A culinary trip can be an adventure of a lifetime if planned correctly. This exploratory way of traveling is gaining more popularity with every passing day as people get a chance to experience the vibrant food culture of different countries around the world. Irrespective of your destination, a culinary trip is sure to leave you spellbound.
If you plan to visit and explore the culinary delights around the world, you will need some tips to plan a culinary trip, as culinary travel is slightly different from a regular trip. The entire trip revolves around the food experiences and how well you capture those amazing moments. For people who have been on culinary trips in the past, there is nothing else like it.
However, for those who are going on a culinary trip for the first time, you will need some tips to plan for it in the most optimal way possible. Take a look at this blog as renowned food blogger from Wanderlust Food – Irina Bukatik – highlights some must-follow tips to plan a culinary trip.
1. Choose a Culinary Destination You Want to Explore
First things first, you need to start by choosing a destination you want to travel to and explore the food culture. This step is the foundation of the rest of your culinary trip planning. You need to do lots of research and gather relevant information about the destination you are thinking of visiting. You can start by answering the following questions:
- Which country or place is on your bucket list?
- Are you thinking of attending a food festival?
- Do you have a favorite cuisine?
- Which cuisine have you been waiting to try?
- Do you want to explore the local food scene or want to travel to an international destination?
- Which country’s art, travel destinations, and culture do you love?
- How much are you willing to spend?
All these questions will help you choose a destination that works in your favor and helps you enjoy and explore to the fullest. Plus, you need to be mindful of all these factors to avoid spoiling your trip.
2. Learn About the Local Food Culture
Once you have zeroed in on your desired culinary trip destination, you need to move on to the next step, which is learning about the food culture of the country or place you are planning to visit. This will help you familiarize yourself with the local culture so you won’t feel out of place or overwhelmed when you get there. This is also helpful while traveling, exploring, and sightseeing.
Plus, you want to be considerate and respectful of the local food culture, including meal times and dining etiquette. This will also ensure you remain comfortable throughout your trip. However, you don’t need to go overboard. Learning the basic dos and don’ts will be more than enough for a short trip.
The best way to fully experience the food culture and feel like a local is to keep an open mind and remain curious. Accept the differences, as that is what makes food travel so special and unique. Furthermore, you should also spend some time learning the food philosophy of the place you are planning to visit, as this is another excellent way to understand the local food culture.
Start by exploring what makes the food there so unique and special. Is it rooted in old traditions, or are modern innovations and immersive experiences part of its charm? Is the food there more about comfort or celebration?
In addition, you should learn the few common food phrases that will help you communicate with the locals as you order food or inquire more about the delicacies the place has to offer. When you order food in the language of your chosen destination, you will feel more at ease and confident and will be able to enjoy more.
3. Leverage Search Apps and Tools
Planning a culinary trip is now easier than ever, thanks to the power of the internet to connect people and bring them closer. You don’t have to wander around looking for places to eat in a foreign place. You can leverage the several search tools and apps out there and optimize your search.
You can look through food blogs like Wanderlust Food by Irina Bukatik to seek inspiration from.
4. Talk to the Locals
This is by far one of the most valuable tips to plan your culinary trip and can help you in so many ways. This is even more important if you’re visiting an undiscovered part of the world. You won’t have access to so many food reviews or blogs that cover these low-key and unique places, which is why the locals will be your only source of information.
While traveling, make it a point to talk to the local people to learn more about the most treasured and famous food delicacies they have to offer. You can even ask them for recommendations. Whether it is your taxi driver, hotel manager, or tour guide, they are the people that can help you uncover the hidden gems around the place.
Moreover, locals will help you find places that you might have missed otherwise. You don’t always find amazing food at five-star restaurants. Sometimes it’s a local food truck or stall that will leave you surprised. Therefore, pay more attention to what the locals say and gain new food experiences as you go.
5. Create a Customized Trip Plan
As you do your research and talk to the locals, it is best to create your customized plan instead of following one you find online. What might work for one person might not work for another. This is why it is best to create a plan that reflects your tastes, preferences, and choices. You need to do what feels right to you to make the most of your trip.
If you follow someone else’s plan, there is a high chance you won’t be able to enjoy it as much. Therefore, start working on your custom plan by saving or highlighting key areas of interest. Furthermore, a custom plan will also help you sightsee and explore the place as you enjoy the food culture and delicacies.
This will ensure that if you find yourself lost or don’t know what to do next or where to eat, you will have a plan on your hands. You can look through the places you have saved or highlighted and see what you can do from there.
6. Make Reservations and Check Schedules
This is particularly important for fine dining experiences or if you are planning to visit Michelin Star restaurants. Always make sure you have made a reservation before you get there to avoid inconvenience or disappointment. You can either book your table directly through their website or use a third-party service. Make sure you don’t book it close to your flight, as any delays and changes can disrupt your plans.
In addition, for high-priority food places that you are aching to visit, make sure to check their schedules to learn their operating time and open days. Depending on the destination you are visiting, people have different meal times or opening and closing times, which is why it is best to know about all these details in advance to avoid any inconvenience later.
7. Visit a Local Food Market
A culinary trip isn’t all about eating and enjoying food. It is more about learning about the local food culture. The best way to do so is to visit a local food market in the area. Search where the day and night food markets are and what time they open and close, and try to visit at least once.
This is another great way to discover local flavors, dishes, ingredients, and delicacies. Plus, these local food markets are the hub for street food and local cuisine. These markets drive the local food trends, and you can only learn more about them when you visit them.
8. Book a Food Tour
The best way to start your culinary trip is to go on a food tour. Try to schedule it at the beginning of your trip, so you can revisit all your favorite spots later during your trip. These tours will give you a chance to visit and explore the various neighborhoods and help you learn about the unique history and culture of the place.
Follow Irina Bukatik on Instagram
Planning a culinary trip can be difficult, but not if you do your research first. I, Irina Bukatik, am a food and travel blogger, and you can follow my food blog – Wanderlust Food – to explore more about my most incredible travel experiences.