Five tips for planning a great gastronomic getaway

Lifestyle3 min read

Do you have a family of foodies that loves to travel?

Before you take off on your next culinary adventure, here’s how to ensure that you and your familial food lovers get the most out of your destination – and your dining – in five simple steps.

So you’re a family of food lovers and you’ve decided that your next holiday will centre on all things cuisine, but how do you begin planning? We suggest taking your cues from the Mediterranean lifestyle (and its associated diet); this way of life, with its emphasis on spending time with family, sharing experiences and enjoying delicious and healthy food together make the perfect foundation to start organising your family and food-focused fun.

1. Map it out together

With this in mind, it’s a great – and fun – idea to get the whole family involved in the planning, right from the start. That way, everybody has input, feels included and can get excited about your trip. Start with a family brainstorm, where everybody tosses out destination and culinary possibilities. Perhaps you all love cheese and want to sample as many of the cheeses of France as you can, or maybe you want to conquer the three Ps of Italy: pizza, pasta and paninis. Or it could be that you want to try as many restaurants and cafes as possible. Another approach would be to take an organised foodie tour or sign up for cooking classes at your destination. The world is your oyster! (Hmm, where could we go for oysters?)

foodie holiday SI 1

2. Plan in advance

There are some other considerations that may influence your decision on where and when to go, such as the weather, what’s open and what’s in season. For example, you wouldn’t plan an apple-picking holiday to New England in the US in April or May, when prime harvest time (with the most delicious fruit!) is from late August to mid-October.

Other factors you want to think about ahead of time include making bookings at popular restaurants where it may be difficult to get a table, signing up for any foodie tours or daytrips, and registering for cooking classes.

And although it may be less appetising than thinking about all that food, you also need to sort out accommodation, transport and that all-important budget. With money in mind, it’s a good idea to outline a food schedule and financial plan for the trip. If your trip will take you overseas, check out some menus online and have a currency converter on hand to look at exchange rates and understand what it’ll cost you to indulge in the local fare.

3. Do the food research

Now the fun part: the mouth-watering research. The kids can get involved in this too. There are resources aplenty on the internet. Here are a few places to look to help you get started:

  •  Restaurant reviews.
  • Travel blogs.
  •  Foodie blogs.
  • Official tourism sites (they often have a food and drink tab); they’ll also usually feature a section on local cuisine, so you can learn about the must-tastes for that destination.
  • Farmers’ markets, food festivals and other food-inspired events at your destination.

4. Sample some cuisine at home

For more pre-holiday family fun and to build excitement for your upcoming trip, plan a family meal or two around the foods of your chosen destination. For example, if you’re off to Italy on a foodie tour, why not talk about what you’re most looking forward to over minestrone and pasta? Or perhaps you can’t wait to dig into the meats and sausages of Spain – so sample some at home.

foodie holiday SI 2

5. Keep an open mind

You’re all admitted foodies, so your minds are probably pretty well open, but when it comes to food, you can always push the envelope. Don’t just stick to foods you know you love; be receptive to trying new foods and flavours – and encourage the rest of your family to do the same. Get ready to embrace this adventure and develop your palates. You may not like everything you try, but at least you tried it!

Food has a way of bringing people together – think of how close you’ll be after your food-inspired trip together!

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