When I asked the doctor about Travelan he didn't know about it. But I got this important info from him: When you do have diarrhea, DON'T take any probiotics. These are live bacteria. As log as they are in the gut, they do their job. But in case of illness, the gut may be more permeable, and these bacteria might get into the blood stream, where they will cause harm.
Diarrhea can spoil your trip, and it's very common. I read Lynne's tips long before our trip to India, she recommended taking Travelan pills before Every meal. I was convinced by the company's very instructive website, and ordered Travelan by mail. We both stayed well on our whole month long trip, it was worth the expense. Travelan is produced only in Australia, the shipping went through Europe and took a month. (I ordered it two months before our trip).
The food in India is overcooked to mush, so that's clean, but it's often decorated, often mixed with fresh chopped coriander which grows close to the ground and with cucumber slices, irrigated with sewage polluted water. You can't scrape it off or eat around it, and every restaurant has unexpected variations.
Look up Travelan in the Keyword Seach.
There are a lot of items and activities that are prohibited at the Taj Mahal. There is some good news and solutions at the end of this tip. Not all of the prohibited items and activities are explained in one place, so please save this tip and review it before you visit. Ok, so the Prohibited Items at the Taj Mahal are:
No Flags (item 4 on their list/poster - pictured), No Food (of any kind), no liquids (they give you a bottle of water - pictured), no video cameras (they don't ask if you have a video mode on a camera or phone), no writing instruments (especially crayons), no animals/pets, no toys, no tobacco, no helmets, no headphones, no wire, no electrical chargers no containers (like a tool box, etc.), no alcohol, no books/magazines, no guidebooks (pictured), no microphones, no flashlights (electric torches), no weapons (knives, guns, etc.), no bags, no newspapers, no flowers/garlands, no flammable or corrosive materials, no helmets, no lighters
The prohibited activities include:
No touching of the buildings or mausoleum (i.e. walls), no smoking, No starting of fires, no photography within the mausoleum, no loud voices/shouting, no use of mobiles (must be switched off).
They do have lockers at the entrance (pictured). They also include a bottle of water with your entry fee. Within reason, they do allow you to actually take in handbags and small rucksacks (day packs). These are x-rayed, so leave any thing like knives out. I did have both sizes of VT flags and was able to quickly use the smaller one. If you find you have a prohibited item inside (i.e. tobacco), just keep it in your pocket and don’t use it. You can take in cameras and mobiles with a video mode. Just – in the rare case of being asked – say no. Do not then use it near the guards. You will stand out.
The authorities just don’t want you to do 4 things:
• Create issues with others (national flags, shouting, etc.)
• Damage anything – there are several buildings all of historical beauty in the grounds
• Make a mess
• Show disrespect
So it’s not all doom and gloom and I did see a guidebook. Just keep it quiet and respect your surrounds and you will enjoy your visit.
India is a great place to visit but there are increasing number of instances where women travellers , both local and from abroad are subject to harassment by local menfolk.It is a good idea not to travel all alone anywhere in the country.It is also a good idea not to completely trust the intentions of people you may have befriended during your travel.Dressing up like local women is also advisable wherever possible.Be very careful while venturing out in the night and using public transport.Also keep a cellphone with a local SIM with a few contact numbers in case of emergencies.
Yet another problem with India. It's large cities are very polluted. I remember getting off the plane in Delhi and smelling the stink of the city as soon as the door of the plane opened. I have recently read that Delhi is the most polluted city in the world. If you have any breathing difficulties then I think that you should get out of the city as soon as you can.
When in India, I would advise travelling with a partner. From personal experience, I found it more stressful travelling alone than when I was fortunate enough to hook up with two friends in Jodhpur and Jaipur. I felt more confident and less of a target with someone to 'watch my back', so to speak.
I encountered more attempts at unscrupulous behaviour when alone, such as when a group of youths attempted to mug me while crossing a busy road in Paharganj, as opposed to a more hands-off approach from touts when in company with my friends.
Single women will have a hard time here so be prepared to get hassled a lot because to to different cultural ideas many Indian men have their own opinion regarding the sexual availability of the foreign traveller, so sexual harassment can be encountered all over India. One way to try and avoid this is to dress conservatively and keep your body covered up. Should you have problems with men in public make a commotion and chances are that the local women will come to your aid and scold the aggressor.
When ordering a drink or juice in India- NEVER take ice cubes in the drink.
The ice is not made with bottled water.
Tap water is used to make ice, and this can make you ill.
An upset tummy can spoil your whole holiday.
Common sense Acommon Travel rules as to where ever you go.
#1. Don't go where you shouldn't go.
#2. Follow the rule of law in the country that you reside.
#3. Adhere to the rule of law from your home country.
#4. Respect and "pre-" read up on the culture(s).
#5. Gain some familiarity with the country's national language prior to your trip.
#6. Practice the local language with the locals.
#7. If concerned with lodging then don't do what isn't familiar to you.
#8. Eat what has been cooked.
#9. Drink bottled water that has a seal. Open it yourself.
#10. Know your coordinates (esp. North & South). Memorize the major cross-roads prior to taking your trip.
#11. Have a copy or two of your Passport in a safe place (either on you personally or in an emergency place).
#12. Go electronic (with back up paperwork) when you can.
#13. Be reluctant to share your full plans with strangers.
#14. Be flexible.
#15. How you handle "it" determines whether it'll be a good event or day or not. Understand that something weird, funny, or bad might occur.
#16. Watch your travel companions as they might just as well cause trouble by accident / unknowingly or on purpose.
#17. International travel is not a time for pranks. (Stay away from pranksters that want to travel with you)
#18. Just try to remember that "nothing" is for "free". (This goes for women too! Crazy partying guys should know this.)
#19. Silently meditate as to rehearse (or re-play) plans.
#20. Always be prepared for a back-up exit plan (... where ever you are (and check for exits)).
#21. Travel with flex travel time on the front end but esp. back end of your visit. This'll reduce your frustrations if there happen to be delays.
#22. Pack light while being wise.
#23. Be nimble. (physically)
#24. If you have good judgment with befriending people (anywhere) then be social with out giving away too much information.
#25. Know your money. Where it is. How much is on you. Denominations in order. Minimize coins if possible (don't need to be heard walking around jiggling).
#26. When driving a rental car ... pay the extra for full coverage. (Take it from a guy that has had 2 separate flat tires and locked up engine all in the same trip. Can you guess where?)
#27. Walk like you know where you are going even when you get lost. The best way to not get lost again is to remember where you were when you were lost.
#28. You are not a "stick" in the mud if you choose to stay away from the "loud" crowd.
#29. Avoid traveling during the host country's elections.
#30. Be aware of political and labor union protest. Don't accidently get caught up.
#31. Never walk away from your open beverages and/or food. Once you've stepped away then pass on further consumption as to be cautious.
#32. Ladies and guys, know that you will meet lots of wonderful people plus some not so. Don't be fooled by "beauty" or a "handsome" face. Danger lurks. If you have a bad judgment of character domestically then it is not going to get any better outside of the country.
#33. If you're not considered "HOT" back home then don't be fooled when you are abroad. Money matters. It isn't really your looks.
#34. The money train gets you access but it can also generate trouble.
#35. Make certain Taxis / Limos drivers happen to be locked into the price and directions prior to departure.
#36. Know the weather conditions prior and during your trip.
#37. Read the local newspapers / journals prior to arrival. (seek to understand cultural, social, economic, etc topics of the day)
As an interesting side note. I always call my bank when traveling to tell them I'll be using my ATM card. My bank (a US Credit Union) told me they will not allow use of my ATM card in only 3 countries because of possible fraud. One was one of the countries in Eastern Europe, the second on was a countries in South America. The third was in India.
Ik had het al na twee dagen te pakken. Gigantische buikloop. Josée amper, maar die heeft uitsluitend vegetarisch gegeten. Dat raad ik je dus ook aan. Vlees is niet altijd even betrouwbaar. Iedereen van onze Shoestring-groep was trouwens wel een keer aan de diarrhee. Maar de meesten niet zo erg als ik.
1. Double-check all hotel and restaurant bills for errors.
2. Don't leave cash and valuables in your hotel room. Use room safes where available.
3. Keep daily cash in separate pockets.
4. Don't flash jewelry or large sums of money.
5. Never pay for anything upfront - including drivers.
6. Avoid touts!
7. Don't exchange money on the black market.
8. Get a receipt when changing money at an authorized establishment.
9. Carry small bills (Rs 10, 20, 50, 100) for tips, public transportation, etc.
Indians adore children and you will see (and hear) children all over - at all times - of the day and night. So your children will be welcomed warmly. But if your infant/toddler is new to travelling or is not a good traveller, India may not be the best place to visit. As difficult as India may be for some first time visitors, it will be much more so for a very young child.
My daughter spent the first 11 months of her life in India. While things were diffifult then, we were able to control alot of the situations. All baby items - formula, diapers, wipes, baby food, etc. were easily available, although formula in particular, was 3 times the price as in the U.S.
When we returned to India when my daughter was 19 months old, things were different. Mostly because SHE was now much more mobile. It was a very toddler un-friendly place in that there are few or no facilities for children that age.
With the exception of 5 star hotels and Western food chains (McDonalds, Pizza Hut, etc.) you won't find high chairs. Sometimes cribs are available - although once we got a hospital crib sent over to our hotel. Car seats are almost unheard of - even if you bring your own, most taxis don't even have seat belts to hold them in. Roads and sidewalks are full of cracks, potholes, etc. - and traffic is chaotic - making using a stroller a bad adventure. Short rides in rickshaws meant breathing in the pollution coming from cars, trucks, buses, and other rickshaws. The only changing table I came across was in Mumbai's domestic airport's new "family" room, making changing diapers anywhere else generally difficult. I had to continuously watch what she touched, what she walked in, etc. On top of all that, even with eating in good establishments, she got a stomach bug twice in 2 1/2 weeks. Hardly ideal for very young children.
In addition, Western children attract alot of attention. You will have people wanting to take photos/videos, pinching cheeks, and physically trying to take the child from your arms to hold him/her. When trying to get the child's attention people will click and snap their fingers loudly
wihin a few inches of the child's face (most annoying!!). All of it can be very overwhelming for both the parents and the child. I was never comfortable about the photos and if asked would politely decline. We were not always asked though and it was annoying to turn around and have a camera in her face. I was not comfortable with anyone touching my daughter either. She was once pinched so hard, she had a mark on her cheek for an hour afterwards!
Although there are parks and some (mostly not so good) zoos, children this young are inevitably going to be bored with seeing temples, markets, and forts. Throw in heat and humidity (and any or all of the above issues) and you have all the makings for a miserable time for all.
Of course, India is likely a fascinating place and totally different experience for older children. However, if you're bringing an infant/toddler to India, I'd recommend doing the following:
Contact your child's pediatrician regarding necessary vaccinations. (You may need to contact the Center for Disease Control/whatever agency is appropriate in your country first.) In particular, find out about malaria prevention and mosquito repellent (as some are not appropriate for young children).
Bring plenty of disinfectant hand wipes and/or hand gel. Wash your child's hands frequently.
Eat safely (no street stall foods, no buffets, eat fruits/veg that can be peeled and well-cooked food, drink sealed bottled water).
Use sun screen/mosquito repellent, put a hat and sunglasses on your child.
Wear closed shoes, not sandals.
Bring a first aid kit including (at least): Band-aids, antiseptic wipes/ointment, tweezers, thermometer, age-appropriate pain/fever medicine & stomach/anti diarrhea medicine (check with your doctor for perscription meds), appropriate antibiotics for common childhood infections (such as middle ear infections), diaper rash ointment.
Bring a favorite blanket and stuffed animal.
Keep your child very close in crowded places.
Beware of stray dogs and monkeys!
Most of all realize that your child needs to take breaks - for naps, a swim - so work around your child's schedule - including possible jetlag. Avoid hours on end on public transporation (buses, trains, even taxis). There are many budget airlines in India - no charge for children under 2.
If your child does become sick, seek out a doctor immediately. Most hotels can recommend a doctor, medical clinic, or hospital.
You will come across monkeys in many places in India - everywhere from temples to forts to jungles. The monkeys in the jungles are not used to interaction with humans and there is less chance they will bother you.
The monkeys that have been fed by humans are more likely to become aggressive - especially when they want more food. While the monkeys may look really cute, you have to remember that even though they'll take food right from your hand, they are still WILD animals.
You usually can purchase bananas, etc. near wherever there are monkeys. We've never had a problem feeding monkeys when there was a group of people around who were also feeding the monkeys. But we've had a few unpleasant encounters with monkeys when no one else was around.
Keep track of all the monkeys around you. If you get distracted with one monkey, another may run up to you and try to grab the food.
Don't carry food in the open and don't carry any plastic bags.
If you're walking through a wooded area/forest you may want to carry some kind of walking stick. Be vigilant about the monkeys overhead in trees.
Hold tightly onto your purse, camera, etc. because they are very mischievous - and fast - and
will grab your belongings and run.
Monkey bites are very serious and diseases can be passed through their saliva. If you do get bitten, clean the wound and see a doctor immediately!!
1. Within India dial 100 or 108 for police.
2. Within India dial 101 or 108 for medical or fire emergency.
3. Be aware of your surroundings. Report any suspicious activity/packages, etc. to police.
4. Although it is common in India, do not offer bribes. If anyone asks for a bribe tell them you will report them to the Anit-Corruption Bureau or the nearest police station.
5. Always carry your passport with you. Put a sticky note inside with the local telephone number of your Consulate.
6. Do not buy, sell, or use narcotics. You do NOT want to end up in an Indian prison!!
7. Be aware of travel warnings. Some areas are considered unsafe for foreigners.
8. Never accept a ride if there's someone accompanying the driver in a taxi or rickshaw.
9. Chain-lock your door when inside your hotel room.
10. Don't flash jewelry or large sums of money.
12. Be particularly careful with your belongings (including wallets/purses) in crowds.
11. See my separate Warnings for Women.
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