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Travel Toolbox: Travel Fit

Think About Food Safety

While traveling domestically, we often take food safety for granted. Outside the United States, though, there are few guarantees. When traveling in foreign countries, especially in the developing world, one wrong food decision could leave you or your travelers with a nasty bout of the you-know-whats. It’s imperative that you don’t drink the tap water in these settings. Don’t eat street food or anything that is raw or undercooked. Make sure the restaurants your group visits are well accustomed to preparing food for sensitive American stomachs. And if anyone is interested in trying the local produce, make sure they thoroughly wash and peel it first.

Offer Lighter Options

One of the shortcomings of traditional group tourism is the fixed menu: Everyone on the trip gets the same meal at each restaurant, or perhaps a choice of two or three entrees. Often these meals are planned with price in mind and don’t necessarily include the most healthful foods. To remedy this, do everything you can to give yourself and your travelers dining options, and try to include one or two more healthful alternatives. Whether it’s having full run of a restaurant menu or the option to eat at a number of restaurants on one street, expanding your dining game will make people feel more empowered and will give everyone the opportunity to eat better, even if they don’t take advantage of it.

Go Easy on the Alcohol

It should go without saying that drinking too much is never a good idea, and that’s especially true on the road. In addition to the usual dangers of drunkenness, imbibing too much when traveling is an especially bad situation. Alcohol can inhibit sleep and exacerbate jet lag. Though it can be fun to try the local drinks in new areas of the world, you don’t know how those concoctions will affect your or your group members’ systems, so it’s best to go light on them. And since tours often include early mornings and long days, you don’t want anybody missing the bus because they partied too hard the night before.