Travel Sickness and How It Can Be Avoided

I often treat people who are simply feeling unwell following return from travelling. This feeling can vary in severity and can usually be easily treated but more importantly easily avoided. Due to the change of eating habits and environments, travel sickness can be quite common especially amongst the young and elderly. Onset of illness is most common within the first week of travel but can happen at any time even after you return home. Common symptoms of gastrointestinal illness or travellers bug often include, change in bowel habits.., nausea, vomiting, fever, tiredness , abdominal cramping and loss of appetite are all quite common. Gastrointestinal illness is usually associated with parasite infestation or E.coli bacteria. With the onset of diarrhoea drink plenty of water to aid in the flushing out of the toxin and prevent dehydration.

There are a number of precautions you can take. Firstly depending on where you travel to you may need to get specific vaccinations to protect against cholera, malaria and so on. The mistake people make is thinking once they are vaccinated that they won’t pick up anything or by travelling to locations where no specific vaccinations are needed that all is safe e.g in Europe. This is the first mistake to avoid.
Maintaining good hygiene and drinking only safe water, even for teeth brushing is a must and avoiding ice cubes which may be from untreated tap water. Drinking water from sealed bottles is the best option or where water has been boiled.


Avoid eating raw fruit and vegetables anywhere unless you are sure the environment is safe. This includes salads or any food that does not require cooking. Avoid street vendors. Always go to restaurants that are busy…this is usually the best proof you can find that the restaurant has good quality safe food and practices in place.

Hand-washing, especially with children is a must to prevent contamination from unhygienic surfaces. In case of emergencies or if you are in a situation where you cannot wash your hands before eating always have antiseptic wipes to hand.

Motion sickness can usually be avoided by having plenty of rest before travelling. The more tired you are the more likely the occurrence of motion sickness. Drink plenty of water and avoid sugary foods. Ginger supplements taken before & during travel are very beneficial in helping to reduce or eliminate motion sickness altogether.

Other natural supplements to have to hand include omega 3 supplements are very good for long haul flights in preventing leg cramps and clots. Vitamin C, Yellow dock tincture, ginger, echinacea, tea tree oil has antibacterial properties, camomile oil has good calming effects for anxiety attacks and help sleep to name just a few. Be alert and seek medical assistance where-ever necessary. Have a very happy and safe holiday wherever you go….

Gertrude Lawler, Kinesiologist, Food Technologist, Clane , Co, Kildare
Tel 086 388535