For many people, traveling is an opportunity to try authentic and unique local cuisines. Even though trying new foods can be fun, getting sick from eating strange dishes can cause unpleasant times while abroad. However, the following food tips for traveling will help you enjoy all the exotic foods you want while also being prepared and ready to run when you get sick.


In many countries, tap water is not safe to drink directly because it isn’t filtered strictly; therefore, you have a higher risk of getting sick if you are not careful.

  • Drink from sealed bottles.
  • If staying at a hotel or motel, boil water before drinking.
  • Avoid drinks with ice.


Tropical fruits are very popular and often found in many developing countries. But try to follow these rules when you want to try them, because many of the fruits are preserved with chemical, which can cause food poisoning.

  • Eat peelable fruits such as bananas or oranges.
  • Carefully wash and peel the skin off fruits like apples or peaches before eating.
  • If you buy things from local markets, try to buy foods in the early morning instead of later in the day.
  • Don’t eat any raw vegetables.



Street Foods

Street foods are one of the main attractions in many countries; however, you need to watch for what you eat when it comes to buying foods from vendors, because they are usually not stored or preserved correctly.

  • Make sure your foods are cooked right in front of you.
  • Pay attention to the hygiene of the vendor, especially when buying street foods.
  • Don’t eat food that has already been cooked and has been sitting out.


Foods in restaurants are generally safer to eat, but it is still worth knowing some tips that can help you not only choose a safe place to eat but also experience the most delicious local food that you can have while traveling.

  • Eat at the restaurants where the locals often eat.
  • Eat during expected mealtimes to avoid getting food that has been sitting out for too long.
  • Look for legitimate restaurants on reliable websites
  • Eat local cuisines, not foreign or unfamiliar dishes.

Other Tips

These are some general tips that you can follow to minimize your risk of getting sick while traveling. Furthermore, being prepared with medicines and other medical aids can help you be more ready while enjoying all exotic local foods.



  • Wash your hands before eating.
  • Stay hydrated by packing your own water bottles.
  • Bring hand sanitizer.
  • If possible, get a food tour guide when in the cities.
  • Bring Pepto-Bismol chewables (they don’t require water to ingest) as they can help protect the stomach lining from being infiltrated by a parasite.
  • Bring medicines like Tylenol, Motrin, Dramamine, and Imodium if possible.
  • Get prescriptions for special antibiotics as a preventive or self-treatment measure against traveler’s diarrhea.
  • Seek for medical help when having serious symptoms of food poisoning.

Finally, in order to better prepare for the trips, especially if you are a food “thrill-seeker,” try to learn some emergency related words in the local language. That way if you need to run to the hospital or simply need help from the locals, you’ll be prepared to ask for it.

—Thu Hoang