10 mistakes that can cause you to get sick while travelling

Are you making these 10 mistakes when you travel?

10 mistakes that can cause you to get sick while travelling

It’s easy to get sick while in a foreign country – your body is exposed to so many new things, with which your immune system may struggle. It’s hard to find someone who hasn’t had a bad experience with eating the wrong thing, and then spending the next day or so having quality time with their bathroom.

Here are 10 common mistakes that can cause you to get sick while travelling. Use this as a checklist of what to avoid on your next trip!

1. Not drinking enough water
Travel by its nature is dehydrating. All those planes, trips and transfers are very taxing on the body. If anything you need more water than you usually would.

2. Drinking the tap water
Even if you’re told it’s safe to drink, it’s best to stick with bottled water. Your body may not take to it quite as well as the locals’ do.

3. Not using hand sanitiser
Yes, I know it may seem like a very ‘touristy’ thing to do, but public places – particularly trains, buses and any handrails for that matter – are crawling with germs. Hand sanitiser gives you the best chance of not to transferring them directly to your mouth.

4. Not getting enough sleep
Sleep is how the body repairs itself. If you’re tired and sleep deprived you’re much more susceptible to falling sick.

5. Lack of fresh air
Many diseases are transmitted through air-conditioning systems. Spending time outdoors counteracts this, and fresh air is great for the soul.

6. Eating the wrong food
It can be hard to avoid getting a dodgy prawn, but researching restaurants is a great place to start when it comes to avoiding food poisoning or even just feeling sluggish.

7. Eating street food
Unless it has come highly recommended, this is one of the quickest ways to send yourself straight to a day with your toilet.

8. Not wearing sunscreen
Sunstroke is a serious condition that is not to be taken lightly. Make sure you ‘slip, slop, slap’ to avoid spending time in bed, recovering from too much sun.

9. Going unprepared
While it’s good to hope for the best, preparing for the worst is still very much advised. Pack first aid essentials that can stop tummy bugs, constipation and other issues from developing into much bigger problems.

10. Not listening to your body
It may sound silly, but one of the most important things to do is to listen to your body. It is far more amazing than it’s often given credit for and will tell you how it’s feeling and what it needs. If you’re feeling tired, rest, and know what you’re cravings actually mean!

Do you have any tips for staying healthy on the road? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.



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    9th Jul 2016
    Timely advice. My wife and I are off on our first ocean cruise later this year and are a bit wary of the horror health stories we hear from returned cruisers. We'll keep all that in mind.
    9th Jul 2016
    Strummer, don't take all you've heard as the Gospel. My wife and I have cruised many times and are going again in a couple of weeks and again in November.
    While cruising DO drink a lot of water (ship water is OK), always used hand sanitisers when available, give your cabin attendant a gratuity (about $20 - $30) on first day to ensure GREAT service, wear wrist magnets if you experience seasickness (my wife's swears by them), and ENJOY! I think you will love it!
    9th Jul 2016
    We stayed in a 5 star hotel in Bali, and made sure we only bought bottled water. We had a jug of bottled water we kept in the fridge, but noticed room service was topping it up. We wondered if it was topped up with bottled water as the room was expensive and we had bottles of bottled water in the fridge as well. One day we were in the room when they serviced the room, and sure enough they politely topped up our jug of water from the TAP Be warned,
    9th Jul 2016
    Never vomit directly into the toilet. You run the risk of reinfecting yourself with the gastrointestinal bugs that lurk there, so find a separate receptacle that you can empty into the bowl. This applies at home or anywhere else as well as cruising.
    Tom Tank
    9th Jul 2016
    Apparently the tables on aircraft pose a risk and it is prudent to wipe them with anti-bacterial wipes on arrival at your seat. Baby wipes are a very good, cheaper, alternative to the supposed full-on wipes.
    The steering wheel in cars carry more bacteria than found in a toilet so wiping those in a hire car as well might be a good idea.
    I don't use these wipes at home but when travelling it might be a good idea.
    9th Jul 2016
    #7 Street food, have to disagree with that. Never had a problem, some of the best where the locals eat.
    9th Jul 2016
    Make sure you have had your 'flu shot.
    9th Jul 2016
    And any others recommended for the location to which you may be travelling.
    9th Jul 2016
    I always swallow a little tap water when cleaning my teeth in foreign countries - it's a low-level way of "acclimatising" your stomach to the local bacteria.
    Our advice to backpackers wanting to sample street food in SE Asia (and anywhere else, for that matter) is to look first at the bowl of water they're using to wash the dishes - if it's dirty, move on, because not all street food vendors have "deals" with nearby hotels etc to use their clean water.
    9th Jul 2016
    I think I will just stay home
    9th Jul 2016
    Strummer ... the 1st cruise we went on was in 2005... best advice from the old cruisers ...was take your anti bacterial WIPES.... wipe all the surfaces e.g.. remote, door handles, toilet seat, surfaces etc.. ... on our 2nd cruise from NY to Sydney.... virus on board the 2nd day so bad ... they took all the Passengers off in L.A to give them a whole day tour while the fumigated the ship. If when we set sale to San Francisco it was on board we all were going to be sent home... lucky they fixed it... BUT as soon as we heard it was on Board EVERY time the cabin was cleaned and we came back in to use , we went around every time like the 1st time in .... the virus came next door cabins and across the hall... thankfully we never got it ...since then we always carry anti bacterial wipes on board . I carry them in a zip bag in my hand bag even at home,and us even on the aircraft as well as going into overseas eating places to have a wipe of the utensils paranoid NO healthy yes.. 1st signs on board of any ship for the dreaded Virus is salt and pepper goes, plus menus ...that's when you start with the wipes...and will never ever cease to amaze me how many people think that NOT washing there hands after using the toilet on board will not spread this Virus....hand washing and sanitizing in crowded living helps to keep us all healthy
    9th Jul 2016
    If no bacterial wipes on hand to wipe utensils, ask for a slice of lemon and use that - lemons are part of the Asian diet and plentiful in restaurants and street stalls throughout the region.
    9th Jul 2016
    Something that everybody and anybody handles is MONEY. We never think of getting germs from money, but remember it has been handled by hundreds of people before it comes to you, so if you want to be safe in an unknown environment, it may pay to disinfect your hands (and money) as soon as you touch it.
    11th Jul 2016
    That is so true, and the electronic equivalent to that is the germ ridden pin pad that you type your pin number into when using a credit or debit card. Imagine how many fingers have been on that. I I try to keep my purchases under $100.00 so it will just allow me to pay wave and avoid touching the pin pad, but failing that, I keep a small packet of disinfectant wipes in my bag for the sole purpose of wiping my hands with right after having to key in my pin number at the supermarket. The handle of the trolley will be filthy too so I usually wait till I am at the car.

    Tags: travel, health, tips

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