According to the United Nations World Travel Organization (UNWTO), more than a third of tourist expenditure is on food as more travelers now have higher disposable incomes, time, and are more experienced. Given all this, a continuously rising number of tourists internationally also makes it a good time to be involved in food vacations. So, how do you go about planning the perfect foodie vacation for yourself?
You love food. You saw the opportunity. But where do you start? Like most things in life, leaps of faith and baby steps are the key. Starting with your fellow foodie friends and relatives, ask for recommendations and try the major aspects with them. Thoroughly research the places you would like to visit, using a variety of resources, some of which include Wikitravel, Chow, Serious Eats and Urban Spoon.
This will help you build a relationship with food outlets and restaurants without having to worry too much. Do some background checks and find out about the history and origins of the cuisine you are interested in to get a good idea of the culture and story behind the food at each place you visit.
Lumbering around in the city streets between tastings is not enjoyable or comfortable. A food tour is about testing the taste buds, not going for long walks. It is therefore a good idea to first focus on a small part of the city that has a good number of cafes, restaurants, stalls, markets, or whatever you want to stop by.
One key point is not to down full sit-down meals, but dwell on light snacks from various places. The point here is not to pig out at just one place, but experience a plethora of light meals and snacks the tour offers. The concept of foodie vacations revolve around experiencing different food spots, and getting an overview of which area offers the best food (you can always come back later to any restaurant you liked the best)
On most food vacations, you are confined to a day or two and one stomach. It is therefore important not to go too crazy when making a list of restaurants you would like to try. Instead be smart, and curate your list carefully. Usually food tours involve five to seven different tastings, most of the time within walking distance of each other. This is a good balance, allowing you to try a few different bites and not end up feeling sick.
You may now be about to sink in a food coma, but after a long slumber, you will end up feeling adrift and somewhat hungry. Make sure you are backed up by some leftovers that you can dive into at that point. Pick up some cookies, cheese, dumplings, or whatever you can while you are out. For some reason, foods taste extra good after a nap, so it is a good idea to sleep with some food stacked.