Travel Tip: Food and Water

Allison Sodha

Often, travelers in India experience gastrointestinal discomfort, commonly termed Delhi Belly. Some fault the food preparation while others blame the water source. The symptoms usually lessen after 24-48 hours without any medication. Here are a few suggestions for staying healthy during your trip:

1. To be safe, we recommend not eating at roadside stands. The food may not be cooked or cleaned properly. We have seen too many travelers become ill from a desire to eat "authentic" at these locations.
2. Pack a digestive relief: Tums, Pepto Bismol, etc.
3. Grapefruit seed extract is a natural defense to unfamiliar bacteria. The extract is available at most natural food stores and nutrition/vitamin shops.
4. As a precaution, some clients request an antibiotic from their doctor before travel. Please consult your physician.
5. Only eat fruits and vegetables that have a thick peel. Examples: bananas, mangoes, oranges, squash, eggplant, and peppers. Also, be cautious about salads. The lettuce is often washed in tap water.

1. Only drink bottled water during your trip. Be sure to check for sealed and untampered caps.
2. Many hotels have a water purification system. (Exception: Most hostels and guest houses do not have an independent system.) Therefore, it is generally safe to use tap water to brush your teeth. If you have concerns, please ask the property or use bottled water for all activities.
3. Iodine tables are usually not necessary, unless your itinerary includes trekking and/or remote destinations. We will let you know if iodine tablets are recommended for your particular package.

For specific suggestions pertaining to your itinerary, please ask a Sodha Travel representative.

Topics: India, Food and Water

Allison Sodha

Written by Allison Sodha

As the President of Sodha Travel and India travel expert, Allison is passionate about offering travel tips and destination inspiration. She has curated content for several publications, including Little India, and facilitated panels on sustainable travel in South Asia. Allison is currently the Delhi Destination Expert for AFAR and India Specialist for the Women's Tour Collective.