The One Medication You Don't Want To Forget To Pack On A Trip Abroad

Let's cut to the chase: Diarrhea can happen, even when you least expect it. Whether you couldn't avoid catching a bad bout of food poisoning during your trip, got a little too comfortable too fast with drinking the tap water at your destination, or just experienced a change in diet — there are tons of factors that come into play with making your stomach get a little too ... well, loose. And before you know it, you're caught up in an endless loop of rumble, sit, flush, and repeat. 

Luckily, there are plenty of over-the-counter medications to help you fight a tough battle against travelers' diarrhea. Specifically, however, frequent travelers rave about one product in particular: Travelan. An all-natural dietary supplement, Travelan's main goal is to reduce the risk of travelers' diarrhea by attacking bacteria in the stomach before the illness kicks in. Basically, think of it as a preemptive measure that doesn't require you to wait until you're doubled over, cramps winding, to take action.

Dealing with a bad stomach

Unlike products (such as Imodium) that work to slow down the way your infected and overactive stomach passes food and liquids through to the colon, Travelan tackles things from the outset. In fact, the brand's tagline pretty much says it all: When it comes to travelers' diarrhea, what you really need is prevention — not relief.

So, how does it work? According to the instructions, start by taking one caplet three times a day with each meal, at least 48 hours before your trip. Then, once on holiday, simply take one of the tabs before every meal, and you should be good to go. Needless to say, however, Travelan isn't some sort of magic pill that'll shield you from all potential stomach bugs. As with everything, it's still important that you exercise basic caution in terms of what you eat and drink abroad.

Oh, and don't worry about getting through security with your supply of tablets: Traveling with this type of medication won't get you flagged by the TSA. Just make sure you keep the pills in their original container or packaging, and that you're not bringing too much with you.

Other tips to stay healthy while traveling abroad

Beyond taking medication to help you avoid getting stuck inside the hotel bathroom, there are plenty of other ways you can ensure that your holiday is safe, hygienic, and still memorable. First things first, there's the common concern: tap water. There's a pretty lengthy list of destinations where you'll want to avoid drinking the tap water or consuming any products with ice that might come from tap water — from Cancún to New Delhi and Rio to Bali, just to name a few.

The same goes for any type of fresh food — think salad or fruit — that you eat. If there's a possibility that these items were washed using a contaminated water source, you're better off sticking to cooked or packaged foods instead.

And if you're still questioning whether or not it's safe to drink the tap water, trust your gut (before it gets upset) and buy bottled water instead. After all, when it comes to fighting off getting sick abroad, it's always better to be safe than sorry.