If you're planning a trip out of country, or even out of state, plan where you'll eat, not just what you'll see and do. I learned the hard way that when you don't plan to eat at local restaurants, your meals… well they may not be exactly what you expected.
Back when I was so very young and impatient I took my very first trip to Italy. Two weeks in Rome, one of the loveliest… and tastiest cities in the world. A dream come true for a country girl like me ready to broaden my horizons. If only I had actually had some real Italian food while there maybe I would have appreciated it more. No pasta, no baked goods, no real taste of Italy. So what did I eat? McDonalds and Pizza that was supposed to be Pepperoni, but ended up anchovies and artichokes (I wish I was kidding) that I got in the food court of the local mall. Apparently “Pepperoni” doesn't translate well. Who knew?
Now contrary to what you may be thinking I did at least attempt to go out to a local restaurant while I was there. I discovered this adorable little medieval town up in the mountains called Sermoneta which had a restaurant where some of the staff actually spoke English. I've been blessed with remarkably bad timing though and found myself standing in front of a closed restaurant with a growling tummy. It's easy to forget about the Italians' siesta when you come from a world of 24 hour grocery stores and restaurants that are open until 2am. I promise the next time I go to Italy, I won't forget.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when planning your dining on your vacation.
So there you have it! Great location + great food + great company = a wonderful vacation for everyone. When in Rome¦ eat like the Romans do!
So what do you think? How much does food matter in your vacation planning?