It's a situation no one wants to be in: you plan a vacation, spend the money to get to your destination and then get violently ill.
Tracey Larsen is a Sioux Falls social studies teacher who has learned some valuable lessons outside of the classroom.
"I've been to Mexico three times. I've been to Europe. I've been to Australia. I've never gotten sick anywhere," Larsen said.
But Larsen wasn't so lucky during her latest adventure. She traveled with three other teachers to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, earlier this year. Before the trip, the group noticed complaints about people getting sick at the resort destination on Trip Adviser.
"When we first got there, we took sanitary wipes and we wiped down our room and tried to be very careful. In case it was a food-borne thing, we didn't eat anything unless it had been cooked," Larsen said.
But even that didn't prevent Larsen and another of her traveling companions from getting sick with Norovirus, a type of severe stomach flu, just 48 hours after checking in.
"It was an all-inclusive resort, but I couldn't eat or drink anything. I just had toast and Gatorade and kind of picked at my food and had really bad stomach pain. That's what made the rest of the trip miserable," Larsen said.
While Larsen couldn't have done much more to avoid getting the virus, aside from skipping the trip altogether, Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Gerard David says there are some steps to prevent certain illnesses.
"It's very important because infections are a common cause of illnesses when you travel," David said.
If you're traveling overseas, make sure to get the required or recommended vaccinations for the country you're traveling to.
"Such as Hepatitis A or typhoid," David said.
But you shouldn't come in the day before your trip to get your vaccination. David says to allow at least two weeks, preferably four to six weeks.
"Most vaccines need about two weeks in order for your body to build antibodies against bacteria or viruses," David said.
In addition to vaccines, you should also be careful to avoid tap water, uncooked foods and street vendors when traveling overseas. And wash and sanitize your hands frequently.
As for Larsen, she'll heed the warnings before traveling next time.
"Have fun, but just be aware and maybe check out your resort before you go in detail and see if anybody is reporting anything," Larsen said.
David adds that on trips to developing countries, it's also important to wash your fruits and vegetables well. You might also want to avoid ice cubes when drinking beverages.