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Vacation illness-self inflicted?

Chester, Illinois
Level Contributor
95 posts
1 review
Vacation illness-self inflicted?

I'm sure that there are legitimate illnesses that are contracted while traveling, however, after 20+ years of traveling to resort destinations, I can't name one time that I wasn't at fault for feeling poorly.

Overeating, overexposure to sun, overindulging in liquor, and lack of water does this to anyone. I just hope that some of the posters who report these "horrible outbreaks" at particular resorts didn't have a three-egg omlet, sausage, bacon and sweet rolls for breakfast followed by eight hours of sun on their unprepared skin while guzzling sticky sweet drinks (double shots, of course, to get their money's worth), stopping only to consume a heaping plate full of nachos, french fries, and pizza for lunch. And it's not even dinner time yet.

My point? If your body is not accustom (?sp) to this on a daily basis at home, how can you expect it to NOT retaliate? Just be sensible and think moderation. Do you really want your most vivid vacation memory to be gazing at a beautiful sunset at the end of a glorious day in paradise, or gazing into your toilet?

This post is not meant to cause an uproar, just something to consider.

Happy and healthy travels to all-just shy of two weeks for our group's trip, and yes, I'm guilty of all of the above at one time or another.

Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
13,161 posts
4 reviews
1. Re: Vacation illness-self inflicted?

Hola Tanline!

Great Post! I agree completely! Over indulgence is so easy when we are in paradise!

Moderation in all things is the way to go!

Thanks for posting this great advice!

Happy Travels to all!


Level Contributor
645 posts
2. Re: Vacation illness-self inflicted?

tanline~ I couldn't have said it better myself!

Sosua, Dominican...
Destination Expert
for Puerto Plata, Sosua, Dominican Republic
Level Contributor
18,235 posts
351 reviews
3. Re: Vacation illness-self inflicted?

great post. Also remember fresh fruit can cause stomach problems as well as coconut milk or water. So eat both in moderation.


Level Contributor
1,926 posts
8 reviews
4. Re: Vacation illness-self inflicted?

I absolutely think you're right. Many people cause their own illness by getting carried away. Then they assume the illness is caused by the resort instead of realizng that heir bodies are not used to what is being inflicted on them.

I do think there is some legitimacy to travel illness that isn't self inflicted. Those people who do not overindulge yet get sick, should also realize that just the act of traveling can make you sick. Your body is being asked to break from it's normal routine, often by traveling across time zones. The stress of travel, getting everything packed, getting to the airport, sometimes dealing with delays, etc, lowers resistence. Along with the lowed resistence, you are then on a plane with a couple hundred people, some of whom are likely sick, in a very enclosed space.

It would be interesting to see a study done that could determine the exact causes of travel related illness. I would bet that it's far fewer cases of food handling, parasites, food bourne bacteria than most people think. of course, that type of study would be nearly impossible since these illnesses aren't always 100% dtermined as to the exact cause.

Staten Island, New...
Destination Expert
for Staten Island
Level Contributor
631 posts
81 reviews
5. Re: Vacation illness-self inflicted?

Orion and tanline, I think both of you are right, and yes many people immediately think to blame the resort or country they visited meanwhile never looking in the mirror at who could be the real culprit for all of this....

Thamesford, Canada
Level Contributor
1,445 posts
69 reviews
6. Re: Vacation illness-self inflicted?

The real culprit could also be accidentally using room water to brush teeth, accidentally swallowing water when taking a shower, kitchen or bar staff using untreated water to rinse food, dishes etc. Some people have seen staff using room water to refill water bottles instead of supplying a new bottle. So check the lids to make sure they haven't been opened before using the water bottle.

The real culprit could also be from anyone not washing hands after going to the bathroom and spreading whatever around. I've seen many people leaving the washrooms without washing their hands. Maybe that's normal where they come from.

Just an idea but maybe the resorts should all have antibacterial wash stations but then they'd have to have someone there to insist that people wash their hands before leaving the washrooms or have them set up before entering a restaurant.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
9,090 posts
29 reviews
7. Re: Vacation illness-self inflicted?

It might not be a bad idea for every hotel to have hand sanitizer on hand as you enter the buffet area and require everyone to use it if they want to eat there.

Cleveland, Ohio
Level Contributor
1,520 posts
2 reviews
8. Re: Vacation illness-self inflicted?

A friend of mine just came back from a cruise and before they handed you a plate in the buffet line you had to use hand sanitizer they had right there for you!! You couldn't get your plate if you did not use it!! That is such a great idea I thought as then you were assured that at least they did something before eatting and using the buffet serving spoons etc!! !!

From ddciloe5

Staten Island, New...
Destination Expert
for Staten Island
Level Contributor
631 posts
81 reviews
9. Re: Vacation illness-self inflicted?

hand sanitizer is a great idea but hand sanitizer does not protect against fecal matter, but better than nothing, so still a great idea.

Level Contributor
1,730 posts
22 reviews
10. Re: Vacation illness-self inflicted?

My wife and I have both been sick while on vacation in Mexico but not in the DR. Once it was , my wife believes, was food poisoning due to uncooked shrimp in Paella. Food poisoning usually occurs 4 to 5 hours after ingesting the contaminated food and my wife's timeline was a little over 4 hours. I was sick from, what I believe, a glass of "purified" tap water at a resort in Cancun.

I am sure there are those who become sick from over indulgence but there are those who become sick because of viral gastroenteritis albeit; a norovirus, salmonella or other such malady. I wash my hands as much as possible and we do carry a small bottle of Purell, etc. which we use. I worry about the food preparer who may not wash their hands. Not only the food preparers at the resorts but the guy or gal who cuts the meat, poultry or picks the fruit.

I can recall, about two years ago,there was a well known resort in Puerto Plata where a norovirus broke out and then it broke out, at the same resort chain, in Punta Cana. I also remember reading, on numerous ocassions, of a norovirus aboard cruise ships.

Good personal hygiene and washing your hands can prevent a plethora of illnesses. We can only hope the food preparers are as vigilant as we/tourists. Over indulgence is only a portion of those who become ill. What the percentage is; we'll never know.