This article was published on December 16th, 2018
Vacation planning starts off by selecting the destination, then if it will be a road trip, hopping aboard a train, or catching a flight. When it comes time to pack your bags with everything you’ll need to have a good time, most travellers forget to plan around what they are going to eat. Planning what you are going to eat while on vacation is really important. Eating the right meals and snacks on vacation will fuel your entire day. Here are some helpful to help you with eating on vacation.
If you aren’t travelling across an international border you should pack fresh fruit and vegetables. They are easy to prep yourself, but if you are in a pinch both are available in ready-to-eat packs at grocery or convenience stores.
Trail mix with nuts and seeds and dried fruit can also be easy to take along. If you have a long drive or need to stay up for awhile on the flight to get used to the time zone, throw a few chocolate covered coffee beans into that trail mix. You can always bring sandwiches, baking, and packaged goods from the health food aisle aboard the plane as well. This will cost less than the high sodium airline food you can buy on-board.
If you arrive late at night or early in the morning pick a hotel that has a decent restaurant. You can make a reservation for yourself in advance in case you arrive hungry, or too tired to go out. Hotel restaurants tend to have long hours, and don’t often shut down for public holidays. These hotels usually have convenient room service if you are exhausted, need some quiet time, or need to get to work right away.
Breakfast can be one of the hardest meals to have while on vacation. Brunch spots typically have long lines on weekends and may not be open during the week. Many hotels have rates which include breakfast daily, which makes it just as easy as taking the elevator, you just need to be up early to take advantage of it. You’ll want to have a selection that is varied enough that you won’t get bored of the choices for the duration of your stay. It is also possible to book the breakfast rate during the week and not on the weekend if you do want to check out those great brunch spots.
Lunch is a must, especially when you are on the go. When you are out and about seeing the sights there are a few things to remember. If the sites you are seeing are downtown, around the city centre, or in the financial district, restaurants are busy from 11:30am to 1:30pm with people on their lunch break. Many restaurants also close for a few hours in the afternoon, usually around 2:30pm or 3:00pm until about 5:00pm. Plan your day so you are hungry just before or after the rush so you can get in quick and easy.
Professional travel tip:Lunch is the best time to make reservations at higher end restaurants. Everyone wants to try the top restaurants a destination has to offer, but it might not be within your budget. High end restaurants have amazing lunch options that don’t break the bank. Book one or two of these in advance close the sites you are seeing that day. It’s an easy way to enjoy great food while watching your wallet.
Dinner is the best chance to enjoy the depth of flavors a city has to offer but you can get caught out on a few things. Not having reservations at busy restaurants or on busy nights means you may not get a chance to eat there at all. If you travel to certain Mediterranean countries like Spain, restaurants may be closed for hours in the evening for Siesta time. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Having amazing meals for dinner can cap off that perfect day of exploration.
There are some great resources that make planning your meals easier. You can search the city you are visiting on Conde Nast or Lonely Planet to find their lists of must try restaurants. They provide you with the links in the article, and you can go straight to their menu and sometimes even make reservations online. If you want it to be even easier than that e-mail or call the concierge or hotel staff in advance. If you send them your day to day itinerary, they can make recommendations for great places to eat near where you’ll be each day. Most concierges have great relationships with the restaurants and can almost always do the reservations for you even if there is limited space. If you are traveling solo most restaurants can seat you at the bar pretty easily even last minute.
Ultimately if you want food to be an easy part of your trip you need to plan. Think about it in advance, pre-pack some snacks in your bag, ask for advice from your travel agent or the concierge, and make reservations ahead of time.