When you hear the words, Delhi belly, Montezuma’s revenge, or travelers diarrhea, what comes to mind?
For us, the mere mention of these words sends shivers down our spines. As culinary explorers, whose job is to explore the local and authentic dishes in each destination we visit, we can’t afford to get sick on the road.
Traveler’s diarrhea, contrary to what many might say, is avoidable. As such, we take all the necessary precautions we can to avoid spending our time holed up near a toilet.
In this article, we share tips and resources on how to prevent traveler’s diarrhea and keep you eating local, safely.
What is Traveler’s Diarrhea?
Traveler’s diarrhea is caused by consuming food or water infected with bacteria. These bacteria attack the intestines releasing diarrhea causing toxins into the GI tract and bloodstream.
For up to several days, you may suffer from a fever, abdominal cramps, nausea, bloating, vomiting and profuse diarrhea, often leading to dehydration.
Whenever you are visiting a place with sanitary practices different from yours at home, you have an increased risk of developing traveler’s diarrhea.
In developing countries where health and safety standards are not as high, pay special attention to the local food and water.
Keep Eating Local On Your Travels
When it comes to tasting the local culture, eating local is the best way to go. On our travels, we eat with locals at farmers markets, on the streets, at buffets and hawker centers.
Although we have been safe for the most part, eating at a local market in Cusco, Peru, with questionable water, gave us stomach problems for a few days.
Despite that experience, we do not avoid the local food experiences. In fact, we embrace them. We always look forward to eating street food in Thailand or Vietnam. Eating at the local markets in Chile or Peru, or going buffet-style in Malaysia.
What keeps us confident is taking the right precautions to prevent traveler’s diarrhea.
Preventing Travelers Diarrhea on Your Food Travels
The easiest way to prevent traveler’s diarrhea is to keep your hands clean and practice good hygiene especially around food.
Before eating and whenever possible, we wash our hands with soap and water to reduce germs.
If soap and water are not available, we use our hand sanitizer that we always carry with us.
As food travelers, we always travel with our own cutlery. We carry a simple spork (spoon/fork combo) that easily fits into a small bag. If we are not comfortable with the eating utensils provided, we use our own, and focus on enjoying the flavors.
To avoid the risk of contamination in food, we avoid all fresh salads and fruits that are cut open. Bacteria can spread easily in these conditions and we want to take precaution to prevent the risk of traveler’s diarrhea even before it begins.
Clean, safe, drinking water is a luxury in many parts of world. When traveling in Southeast Asia, we were really concerned about water safety in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and the Philippines.
To do our part in protecting the environment and reducing the use of plastic, we avoid buying plastic bottles of water. Instead, we use a water filtration bottle that allows you to easily make clean and purified drinking water.
Introducing Travelan – Your Solution to Prevent Traveler’s Diarrhea
Recently, we learned about Travelan from a fellow traveler. Once we learned that this over-the counter-medication can actually prevent diarrhea before it starts, we were intrigued.
As food travelers, we are always eager to learn about new resources that can keep us eating safely on the road.
There are many reasons to use Travelan, and we share them below. If you don’t want to ruin your vacation and enjoy the local food specialities, you’ll want to pack Travelan too.
What We like About Travelan
Travelan: A Natural Supplement
The first thing that caught our attention about Travelan, is that it is a natural supplement. When it comes to health and self-care, we always look for alternatives to medication.
Travelan doesn’t contain any coloring or flavoring. It is made from naturally-occurring ingredients in the form of cow colostrum. Cow colostrum contains proteins known as antibodies that fight bacteria and infection.
Stops Diarrhea Before it Starts
When you are affected by diarrhea, it can completely ruin your travels. Travelan is a preventative medication and it stops diarrhea before it starts.
The antibodies present in Travelan targets and neutralizes the diarrhea-causing bacteria preventing you from getting sick.
Taking Travelan is the best alternative to preventing diarrhea and getting sick all together.
Over the Counter Traveler’s Diarrhea Medicine
To get Travelan, you don’t need a prescription. You can get it in pharmacies over the counter in Australia.
If you buy it online on the Australian Travelan website, Travelan is shipped to your location, globally.
In the U.S., Travelan can be purchased on Amazon or at a Passport Health location.
One pack costs around $30 and covers you for 10 full days of travel. Needless to say, it is cheap insurance for your food travels.
Taking Travelan is the best alternative to preventing diarrhea and getting sick all together.
Research Studies by the Us Department of Defense
You might wonder how effective Travelan is. Clinical studies show 90% protection against E.coli, one of the most common causes of traveler’s diarrhea.
Recent research conducted by the US Department of Defense also shows that Travelan was cross-reactive to all 180 different strains of bacteria tested.
With U.S. personnel deployed all across the globe, it is a testimony to the efficacy of Travelan.
Easy to Take, Pack And Travel With
Travelan comes in a small packet that contains 30 caplets. It is designed to be taken before each meal with filtered or bottled water.
You can also take one each time you plan to eat something or somewhere that might be suspect for contamination.
It’s easy to pack it in your carry-on luggage or have it on the go in your day backpack or purse.
The best part of travel is eating the local food. As food travelers we encourage you to savor the local specialties at markets or at street food stalls.
However, you don’t want to take any chances of falling sick on your travels. To avoid traveler’s diarrhea we recommend taking a preventative approach.
In addition to using Travelan, wash your hands regularly, drink filtered water, avoid salads and uncooked foods. That way, you’ll create memorable travel experiences – worry free!
What are your tips to prevent traveler’s diarrhea? Please tell us in the comments below.
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Claire is co-founder of Authentic Food Quest and a lover of simple and exquisite cuisine. Since 2015, with her partner, Rosemary, she has been traveling the world as a digital nomad, creating content about local food experiences.
Her advice from visiting 45 countries and more than 240 food cities has been featured in Lonely Planet, Business Insider, Honest Cooking, Food Insider, and Huffington Post. She has also co-authored three books, including one in collaboration with Costa Brava Tourism.
An ex-mechanical engineer, Claire is responsible for SEO, keeping the website running, and the fun food & travel videos on YouTube.
When Claire is not eating, she can be found running or cycling. Find out more about Authentic Food Quest
59 Comments on “How to Prevent Travelers Diarrhea: Travelan Your Best Answer”
Thanks for the information very informative. I had never heard of Travelan, now I have read up all about it! 🙂
My partner and I got terrible bouts of Delhi belly while in India and Nepal. We were there for six months and had a great time but food poisoning was a constant worry and definitely put a major downer on parts of the trip. I suffered with stomach problems for a couple of years after coming back from India, which is not uncommon.
This is why we are reluctant to go back now we have kids even for a short trip, even though I know we would have a great time. If one of the kids came down with what we had then it would be no fun for anyone. Our sensitive western stomaches can get a real shock in some of these places.
Travelan sounds amazing and I think we could do it now.
Another very important reason to take Travelan that you may like to highlight in future posts is it decreases the use of antibiotics. Many people take antibiotics for food poisoning and other stomach infections which Travelan protects against.
This increases the resistance to antibiotics and many bugs are becoming harder and harder to treat. This is extremely worrying and can’t be emphasized enough. Anything that reduces the use of antibiotics(like Travelan) should be encouraged widely.
My research shows that Travelan is made by an Australian company and the hyper-immune colostrum is from New Zealand cows which is another good reason to pack Travelan. It should be noted that other products are trying to copy Travelan but they are nowhere near as effective. Travelan has a proprietary patented technology which is even effective against Shigella. It sounds like a miracle pill, don’t leave home without it.
Thank you for sharing and happy travels!
Thank you Richard for sharing about your experience with Travelan. It’s too bad you didn’t have Travelan with you in India 🙂 Great point taking less antibiotics, that is definitively a huge plus. Yes, Travelan is made by an Australian company and it is very effective. A must for any food traveler. Appreciate you stopping by. Cheers.
I wish I could say this never happened but it did. Earlier this year my friend got sick with it and throwing up. Mostly because she put hot sauce from a plastic bag on her food. I got a mild case from eating two huge strawberries.
Hello A.F.Q A corretion D.O.D is not using “Travelan” as yet BUT have they have done exhaustive tests and the results are posted here …..https://hotcopper.com.au/threads/ann-us-dod-report-travelan-protects-against-shigella-in-primates.4414143/
Agree, James that exhaustive tests have been conducted on Travelan. Thanks for the additional links. Cheers.
This is such a great article! Thank you for all your information. I am a frequent traveller myself (mostly to Asia) and have been using TRAVELAN for few years now with great success. But the biggest food poisoning with terrible diarrhea and vomiting I got, travelling in Europe last year, in Portugal! I swapped my bags and forgot to repack my small pouch with my meds with Travelan in it! Needless to say I ate my lunch without taking it. I always wondered what caused my food reaction. And NOW I know thanks to your article! I was dining on chicken salad and had 2 glasses of fresh fruit juice. Perfect combination for a terrible health outcome without taking protection. I, for one will never leave home without it!
That’s great to hear Anita, that Travelan has been such a great help to you. Having a pack always with you offers peace of mind. We appreciate hearing about your experience 🙂
I heard about Travelan from a former coworker of mine! I was considering buying some before our family set off on our around the world trip. But the price was just too high for our family of four! Now we do our best to avoid traveler’s diarrhea by cooking our own food, or making sure the food we buy is piping hot.
Traveler’s diarrhea is anybody’s nightmare. If it happens , it kills the joy of traveling.
Travelan looks a good option to carry for cases like these and more. Always helpful when something is avoidable.
You are right Nisha, having Travelan with you offers peace of mind and allows you to make the most out of your travels. Thanks for stopping by.
Good to know there is a solution for Delhi Belly! 🙂
I am not for falling sick during travels.
So true, Indrani, food poisoning is no fun wherever you might travel to 🙂
Interesting that the DoD is using it and has stats on it but it isn’t readily available in the US. Amazon to the rescue… and it’s on sale!
You are right, Amazon to the rescue 🙂 Thanks Sherianne!
I definitely want to give this a go and a natural ingredient that works effectively. Will have to purchase some soon!
You will feel better Noel, knowing you have the “security” of Travelan with you. Cheers.
Ooh I’ve not heard of this before – anything that helps strengthen my stomach is definitely welcome! I love eating local food and street food, actually the worst food poisoning i had was at a “clean” fast food restaurant so definitely stick with local stuff!!
You are right Claire, one can get food poisoning from anywhere. Vigilance and awareness are key. And a pack of Travelan helps as well. Cheers.
Great tips. I’ve not heard of that medicine but it sounds like a sure thing. Luckily this hasn’t happened to me but I may be going to Peru in 2019 and I hear horrible stories about stomach issues there.
Safe travels to Peru, Melody. Regardless, of where you visit, food safety is important. Pack Travelan with you for your upcoming trip and for any future trips as well 🙂 Check out our book- Authentic Food Quest Peru as well. Cheers.
This can be rough guys. Great product. I want to enjoy more street food. But fear puking LOL.
True Ryan, one needs to be safe on the road, particularly when eating street food 🙂 Cheers.
My tummy almost always gets upset when I’m traveling. This sounds like a great product.
Definitively carry Travelan with you as a precaution. Safe travels, Shannon.
I unfortunately have a very wimpy stomach. I get sick so often that I travel with antibiotics just in case! It does make me very careful about eating local food, especially street food. Maybe I should try Travelan next time!
Give Travelan a chance, Linda. It’s a natural supplement and better for you in the long term than medication. Thanks for stopping by.
These are great tips! It is the worst feeling in the world when an attack like this hits and derails your travel plans.
Thank you for sharing your tips with us! We love to explore the local cuisine in our trips that’s why these hacks are fundamental!
Being sick ia not good most especially having a diarrhea is the worst part of every travel and it is so nice to read this article that has a lot of information to give on preventing this issue to happen and Travelan looks like a nice partner to bring in every travel that we have.
Could not agree more, getting traveler’s diarrhea is not fun at all. Carrying a small pack with you can make a world of difference. Thanks for stopping by.
It happens more often than we think even traveling around the US from state to state. This is a great thing to have in your carry on at all times
You are right Kita, having Travelan as part of your packing kit provides peace of mind, no matter where you are. Thanks for stopping by!
Well, I guess that’s something we all worry about but don’t talk about much. Now I know.
I have had severe food poisioning before (here in the USA!) so I’m more susceptible to travelers diarrhea. I need to check out Travelan.
Hi Pam, sounds like Travelan is just the product for you. Indeed, food poisoning is as common at home as it is while traveling. Cheers.
These tips are great especially for travelers going to countries with cuisine different than what would normally be enjoyed at home. Thanks for these tips.
You are most welcome, Dennis. Knowing you are protected from something that afflicts many travelers is reassuring. Cheers.
THAT WOULD BE THE WORST – to be inflicted with traveler’s diarrhea!! UGH! I knock on wood, never have, but great tips to follow!
Thanks so much. Glad you enjoyed the article!
This is such a useful post for those who travel as I’ve heard of so many people who suffer and it has really put a damper on their holiday.
I travel quite a lot in this will become invaluable to me. I am usually extremely careful when I am out of the country on what I drink and eat but sometimes it still hits me.
As a frequent traveler, be sure to pack Travelan with you. It is always reassuring to know that you are protected wherever or whatever you may eat. Thanks, Jeanette and safe travels. Cheers.
I too loved the street food in Peru and Chile. But traveler’s tummy aches are always in the back of my mind. My daughter is currently vacationing in the Dominican Republic and she’s experiencing tummy issues after trying some local eateries.
You are right and we always think about safety as well when eating street food. What is reassuring is to have Travelan with you, just in case. Sorry to hear about your daughter. Please share this article with her and tell her about Travelan! Thanks, for stopping by.
Oh man, this would be rough. I’ll keep this in mind. It would be terrible to have diarrhea while traveling.
I am lucky I never got travelers diarrhea but I usually don’t go to Asia. I have been to Mexico and avoided a lot of the local food so i was lucky. Those pills are amazing and a great help to many.
That’s great to hear that you have never experienced traveler’s diarrhea. One can catch it anywhwere, even at home. The idea is always to use preventative measures and to pack Travelan, just in case. Thanks, Melissa.
Years ago I was in a country where the water wasn’t safe to drink and out of habit and not thinking, I rinsed my mouth with water from the tap after brushing my teeth. There was bottled water right there and I just wasn’t thinking. I had diarrhea for about 3 days. It was a good thing I was there for 3 weeks but still, I missed 3 days of vacation. Next time, I’m taking Travelan with me!
Wow, so sorry to hear about this misfortunate situation. Packing Travelan is always a good idea 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story.
Now this would be the worst thing to experience while traveling. Good information for everyone to heed to. Never know good to be prepared.
You are so right, Candy. The best is to always be prepared…for anything! Thanks for stopping by.
I agree – food is one of the best things about travel, in my opinion! I’ve never heard of Travelan, but what a great travel companion! Thanks so much for sharing!
You are most welcome, Patricia. The idea is to stay safe and protected whenever you travel. Packing Travelan can be a huge relief 🙂 Cheers.
I had no idea that this was even a thing, but it makes so much sense with the way you described it. I don’t get out exploring much but have plans to in my future and I hope I can remember everything I just learned here.
I will definitely keep this in mind for whenever I get to travel outside of the country! Thanks for sharing!
Really informative post! I had a serious bout of diarrhea when I was in the Philippines and since then I do take precautions when I am traveling. Travelan sounds great. Will definitely pack some before my next trip. Thank you for sharing <3
You are most welcome Ananya. So sorry to hear about your bout while in the Philippines. Add Travelan to your packing list and you’ll be all set. Thanks for yoru feedback. Cheers.
This is the type of down-to-earth advice I like to read. Traveling can be great fun, but not when you have travelers’ diarrhea!
Thank you so much Clara. When traveling you do need to consider all aspects of the experience, including the risk of traveler’s diarrhea. Thanks for stopping by.