8 Ways to Make Sure You Have the Tastiest Vacation Ever
Smashed PB&J sandwich not your idea of good road food? These ideas will make your trip delicious. Plus: Eat well once you arrive.
Pack a Meal That Will Have Everyone on the Plane Saying, "I'll Have What She's Having"
Overcooked pasta and soggy breakfast burritos? No thanks. Bring food you know will taste good. That's what chefs do—and in a recent New York Times article
, they shared their secrets. No mushy sandwiches here: Their ideas include freezing your meal (it will defrost by the time you're ready to eat it) and warming up pasta with hot water from the flight attendant.
Take the Rest Stop Less Traveled
Highway rest-area chains offer sustenance but not much character—which local eateries have in spades. Visit Roadfood.com
for restaurants along freeways and back roads across the country. The 12-hour drive from Baltimore to Bar Harbor, Maine, for instance, will be a lot more tolerable if you know to stop off at De Lorenzo Tomato Pies in Trenton, New Jersey, for a sausage and garlic tomato pie. Traveling from Michigan to Yellowstone? You'll want to want to hit Runza in Lincoln, Nebraska, for one of its signature hot bread pockets filled with ground meat, cabbage and onions.
Stuck on the Highway with Nary a Restaurant for Miles?
Before a road trip, stock the car with goodies for those long stretches when you're in the middle of nowhere and need a snack. We like homemade peanut butter oatmeal monster cookies
, which beat Ring Dings any day, and these riffs on Chex Mix
, which are the perfect combination of salty and sweet. Here are some more ideas for tasty foods that travel well
Crowdsourcing: Not Just for Techies
You check Yelp
to find a dry cleaner near your office, so why not look to Chowhound.com
for tips on where to eat when you're away from home? The site has more than 40 food discussion boards covering cities and regions throughout the country—plus Canadian and other international boards. Try searching before you post; chances are someone has already asked about directions to the most hard-to-find restaurant in Santorini, the best place to eat breakfast in the Yakima Valley or who makes the finest desserts in Barcelona.
Eat Cheap and Eat Well
As a tourist, you can sometimes feel as though you're paying more than the locals. But Groupon's new Groupon Now!
gives you access to deals at restaurants across the country. You don't have to sign up to receive daily discounts for places near where you live; instead, you can just type in the place you're visiting—it covers 25 cities now, and Groupon is adding more every week—to find restaurant coupons. A recent search turned up deals at pizza shops in Chicago, cafés in Vancouver and more.
Crustaceans with a Side of Culture
From an olive-centric celebration in California to a lobster fest in Maine, food festivals
can be a fun and enlightening way to sample the fare a particular region is known for. There are many online calendars listing festivals, such as this one
Street Food, Really? Yes!
Aside from being budget-friendly, this is the
way to eat some of the most authentic, creative food in a given place, whether it's banh mi in Vietnam, currywurst in Berlin or a schnitzelwich in Portland, Oregon. This online tour of the world's best street food
is a good starting point.
Walk It Off
Most cities offer culinary walking tours, such as a chocolate-themed expedition through New York City
and a Tex-Mex odyssey in San Antonio
. Food factories around the country give cool tours, too, such as these ice cream makers
, this San Francisco brewery
, and the Tabasco factory in Louisiana