5 survival tips for Delhi belly

You’re going to India? Let’s face it you will get sick at some point. The important thing is to be prepared for it when it happens and to accept that it’s probably best you don’t do any transit time during your bout.

1 Bottled water

Old tip but a good one - bottled water only folks

Most of the nasties are in the local water. So make sure your water is a sealed bottle of water and not some dodgy refill job done from a tap. Be cautious not to have ice in your drinks also likely to be tap water.

Image credit: PublicDomainPictures 

2 Food, go for freshly cooked

Watch western orientated food while you are in India and go for good, fresh local stuff prepared before you

Avoid fancy restaurants specially ones where you can order “westerner foods” such as burgers or pizza ……..they tend to keep food over night in fridges this doesn’t work with power black outs. You are much better off going to a street vendor where you can see them making the produce in front of you and its all so fresh and delicious!!!!

A good one to try is a dosa (a rice flour pancake with fresh curry chutneys).

Image credit: psaudio 

3 Shack up somewhere with facilities

Ok this is bit more upmarket than you will usually get in the spur of the moment poo emergency

When you get sick, the best option is to find a nice bamboo shack or if your fairly rich maybe you’d rather a plush hotel room with marble floors. Either option will do as long as you have some form of squat or toilet near by! And I mean near by! You will probably be back and forthing from said toilet or squat rather frequently.


In fact I can not recount a time in my life before travelling in India where I have ever been so reliant on a toilet.

Image credit: bicksonwalder 

4 Watch your meds

Meds aren't the cure

Believe me watch out for the medication a lot of the stuff prescribed by the local chemists for diarrhea, nausea and vomiting are products such as buscostop and other shitstoppers that don’t actually help in the process of getting they better merely block you up and mask the nausea. This can only lead to a shit storm at the end of the day folks.

Image credit: adnovak 

5 Wait it out 

Sleep it off - sometimes your best bet for Delhi belly

The best medication you can have is just patience…… Drink lots of fluids maybe even try some powder form electrolytes with bottled water.

Image credit: wokandapix

Well, those are my tips.

Here’s my diary entry, so you can see what happened in practice:

14 March
Hi everyone! I fell sick again last night. Riddled with food poisoning.

I guess pretty much the least fun one can have in India. On the plus side I had a swim this morning and the waves threw me about killing some of my nausea.

I have been staying in a bamboo hut on the edge of the beach in Gokarna. I have a friend here who I met in Tiruvannamalai.

Her name is Edel and she is from Israel. She seems to have seen a lot for her age and is very peaceful and insightful. She went grey when she was only 23 perhaps from serving in the army.

We decided to push on to Mumbai and Kashmir together. This mean’t a hell train and bus to get there. Unfortunately I don’t think I was over my Gastro yet. The journey was utter hell. I was so nauseous and had to take a whole lot of shitstoppers to try and get through. The bus driver just told me to eat ginger which I think didn’t cut it this time.

When we got to Mumbai I was a dehydrated vomitting mess about to explode. I was now meant to get on train to Kashmir with my friend Edel but insisted to stay in Mumbai in a plush hotel for adequate recovery. Not a pretty sight. I shall never travel sick again.

[Although I did many more times…]

What are your friendly tips? Don’t be shy. Let us know by leaving a comment below.

  • Emmi messaged us with a similar experience over at Around the World in 80 Days, aptly titled “How a bit of mayonnaise changed everything”:

    “…and we agreed on meeting him the next day for a whole-day tour including Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and shopping. The plan changed only a few hours later, when I started vomiting. It changed even more when Ari started vomiting. In short, the next 12 hours we spent running to bathroom, Ari sleeping mainly on the floor due to its close distance to the toilet, and me curled up on the bed, our systems evacuating everything that had gone in in the past day. I kept on forcing down water only to vomit it seconds later.”

    Check out her post at http://emmiandari.blogspot.ch/2014/01/day-8-8-paiva-how-bit-of-mayonnaise.html

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