Staycations can be perfect ways to rest and recharge without having to travel far from home. Staycations tend to be affordable ways to spend time together for those who perhaps do not have the budget to travel domestically or internationally, or those who simply prefer the convenience of remaining nearby.
A break from meal planning and preparation is part of the allure of traditional vacations. But just because you’re choosing a staycation does not mean that you need to forgo the respite from cooking nightly meals. In fact, staycations can be ideal times to explore the various dining opportunities your local community offers — even providing a way to “tour the world” through global cuisine. Many small towns and cities boast various types of restaurants offering a wide array of foods from countries around the world. The following are tips for maximizing your staycation dining experience.
• Utilize technology. Let technology work for you when looking for restaurants. While a simple Google search will yield plenty of results, the app LocalEats can narrow down options to restaurants touted by foodies who prefer local businesses rather than chain restaurants. Rely on other apps for recommendations on places to dine, such as Yelp, Foursquare, OpenTable, LocalEats, and Zagat.
• Plot your map. Make a list of the types of cuisines you want to sample based on regions of the world and match them to nearby recommended restaurants. Your culinary tour can be narrowed down to a specific geographical region, such as Germany, or broadened depending on the restaurants in the area.
• Learn about the culture. Do a little research into what comprises the menu of certain cultures so that you can select truly traditional dishes rather than Americanized versions. This brief history lesson also may offer insight into particular traditions behind food preparation methods.
• Use their expertise. Ask the chef or restaurant staff to make their recommendations on what you should try for authentic dishes. Many restaurants are anxious to share information and put together a tasting menu, even if it isn’t on the main menu.
• Support local businesses. An added benefit of this hometown global cuisine tour is that you will be keeping money in the community by supporting local businesses. Encourage others to do their own restaurant tours by recommending certain establishments and sharing positive experiences on social media.
Dining out is a key component of vacations and travel. Staycations also can incorporate a tour of culinary delights without having to stray far from home.