How to Eat Well When on Vacation
Jan 02, 2020 02:46 PM EST | By Staff Reporter
Good food can make or break a holiday. That means you want to give finding places to eat as much attention as you give to choosing your accommodation and location. We all know that research and reading reviews can help, but it does get quite overwhelming.
When you throw into the mix the idea that you want to stay fresh and energized for your holiday, you realize that you can't overindulge every day. Striking the right balance between a fun and flavorsome meal that won't leave you with heartburn or feeling sluggish can be challenging when the food preparation is out of your hands.
We take a look at some different approaches you can take to make sure you get the best out of the culinary experience that you have while on vacation. We all have different tastes, so you can tailor these tips to meet your needs.
Choose to Eat In
Depending on the type of location you are staying in, you may want to eat in for some of the evenings of your vacation. You can enjoy a relaxed meal, there is no driving involved, and it's a good option if you need an early start the next day.
This is especially a good choice if you're staying in a fabulous villa or luxury holiday home. For example, in Hawaiian vacation rentals, you can hire a professional chef to cook for you in your villa. This means you don't need to miss out on fine dining or local cuisine. You can enjoy it all from the spectacular surroundings that are a large part of your holiday.
If you choose a villa with a high-end kitchen, wonderful outdoor space, or picturesque setting, you can make the most of it by cooking for yourselves or hiring a professional chef to provide a delicious and nutritious meal.
Make Sense of the Reviews
Even though completing research for restaurants on vacation can be overwhelming, it does still pay off if you have a process and know where to look. The first step is having a trustworthy and comprehensive guide that can give you some information about your location.
This could come in the form of a guide book or the websites from the traditional travel guide companies. There are also several great review sites that cover destinations in the US and overseas.
If you prefer to learn about the experience from other diners, opt for a website like TripAdvisor. However, if you feel you need thorough, professional input, then your starting point should be Bon Appetit City Guides.
Use the guides and reviews to come up with a handful of suggestions that suit your tastes and dietary requirements. The next step is to get a real feel for these places. There are two ways to do that; one is to find a few sample menus and see if you like the dishes. If you are a visual person, looking through the images of the restaurant and their dishes on Instagram will give you a good idea of what to expect.
Eat Like a Local
Even if you like to plan your vacations in detail, it's still nice to leave one or two evenings free so that you can make some informed decisions once you arrive and get to know the place. Waiting until you arrive also means you can eat to suit your mood and be more spontaneous.
Once you get to know the destination of where you are enjoying your vacation, you can find out where the locals eat. This will give you a real flavor of the place, but should also lead to some wonderful discoveries that you might not have found out about otherwise.
The first step is to get friendly with some locals, and once you have built a rapport, you can ask them a few questions about where they would recommend. You can ask the question without any preamble, but they might not have a feel for your tastes and requirements. You can also check the tables at restaurants as you pass, and look to see if there are locals eating there.
Your vacation can also be a culinary adventure; however, to get up each day feeling bright and breezy, you can't overdo it. The best way to manage this is to pace yourselves. That means not going out for rich and adventurous food every night. If you have made some reservations, you can plan the different meals you will eat.
Another way to avoid over-indulging is to take a break from new and fine dining restaurants. There isn't any harm in eating in for a change or choosing a restaurant where you know exactly what to expect. Your stomach and your energy levels will thank you for it the next day.
Finding new restaurants to eat at while on vacation doesn't need to be a stressful experience. With a little research, making the most of your surroundings, and some help from the locals, you can have a culinary experience that enhances the whole trip.
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