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I heard the horror stories about travelling in India, getting diarrhoea and sometimes even ending up with permanent health problems.

  1. How bad is it really? Can it be easily avoided with a bit of caution or should I prepare for it to happen anyway?

  2. What can I do to minimize the risk while keeping a reasonable budget? I can't go to high-end hotels and high-end restaurants, nor willing to go to "Western" restaurants all the time. There's the obvious, such as: hand sanitizer, wash hands, wash fruit, drink only bottled water. What else is there that might not be obvious or might be specific to India? Does avoiding meat help?

In your answers please consider that I know very little about India. I don't have a travel plan yet, in fact haven't even decided to go yet. So another question is, how do different areas compare in this regard? I think I'm most interested in the north-east.

  • @JoErNanO That's not an easy to find question, but yes: it's a duplicate and I got the answer. Can you flag this one for deletion please? I can neither delete nor flag. – Gabor Mar 18 '15 at 17:28
  • Stay away from mosquitoes. travel.stackexchange.com/questions/497/… – Shumon Saha Mar 18 '15 at 17:54
  • actually take care of the food you eat, try to eat healthy food and if you can just cook it yourself, I got Diarrhea and I guess it was because of the food. – Nickool Mar 18 '15 at 19:12
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As mentioned in the comments there is the following question which covers basic about avoiding getting sick when traveling.

How to prevent "Delhi Belly"?

You mention about avoiding getting sick while maintaining your budget. I will address this with respect to India

  • Most of the international fast food chains like McDonalds, KFC, Subway etc have branches/franchises through out many Indian cities. These try to maintain hygiene and follow standards as in India most the rich, upper middle and middle class go to these places rather than the poor. It would be good option to dine in them as even though fast food is not healthy they will not get you sick and will be within reasonable budget.
  • If you want to try anything local then as mentioned in this comment go to places that are popular and have a huge crowd as they would be the safest bet and will be within reasonable budget but keep in mind even these might get you sick as hippietrail shares his experience.
  • Food like chips or cookies made by international brands like Nestle, Lays etc are available in many grocery stores in all Indian cities and will be within reasonable budget. Buy these and stock them in your backpack if you plan to travel to rural places.
  • As mentioned in the linked question and in many other posts here always buy bottled water and its better to buy popular brands like Kinley (Coca-Cola brand), Aquafina(Pepsi-Co brand), Bisleri than local brands as they are much safer.

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