If you are able to steal away for a week or two this year, then the last thing you need is to then fall ill on your travels. Whether it’s a bout of ‘holiday tum’, unwelcome attention from biting insects or simply a matter of feeling ill from the journey, a dream holiday can soon turn into a holiday from hell.
But, with a little forward planning (and often a large portion of common sense), there’s every reason why this year’s holiday can be a memorable one for all the right reasons.
As a general rule of thumb, the risk of falling ill abroad is usually greater in hotter countries partly because it is so much harder to preserve food.
Don’t eat anything that looks undercooked or raw and peel any fruit you eat. If you can, avoid buffet food that may not have been kept at the right temperature.
Support your friendly bacteria with a good supplement before and when you travel.
By far the most common cause of tummy trouble abroad and diarrhoea especially, is dirty or contaminated water. Only drink bottled or canned drinks and don’t assume the tap water in your hotel is safe to drink. Remember also not to use ice in your drinks.
If you do succumb to ‘holiday tum’, drink plenty of water to help prevent dehydration. Experts recommend between two and three litres a day, especially if you’re in a hot climate.
Children with diarrhoea must consult a healthcare professional and medical advice must always be sought if symptoms do not improve within 24 to 36 hours, or if diarrhoea is accompanied by severe pain, vomiting, fever or loss of blood.
A strong immune system for when you travel is also important; it’s important at all times of course, but we place greater strain on our body’s natural defence system when we travel.
The stuffy confines of an airplane cabin are the perfect breeding ground for germs, especially if you’re cooped up for hours at a time.
The active ingredient in ImmunPRO Infection Blocker has been shown to create a physical barrier in the mouth and throat against germs and viruses similar to the bird-flu virus H5N1.
Researchers at the Institute for Molecular Virology at the University of Münster in Germany concluded that the plant extract and active ingredient in ImmunPRO, Cistus villosus, has ‘very good anti-viral effects’ against pathogens.
Cistus villosus is naturally rich in tannins (polyphenols), which form a protective film that stops viruses from penetrating the mucous membrane of the mouth and prevents a virus from docking with host cells.
The tablets are ideal for use when travelling by plane, train or underground, where close contact with other people is unavoidable. One tablet should provide cover for up to two hours.
If mosquitoes and biting insects are a problem a good insect repellent on exposed skin should help.
In some parts of the world, such as Africa and South America, you might need more than a spray repellent – you’ll need to take proper precautionary measures before you travel – but more often than not, mosquitoes are more of a nuisance than a health hazard.
Natural remedies can be effective. Neem seed extract for example, is a popular alternative. The scent of neem masks your individual scent, making you less easy to find.
Garlic eaten on a regular basis, can also have a repellent effect and should make you smell less appetizing to hungry insects, as does vitamin B1.
Wearing a hat when out walking should help to reduce your scent trail and a mosquito net at night, again depending on where you are, can also make a huge difference.
Try Incognito, which is a clinically proven and natural, chemical-free repellent, that works extremely well. It comes in a variety of forms including spray, soap, moisturiser and roll-on.
Finally, if you’re feeling a little overtired or jetlagged on arrival, Valerian tincture taken half an hour before bedtime should help you to drift off in your new time zone.
HEALTHY HOLIDAY FACT FILE
- When looking for a restaurant or café to eat in, a quick peek in their kitchen will give you a good idea as to whether it’s an advisable place to eat. Flies are one of the biggest spreaders of infection and should definitely not be on the menu!
- If you do fall ill with diarrhoea, a top tip is to replace lost fluid with an isotonic solution, one which contains the same salt concentrations as normal body fluids.
- Help avert unwanted attention from biting insects by reducing your sugar intake before you travel. Sugar makes your blood taste sweeter, especially to mosquitoes, so by cutting down on the sweet stuff, you shouldn’t taste as good.
- If you suffer from travel sickness, look out of the front window as much as possible and get plenty of fresh air, or if travelling by air or boat try to sit in the middle of the craft where the least motion can be felt.