Healthy Traveling Abroad – Bosnia, Here I Come!

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Guys, I’m outta here!  Currently sitting myself in a too small seat on Turkish Airlines heading over to Europe for TWO weeks.  Thank the Lord it’s vacation time people!  I totally needed a break and I got it.  We’re heading over to visit my husband’s family in Germany, Slovenia, Bosnia and the Croatian Coast.  It’s so tough having to visit relatives in exotic European countries, isn’t it???  Especially when we’re touring Dubrovnik Croatia!  I don’t know how I’ll do it 😉 .

healthytravel1 Traveling abroad is fun and exciting!  I’m stoked to see different countries and try all the local cuisines.  But, I’ll definitely be careful in what types of food and drinks I’ll be consuming.  Last time I made an appearance over there, I got really, really sick.  Sick enough to land my sad self into an ER in Switzerland.   Needless to say, “GI distress” is an understatement of my condition.  Holy stomach cramps…I thought I was dying!  But this year, I”m going prepared and knowledgeable!  Here’s what I’ve learned about healthy and safe travel (and eating) abroad:

  • Water, water everywhere!  Drink bottled water or water that has been filtered.  Tap water may contain harmful organisms that may make you sick.  Even countries you think have a clean water supply (lets say….Germany?) always go for bottled water.  The doctor I saw in Switzerland said it was from the tap water I drank in Germany.  In addition to avoiding tap water, make sure to drink at least 64 oz of clean bottled water each day to help maintain hydration.
  • Beware of raw fruits and vegetables and dishes made from them.  Generally you want to be wary of these because they are sometimes washed in tap water.  Then the previous bullet will apply if the dangerous organisms from the tap water stay on the produce.
  • Avoid raw or under cooked proteins.  This includes meat, fish and eggs.  Even here in the US raw or under cooked proteins can pose as a health risk.  It wouldn’t be something I would sample in larger quantities abroad.
  • Avoid unpasteurized dairy products.  If you want to sample some of these types of food – like local cheeses or yogurts, only sample a small portion.  Larger quantities put you at higher risk for becoming sick.
  • DO!  Carry a health & safety kit.  Include:  prescription medications you currently are taking, emergency medications like a rescue inhaler or epi pen, an antidiarrheal, an antihistamine or allergy medications, a mild laxative, antacids, anti-motion sickness medications, pain and fever reducers and an anti itch cream.  I have all of these in a little bag in my suitcase!  Just in case!  

If you’re traveling abroad, always play it smart.  It’s better to be on the safe side, then end up sick.  Trust me, its the least fun experience on the entire planet!  Always research the countries you are going to and check out the following CDC or FDA travel tips – they even have them categorized by country!  Be prepared, stay safe and have fun!  See you when I get back in the states!

Sources:
CDC Travel Guidelines
FDA Travel Tips

 

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