Common Traveler Illnesses and How to Avoid Them

Every traveler has run into a common instance of one of the following sicknesses. No matter how much work you do to avoid them, germs are everywhere and there’s no escaping them. However, being prepared is a large part of the job. If you know exactly what kinds of sicknesses are most common, it’s much easier to stop yourself from coming down with them. Keep reading to find out what the most common sicknesses are and exactly how to avoid them.

Bali Belly

Also known as traveler’s diarrhea, Bali belly is essentially what happens when your body reacts negatively to new foods or water. Many travelers to the Indonesia island of Bali come down with this illness. It usually includes not only diarrhea but also cramping and nausea similar to food poisoning. The easiest way to avoid it is to really watch what you eat and drink. Many countries don’t have the cleanest water, so be sure to be aware of this fact and always drink bottled water. Ensure that you eat only freshly cleaned fruits and vegetables, no ice cubes since they are usually made of tap water, and no drinks made of tap water. Usually, this awareness combined with general cleanliness is enough to avoid the common sickness.


Coming down with a cold happens all the time, whether you’re traveling or not. Many travelers deal with colds after being on long plane rides or when experiencing a significant change in climate. The frustrating thing about these is that they don’t tend to go away quickly. In order to avoid coming down with a cold, you need to be ready ahead of time. On planes, don’t allow yourself to get too cold- always bring a blanket or don’t be afraid to ask for one. In general, staying on top of your vitamin consumption is also a great way to avoid getting sick. For colds, it’s important to have a lot of vitamin C. Even if you feel the beginnings of a cold, eat some high-vitamin C foods to help kick it.


Some of the most common traveler illnesses have to do with mosquito bites, just like malaria. The name may sound really scary and concerning, but it’s definitely more common than people generally think. Malaria, dengue, and West Nile Virus are three different diseases all caused by mosquito bites. So, it’s clearly important to protect yourself from mosquitos. Even if you’re traveling in a hot, tropical climate, pack some long clothes to wear at night. Never underestimate the power of a well-working bug spray and never be caught without it. Avoiding these illnesses is as easy as avoiding the mosquitoes themselves, so always be aware that any mosquito bite carries a little bit of risk along with it.

The Flu

Many different forms of the flu are common for travelers since it’s so easy to accidentally ingest something that has been contaminated. Not to mention, travelers are constantly in contact with all sorts of different people- especially those staying in hostels. The regular stomach flu and things like norovirus spread quickly in places like these. The easiest way to avoid them is to keep a general rule of hygiene and cleanliness to avoid catching an illness unnecessarily.

In conclusion, getting sick is never fun, and sometimes it’s definitely unavoidable. Not to mention, getting sick while traveling is even worse. With a little bit of awareness and preparation, it’s easy to cut your chance of getting sick in half. Always be aware of your destination’s pitfalls so that you don’t fall prey to easy ways of falling ill.

Engaging Sentence: Getting sick is no fun while traveling- here are all the most common illnesses and how to avoid them.

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