Travel health: What to do when you've got to go!

  • Bunnik Tours
  • 07 Feb 20

It’s a traveller’s worst nightmare and can strike at any time.

Toilet paper

Toilet paper

One brave (but anonymous) contributor has compiled some handy hints to look after your health and avoid spending your precious holiday time riding the porcelain bus.


1. Avoid getting sick in the first place

Pretty obvious, huh? Not always so easy to keep on top of your health in practice.

  • Drink bottled water only from a reusable bottle, and use this when brushing your teeth.
  • Don’t open your mouth in the shower!
  • Ask for no ice with your drink.
  • Eat from reputable establishments where you can be confident in their food preparation and hygiene standards.

Bunnik water bottle


2. The 4Ps: Proper preparartion avoids poo(r) performance

Pack your handbag or man purse with care. Before you leave home and board that plane prepare a simple care pack that can help you avoid or deal with any troubling situations. My personal picks are a travel size bottle of hand sanitizer, a pack of tissues, a small pack of antibacterial wipes and an emergency stash of medication that can be used to reduce the frequency of  “that-which-shall-not-be-named”*.

You don’t have to wait until you’re on tour to break out that bad boy either. Using the antibacterial wipe on your tray table and the sanitizer after using the plane’s bathroom is good practice!

*Speak to your doctor before you leave Australia about gastro and diarrhea medication that is suitable for you, how and when you should use it.

2a.  Pack an extra care pack in your hand luggage

One bottle of hand sanitizer probably won’t quite last the length of your tour. Personal experience also showed me that most of the people on my bus had given little to no thought about avoiding  the runs and so were queuing to use my stash.

Same goes for tissues. In some countries toilet paper is not the norm so you can’t always expect to find it on demand.

A plastic soap holder also makes a great place to store emergency supplies such as pills, gastro satches and bandaids. It’s cheap, compact and stops items from getting crushed in your day pack.


3. Always wash and sanitize your hands after touching money

Money is filthy wherever you are in the world but some currency (paper notes in particular) are especially gross. Wash your hands whenever you touch money and sanitize!


4. Always wash and sanitize your hands before you eat

This is a no brainer. ‘Nuff said.


5. When montezuma's revenge strikes don't sweat it (if you can help it!)

If you do become unwell have a word with your guide. They will be able to help you source medication if necessary (remember that handy pack at 2 and 2a?) and can help you get back to the safety and privacy of your hotel.


If this isn’t possible because you are travelling between cities they can help you access a toilet. It’s going to be okay.

If you are “lucky” enough to be unwell on one of the slower paced days I’d suggest you stay hydrated and lie low to rest and recuperate. Better out than in, I say.


6. If you have a bridesmaids moment keep your chin up

Even the best-laid plans can go awry. This can happen to anyone, sometimes it’s just plain bad luck. Any person that judges you for something like this isn’t a nice person.

Tummy troubles can easily occur wherever you travel in the world – be that Europe, South America or the Middle East. Your stomach can be upset by a change in diet or water.  Varying standards of hygiene across the world can make it easy to slip up.

If you do become unwell, remember to stay hydrated and of course seek medical advice should the situation persist. Your health is No.1.


Most of all remember, a little preparation and some time off to recharge (if you need it) is well worth it – so you can make the most of your amazing holiday!