Indian Travel: Sneezing Through Delhi Survival Guide

I found the pollution in Delhi seriously tricky.  I’ve travelled there a few times but the last time was the most difficult.  It was peak summer, Delhi was in the middle of a heatwave, the air was dry and heavy and there was no respite.

I’m quite a good traveller and I always take the right medicines and health care accessories with me.  For India I have a checklist:-

Wet wipes 

Hand sanitisers

Headache tablets

Antibiotics, just in case.

Anti-nausea tablets

Anti-Diarrhoea tablets



Laxatives (yes, really)


And an antibiotic ointment.

But after this trip to Delhi, I added a few more things.

Asthma pump.

Face mask.




I don’t suffer from asthma but I could seriously have made use of the pump.  I found the streets so dusty that I coughed and spluttered my way through them and could easily have used an asthma pump to ease my congested breathing.

My eyes were streaming from the dust. I am sensitive at the best of times but I just struggled like crazy with the car fumes, the smoke and the general thick layer of smog in the air.

And a face mask would have done brilliantly to help with all of the above.  A mask that just covers your mouth is great, like those medical masks that dentist’s wear, or a full on mask that just has space for your eyes and your nose.  I would’ve worn one easily.

I didn’t struggle nearly as much in the rest of India and I know that it was an especially bad heatwave at the time I travelled, but it is a good idea to be prepared.  Delhi may not be the most polluted city in the world, although it ranks pretty high up Gwalior and Allahabad, both in India, and with Zabol in Iran.  Delhi has a population of almost 30 million - and it’s no wonder the pollution is bad. 

Carry water with you all the time.  Use your decongestant.  And use tissues, so you don’t drive your partner mad with your sniffing and sneezing!


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