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How to avoid travellers’ diarrhoea

Woman with yellow backpack looking at sea
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When you’re heading abroad on holiday, the last thing you want to happen is getting ill. Traveller’s diarrhoea is one of the most common illnesses you might get if you go on holiday abroad and depending on the destination can affect 20-60% of travellers.

We’ve put together some tips on how to avoid traveller's diarrhoea, and how to treat it if you need to.

What causes traveller's diarrhoea?

The main cause of traveller's diarrhoea is eating food and drink that has been contaminated with organisms including bacteria, parasites or viruses.

How to avoid traveller's diarrhoea

The best way to avoid traveller's diarrhoea is to be mindful of what you’re eating and drinking.

So, it’s best to:

  • Drink bottled water instead of tap water, tea and coffee are usually fine
  • Use bottled water to brush your teeth
  • Avoid ice in your drinks
  • Try not to swallow any water when swimming
  • Wash your hands with soap before eating
  • Make sure your food has been cooked thoroughly and is served piping hot
  • Avoid foods that might contain uncooked eggs, such as mayonnaise
  • Avoid fruit and vegetables with damaged skin

How to treat diarrhoea while on holiday

We can all be caught out, even if we have been cautious with what we eat and drink, particularly those who regularly get diarrhoea. To put your mind at ease you could keep some treatments for diarrhoea handy.

For more advice on how to look after yourself while you’re away, read our travel blog including travel vaccinations, or come in store and speak to a member of our healthcare team.

Check what vaccines you need