5 Foods to Avoid While Traveling | And What to Do If You Get Sick!
In this article, we’re going to be discussing the top five foods that I avoid while traveling, and some tips in case you do get sick.
Eating is one of the best parts of traveling. Trying new foods and flavors is something that I look forward to whenever I visit and explore a new place. Unfortunately, though, it’s also an easy way to throw your digestive system into panic, especially if you’re not careful. The general rule is “boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!”, but obviously that means you’ll be missing a lot of what makes exploring a new place so special. So, in this video, I wanted to share my top five items to avoid consuming when traveling. It’s not a definitive list, but it’s the top things that I avoid when I’m away from home.
Number one: Raw fruits and vegetables. While I love to eat raw fruits and vegetables, I typically avoid them when traveling to places where tap water may not be safe. Basically, you want to avoid items that have any chance of being washed in contaminated water or handled with unclean utensils. Also, it’s not just salads. Once I ordered a fish sandwich in a remote part of Panama and it had a bunch of raw vegetables in it. I ate it, and I didn’t get sick, but it was definitely a dilemma. Since it was the last day of my trip, I decided to take the risk, but I probably would have avoided it otherwise.
Number two: Buffets. There are a lot of things that can go wrong with a buffet. You can have food that’s been sitting out for a long time, as well as contamination with flies. It’s not to say that I never eat at a buffet. But I would avoid anything that looks like it’s been sitting out for too long or in a place with questionable sanitation.
Number three: Shellfish. This is where I’ve gotten sick in the past. While clams, mussels, and oysters can be delicious, they are notorious for having a really short shelf life. While a lot of travelers will tell you to avoid seafood in general, I still eat fish, especially when traveling to coastal areas. But I avoid the shellfish. It’s just not worth it for me.
Number four: Ice. This is an easy one to overlook. When ordering a drink, whether it be a soft drink or with alcohol, it may be wise to specifically ask for no ice. Also, you may want to avoid blended drinks when possible. Like with salads, you want to avoid exposure to unsafe water. There is a little trick that a lot of travelers will use though. If the ice has a hole in it, then it’s typically safe to drink since it’s from an ice factory that’s likely using filtered water.
Number five: Street vendors. This one really depends on where you are visiting. In places like Thailand, street food is often rated as being extremely safe and clean to eat. In other places, like India or Central America, it might not be as safe. If you do decide to try street food, then I would advise one where others, including locals, are eating. Also, make sure the food is cooked on the spot and the menu is small and simple. You basically want to make sure that you’re getting fresh ingredients that haven’t been sitting out for too long.
And those are my top five things to avoid eating and drinking.