Whether you are vacationing across the globe or near to home, for a day or a week, the nature of travel and changes in schedule can upset the body. One of the most common areas of discomfort while away from home is the stomach. Motion sickness, gastrointestinal distress and general uneasiness can strike adults as well as children.
The good news is that much of this can be avoided by following these few simple tips. We know vacation is exciting, and a chance to change things up and indulge a little. However, by moderating and keeping an eye on a few key factors, you and your children will be better able to enjoy vacation, with less fear of spending it in bed with stomach issues.
8 Quick Tips to Avoid Motion Sickness and Upset Stomach:
- Let Your Body Catch Up: Your body needs rest. Whether exhausted from jet lag, or simply worn out after a long journey, you’re at your most vulnerable when tired. Children are especially susceptible from feeling a bit weak after the change in schedule and need time to regroup.
- Keep Hydrated: Water is immensely important when travelling. The actual trip, be it a flight, drive or ride will take a lot out of you. Active vacations demand more of your body, while relaxing on a beach may be low impact but heat will deplete your body’s stores of water. The excitement of travelling can make it easy to forget, but water is your friend.
- Mind Your Water: Certain destinations are notorious, and it is well known not to drink the local tap water. You should also always be cautious in less developed areas. However, even if the water isn’t flagged as dangerous, you may still do better staying with bottled. Local tap water may have elements your system isn’t used to that don’t upset locals but can interfere with your body’s equilibrium.
- And Don’t Forget: Ice is made with local water and often not the best of it, so you’d do well to forgo ice outside of hotels and well known restaurants. It can also be easy to forget about water when brushing teeth. Even if you spit it out, in some locations using tap water while brushing can result in enough time in your mouth to upset stomachs.
- Ease Into New Food: The excitement of a new locale and exotic food might have you clamoring to try everything in sight, but you’d do better to take your time. Start with restaurants and established locations for the first day as your body adjusts. Don’t try too many new things at once as you don’t know how your body will react to one, much less a combination of, new ingredients and flavors.
- Use Your Judgement: While it is always important to keep an eye on what you feed yourself and your family, be especially vigilant while away from home. Stick to more reputable restaurants and ask hotel concierges for recommendations. If you choose to eat at a local food stall or street cart, look for things like proper storage of seafood and other ingredients, boiling water as opposed to simply warming it, cleanliness of the staff and clean knives/cutting surfaces. If it looks suspect, move on.
- Don’t Overdo It: While vacation is certainly a time to treat yourself and your family a bit, don’t go overboard. You may choose to eat things you wouldn’t normally eat, or to indulge with a bit more than usual, but do so within realistic boundaries. Choose a single meal to really splurge as opposed to simply overdoing all of them. Also try to eat and drink more conservatively when trying brand new things.
- Prepare For The Worst: If anyone in the family has particular health concerns, you’ll want to plan ahead for the worst that could happen in terms of medications and supplies. It also pays to travel with some basic remedies like Dramamine for motion sickness, andVitamin C for immune help. If an upset stomach does come on, simple remedies like charcoal tablets, burnt toast and clear soda/ginger ale can help ease feelings and might keep you moving. Identify local pharmacies and hospitals early in the trip so that you are prepared in the case of real illness. Don’t use any of the aforementioned products unless you are accustomed to them, and please consult with your doctor before using anything new.
Follow these simple tips and you’ll be much less likely to have a family member down for the count and miss out on your great vacation. Look out for each other and you’ll be taking family photos instead of being stuck in bed.