Safe Eating and Drinking tips while traveling
Eating and Drinking Safety Tips: Common food-related illnesses for travelers
Safe Eating and Drinking tips: Traveler’s diarrhoea is a common digestive tract disorder that is usually caused by eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. The symptoms include loose stools, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting and fever. Traveler’s diarrhoea usually clears up on its own in a few days. But sometimes it may require medical intervention.
Other (more serious) food-related illnesses include hepatitis A, typhoid and cholera. These are all vaccine-preventable diseases. For more information on whether you need to be vaccinated before you travel, visit the Smartraveller .
Treatment for food-related illness when traveling
If you do happen to get sick with traveler’s diarrhoea (or another food-related illness) while you are away, don’t panic. Consult your Safe Eating and Drinking tips. You should be back on the tourist trail in a couple of days. In the meantime:
- Make yourself as comfortable as possible in your hotel or hostel and plan to stay put for a few days. Your body needs rest, fluids and a bathroom.
- Take a loperamide-based drug (such as Imodium). If you do not have any in your bag, head to a local pharmacy. Or, better still, send your travelling companion so you can stay in bed.
- Safe Eating and Drinking tips: Keep drinking water. Small sips often will help your body keep the water down.
- Listen to your body. When you start feeling ready to eat again, stick to simple food like toast, crackers, bananas and rice.
Further Drinking and Eating Safety Tips
Safe Eating and Drinking tips: Sometimes traveler’s diarrhoea will need medical attention. Contact a doctor or go to a hospital as soon as you can if you are experiencing:
- frequent vomiting for more than two days
- severe diarrhoea for more than three days
- blood in your vomit or diarrhoea
- high fever (39°C or over)
- extreme abdominal pain
- signs of dehydration (such as dizziness or a dry mouth).
Further suggested reading: What not to eat and drink during pregnancy: your definitive guide!