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8 Tips for Germ-Free Travel

Whether you're going by boat, plane, train, or automobile, travel bugs are bound to greet you. Here, some cringe-worthy stats on germs and traveling -- and tips on how you can take a trip unscathed.
cough medicine Scope Out Public Inspection Scores

The ocean breeze may make cruise ships feel less congested than airplanes, but disease can spread fast, particularly gastrointestinal ailments like noroviruses. According to the CDC, these nausea- and diarrhea-causing illnesses can last for one to two days, just long enough to put a black cloud over your vacation. To keep cruise-goers informed, the CDC created a Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) that makes inspection scores available to the public. Voyagers should check the Inspection Green Sheet prior to boarding and be proactive about what they bring in their medicine bag. "Packing bismuth subsalicylate (BSS) -- the active ingredient in Pepto-Bismol -- may be effective in the preventing traveler's diarrhea (TD)," says Dr. Garman. He also notes that taking two ounces of liquid or two chewable tablets four times a day can reduce the incidence of TD from 40 percent to 14 percent. Talk with your doc before you sail off if you're considering this regimen.