It will depend on where you go, but I think nowadays dengue fever is the bigger mosquito threat compared to malaria on India’s backpacker tourist trail – but I’m no public health expert and I’m not saying this based on any research that’s been done! I’m saying this based on hearing more random stories about foreigners getting dengue fever. Personally I haven’t heard of foreigners getting malaria really. It’s not really a lot, 3 dengue compared to 0 malaria, but it still makes dengue fever feel more real!
Maybe it’s because there are more precautions being taken for malaria (aka malaria pills). Currently there’s nothing you can really take to prevent dengue fever, although there’s a new vaccine that’s come out that may or may not be worth the added risks.
And this is also why it’s best to get travel insurance for India, just in case! Make sure you get travel insurance that will include coverage if you contract a mosquito-borne illness.
For me, if I were to be concerned about mosquitoes, I would be more concerned about dengue fever anyway.
More than anything, mosquitoes can just be annoying.
But there’s no need to load up on DEET from home when you come to India.
Maybe you want to have a small spray bottle to hold you over until you make it to a street shop in India (which are everywhere) but otherwise, wait until India to buy mosquito repellent!
How to prevent mosquito bites in India?!
There is a mosquito cream (or lotion or spray) called odomos!
And I have found that it has worked really well for me!
Why do I say that?!
There have been times that I would wait until mosquitoes would start biting me to put on odomos.
Well, after I put it on, no more mosquitoes! To me, that’s proof. 😉
But of course, your experience may vary.
You can find odomos at street shops all over India to try it for yourself! It will likely cost you less than US$1.
It’s a natural repellent, and it has vitamin E and almond oil in it too… meaning it’s good for your skin too. 😉
And it can also be a good idea to wear long clothes so you have less exposed skin for the mosquitoes to find!
Sunrise or sunset are generally said to be when mosquitoes are most active.
See more tips for your first trip to India!
GOOD LUCK PREVENTING MOSQUITO BITES IN INDIA!
The need-to-know India travel tips!If it's your first trip to India, be sure to see these tips for getting around India on a budget, and more! You might wait until India to buy this mosquito repellent that works for many foreigners! Also be sure to see how to spend one month in South India and 2 weeks in North India, as well as tips for the Golden Triangle. And, overnight sleeper bus travel isn't so bad, and neither is traveling in general class on the train! Also see the easy way to get an e-visa. And this is the easy way to book train tickets online as a foreigner. I've used it, and it's simple! You can just show the e-ticket on your phone.
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Hostels in KeralaFor a hostel with international standards in Kerala, try Zostel!
More Zostels in Kerala:
Zostel is a top backpacker chain across India, and I've stayed at many Zostels in India! And outside of Kerala, if you'll be passing through Gokarna as you go from Goa to Kerala (here are options of how to get from Goa to Kerala!), then Zostel Gokarna is in an amazing location too! Here are pictures from the on-site cafe that overlooks the ocean.
Where to stay on the tourist trail in KeralaThese places basically go down the coast from north to south!
- Cochin: Try a homestay in the cute heritage area of Fort Kochi.
- Marari Beach: This is an "off-beat" location as Marari is mostly unknown to backpackers, but it can be a convenient stop to make between Cochin and Alleppey with chill laid back vibes. For an idea of what type of beach can be nearby, see my beach walk from Alleppey to Marari.
- Alleppey Beach:
- Funky Art Beach House again for chill vibes with a location among locals in a residential neighborhood
- And there's Zostel Alleppey too for another beach location to stay several days
- OR if Alleppey is a quick visit, try Dream Nest to be closer to town
- And see how to spend one day in Alleppey (short version: go for the backwaters village canoe tour instead of a houseboat!)
- Alleppey backwaters:
- Munroe Island: This is another generally kind of more off-beat location, and you can see a different part of the Kerala backwaters on a quiet island
- Varkala cliff:
Retreats in KeralaFor relaxation and rejuvenation for health and wellness, also see:
- Yoga retreats in Kerala
- Ayurveda retreats in Kerala - ayurveda is basically healthy living through natural herbs and remedies, and Kerala is the birthplace of ayurveda!
How to book India train tickets online as a foreignerIf you don't want to go through the complicated process of setting up an IRCTC Indian railways account as a foreigner...
Then the most convenient way to buy train tickets online is through this booking website. I've used it, and it's super simple! You buy the ticket, and then show the electronic version on your phone once you're on the train. Compared to buying directly through an Indian ticket booking website (IRCTC account required) or directly at the train station in India, there is a small convenience fee, as well as a less flexible cancellation policy, though!