Travel Tips and Ideas

Navigating Local Food while Traveling

by Isabelle Raffin | Apr 13, 2022
 food tourism

No matter what your reason for traveling is, you’ll have to do some eating while you're away. And who knows, maybe you’re traveling for the food itself. It’s important to eat well on vacation; you’ll need to fuel up for all the adventures you have planned. So how do you decide what to eat and where? Well, there are some things that you might want to consider before sitting down at the closest restaurant to your hotel. Check out a few of our foodie travel tips!

Consider your location

Where are you traveling? Are you staying domestic, or will you be venturing into international travel locations? Your location will tell you a lot about the type of food to expect. Before you set out on your trip, add cuisine to your research list. Looking into local ingredients and dishes will give you a good idea of how the locals prepare and eat food.

Depending on the landscape of the location, ingredients will be different. Agriculture, climate, and land dictate the type of food that will grow in a particular region. Staying on an island? Chances are fish will be on the menu. How about meat? Although beef may be popular in some countries, in other areas of the world you might expect to eat duck or lamb.

Trust the staff and locals

Dining in a new region can be a little intimidating, especially if the food is unfamiliar. Trust the dining staff at your location, they likely serve travelers frequently. They know the popular dishes and can give great recommendations. If you have preferences or allergies, be sure to mention this when asking for advice.

If you’re planning tours or excursions, the guides are most likely locals in the area. Ask them some of their favorite places to eat in town. You may get off-the-beaten-path recommendations for places that aren’t as busy as your typical tourist eatery.

Online reviews

Online reviews are a great starting point for most activities and locations, but don’t use Yelp as your solo decision maker. It’s important to take these reviews with a bit of caution. Consider these as a starting point for creating a list of possible eateries for your trip. However, try to remain flexible. Reviewers are people just like you, so you don’t want to write off a restaurant because of one bad review.

Unfortunately, dining establishments have a hard time in the online review world. Each person has an idea of what the perfect dining experience consists of, and what flavors make the best dishes. Sometimes these expectations don’t align with the vision and style of the restaurant itself. This doesn’t mean the restaurant isn’t good. Perhaps use reviews to consider the menu, the cleanliness of the place, and the level of service you can expect from the staff.

Open your mind and taste buds

No one region has the same food as another. Even if the dishes themselves are the same, ingredients and meal preparation is different. It brings a uniqueness and individuality to each area. This might mean that it will be difficult to find the foods you usually eat and enjoy. Open your mind and your taste buds to new flavors. Try foods that you wouldn’t be able to get at home.

There are great opportunities for this in more than one way. Order a few small plates or appetizers when you visit a new place. You’ll be able to sample a greater variety of foods than you would if you only ordered a main dish. Consider taking a food tour or cooking class. Not only will you be able to taste some great food, but you'll see the process of preparation from the harvesting to the plating.

Street food

One sure way of getting a taste for the local cuisine is by trying street food. Often times these options are quick, easy, and handheld. From hotdogs in Manhattan, to tacos in Mexico, your taste buds will thank you.

Seeing what other locals are ordering might give you an idea of what the best options are. Be sure to consider that street food is prepared in an open environment. Choose your street vendor carefully. Survey the area for cleanliness before deciding which vendor you'll go to – and ask around! The locals will likely give you valuable real-time advice.


Traveling is exciting, but local eats can make or break a foodie’s trip. Use our tips to help you find the best flavors in town. Don’t forget to pack your travel protection each time you plan a trip. Talk to your travel advisor or create a quote to learn more about how it can help you if the unexpected happens. Have a great trip and let us know what you loved to eat the most!





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