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    Tips for Staying Healthy whilst Travelling Abroad - Part 1


To ensure a smooth holiday without any disasters, 123 Travel Insurance UK advises the following Travel Health Tips to stay healthy while you're travelling. 

Food and Drink

Thousands of holiday makers every year ruin their holiday by ignoring a number of simple health rules regarding the consumption of food and drink.  The following points act as an introductory guide to stave off illness when eating and drinking abroad.  

Do not take for granted the same level of food hygiene within the UK when abroad.
Ensure water is safe to drink.  If not, stick to bottled water (always check that the seal is intact) or water that has been brought to a rolling boil and then allowed to cool.  Water purification tablets and iodine (4 drops of 2% tincture iodine should be used for every litre of water and left for 15 minutes) can also be effective.
Do not automatically assume that just because locals are drinking tap water that it is safe for yourself.  Your resistance to waterborne illness is likely to be less developed.
Watch out for ice in drinks, as they may be contaminated
If you can't drink the local tap water, then don't swallow any of it in the shower, or when brushing your teeth.
Always wash your hands thoroughly before eating.
Wash and dry all fruit and vegetables before eating.
Try to stick to cooked foods as a general rule.  Salads and fruit may have been washed in unsafe water even in the most expensive looking restaurants.
Make sure meats have been well cooked.
Be particularly aware of undercooked shell fish as this is a major source of infection.
If in doubt stick to local foods rather than western interpretations.  These foods are more likely to be cooked properly.
Avoid foods cooked on street stalls, especially those cooked in potentially rancid oils.

In short, the ancient adage; Cook it, boil it, peel it or leave it is the safest way to stay healthy when travelling.

Travellers' Diarrhoea

The introduction of new foods to the body's system is always likely to upset your natural balance.  Few travellers introducing a radically new diet will not experience at least an upset stomach.

To make the transition more comfortable ensure high hygiene levels, avoid spicy or oily foods and alcohol, and drink plenty of clean water.

Sufferers of diarrhoea should try to consume plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration, this is particularly important for the young. 

Rehydration packs are a good means to rapidly rehydrate the body with essential salts.  If conditions persist for more than 48hrs contact your nearest doctor.

Click here for the second part of our staying healthy whilst abroad guide.

  123 Travel Insurance UK 2002. All rights reserved.