7 Ways to Avoid Summer Complaint on Your Travels ...


I love visiting exotic locations and experiencing local cultures, but sometimes these experiences come with a health warning, so when visiting areas with poor sanitation, you will need to take some precautions to avoid summer complaint on your travels. If you don't know what summer complaint is, it's basically a euphemism for diarrhea. Yes, that dreaded condition which means you can't be further than three feet away from a toilet at any one time. The key is to know the risks before you travel, but places which are known to have unsafe drinking water are Mexico, Central America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Here are some ways to avoid summer complaint on your travels.

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There are certain things which can be considered safe to drink when you're traveling somewhere which has been known to have contaminants in the water, such as commercially bottled water, bottled carbonated drinks and canned drinks. Hot drinks which have been made with vigorously boiled water are also safe to drink. Consider wine and beer as safe too, as long as they're in their original containers. This is one of the first ways to help avoid summer complaint.



Be sure to check the seals on drinks very carefully. It may look like commercially bottled water but if you're eating out and it's brought to your table, be sure that it is sealed when it arrives at your table and you're the one to open it. If the seal has been tampered with, it may have been refilled with tap water.



I know, a heading like this is a little unfortunate when talking tourista (another euphemism for the dreaded D), but bear with me. Be sure to wipe the lids of bottles or cans if you're planning on drinking from them. This is a rule I live by even on home turf, as you don't know how long drinks have been in storage in a cellar and what may have been down there crawling all over them!



If you can, carry your own cups or be sure to use disposable ones. Remember, if there is an issue with the water in that location and the cups and glasses have been washed in that water, you're likely to pick something up. Where possible, drink from the original containers and use straws.



There are various ways to treat the water in order to purify it. You can buy tablets which purify the water, such as iodine tablets, or you can use a special filter. You can also purchase an immersion coil if you're planning on boiling water. Remember to brush your teeth with bottled water and when you're showering, don't make the mistake my brother made when traveling and absentmindedly close your eyes and open your mouth to ingest all the glorious contaminants. Needless to say, his exotic travels were cut short!

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Things to Avoid

Water is not the only thing to avoid. Remember to steer clear of ice. You will also need to avoid anything which has been washed in water, such as salads, fruits and vegetables. If you're going to eat fruits and vegetables, make sure that you peel them. Another food to steer clear of are dairy products, especially if you're unsure about pasteurization.


Careful Cooking

Although I hate to be a scaremonger, there is a mantra I generally live by: If in doubt, go without! This applies to questionable food such as meat, fish and poultry. Be sure that your food is well cooked and served piping hot. If fish is caught from contaminated water there is a high chance it will pass the toxins onto you too. Also, be wary of the buffet. Many people indulge in the innocuous looking poolside buffet on their travels, only to spend the next few days in close proximity to the bathroom for fear of the inevitable.

Following these precautions should help ensure that you don't have to suffer from the dreaded summer complaint in the future. If you do, however, and the symptoms last more than a few days, you have a fever and are vomiting, be sure to seek medical advice. Does anyone else have any helpful hints and tips for avoiding this condition on their travels?

Sources: independenttraveler.com

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Have been constantly travelling over 57 years. Take probiotics few weeks before travelling and plenty of sachets of rehydration powders. Don't touch salads or rely on local " bottled" water.

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