We have all seen the bad reviews for hotels where people got sick. However, when people get ill in a foreign country, it's less to do with the hotel and more to do with the climate and the country's water supply.
RULE #1 DON'T DRINK THE TAP WATER!
A general precaution in tropical countries:
Do not drink tap water or use ice cubes.
(which come from tap water)
Stay away from salads.
(which are washed with tap water)
Don't ingest anything washed with tap water.
(unless its been cooked or boiled)
Are you seeing a pattern?
RULE #2 STAY AWAY FROM MOSQUITO'S
Another thing that gets people sick are Mosquito bites.
So stay out of the woods or shrubs and get Hepatitis A/B vaccinations.
A friend of ours made that mistake once...
We were on some remote island and she had to pee...
Well, instead of going into the ocean like we advised she went into the bushes...
...and ended up with 120 mosquito bites and a serious case of Hepatitis A infection.
RULE #3 OUTDOOR BUFFETS ARE OFF LIMITS
If you go on the boat or catamaran cruise..
...and eat food on some remote island outdoor buffet
...and then wonder why you get sick...
Remember, it takes just a couple of flies and some tap water to ruin a vacation.
RULE #4 BRING A TRAVEL MED KIT
Certain places like the middle-east are very hot and dry.
Taking an all day tour will mean your eyes are sore from the heat and dust.
It's good to have some eye drops with you.
Rather than trekking across town in the middle of the night to a pharmacy that is still open
(Yes! We have been there!).
Many remote destinations are not really good when it comes to getting prescription medication at the resorts.
Very often they have to send someone with a taxi to get the medication at a pharmacy in another town and the ride alone can be hundreds of dollars, plus the medication.
It's just easier to bring it with you...
Here are some Must Have Items for Your Travel Med-kit:
Start with a travel size med kit from your local pharmacy, then add
pain reliever/fever reducer (eg Tylenol or advil)
bug repellent (Deep Woods Off)
Antihistamine (pill & cream)
Pepto Bismol or Gravol (upset stomach)
Ear drops (for divers)
Eye drops (with antibiotic)
A general antibiotic ointment
Sunscreen and after-sun oitnment
Handwipes or hand disinfectant
On more remote journeys you can also generally get a 10-day general antibiotic (azithromycin) and Anti-Malaria pill supply from your doctor. Make sure you have a prescription made out to you, so that customs has no issues.
As always, don't see this as a complete list, but rather a start. Perhaps there are other items you or your family requires. And before every trip, always make sure you check your kit for completeness.