There’s something wrong with the state of vacations in America. Though they’re frequently portrayed as the vessels of pleasure, recuperation, and recreation that they’re meant to be – most Americans actually approach the idea of a vacation with a sense of anxiety, stress, and confusion. In fact, American workers, on average, actually fail to use around 5 vacation days a year, because their fears outweigh their desire to check out the same old attractions.
A vacation is a wonderful thing – but it also costs money, and time – which means that you need to put together a plan that leaves you feeling as though your break was worth whatever stress it might have caused. While sightseeing can be an excellent solution for some people – it doesn’t appeal to everyone’s idea of the perfect vacation. The same applies to theme parks and attractions – they simply don’t work for everyone. But there is one thing that people from across the world instinctively enjoy – and that’s food.
Look around at your own personal slice of the world today, and the chances are you’ll see everything from artisanal donut emporiums, to stunning cocktail bars. Locations across the world are constantly coming up with new and delicious meals to enjoy, fantastic traditional fares, and even those all-important local specialties. So why not design a trip that lets you make the most of your taste buds for once?
We’ve put together three separate guides below, to some of the most popular destinations for food-lovers in the world today. Remember, if you want more generalized tips for keeping your stomach safe abroad, you can always check our ActiveGear blogs for tips on how to avoid travel sickness, and food poisoning.
Planning Your Vacation in Paris, France
The chances are if you’ve ever considered planning your vacation around food before today, you’ve given some thought to exploring the cafes and bistros of Paris. Perhaps the best time to visit this bustling city is in the middle of spring, when the area comes to life again after the harshness of winter. Unfortunately, the beauty of Paris in Spring is no secret – which means that air and train fares generally rise during this time. Be sure to book in advance if you want to get the best deals.
Tips for Dining:
When dining in Paris, remember to wear your money safety belt hidden beneath your clothing so that you don’t run the risk of falling victim to a pickpocket. At the same time, remember to make reservations, some restaurants can be booked solid for up to three months in advance, so once you’ve booked your trip, it’s a good idea to research some restaurants you might want to try.
Avoid being tricked by the view, too. Don’t be fooled by charming bistros that are located close to the Eiffel tower – outrageous prices and great views don’t mean excellent food. Usually, the best food comes from those hidden gems tucked away in lesser known neighborhoods.
The French Cuisine
When considering styles of French cuisine to try, the most sophisticated has to be Le haute – however, it’s worth noting that Le haute dining experiences can be intimidating if you’re not used to them. Gourmet restaurants that serve these kinds of meals treat the ordeal as an art form, yet a fixed menu offering five courses can be as cheap as 50 euros in Paris if you know where to look. We recommend that you try some of the following locations:
- Le Baratin – 3 Rue Jouye-Rouve
- Robert et Louise – 64 Rue Vieille du Temple, 3 Eme
- Le Comptoir du Relais – 9 Carrefour de l’Odeon
- Le Chatebriand& Le Dolphin wine bar – 125 Rue Tocqueville
- Au Passage – 1b Passage Saint-Sebastian
Planning your Vacation in Florence, Italy
If the charm of Paris doesn’t appeal to your tastes, but you’re looking for something traditionally romantic, Florence, Italy has to be one of the best options around. In Florence, the weather is best during Spring, but many foodies regard the best cooking to take place during the fall – when porcini mushrooms and truffles are in season.
Tips for Dining:
One thing to keep in mind when dining in Florence, is that finding an authentic Italian meal can sometimes be harder than you might think. The problem is that the city is teeming with tourist traps that sell inauthentic meals at huge prices. To get the most out of your visit, you’ll need to take a risk, and explore the roads less travelled. Remember that local hotspots are usually tucked away in side streets, and asking locals for recommendations can be a good idea if you want to find a true gem.
Once again, remember to reserve your table in advance, and be careful with your cash when you’re exploring those hidden alleyways. Keep your money safety belt close.
The Italian Cuisine
If you really want the best Italian experience out there, then your aim should be to try as many authentic, and traditional dishes as possible. We recommend trying some of the following locaitons:
- Trattoria Mario – Piazza Mercato Centrale, Via Rosina 2r
- Il Latini – Via deiPalchetti 6r
- Le Volpi e l’uva – Piazza dei Rossi 1
- Cibreino – Via Andrea del Verrochio 8r
- Vestri – BorgodegliAlbizi 11
Planning Your Vacation in Bangkok, Thailand
If you’re looking for a truly exotic experience when planning your vacation around food, Thailand may be the answer. The tropical climate keeps temperatures ideal throughout the year, but your quest to find the best food in the city will likely take place during Monsoon season.
Tips for Dining:
Keep in mind that when you’re dining in Bangkok, it’s about finding the perfect dish, not the most attractive restaurant. Don’t be too quick to judge the quality of your chosen restaurant based on its appearance, and remember that the vast majority of the culinary gems in Bangkok are actually served from a food stall on the side of a road.
As with most locations around the world, the best places for food in the city are those that aren’t frequently visited by tourists. If you don’t know the language, and you’re travelling solo, then you might find that it takes a lot of commitment to find the experience you want.
The Thai Cuisine
If you can, look for places that serve traditional Asian meals. Though they might be difficult to find in a city that has embraced a hodgepodge of different culinary styles, they’re well worth the wait. We recommend trying some of the following places:
- LookchinAnamai – 3 SoonvajaiSoi 7
- Yen Ta Fo -Sala DaengSoi 2
- ChoteChitr -146 Praeng Photon Rd.
- MaanMueng – 165/7 SammakornSoi 16
- YusupPhocana – Kaset-Navamin Highway
Planning Your Vacation Around Food
Although some of the best tips to follow when planning your vacation with a desire to taste the world, are general recommendations for staying safe, such as wearing a money safety belt, and staying away from street food that may seem suspicious – the remaining advice will often focus upon a careful consideration of your chosen destination.