3. Bring your tissuesIf you do get a cold, having your own tissues will help protect those around you. Make sure you sneeze into a tissue or your arm (not your hands!) and then throw the tissue away. Washing your hands after you sneeze or blow your nose will also help protect those you come in contact with as well as yourself.
4. Schedule a travel consultation with your doctor
Depending on your destination, certain illnesses may be prevelant that are not a concern in the US. Many of these illnesses can be prevented with vaccinations or medications. Be sure to check into what shots may be required and make an appointment with your doctor before you go.
Pay attention to public health and travel advisories. Certain places in the world do not have drinking water that is as clean as ours. Do some research about your destination before you go. Find out whether you should avoid the water, or any other food or drink, and you will minimize your risk of catching a stomach virus. Believe me, that will ruin your vacation in a hurry.
It may be that a travel advisory will be in effect for the country you are traveling to. Find out what the disease is and how to avoid it, whether it means avoiding certain regions or entire countries.
6. Avoid all water, when necessaryIf you do need to avoid the water, don't forget about water in other forms. Be sure to ask for "no ice" and avoid drinks and foods that may have water added, but have not been boiled.
7. Stay hydratedEven if you can't drink the local tap water, drinking plenty of water (bottled, if necessary) is essential to staying hydrated. Especially if you are in a warm climate, such as the beach, drinking lots of water (8 to 10 glasses per day) will keep you feeling good. Dehydration can lead to serious health problems and even death if it is not corrected, so drink up.
8. If you or your traveling companions are sick before you go, stay home
We aren't talking about a little runny nose, but if you have a fever or a contagious illness, do your best to avoid exposing other people. It is hard to cancel plans at the last minute, especially if they are vacation plans, but going away while you are sick will only make others sick too. And you aren't likely to enjoy yourself if you are stuck in bed anyway.
Traveler's Health.National Center for Infectious Diseases, Division of Global Migration and Quarantine. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 18 Jun 2007.
Traveler's Diarrhea. Coordinating Center for Infectious Diseases / Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases 21 Nov 2006. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 18 Jun 2007.