Traveling to a new country is all about experiencing a new culture, places, and people, and this experience includes the local cuisine. Eating safely and knowledgeably when you’re traveling is always a must, to avoid any illnesses or problems that are going to disrupt your trip or severely affect your health.
Nevertheless, it can be very difficult not to be concerned about eating in another country, for a variety of reasons. These might include language barriers that make it difficult to comprehensively understand the menus, or perhaps you’re an extremely picky eater and worried about what’s going to be on offer in another country. Maybe you even have an eating condition that makes you anxious about eating out.
What matters is that eating out during your travels isn’t a stressful experience, and is part of your exciting journey. Here are four tips to make sure eating on your trip is a pleasure and not a worry.
1. Do Your Research Ahead of Time
If you know which country — or countries — you’re traveling to, then research beforehand is always a must, and this applies to food as well. Do your research into what the most popular menu items are, what the local delicacies are, any advice regarding eating in that particular country, and what you can expect from a dining experience. You should also get to grips with the words used for specific food items, so you’ll know what you’re looking at on a menu.
This also applies to the customs, so you can eat respectfully, too.
2. Go to Reputable Places
While some countries are renowned for street food and more relaxed eating environments, you should trust your instincts in regard to where you choose to eat. Or, you may want to do your research into the best eateries before you travel.
Eating food from street vendors or places you’re not sure about may risk issues such as undercooked food, germs, and food poisoning, so be sure to stick to places that have been rated, reviewed, and are well-known.
3. Do What You Need to Build Your Confidence
Only you will know how to build your own confidence when eating in another country, so do what you need to do. If you want to try certain foods ahead of time in your own country to see how you deal with them, or what you like, that might help you to know what to order.
If you have swallowing difficulties, packing food thickening aids like Simply Thick will be a must-have to take with you on your travels to ensure you don’t run into discomfort.
Take a translation book with you if you’d feel better about knowing what all the local menu words mean.
4. Check the Water Supply
Eating abroad includes finding safe drinking water.
Especially if you do fall ill from food, your first thought may be to drink lots of water to improve your recovery. However, you need to be sure tap water is safe to drink, so check beforehand. Avoid drinking water at all costs from unsafe sources and invest in bottled water instead.