One Perfect Foodie Vacation, Coming Right Up
By: Joanna Augenbergs
We love to eat and we love to travel. That’s why whenever we plan a family holiday, one of our top priorities is to research an itinerary that is as tasty as it is adventurous/ luxurious/ relaxing/ *insert your personal vacation goal of choice here*.
Here are some tips for your next foodie vacation:
MAKE A MUST-TRY LIST
It pays to do some homework and research upfront. Are there any national/ ethnic dishes or local specialties that you must try? Are there any well known kid-friendly restaurants in the area? Google and social media are obvious but don’t forget to check with parent groups for their local suggestions. After compiling a list, seek out well-reviewed restaurants that are go-to spots and serve regional favorites.
ASK LOCALS FOR RECOMMENDATIONS
We’ve found that oftentimes the best food ideas come from locals. And don’t always ask the hotel concierge. If going on a tour, ask the guide what their favorite spots are. If visiting friends/ family, have them give you their suggestions.
EMBRACE THE CUISINE
Along the same vein as “eating what the locals eat,” keep an open mind. Be open to local fare and recipes. You will miss out on a lot of (delicious) experiences if you just stick to what you know. This can be tricky with picky eaters or younger palettes but our experience has found that you never know with kids. They might just surprise you in terms of what they like and find enjoyable — so the important thing is to offer food variety and expose them to a lot of dining options.
GO ON A FOOD TOUR
If you have the time, check out a food tour in the area to get feel for what the local food scene is like. Here are some of our favorites in New Orleans, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Napa Valley, Charleston, Seattle, Portland, Nashville, San Diego, Sonoma, Savannah, Austin, and Houston
There are now even vacation planners that will design an entire itinerary around food!
TAKE A COOKING CLASS
If you have the opportunity, sign up for a cooking class as part of your vacation activity. Prices can range depending on the city you’re visiting but this is a great way to meet some locals, learn about the regional cuisine and pick up some skills in the kitchen. This is an especially enjoyable experience to share with older children. With some creativity and pre-planning, traveling with kids can be tasty, educational and fun!
VISIT THE LOCAL FARMERS MARKET
Farmers markets and food halls are a great venue for you to find fresh food from local farmers, bakers and chefs. What a great learning activity for kids interested in trying (and tasting!) a variety of new things. You might discover a type of fruit you’ve never had before, or a vegetable that you wouldn’t be able to find at your grocery store back home.
GO TO A FOOD FESTIVAL
If you happen to be visiting a place when there is a food festival going on, this is another fun way to sample local produce that’s in season. In Italy, for example, you can find truffle festivals or onion festivals during certain times of year. Plus, for hard-core foodies out there, these festivals typically happen at the same time each year so they’re easy to plan around.
Traveling with kids can be difficult. But eating while on vacation needn’t be stressful… nor should you have to resort to fast-food chains and/or overpriced tourist spots. For foodie families out there, with these tips, you can go on holiday and enjoy delicious experiences wherever your travels may take you!