As we embark on our Mystical Mamas tour to India, we will be adapting to a new climate and new food. Here are 10 tips from our pre-departure packet to staying healthy and safe while in India:
1) Be wary of uncooked food, especially salads, and unpeeled fruits or vegetables. Custards, pastry creams, yogurt and unboiled milk should be avoided where refrigeration is primitive.
2) We recommend going vegetarian while in India. Plus, many Indians are vegetarian, so there's a fabulous choice of vegetarian food. If you do eat meat, make sure it's well cooked.
3) Look for a restaurant where lots of locals are eating - chances are the food will be fresh, delicious and reasonable.
4) Don't buy food from street vendors or stalls, and don’t eat food that is no longer hot.
5) Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.. Note: Do not drink or even brush your teeth with tap water unless you have purified it with iodine or a Steripen. (SteriPens use ultraviolet light to kill microorganisms and avoids the need for purchasing plastic water bottles)
6) Carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer and wipes and wash hands before eating, with soap. Otherwise the dirt of India's streets will find its way onto your chapatis and into your mouth.
7) Dress conservatively, covering legs and shoulders, and avoid tight clothing. Long skirts for women are useful, and good in the heat of Delhi and Agra, and when entering sacred buildings. 8) Avoid carrying large amounts of money, tickets or other valuable things (iPads, etc.) with you that are easily seen.
9) Bring a first aid kit and your insurance documents, in the event you do need them.
10) To ensure physical safety, be aware of your surroundings and handle yourself with confidence, walking with shoulders back and head high, like you do when you are at home.