How to Avoid Germs While Traveling

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Part of the joy of traveling and experiencing other cultures is sampling the food. Yet every year, millions of travelers spend part of their holiday battling food poisoning or other illnesses thanks to a bacterial or fungal infection they’ve picked up from contaminated food or surfaces. Here are tips on how to minimize exposure to harmful germs and bacteria while traveling.

Mind the water.

Water could be one of the main carriers of harmful bacteria, including E.Coli and Giardia. Try to only drink bottled water, and use it to brush your teeth. You might also want to check that any food you consume (particularly fruits or vegetables) has been prepared and washed in sterilized water. Limit your need for ice as well, unless you can confirm that the water used to make ice has been sterilized.

Take probiotics

Boosting your immune system before you head off on holiday can help you fight off infection. A study in the British Medical Journal reported that people who took probiotics (healthy bacteria) had fewer instances of diarrhea than those who didn’t. You should be able to find probiotic supplements in your local pharmacy, or in some foods, such as certain yogurts, miso soup, and tempeh and other soy-based products

Choose cooked over raw food.

If you have a choice, always choose cooked food over raw food while traveling—including any fruit you can’t peel as well as salads. When it comes to meat and seafood, make sure it’s well cooked because raw meats and fish can contain salmonella and E.Coli bacteria.

Wash your hands.

Your best protection against harmful germs while traveling may be washing your hands frequently throughout the day, especially before and after meals and after using the bathroom. If you aren’t able to wash your hands with soap, Safeguard Hand Sanitizer is a great on-the-go way to keep germs away. If you prefer washing your hands with soap and water, Safeguard with GermShield+ fights 3 of the 4 germ types for up to 12 hours after hand washing.

Control your hands.

It’s easy to get tired or stressed during long days of traveling. Avoid the temptation to rest your face in your hands, as this can transfer any bacteria and germs from your fingers to your mouth.