Top Tips for Eating and Drinking Safely When Abroad is a collaborative post.

Not all who wander are lost. There’s something completely magical about travelling the world. Bouncing around from city to city within your own country can be fun, but nothing truly beats being able to immerse yourself in the culture and livelihood of another country. Travelling abroad is great, but there are a lot of preparations that need to be taken in order to have the best possible trip.

First, you need to secure travel. Whether you’re flying or taking a different mode of transportation, this is probably one of the two most important things you need to do. Afterwards, you need to secure your accommodations. You could need a hotel or you might even be staying with someone you know. Regardless, this is another important task to cross off your list. Now before you start planning your itinerary, ask yourself this: “do I need to get vaccinated?” The answer is probably. 

busy street in Bangkok Thailand

Depending on the country you’re travelling to, they might have common diseases that you’ve yet to be vaccinated for. By visiting travel clinics such as the London Vaccination Clinic, you can safeguard yourself to make sure you’re safe before you even step foot out of your country. While vaccination will help, when it comes to food and drink, they can also be detrimental to your health when travelling abroad. Here are our five top tips for eating and drinking safely when abroad. 

Stay Away from Tap Water

One thing that can be potentially dangerous when you’re travelling abroad is drinking tap water. It’s impossible to know what bacteria is lying in the water, so instead of taking your chances, stay away from tap water completely. While it might feel like a hassle, ask for bottled water everywhere you go. If you’re at breakfast, ask for bottled water. Are you at lunch? Ask for bottled water. You can guess what to ask for at dinner. These aren’t the only times that you have to be mindful of not drinking tap water. 

You might think asking for a bottle of water is enough, but it isn’t if you’re asking for ice cubes too. More likely than not, those cubes are made with the very tap water you’re trying to avoid, but there are even more occasions to avoid it. 

line of bottled water

When you’re brushing your teeth, you should be reaching for bottled water. Anytime water would come in close proximity to your mouth, you need bottled water. Because of this, you should also apply this when it comes to washing your face. 

Beware of Unpasteurised Dairy Products

You can’t be certain what kind of food practices other countries use and this is something to watch especially when you’re dealing with dairy products. When it comes to milk and cheese, you might assume they’re pasteurised or that they’ve been treated in some way to destroy the pathogens within them. You can’t assume this when you’re travelling abroad. By consuming unpasteurised dairy products, you’re opening yourself up to bacteria and viruses your body might not be prepared to handle. 

There’s no foolproof method for identifying unpasteurised dairy products, so depending on the country you’re travelling to, it might be better to stay away from dairy as much as possible. 

Beware Street Food

Similar to staying away from unpasteurised dairy products, you might want to consider staying away from street food in your destination country. It’s impossible to know the sanitation efforts they took to making the food or even the practices they use to maintain their space. When it comes to street food, it’s best to use your discretion. Feel free to discreetly watch them as they serve their customers. Just a few seconds or short minutes can help you determine whether they’re a good, clean vendor. 

street food vendor cooking and serving noodles  noodles

Think Twice About Eating Fruit/Drinking Fruit Juices

It’s rare that you’ll find someone tell you to stay away from fruit, but unfortunately, when it comes to travel, that’s something to be mindful of. Once again, this ties back to the water issue. Because fruit often grow outside, it is necessary to clean and this requires water. It’s hard to imagine the fruit being clean when there’s a chance it’s been washed with contaminated water. This is something else that you need to decide at your discretion based on your destination. 

Bring Medicine 

Last but not least, before you think of stepping foot on a plane or train, you need to head to your nearest pharmacy. Traveling makes you susceptible to tons of things because you’re not used to the air, food, or water. Instead of going without any backup, you need to bring medicine for any issues that may come up from eating abroad. Imodium is great if you have diarrhoea. Pepto Bismol is also your  one stop shop for stomach problems. You know the commercial! With treatment for symptoms like nausea, heartburn, and indigestion, it might be just the solution you need. Medicines like TUMS or an antacid are also important because introducing new foods to your body can lead to heartburn. 

Traveling can be amazing, but your trip can instantly become a nightmare if you’re not properly prepared for it. Getting vaccinated is the first step and luckily for you, London Vaccination Clinic makes it easy for you. That’s not all the work that needs to be done. Head to the pharmacy for your medicine and study these tips. Visiting a new country should be about immersing yourself into the culture which means experiencing the food, people, and more. You can still do this while eating and drinking safely. Just keep these tips in the back of your mind and enjoy yourself!

Safe travels!

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