Tips for staying healthy while travelling

Travel Forums General Talk Tips for staying healthy while travelling

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11. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1099 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

I ate oysters once in a month that didn't have an "r" in it and I got sick. Never again . . . Some of these folk sayings make a certain sense. It's hard to turn down an oyster though.

I drink a lot of water and we always walk miles every day just because we like to walk but it's good transportation too. I give up coffee a few days before flying to help with jet lag and it seems to work. Hand washing is a big thing for me. You are touching all sorts of things and being exposed to all sorts of strange (to you) things so washing makes a lot of sense.

I've never worried about food and never been bothered about anything we've eaten. We usually go for the daily specials and they are usually freshly made for the day; perhaps that helps. Washing it down with a nice wine probably kills any germs in the food . . .

12. Posted by JonathanMetcalf (Budding Member 7 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Quoting road to roam


You ask about country-specific tips for staying healthy. I know some people who swear by whatever folk remedy the locals partake in, be it some firewater or a tea made with herbs and such. Perhaps there is some benefit to those types of things to remain full of vigor....

I agree with the point, I think this could be work in a better way.:)

13. Posted by Teoni (Travel Guru 706 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

I am loving these tips. I can already see some i would use now or in the future

MSG is, I find, the toughest thing to avoid - it is in too many things, even seemingly wholesome looking, freshly prepared dishes. It just sucks the life out of me.

Food allergies must be tough when travelling. I couldn't imagine giving up tomatos, most of my favourite cusines are tomato heavy. IYou must struggle travelling in countries like Japan or Korea, I know how they love to add extra MSG into a lot of dishes:(.

I bet these examples are not what you had in mind for this thread, but this made think of all the local beliefs, cure-alls and customs we learn about on our travels.

Might be unexpected but very interesting. Love a good piece of trivia and being health related it is right on topic.

IMO the usual problem is people cramming in too much, exhausting themselves (especially when dehydrated)

I do agree with this, I can definitely say this is a problem I had when first travelling. I was just cramming in too much for one day and it didn't help the place I was travelling in had long daylight hours. Long daylight hours lure you into a false sense of more time.

14. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 239 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!


My only real food allergies (and they are serious ones, at that) is to sesame seeds or even sesame oil and to cashew nuts - not good for certain Asian foods! Cashews are sometimes used in certain Indian dishes.

MSG just makes me drag a little. I can consume it, I'd just rather not. There is (or was?) a term for it here called "Chinese Restaurant Syndrome" believe it or not. I doubt that term is used much anymore...

Those sesame and cashew allergies make the MSG seem like child's play, now that I think of it!

[ Edit: Edited on 10-May-2019, at 12:25 by road to roam ]

15. Posted by kate_vn1263 (Budding Member 14 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Do excercise every day :)
I think it is a best way

16. Posted by Teoni (Travel Guru 706 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Quoting road to roam

There is (or was?) a term for it here called "Chinese Restaurant Syndrome" believe it or not. I doubt that term is used much anymore...

I did see a documentary about that. Apparently someone wrote into a newspaper saying that Chinese food made them feel sick, he didn't mention MSG but the racist attitudes of the day got people hysterical thinking the Chinese are trying to poison white people I am an optimist so I would like to think as a society we have improved since then especially now that we know MSG is every cuisine! . I have to admit I myself do enjoy MSG extract it just gives a nice umami hit to food. It is probably why I am drawn to foods that are naturally loaded with MSG like tomatoes, soy sauce or parmesan cheese (by the way am I the only one who hates it when they shave/grate a tiny bit of parmesan on a dish? ).

17. Posted by road to roam (Travel Guru 239 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

In it's natural form - glutamic acid - it's fine. When the sodium salt derived from glutamic acid through sevral organic chemistry processes occurs, it becomes a different story for me.

MSG is added like salt to a sauce or gravy, either in the factory or by the cook. That is a bastardised form of a natural compound and thus it is something the human body was not really meant to take in and some folks (me!) have a hard time metabolizing it.

You are right though, umami is good - I just need it in natural form - homemade chicken soup or my mom's stunning variety of from-scratch pasta sauces need no flavor enhancement!! :)

18. Posted by Bennytheball (Budding Member 37 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Make sure you get the Hepatryx ( Hepatitis A) vaccination prior to travel to countries where drinking water and food the flies have walked over are suspect, this could save your liver and even your life, the ten year variant is now available but you need to start the injections well in advance of travel.

I got my most recent one a few years ago and was told I would not need any further vaccinations for the rest of my life , having gradually built up resistance to the disease over many years of travelling in third world countries.

My regular's better to be hungry than sick!

19. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 1018 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

My mother reacted badly to MSG and also at the end of her life she developed an allergy to lactose (or milk).

I've traveled with two grandchildren who had food allergies.

One of them to peanuts or cashews, and she carried with her a couple of epi-pens and also benedryl. Although I notified the airlines prior to our flight of her allergy and was assured that there would be no peanuts offered to anyone within 4 seats of her, the very first thing I was offered was a little bowl of mixed nuts and I was right across the aisle from her. That flight crew had not been notified at all. This was basically consistent throughout the other flights. They always offered the nuts to me first so I was able to intercept them. She had a reaction (trouble breathing) to some food in Africa - we could not figure out what it was, but the benedryl took care of it.

The other one has a severe gluten allergy - to the extent that if french fries (chips) are fried in the same oil as breaded items (like chicken nuggets) it will put her out of commission for a period of time. I went on a Disney cruise with her and Disney did a super good job of dealing with her food. I'm getting ready to go to France with her, and she thinks that the French bread won't have as much gluten in it, so she intends to try some. Her mother and I are both worried about this, but at least her allergy will just make her sick and not kill her.

20. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1157 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

Avoid oily food. It can be the cause of TD.

Know something about the culture of the country you are visiting. For example, in some lands people typically cook once a day (usually for the main meal at mid-day). So if you're visiting that country, particularly in rural areas, make sure the food you consume is freshly prepared (you may have to pay extra).

No need to avoid street food. I like that it's cooked in front of me; and the place is clean. Still, be observant. Once in Kolkata I ordered plate of fried noodles since the stall had many customers near the courts. After ordering, I noticed a boy cleaning the soiled plates. He wiped them with used napkins thrown by customers into a box, then handed the plates to the cook who filled them with fresh noodles.

I recommend traveling with a small bottle of saline nasal spray; and use it often when fellow travelers have a cold (coughing and sneezing). It also helps on long flights when the air is dry.

Hand sanitizer can help if you don't have the opportunity to wash hands well with soap and water. Even so, it's important not to touch eyes, nose and mouth without hands that you know are absolutely clean.

In a restroom, never turn off the faucet with bare hands; and never open a restroom door with bare hands after you've washed them. Use a paper towel, forearm or shoulder. This article shows you're likely to encounter unsanitary habits everywhere:

My doctor recommends a probiotic that I use while traveling.