This post was originally posted by TheHipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind Blog on September 30, 2015.
Tongue-tickling spice combinations. Unfamiliar ingredients. New delicacies to explore. Half the fun of venturing to exotic locales is sampling new foods. Unfortunately, adventurous eating can also lead to an unhappy belly. Take advantage of a couple simple tricks to stave off disastrous travel sickness.
Seek Out Local Know-How
Looking for the best som tam and pad thai the street stalls of Thailand have to offer? Ask a local. Poll the front desk staff at your hotel in Bangkok for their favorite place to munch on street food. Let them know you’re not looking for an official recommendation so much as a friendly one, for the places where you might run into them snacking on a night off. Establishments frequented by locals are likely to be appetizing, affordable and authentic. They’re also time-tested and likely to be safe, helping you keep stomach bugs at bay.
Make Eating Elementary
It’s time to use your powers of deduction, Mr. Holmes. Scope out clues to find the tastiest, safest culinary delights. Is the place bustling with locals, or empty and quiet? Do the customers include women and children, or does it look like a boy’s club? Steer towards busy family establishments for the best chances at a clean, wholesome delicious meal. Elementary, my dear Watson. Delectably elementary.
Home Cooking = Food + Love
At Casa com Varanda in Rio de Janeiro, host Delvina serves up breakfast every morning. Doesn’t that sound better than anything that might come out of a faceless restaurant kitchen? After all, nothing is more nourishing than a home-cooked meal. Staying in a small, independent accommodation, such as a bed and breakfast, is a great opportunity to try authentically prepared, home-cooked food. Because these meals are generally prepared in small batches with love and care, they’ll be memorable for only the right reasons.
Expect the Best, Prepare for the Worst
No matter how careful you are, there’s no 100% proven method to prevent an upset stomach. Sometimes even the most upscale restaurants can leave you queasy the next morning. There’s freedom in this realization, however. If even the safest-seeming foods have the potential for tummy turmoil, there’s no reason not to go bold. Boarding a plane for Argentina? Throw some probiotics and anti-diarrheal medicines in your bag and book a stellar Buenos Aires hotel where you’ll be comfortable no matter what happens. After that, there’s no stopping you.
Street smart and prepared for anything, you’re ready to take on the world in all its flavorful goodness. From tamales in Cancun to Çiğ köfte in Istanbul, there’s a whole world of tastes to discover. Let the eating adventures begin!