How To Avoid Getting Sick On Holidays
Getting sick on holidays is something that is not on top of the bucket list and in this case you will want to avoid that ‘bucket’ all together. Thousands of Australians travel to South East Asian countries every year and the potential of getting sick is relatively high. Whilst some people may have no problems at all with eating different foods and never get sick, yet others will be plagued from the start. It is common to have a few digestive changes whilst travelling and can be put down to a simple change in your usual diet. Then there are the more severe symptoms that might require a visit to hospital. These can include vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps and hallucinations.
It’s best to be prepared and forewarned with some knowledge on how to avoid getting sick on holidays.
Avoid the local water at all costs and only drink from bottled water. Many good hotels will supply bottled water for their guests, otherwise water should be purchased from the local supermarket. Ensure that bottles have been sealed and not tampered with. Avoid ice in your drinks, especially shaved or chipped ice. These may come from the large block varieties that may have been contaminated from being dragged along the street. The large blocks of ice are used to cool bottles and cans and not to be used in drinks. If you do want ice in your drink then make sure that it is of a cylindrical shape with a hole in the middle. The use of straws is also recommended for use with bottled drinks as you may not know what conditions the bottles have been stored in. Use bottle water to brush your teeth.
Food is the perfect host for many virus and sometimes determining if something is okay to eat or not isn’t easy. Ensure that the food you are about to eat has been thoroughly cooked through - raw food can contain harmful bacteria and parasites. Never eat warm salads from buffets that have been out in the open for some time. Particularly avoid salads containing eggs, chicken or seafood. Be careful with street food, ensure that it is cooked through but be aware that food handling and hygiene of the street vendor may not be top of the priority list. If dining in a restaurant, look for places that are clean and busy, usually a good indication of good food.
Ensure that your own hygiene is stepped up more than usual. Wash hands frequently, especially after handling money. Have an alcohol based hand sanitiser on hand that does not require water.
Ensure that you are vaccinated against diseases that are prevalent in South East Asian countries, such as Hep A, Typhoid and Malaria. Bring personal insect repellent and ensure your room is sprayed at night with insect spray or use a net around your bedding as a barrier to mosquitoes. Refrain from contact with dogs or wild animals (such as monkeys) as they are more than likely carrying the rabies virus, which there is no cure for once symptoms appear.
Medications and health
When first arriving at your destination, ensure that you keep yourself well hydrated in the first few days. Bring medications such as Imodium or Gastrostop that can be taken quickly at the first sign of an upset stomach - there is nothing worse than needing to find a toilet fast when out and about enjoying your holiday.