A Food Aficionado – Travel Tips
By Anna Ing
“Eating well” is important and more so when you are on the road away from home. While traveling, it can be a great opportunity to try different foods, flavors, and textures. For many including myself, eating delicious food while traveling is a must.
First, figure out your budget as this will greatly determine your dining options. Check if there are any online coupons available from Groupon, Bloomspot as well as gift certificates to save money. Instead of dinner, go during lunch time at pricier restaurants to take advantage of their lunch specials when available. Or check out if there any “happy hours” for discounted appetizers and drinks specials or “early bird” dinner specials right before the regular dinner rush.
If you have access to a kitchen, then consider going to the local farmer’s market to pick up fresh quality and local ingredients while saving money and supporting the local economy. Some of the meals can be a simple picnic complete with fruit, veggies and sandwiches made from freshly baked breads, deli meats and local cheeses. Or fire up a grill and have a simple barbecue with some hot dogs and marinated meats. Growing up, my parents always brought the rice cooker. Rice cookers can be an excellent way to steam hot dogs and veggies while cooking rice too.
Before heading to your destination, try to do some research to check out the local and famous ‘must try’ delicacies. Thanks to the internet doing research is a snap. From blogs, travel websites, online magazines as well as YELP and Chowhound can be helpful resources. Favorite travel and food television shows can provide good ideas too. Also remember to ask friends and family who have visited your destination for recommendations. If you are lucky to know someone who lives at your destination, make sure to get their advice and dining suggestions. I have had tried many hidden gems thanks to some of the local’s advice.
Finally when at your destination, try to pick up local free publications which might have some good local recommendations. Recently I found a cool oxtail ramen place and musubi place from reading a local tourist magazine. Feel free to talk to your concierge, cab driver or keep a look out for any place that is busy and packed with people when walking around.
I hope you have some memorable and delicious meals during your next trip!