The most common way to get sick when traveling is through food and water. Trying new foods is part of the experience, but no one likes to be sick on the road. Don’t fear! We are here to give you a few pointers to keep your adventurous palate and your sensitive stomach happy. Keep reading to learn 5 tips about what to eat, what to avoid, and how to eat safely in any country.
- Cook it, wash it, peel it, or forget it! Boiling a food is the best way to get rid of any bacteria that may have been lingering. Once the water has reached a boil, you are safe to dig in! Peeling a food is another great solution. Fruits like bananas, oranges, and avocados are much safer to eat than berries or apples. As a last resort, wash any fruits or vegetables that you cannot peel or boil. Be sure to use purified water and give them a good scrub. Tip: leave your appetite for leafy salads at home!
- Be seal-happy. Things in a sealed package are generally much safer than items with unknown origins. Unpackaged condiments and sauces may not have been refrigerated and may have been prepared with unpurified water. While homemade relish might sound delicious, your stomach will be thanking me later.
- Go with the flow. A good rule of thumb is to follow the crowds. Locals know which restaurants serve good, quality food and which don’t. Busy restaurants serve food as soon as it is made while empty restaurants may leave food sitting out for longer periods of time.
- H20 Know. Unpurified water is sneaky and ruthless when it comes to getting sick. Being extra cautious to make sure your water has been boiled, filtered, bottled, or otherwise purified is a must. Avoid ice cubes in restaurants and be sure to ask if you have any doubts about tap water being used during preparation. On all of our expeditions, we provide you with plenty of purified water to keep you hydrated during the trek.
- A healthy body is a happy body. The best defense against illness is a healthy immune system. Don’t forget to stay hydrated and eat a well-balanced diet to keep your body performing at its best. Even if you are a meat-eater in a primarily vegetarian country, eat eggs, nuts, beans, lentils and other protein-rich foods in its absence.
- Know the risks. Some foods are generally more risky than others. Unpasteurized dairy products, seafood, and undercooked meat are foods to be wary of when ordering off a menu. Another good precaution is to avoid eating street foods. If you cannot live without these foods, take some time to get a sense of what your body can tolerate and slowly ease into trying one.
Every traveler wants to stay healthy and happy while overseas. Kick Montezuma to the curb and use these 6 tips to avoid having your stomach spoil your trip. Bon voyage!