1. Drink some water
Adhering to strict water policies is not always the case when you travel abroad. If you’re in doubt about the purity of the local water, avoid it and opt for bottled water instead for drinking and brushing your teeth. Avoid ice in drinks too.
2. And then drink some more…
Stay hydrated. It will help with gut transit and keep things moving along. This is why, if you’re feeling a bit backed up, it’s often recommended to drink more fluids (even more so if you’re holidaying in a hot country!)
3. Take your probiotics
Some probiotics have been shown to be effective in preventing travellers’ diarrhoea (which can affect 40-60% of people). Start taking a day or so before you leave and take throughout the time you’re away.
4. Stick to a routine
The gut likes consistency, so try and keep to your usual eating routines. Indulge but don’t overload. Sudden switches in meal timings, types or volumes of food may lead to your gut behaving unpredictably.
5. Pack anti-diarrhoeals
Just in case, it may be worth packing some anti-diarrhoeals and rehydration salts.
6. Watch the local cuisine
Avoid raw/undercooked food, and food that has been rinsed in the local water (e.g. salad, fruit). Don’t eat anything you’re not sure about.
7. Limit alcohol and caffeine
Now we know this might not be the easiest tip, but we do know that caffeine and alcohol can be an irritant to the gut, particularly if you have a sensitive gut. Alternate between caffeinated and decaffeinated, and alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic ones.
8. And relax
Your holiday should be the perfect time for you to relax that gut-brain axis. Read your favourite book, go for a gentle swim, explore the local area on foot, do some yoga… And enjoy.