Whether traveling for work or pleasure, some of the most enjoyable times you can have are your mealtimes. Who can deny the pasta in Italy or the pastries in France? You have fresh seafood along the Northeastern Coast of the U.S. and Cajun spices in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Mealtime while traveling is a way to experience life like the locals, while also getting the energy you need for your traveling purposes. There are a few things to keep in mind if you want to have the best meals while traveling.
Give Breakfast Your Undivided Attention
Health and nutrition experts will tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It provides the fuel you need to take charge of your business deal, or it gets the body going for a day spent sightseeing. Regardless of where you are going, you can always rely on a Google search of “breakfast places near me” to get you pointed in the right direction. For those who are thrifty, you may tend to enjoy your breakfast more if you aren’t paying for it. Consider staying at a hotel that offers a complimentary breakfast. More chains are becoming competitive with hot breakfast bars and gourmet coffee selections.
Chat Up the Locals
To really get a feel for the location, rely on the insight of locals for your dining experiences. Some of the best tacos you may find come from a street vendor on a corner in Monterrey. Your host, if you have rented out an Airbnb or VRBO space, will be familiar with the flavors of the town and which parts of town will be the safest for you to travel. If you are staying at a hotel, the concierge often has a list of favored spots either personally recommended or collected from past guests. It is a lot harder to speak to locals if you don’t know the language, but you can look around while you are in the town square for which eateries have the most guests. This is usually a sign that the food will be great.
Look for Discounts
Traveling can get expensive unless you are doing it for business and can expense your meals. There are a number of websites that offer discounts or coupons, and if you spend some time researching your destination, you can take advantage of these. Groupon, BeFrugal, or EatDrinkDeals are just a few of the sites you can browse for discounts. It is often more affordable to eat out at pricier restaurants during the lunch hour because of the lunch specials. You will find that the food and drink selections are generally the same, but without the long wait caused by the dinner crowd. You also don’t have to pay the prime time prices.
Plan Your Tour Around Your Stomach
You can often find a tour package that includes a dining option. This can relieve a lot of stress in trying to find somewhere to eat in the middle of a foreign town or small community. When you package your sightseeing and dining needs together, it usually saves you both time and money. If you don’t speak the language or you aren’t comfortable heading out on your own at night, plan your schedule in a way that coincides with your mealtimes. Opt for night excursions such as a dinner boat cruise or railway tour in the dining car, or you could head out early in the day to be free to roam the city at night.
No doubt you are familiar with the saying `when in Rome.` This should be your motto when searching for the best meals when traveling. It is rather boring to head out to a restaurant for something you can eat when you are home. You will enjoy your travels more when you engage all your senses in the new experience. Ask your server for a recommendation or look around at what others are eating. Find something that seems intriguing and try it. You can always go back to your safe, comfort food once you leave.