Login | Register | Subscribe to the GG RSS Feed

Stomach Problems When Traveling

Think tummy troubles are unavoidable? Think again!

Heading to Mexico? Watch out for Montezuma's Revenge - that nasty stomach virus that takes a great vacation and flushes it down the toilet. We've all heard the saying "don't drink the water," but Mexico is just one of many countries that come with that warning.

Stomach Problems When TravelingStomach Problems When TravelingMore than half of all travelers will develop some type of upset stomach while on vacation, which can be caused from tainted water, ice cubes and uncooked foods like salads and fresh fruit.  The food might look good, smell amazing and taste divine, but don't be fooled into thinking it's harmless. There's been plenty of opportunity for it to be contaminated at some point during the preparation.   

  

Practice healthy handling

  • Wash your hands often, especially before eating or handling your food.
  • If you're on an excursion bring a travel hand sanitizer with you and use it frequently.
  • Drink beverages that come in a bottle. Water, soda, juice and beer are all prime targets for contamination, so if you don't watch them being opened, get a new one.
  • Eat only fresh fruit and vegetables that haven't been peeled. Wash them with bottled water before eating. 
  • Those buffets may look tasty, but if they've been sitting for awhile the chances of contamination are higher. Only eat the food that has been cooked thoroughly and prepared in front of you.

What to avoid...

  • Ice cubes
  • Salad bars
  • Food that has been sitting
  • Food that hasn't been thoroughly cooked - including dairy products, eggs and sushi.
  • Water - Only us bottled water to drink, wash your food and brush your teeth.
  • Street food - including street vendors or restaurants while on an excursion. There's no way to know how this food has been prepared, if it's safe or if it's been exposed to contamination.

And if it happens...

No matter how fastidious you are, there's still a chance you'll get sick. If diarrhea or an upset stomach becomes your new traveling companion, don't panic. It usually only lasts a couple of days and dehydration is actually a more important concern. Some simple ways of speeding recovery include:

  • Drink lots of bottled water to help flush your system.
  • Squeeze fresh lemon juice into a bottle of water to kill the pathogens causing the diarrhea.
  • Eat garlic (or garlic capsules) to kill harmful bacteria.
  • Drink 6 oz of red of white wine to help kill bacteria.
  • Keep your diet simple. Very simple.
  • Seek medical treatment right away if symptoms are accompanied with severe abdominal pain, a high fever or you see blood in your stool.

And remember, just because locals have developed their tastes to stomach this food, that doesn't mean you have the same iron clad digestive system.

Ever had traveler's diarrhea or Montezuma's Revenge? How did you cope?

Related Stories

Rate This post

Post new comment




GoGirlfriend Recommendations

Travel Planning

Fodors
Lonely Planet
Frommers

Register

Membership is free and with it you can set up a profile, vote on stories and post your opinions.

Already a member?
Login

Not a member? Join!
Register


Most Recent Comments

  • On Lesbian Adventure Travel, Debbie Clarke said "If you're considering New Zealand, then New Zealand Awaits is lesbian owned and operated (yes I'm the founder, owner, and guide). We run active and not so active tours for lesbians, as well as some LGBTQ mixed trips. We create itineraries for travellers wanting to self drive, and we have private guides. Come see us! "
  • On Lesbian Adventure Travel, ELLA Travel said "Thanks for the great article!! If you're travelling to Europe check the ELLA International Lesbian Festival (ellafestival.com) and ELLA Travel (ella-travel.com), organising lesbian events and trips! "
  • On 5 Nudist Resorts that Will Blow Your Mind, John Ruze said "Hi Julia, There is a brand new, very popular nudist resort you should think about reporting on in your next article about naturism. It is the New Terra Cotta Clothing Optional Resort and Spa in sunny Palm Springs, California.. The original Terra Cotta Inn was a fantastic nude resort. Repeat guests from around the world stayed there. TCI was sold in Nov 2015 and greatly missed. Well, this July 2017, it was revived at a new location in Palm Springs. The site is HotelTerraCotta.com. Guests are super happy. It's perfect for couples and girlfriend getaways. And Tom and Mary Clare from the original Terra Cotta Inn work with us, so it has the same relaxing, fun feel. "
  • On The Best Naturist Resorts in Ontario, Dennis Wilson said "Love the freedom feeling going nude . 1st time ever was at freedom fields ranch near Tamworth On,Hector & Eyvon are super hosts ,hope to visit this summer but want to learn of more places to visit."
  • On An Open Letter to Hotels Everywhere, Lynn said "I agree on the night light thing. Since hotels have none, I end up keeping the bathroom light on all night with the door ajar. Windows. I understand in the litigious US of A, hotels need to prevent folks from throwing themselves out the windows (or else the hotel could be sued?!!). Ok, fine. But for those of us who dislike A/C and only use it when absolutely necessary, can't we still have the option for some FRESH AIR? There ARE ways to allow windows to open up only so much, while at the same time preventing an entire body from throwing itself out the window. Bedskirts. Am I the only one who gets the skeevies when I see hotel beds with bedskirts that hit the floor? I always had images of food crumbs, bugs, and god only knows what...as being hidden behind that bedskirt. I'd much rather a bedskirt that's at least 2" above the (usually carpetted) floor. Towels. Can't we get nicer towels that don't feel like cardboard? Carpetting. Am I the only one who never walks barefoot in a hotel room ...esp when there's carpet? Blech. I'm sure those things are very rarely cleaned. "


Blogs We Love

beautiful Vancouver, British ColumbiaCheck out our GoGirlfriend Facebook page to follow us as we seek new adventures and create memories in our own part of the world.








Advertisement