Friday, 18 January 2013

On the Ground--Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry—Any experienced traveler will tell you that one of the best aspects of international travel is sampling the native cuisine.  In fact, there is a growing market segment of “foodie” travelers who plan entire trips around restaurant-hopping. However, the reality is that some food-borne illness may occur sometime in your travels.  Traveler’s diarrhea or “la tourista” is well-known to most travelers and easily treatable with antibiotics, water, and Pepto-Bismol.  This condition is not serious but can ruin a trip.  Consult your physician about antibiotics and anti-diarrhea medications to take with you.  Ask your hotel if it has a physician on staff or on call—a health care professional trusted by the hotel to provide quality medical care and obtain the appropriate type and dosage of medicine from the local pharmacy. 

In general, you can’t go wrong with hot food and drinks prepared from safe water sources, including ice.  In some countries, I even go so far as to brush my teeth with bottled water!   When eating with a local family, making such choices may be tricky, but try to gently inform your hosts that you prefer warm or heated (as opposed to “hot” or spicy) foods.  Finally, hosts will appreciate your enthusiasm for the local beer and you will appreciate that it has been properly pasteurized.

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