Remember to inform the travel agency of any existing medical conditions that you may have, this is because most insurance companies will not compromise with undeclared pre existing medical conditions. You may insure yourself against other adventure covers like scuba diving, and rock climbing. Always ensure that your health insurance company covers international treatment and also emergency evacuation services. Carry extra cash to cater for minor medication and other medical services that you may need.
Consider going for vaccinations in specialized travel clinics, they usually stock up all vaccines and offer travel advises depending on the country you want to travel to. Doctors take onto account certain factors like the duration of your trip, underlying medical conditions like pregnancy, past vaccination histories among others. Most of vaccines actually start giving you immunity two weeks after intake so you should consider visiting your doctor four to six week before actual departure. Your doctors will also give you a yellow booklet, an International Certificate of Vaccination that usually shows all the vaccinations you have received.
Most vaccines don’t give immunity until at least two weeks after they’re given, so visit a doctor four to eight weeks before departure. Ask your doctor for an International Certificate of Vaccination (otherwise known as the ‘yellow booklet’), which will list all the vaccinations you’ve received. Make sure you have at least vaccination against yellow fever, meningococcal, typhoid, hepatitis A and B, polio, Japanese encephalitis and Tetanus diphtheria. Don’t forget preventative treatment against Malaria unless you will be living in places with high altitudes of above 6,500 feet.
Pack Your Medications
With you carry any current medications that you might be currently using as well as other antibiotics that you will use to treat emerging problems like diarrhea, dehydration salts, and pain killers and anti diarrheal medication should be top in your list. You might also consider buying them in India after arriving .carry with you insecticides and other products like mosquito coils if you will be travelling to mosquito infested areas (Image by Xosé Arsenio Coto).
Avoid drinking water that is not filtered, chemically treated or boiled. Avoid taking drinks that have ice cubes, fruit drinks as most are prepared using tap water, buy only bottled and sealed water. You can also carry some personal filters or purification tablets especially if you will be in the rural areas.
Only eat peeled fruits and cooked vegetables. You can carry a knife with you and peel the fruits you buy and want to eat while travelling. Eat only in hotels that are spick and span, avoid eating strange dishes, eat what everybody else is eating; chances are that’s fresh food. Avoid roadside sheds as you don’t know how they prepare their meals. Eat only steaming hot foods.
Wear long pants and long sleeved shirts to avoid insect bites especially while travelling to forested or swampy regions. Avoid direct sun burn by applying sunscreen ointments and wearing a hat to cover your head.
Use this travel tips and you will have a fantastic and peaceful stay in India.
Featured image courtesy: Ancilla Tilia