Keeping in tip top shape is very important for you to be able to enjoy your trip. It is then a must to learn all you can about the place you are headed to, the foods you plan to sample and to stay clean and keep healthy during your travel. This can pose a bit of a challenge especially if your goal is to sample as much local cuisine as you can and to take an exotic food adventure.

Exotic foods are not so scary; they are simply called exotic because they are not familiar to most. They are not, say, as common as burgers and fries; or even chicken chow mein. Exotic food has a tendency be considered strange and even out of this world, with people thinking “you eat that?!”. It is then imperative that you know what are in these foods and how they are prepared. Being unfamiliar, your body might be allergic to some ingredients or even be “sensitive” to how it taste, looks and to how it is prepared; and of course, make sure that these are clean. Some foods claim to be “exotic delicacies” when in fact, they are just prepared haphazardly in a less then hygienic environment.

Food is one of the most important things to consider, as one of the worst that could happen is getting diarrhea on your trip. Raw foods (and even live foods), while they are safe and clean, can get you sick if you literally cannot “stomach” it. Some people are more squeamish and some just have a stronger stomach than others.

Research is important before travelling; for example, know vaccinations that you’d need to get before embarking on a trip to warm and humid countries if you are from somewhere cold or temperate. Viruses and diseases are different in warm regions and having been used to a different climate you are not immune; this is also true vice versa. One important vaccination to get is yellow fever vaccine especially if travelling to sub-Saharan Africa and tropical South America; Meningococcal vaccination is required if you plan to travel to Saudi Arabia during the Hajj; get a routine check up before leaving the country and find out what types of vaccinations you need; especially if one has diabetes, HIV, travelling with children or is pregnant/ lactating.

Travelers can be extremely sensitive to other countries’ water. Stick to bottled water to be safe. Order your drinks with no ice if they cannot vouch that the ice is made of purified water.

When travelling to warmer climates, drink lots of water. Keep yourself hydrated to keep from getting heat stroked. When travelling to colder climates, be sure to bring appropriate clothing.

When planning to camp out outdoors, especially in tropical countries, you have to be sure to lather on anti-mosquito lotion or wear those “flea collar” types of bracelets that repel mosquitoes.

When you get to the place, know where clinics and drugstores are. Always have a first aid kit handy and OTC medicines for fever, diarrhea, hyper-acidity (especially if you plan on consuming alcoholic drinks), iodine solution for wounds, hydration tablets, band-aids and other such essential first aid materials.

It is important that you enjoy your trip as much as you can and sample local culture as much as you can for you to truly enjoy and make your trip memorable. So best you arm yourself with proper precautions and ample knowledge to stay healthy as not to waste your trip and endanger your wellbeing.

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