Pin It

Street Food Safety: 14 Tips for Not Getting Sick While Traveling

Street Food Safety: 14 Tips for Not Getting Sick While Traveling


Many of you have been watching my street food videos and wondering how I don’t get sick.  First of all, I have gotten sick (twice!), but let me get to that later in the video, because I have more to share on that.  I wanted to do a video on myth busters and tips for not getting sick while traveling.

Below, I’m going to summarize the main points of the video. Watch the video for more detail.

Street Food Safety: 14 Tips for Not Getting Sick While Traveling

There are many countries in which the drinking water is unsafe or unclean.  Sometimes, the food practices aren’t so hygienic.


1. Avoid the tap water.  Invest in bottled water and for long stay travelers, you might want to invest in a SteriPEN Freedom (read my review) or Lifestraw.

2. Avoid foods that are washed in tap water (aka no raw salads)

3.  Avoid the ice:  There might be a good ice and a bad ice. Ask locals

4.   Avoid foods that have been out for hours or are attracting a lot of flies. Avoid meat.

5.  Don’t let your guard down. Travelers who are confident or familiar with a place tend to relax on their food guard. Don’t do that!


6. Do take fruits and vegetables you can peel and don’t require preparation washing.

7.  Do look for meals that are prepared on the spot and served hot

8. Do the food tours. They help with food confidence and you have guides that can help direct you. See my food tours and food porn posts.

9. Eat the homemade yogurts


The great thing about street food is that you can see it being prepared in front of your eyes.

10. You can see how vendors prepare their food and their hygiene habits.

11. Do visit food stalls/hawkers that’s frequented by locals

12. Any place is fair game. Not only street food. Restaurants don’t mean better


Sometimes, getting sick is inevitable when you travel a lot.

13. Do get sick. You’ll learn resourcefulness and confidence.


If all else fails and you still feel worried after all the tips I’ve shared with you…

14.  Travel Insurance: World Nomads  (Read Is Travel Insurance Necessary?)

street food safety, street food safety tips on not getting sick when traveling, food tips for travel

street food safety tips on not getting sick when traveling

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. If items are purchase through this site, this is of no extra cost to you but helps me to maintain this site and its work. =)


  1. G says:

    Hopefully you guys don’t get seriously sick.

    For stomach problems and diarrhea, I have used the Chinese PO chai pills. It’s very effective. You can get in most Chinese medicine shops. Even Amazon has it but the price is slightly inflated.

    The yogurt tip is good. I try to eat some every other day when traveling. Look for probiotic information on the container.

  2. Jane M says:

    Another excellent video Grrrl Traveler. We’re on our way to India in less than a week, so thank you for all the tips.

    One thing we found travelling through China & SE is that we tried to go to street food stalls run by women. Maybe sexist, but the cleanliness tended to be better in women’s businesses and women seem to care a little more about food safety.

    I would also stay away from places where you can’t see where the food is being prepared. Like chain restaurants and those big restaurants that cater to tourist groups from bus tours and cruises. These tend to be the worst, because they are in it for the money rather than the love of making great food.

  3. Some great tips there, Christine! I know these will be of help to a lot of people. I am pretty lucky, and I have followed a lot of these tips, but some of them I have broke, haha. One of these days my luck will probably come to an end.

    I have had my mini upset stomachs, but nothing even remotely bad. Some banana cake both I and a friend ate in Saigon, very mildly upset our stomachs…then there was some caribou skin I ate with in Leyte with some friends that had me take a couple of extra trips to the bathroom.

    I can’t recall any other times, so all in all, I’ve been pretty fortunate with five different trips to SE Asia of a couple of months or longer. There have been the mornings after some long nights of Tanduay Rum, Chang Beer, or Long Island Ice Teas in the local bars, but I don’t think those really count, haha.

Leave a Reply. Holler up and share your thoughts!

Before a trip can be a vacation, you'll have to survive it first!
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter for Travel Survival Tips, inspiration and YouTube fun! 

GRRR Travel Survival Guides


Support us on Patreon or Paypal

Donate to help maintain this site, so we can bring you more free video and travel content!