Adulting Guides,  Travel Tips

How to Prep For & Survive Food Poisoning

Travelling the world is an enriching experience besides the obvious pros to touring various countries there are the less obvious cons. You can talk to any world traveller about their journeys and they’ll all share stories of surprises they’ve encountered, problems faced and plans gone a rye. Although, that’s what makes travelling so enriching and educational. No matter how good of a traveller we are, it comes down to sheer bad luck when faced with a diagnosis of food poisoning. Countries around the world have different food preparation processes and different food safety standards . Minerals in the water are different, sterilization is different, everything is different!

Being a young, naive traveller and never having faced food poisoning I was completely caught off guard the first time I got it. After the second time (this most recent trip) I decided I needed to write a post. Being sick is terrible enough. Food poisoning is terrible enough. Then; add-in being in a different country! First, it’s important to note that if you are reading this and are currently suffering from food poisoning I feel for you! It’s horrible but I promise, tomorrow you will feel 80% better! But PS If you see any blood in your vomit or stool then you want to seek medical attention.

 

Food Poisoning Preparation Before

Health Insurance 

Insurance is one of those things…when we buy it we don’t need it and when we don’t buy it, we need it. As humans we always way the risks and that doesn’t change when travelling. Now I’m not saying you need extended travellers health insurance for food poisoning. Most cases call for a bed, water, bucket & toilet. My fiancé and I feel its worth the small added cost to buy insurance just to be as prepared as we can.

Snacks 

In my post “Carry-On Must Have’s for Everyone & Every Trip” I talk about snacks, I am a huge fan of eating when I’m bored and always like some munchables for the plane but these snacks also second for amazing back up if/when you get food poisoning. First time I got food poisoning I was in Thailand and the second I was in Mexico. Both times I couldn’t pin point what I had eaten to make me sick and the thought of any restaurant food completely turned my stomach. Both times I had left over snacks from the plane – comfort food from home. The best thing on the planet at that time I can promise you!

Gravol 

If I could some how sneak in Gravol into every post I would. It can help you sleep in between vomiting with the drowsy affects and calming your stomach. Getting the Gravol made with ginger is best for when your suffering from an illness like this. Ginger is great for calming the stomach! When you’re feeling like a human again you still might be feeling queasy, so having some Gravol for the next day so you can get back to your adventures is key.

Immodium

This is mainly for after the worst of it is over. You don’t want to stop your body from excreting the poisonous toxins (because that’s all it’s really doing). But the next day you want to be able to walk around without having to search for a bathroom in a panic!

Hydration Tablets 

Man oh man! A couple of our friends brought these to Mexico as a hangover helper. Hydration tablets saved me when I was on hour 8 of throwing up and completely depleted of any hydration or nutrients. Pop a tablet in water and drink.

Emergen-C

Again, a great thing to add to your water once you’re feeling a bit better. It’s important to start pumping all those vital vitamins back into your system since you have become completely depleted of them. 

Probiotics

Not necessarily a must, but they do help you with feeling back to normal faster as it realigns your gut health, you can also get your probiotics through yogurt (I just seem to have difficulty finding good yogurt when we’re away!)

Survival Before/During/After

Time 

If you’re currently suffering, food poisoning usually lasts 1-2 days but the worst of it usually last around 8-12 hours. I searched and searched in desperation the first time I suffered from food poisoning to see if there were ways to get better faster or lessen the symptoms but after searching high and low I had to face the hard truth that there is not. 

Alcohol

You’re probably thinking to yourself, the last thing I would want if I had food poisoning is alcohol. Which to that I respond, obviously! Both times I had food poisoning it started with just a sense of feeling the slightest bit off. With luck both times I had major reason to try and fight through and have a cocktail. The day my fiancé and I got engaged & while in an Mexican all-inclusive resort with 26 other people! Let me tell you, it makes it a million times worse and from now on when I’m feeling the slightest bit off I’m staying away from anything and everything with an alcohol content!

Let it Out 

Don’t try to stop your body from doing what it needs to do. Don’t take Immodium or anything else that will stop you from hugging the toilet. Our bodies are quite amazing and when they are getting attacked by an unwanted visitor it will do everything to get rid of it and thats what you want it to do (even though you really don’t)

Rest 

If you’re suffering from bad food poisoning, doing anything but resting is out of the question anyways, but even after the days your immune system is still fighting off the bacteria and recouping from the day. Take it easy and adjust your itinerary.

 

Slow Start

Slowly sip water and when you’re able to finally keep it down continue to drink a little more. Go slow, take your time. When you’re able try to get some electrolytes in you either with a sports drink or hydration tablet. Try to eat plain foods (its all you will probably want anyways!) Breads, plain rice, plain cereals, plain pasta. Plain and boring is the nature of the game for the next couple hours following into the next day. 

I hope this has helped you either in preparing for your trip or while your curled in pain in your bed (I really hope its the first!). Although, no matter what its never fun and always just completely terrible to go through I hope you found some tips to help you be prepared just in case you ever become victim to food poisoning.

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