Spain was yesterday unveiled as the sick man of Europe – because more British holiday makers fall ill there than anywhere else.
Seven out of ten Brits are struck by sickness on their hols, with one in five of those staying at a Spanish resort, according to a study of 3,000 people.
And queasy British tourists will spend on average three days of their two-week summer break suffering from some sort of illness.
Four out of ten holidaymakers will suffer from diarrhoea, while one in five will go down with food poisoning and one in ten will be hit by heat stroke.
Greece emerged as the second sickliest country to visit, followed by Egypt, France and Turkey.
Graham Waters, CEO of Bimuno, which commissioned the research, said: ”There is nothing worse than feeling under the weather when you’re away from home.
”Planning a two week summer holiday or a longer trip to escape the daily pressures of modern life, just to feel sick while there, is so disappointing.
”So it’s important to be prepared and always take a first aid kit on holiday with you.
”I have travelled to all corners of the globe so have experienced first hand the misery and inconvenience that illness in foreign countries can cause whether travelling for business reasons or with my family.”
The study also found a quarter of Brits have avoided travelling to a country because they feared falling ill due to the water, food or lack of cleanliness.
But most said they would like to travel further a field if they could avoid falling ill.
Three quarters admitted using their holiday as an excuse to over-indulge in local cuisine.
Seventeen per cent said they have suffered from sunburn on their break and 12 per cent have experienced heat stroke.
But it’s not just illness that Brits abroad need to worry about as one in five have had an accident abroad and 27 per cent have visited a doctor.
One in five admitted they don’t always get the required jabs before going to an exotic country.
A quarter don’t even bother with insurance, telling themselves it will never happen to them.
The poll also revealed that 64 per cent of people rely on doctors or pharmacists in a foreign country to be able to speak English.
Another 13 per cent end up pointing to different parts of their body to try and explain what’s wrong with them.
One in ten even get a translator in to help out.
Yesterday Jackie Kemp, freelance travel journalist and writer said: ”Be careful what and just how much you eat, and drink, where the water comes from, and also what unfamiliar foods you might be trying.
”No matter what country you are travelling to, holiday makers should take positive steps to insure their holiday against traveller’s diarrhoea and illness.”
TOP TEN COUNTRIES WHERE HOLIDAY MAKERS FALL ILL
9. Dominican Republic
TOP 10 MOST COMMON HOLIDAY ILLNESSES
2. Sun burn
3. Food poisoning
4. Heat stroke
5. Mosquito bites
8. Ear infection
10. Alcohol poisoning