Yikes: How To Not Ruin Your Trip With A Stomach Bug
Photo Credit: Sonia Shimazaki

Photo Credit: Sonia Shimazaki

Yikes: How To Not Ruin Your Trip With A Stomach Bug

Amara Amaryah
Amara Amaryah Jan 26, 2022

Getting a stomach bug while traveling changes the whole trip, undoubtedly and entirely. It is definitely up there in top 3 things that you want to dodge while traveling.

Whether it’s contaminated water, unsanitary food preparation or being in contact with someone who has the notorious stomach bug, once it gets you, it really takes you out.

Here are some tips to help you avoid the tragedy of a stomach bug while on your travels. 

Probiotics for the win

Incorporating probiotics into your daily routine in general is a kind offering for your body, but during the recovery or even the preparation for being abroad, it is a heavenly gift.

Probiotics, or “good” bacteria, help the stomach and the digestive system in general. One a day usually does the trick, but listening to the body and taking it when you feel you need it most is also a good idea that will save your stomach and the trip.

Use bottled water to brush your teeth

At home – young man brushing his teeth

This is definitely the most annoying but all-round wise tip on the list. While buying bottles to brush your teeth seems like a money-wasting and easy-to-forget step, it will save you, and your stomach, a lot of hassle.

Choose wisely…

wagnerokasaki | Getty Images

Avoiding a stomach bug has a lot to do with the hygiene levels of where you choose to eat. While there is truly nothing like a late night stroll in the warm star-lit air with a handful of disgustingly tasty street food, the next morning is truly not worth the risk.

Paying attention to your surroundings, eating in places where staff are able to wash their hands regularly, picking to eat where there is minimal contact with the public and your food, as well as ensuring that there are two people available, one to serve the food and another to handle the money, are all things to be vigilant of.

And about fruits and vegetables…

Women shopping together at fruit stand

Vegans and vegetarians we’re not safe either, by the way, sorry to say. Depending on your location and the extent of water contamination, eating vegetables can be a problem too.

Being able to eat fruit that isn’t available in your home country is a luxury that can quietly make you fall in love with a country. It gets tricky when you realize that you might want to avoid fruit that doesn’t have skin that you can peel.

If possible, cut the skin off (we know, not the same) and try and enjoy the fruit chopped.

In terms of long-term or Airbnb travelers, when cooking your vegetables while on vacation, be sure to ask the locals or the pharmacy if there is a product that can be used for cleaning vegetables.

In my case, here in Chiapas, Mexico, washing vegetables in tap water or even filtered water isn’t enough. Using Microdyn is the safest option, some travelers use apple cider vinegar too.

Also, for this reason, skip the salads while eating out unless you can verify that they’re being washed and thoroughly cleaned.

Try iceless beverages from now on

It goes without saying that your perfect little cocktails will have to go without the handful of floating ice cubes. While this takes some time to remember to tell the waiter, it will save you (massively) in the long-run.

Purchasing a bottle with a filtered straw is always a trusty thing for travelers to keep in their arson in efforts to keep the trip stomach-bug free.

Travel with some Activated charcoal (you're welcome)

This is one for actually managing the stomach bug (if you didn’t get lucky enough to avoid it after slipping up on one of the tips).

Activated charcoal removes the toxins from the gut, and is an excellent way to help you manage the symptoms of a stomach bug.

You could also pack activated charcoal powder or the tablets and keep them in your luggage, just in case!

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