Getting ill on holiday is very common. It’s estimated that between 20 and 50 per cent of tourists fall victim to tummy bugs, sickness and diarrhoea while they’re abroad.
[Related: Five natural antibiotics to fight bacteria]
You can’t always prevent it but there are some actions you can take to toughen up your stomach and lower your risk of getting poorly. We asked experts from ProVen Probiotics for their best advice.
Drink bottled water only. In some foreign countries, tap water can carry bacteria and a host of other unpleasant diseases. Bottled water is generally safe, but always remember to check for a secure seal so you know it’s not just been refilled with tap water.
Shower with your mouth closed. It sounds drastic but sometimes even a small amount of water from the shower can have disastrous ramifications later.
Take iodine tablets. If you can’t get hold of bottled water easily, use iodine tablets to purify tap water, ridding it of harmful bacteria. But use common sense: iodine tablets will work on mountain stream water, but they probably won't have much effect on tap water from an inner city slum.
Avoid ice in drinks. Order drinks without ice, which can often be a hidden source of bacteria as it’s often made using unsafe tap water.
Be careful with street food. There is no need to avoid it completely, but be cautious. The safest street food is cooked or heated in front of you. Some travellers avoid meat on the streets in case flies have landed on it spreading germs.
Choose clean restaurants. Excellent food can be found at grungy restaurants, but it's better to be safe than sorry. Choose restaurants where you can see your food being cooked.
Take a travel probiotic. Probiotics are essential for travellers, as they work to increase the good and prevent the bad bacteria in your gut, meaning less nasty symptoms.