It’s that time of year when many people are looking forward to going away for a summer holiday. But for a significant number of people enjoyment of holidays is spoiled by travel phobias and fears. There are the obvious travel phobias such as fear of flying, fear of insects or reptiles and fear of heights. Then there are the less obvious phobias such as fear of stomach upsets or vomiting.
I could write a blog about each of these and how to get over them but having just come back from India, I am going to concentrate on fear of stomach upsets. I travel a lot and have had traveler’s stomach problems in various countries but particularly in Morocco. It might be due to eating different food, the dirtiness of the currency or just a different range of bugs and bacteria.
Some people tell you to get the stomach bug early and then enjoy the rest of your holiday but I was determined not to get Delhi Belly and I pretty much succeeded. Here are my top tips.
#1 Only drink bottled water – even in hotels. Check the seal on the top of the water bottle to make sure it hasn’t been refilled.
#2 Don’t have ice in your drinks. This may seem a bit strict in hot countries but most soft drinks and bottled waters are refrigerated.
#3 Avoid salads and fresh fruit. You don’t know what water they have been washed in. You can eat fruit that you have peeled yourself as long as you are careful about your hand hygiene (see more below).
#4 When eating sandwiches, or any food that you pick up in your hands, use a paper napkin to pick the food up.
#5 Depending on the country you are visiting, avoid eating meat. Again, you may think this is extreme but in hot countries a vegetarian diet is much healthier.
#6 Eat local fresh yogurt to boost your natural stomach bacteria.
#7 Take probiotic tablets for a week before you leave and during your trip.
#8 Keep your hands as clean as possible. Use hand sanitiser after every time you wash your hands, handle money or touch anything that you think might be dirty.
#9 Take a good look at swimming pools before you jump in, particularly in resorts outside of city locations. Health and safety regulations are not the same in other countries!
#10 Pack a toilet roll! Indian toilet rolls are the smallest I have ever seen.
These are simple precautions to take and then you can relax and enjoy yourself.
If you need any help with your holiday phobia contact me and let’s talk about how I can help you.