We’ve all been there….we travel to some beautiful destination…we’re having a fabulous time, and then BAM! Stomach issues.
It’s happened to me, for sure! (Let’s not even talk about the time I went to Mexico, got back, and three days later went to Japan. Let’s just say I had….digestive issues….all ten hours across the Pacific to Tokyo). That’s why I wanted to take a little time today to talk about some strategies you can use while traveling to make sure your travels aren’t derailed by digestive issues. This isn’t to say I guarantee 100% you won’t have issues, but I do promise that if you follow these tips, you’ll greatly reduce your chances.
Be Careful with Water.
Some countries are better than others when it comes to water cleanliness. If you’re traveling somewhere that you feel the water quality might be questionable, it is best to avoid tap water altogether and drink bottled purified water. This also goes for when you brush your teeth. Also watch out for ice in your drink as well.
Watch out for Produce.
Fruits and vegetables can seem like a healthy treat, but make sure they are either completely cooked through or that any fruits which you don’t peel are washed with purified water. Also be careful about fruits you don’t peel yourself.
Don’t eat raw meat if you feel it might be questionable. Make sure it’s completely cooked and served piping hot. On that note, be wary of street vendors as food can sometimes be left out for a long time. If you do want to try a street vendor, choose one that appears to be very popular with the locals.
Unpasteurized food and beverage.
This can be a source of bacteria that will cause stomach issues. I honestly debated putting this one here, though, because unpasteurized cheese is one of my favorite things in the world. I can’t get it in the United States, so you bet when I’m traveling, I’m tracking down as much of that delicious unpasteurized cheese as I can shove down my gullet. (Not that the cheese section of Trader Joe’s doesn’t keep me perfectly happy when I’m at home, but…you know. Cheese). Anyway, I’m getting off topic. It can be an issue at times, but it’s also delicious. You can make that decision for yourself.
If you do find yourself feeling sick…
It happens to the best of us and the most careful of us. If it does, this can help you get back on track….
- Skip caffeine. I know, it’s hard.
- Avoid a lot of sugary foods and drinks.
- Avoid greasy foods.
- Skip the dairy.
- Drink A LOT of (bottled) water.
- Take some time to relax. Don’t push yourself if you’re feeling bad.
- Skip alcohol.
- Get some stomach medicine. Sometimes pepto bismol or immodium makes the difference between a wasted day close to the bathroom and some hours of relief where you can actually live semi-normally.
I know, I know. No fun….but it’s temporary until you’re feeling better. You can do it!
Hopefully these tips help you avoid getting ill on your next journey. Do you have any tips of your own to add to the list?