We’ve all been there… Montezuma’s Revenge, Delhi belly… there are plenty of euphemisms for tummy sickness and various other ailments on the road.
Getting sick when you travel is, as you may know, unavoidable. But here are four of my own tips for avoiding getting too sick!
Do you know how many people I know first hand who have gotten sick just by not knowing the facts before travelling? Here’s the classic example: drinking the tap water is just fine and delicious in your Mexico resort. Then you have a nice glass of H20 in a restaurant in town, and zap – you’re down for the count.
You need to know when water is or isn’t safe, or when other illnesses like malaria are prevalent. Better safe than sorry, and really, to get informed doesn’t take a lot of time.
If you find out things like water are unsafe, then don’t forget easy mistakes like having ice cubes in a drink, or eating freshly washed veggies. Oops!
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office has a fantastic travel guide by country where you can learn about what’s going on, before you go.
Vitamin supplements like Berocca can help you ward off the germs, but here’s the trick: you need to get that immune system humming in advance. I suggest taking your extra vitamins at least a day or two before you go; downing a bunch of pills before a flight is ok, but I’ve personally found better results by taking a berocca a day before, during, and after the trip. (Remember, a lot of people get sick when they get home when all that excitement and busyness dies down.)
You know when you were little and your mum always got on you for washing your hands? She was right – and when you’re grabbing grubby handrails covered in germs your body has never seen before, it’s all the more important to wash those digits. It sounds obvious, but how often did you wash your hands on your last trip? (No need to report.)
There are those anti-bacterial hand gels, which you’ll need to remember to put in the plastic bag for the nice folk at airport security, but I prefer just old fashioned hand washing.
The best failsafe for upset tummies on the road? Know your own body and know its limits. An example, for me, if I have an entire huge ginormous bag of chips, I’ll be very ill, because I just don’t each that much grease at home. Others might not be able to handle a lot of sugar, or just too much rich food.
This is always the battle of healthy travel, you want to indulge and try once in a lifetime experiences, but you may often suffer slightly afterwards. But knowing your limits can help you judge whether you’d rather just like a taste, or whether you’re going in for the whole deal.
What are your tips for staying healthy on the road?
Photo by miguelb
Posted : Thursday, August 11th, 2011 at 11:00
Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Seattle, Washington. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he is spending time hanging out on his own travel lifestyle magazine, Sharing Travel Experiences.