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India Survival Guide

How to Deal with Pollution While Travelling in India

Air pollution levels in the major cities like Delhi, Agra, Varanasi, and Lucknow hit off the chart levels and make headlines around the world due to farmers burning stubble every November.

But what the media won’t tell you is that the air pollution is not always at such high levels. It’s usually around from November to January or so. That’s tourist season, unfortunately!

See what I mean about differing pollution levels in Delhi.

When it’s bad, you do not want to breathe in those particles. You should have a breathing mask in your bag at all times.

Wearing a mask is most useful in the morning and nights when smog levels are highest or while commuting in amongst the vehicle fumes.

Some masks even filter out germs, so it’s handy to wear one while on crowded buses, metros, or trains.

I originally wrote this before the COVID-19 pandemic. Now we’re all quite used to masks. But still, when it comes to pollution here’s what you should be looking for:

Tips for buying an anti-pollution mask

  • Have a good seal around your mouth and nose so when you breathe you’re sucking air in through the mask.
  • Have a filtration level of at least N95.
  • Have one or two valves for air to escape from. I like the valved masks, it cuts down on sweat a little. But because of COVID-19, valved masks aren’t recommended anymore.

My favourite anti-pollution mask for India

Atlanta Healthcare’s filtration system (don’t worry, I don’t do sponsorship or affiliate links at all).

The best mask I’ve found is the Atlanta Healthcare Cambridge N99 Air Pollution Face Mask. It’s a quality mask that is washable and reusable.

You get around three months of use out of it if you use it 3 hours per day. Or one month if you’re using it 9 hours a day.

I only wear it all day when pollution hits high levels – you’ll know when.

Tip: Wash your face before you sleep. You’ll be surprised at what it collected from the dirty air during the day.

India Survival Guide Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Travel Essentials: Before You Travel to India
  3. Arriving in India: Getting to Your Hotel & Airport Amenities
  4. Tourist Scams to Avoid in India
  5. Avoiding Fake Money & Ripped Notes in India
  6. Avoiding Bad Accommodation
  7. How to Bargain, Get Refunds, and How Much Rickshaws Cost
  8. Avoiding Counterfeit Souvenirs in India
  9. How to Be Street Smart in India
  10. Buses and Trains in India Explained
  11. Food and Drink Safety for Travellers
  12. What to Do If You Get Sick in India
  13. How to Deal with Air Pollution in India

By Karl Rock

Karl Rock is a Hindi speaking expat who left his career and life behind in New Zealand to take viewers behind the scenes of incredible India.

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