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Ways to avoid illnesses on Vacation

By Nsi Amah

Hey, Bronze beauties! Everyone is vacationing and enjoying themselves by sharing photos of their travels on Instagram. While traveling to different countries is super fun, there are precautions that you should take to prevent illnesses, especially on an island. Island vacations are super popular in the summer because of the hot climate, beautiful beaches and delicious food, but you must be careful. You can catch a nasty illness or stomach bug while having too much fun and not realizing ways to prevent it.

Better safe than sorry

To be safe, it is best to pack a mini first aid kit because you never know when you’ll need one. Accidents happen while you are having fun or while intoxicated. Outer injuries like cuts or bruises are easy to treat but an illness/viruses can take longer. Some illness can range from one week to several weeks depending on how severe it is. You should pack anti-nausea and anti-diarrhea medications such as Pepto-Bismol or Immodium. Trust me, having these over the counter medications can save your trip from being spoiled. Being sick on vacation is absolutely miserable!

Drink bottled water

The water in other countries, especially on the islands, is not always clean or regulated like the United States, where you can drink tap water and be fine. The water can be very contaminated with bacteria and microorganisms. Drink water that is bottled only and brush your teeth with bottled water as well in the islands. Don’t take any water from the tap or in a glass from a restaurant because most likely it is not filtered from the sink. The scary thing is, you won’t know that you are sick until 2-3 days after the bacteria has been traveling in your system. When it comes to alcoholic drinks, make sure the cups are cleaned with filtered water. If the glasses or cups are not washed properly, you are putting yourself at risk for an illness.

Watch what you eat

Be careful of what you eat both on and off the resort. Usually, resort food is pretty safe to eat but off the resort is where it gets tricky. On islands specifically, you need to be careful because food is not usually washed with filtered water. If you are going to eat fruit off the resort, make sure the skin is peeled to avoid contamination. Avoid any food that hasn’t been boiled in water such as salads or other vegetables. Make sure to avoid raw food and that your meat is well done. It is also best to ask around for the safest place to eat local foods, you never know. I know it’s tempting to eat as much exotic food as you can, but don’t play with your stomach. That will be a nightmare.

Keep your hands clean

It is best to carry hand sanitizer and wet wipes for your hands while out and about. Many places don’t have running water and won’t have a safe place to wash your hands. You must keep cross-contamination to a minimum from the bathroom to the dinner table. This is extremely important on and off the beach because of the microorganisms you can accidentally consume from your hands. Always keep some sanitizer with you when you go from place to place, don’t wait until you get to the dinner table to wash.  When done properly, you can keep 99.9 percent of germs off of your hands.

Beware of the warning signs

If you suspect a stomach bug, look out for symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, fever or an upset stomach. If these symptoms last for more than five days it is best to consult a professional for help. In the meantime, drink lots of fluids because you will need to replace them. Water is the best to have and you can also use coconut water as well. Get lots of rest, which means you will have to miss out on a couple of excursions. Avoid foods that are spicy, a lot of spices or flavor, alcohol and milk products. It is best to tread lightly with food (meaning eat as bland as possible) and stick with water. You should be fine unless your illness lasts too long, then please see a doctor because this may be a virus.

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