I get it. On vacation most people just want to lay back and relax without having to do all the planning and work they normally do. So, the thought of scheduling every activity and meal to be completed while on vacation sounds like a bit much. Guess what? If you travel with me, every bit of the trip is going to be a bit much, but you’ll thank me later.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for spontaneity and discovering foods in less tourist packed locations. However, there are some downfalls to flying by the seat of your pants when in a completely new setting.
The problem with not having a plan for your meals while on vacation is that you’ll likely end up spending more money than you originally planned. Imagine you just went on a great walking tour or some other sightseeing-style activity. By the end of it you’re likely very hungry and looking for the nearest spot to get some food. You could ask the tour guide to point you in the direction of somewhere to satisfy your hunger, but the easiest thing for that tour guide to do is to send you to the most popular restaurant nearby. Sure it has five stars and great reviews on Yelp, but it’s also packed with people and you’re going to have to wait an hour (at least) to be seated.
Since you want to just wing it, you could take a stroll and just pop into the first place that catches your eye. The risk you run there is the menu prices also being expensive, and since you didn’t check any reviews you have no clue if the food will even be worth the price (let’s not even jinx the possibility of getting food poisoning).
When you do plan ahead, it only makes the experience better. I know doing research may not sound like fun, but trust me. When you research where the best food places are, you’re essentially guaranteeing that you’ll be happy with the money you’ve spent on food and you won’t waste any time asking your travel buddies, “Well, what do you want to eat?”
In the time it takes to decide on a place everyone likes and actually arrive, you could’ve already booked a reservation and been seated. Planning ahead can also leave room for some spontaneity. I like to gather a list of “must visit” places and activities and craft a plan around that. We may not hit everything, but we sure as hell will try. I organize my food plans by price, distance from where we will be, and desire to visit.
So, do you plan your vacation meals or are you a different kind of normal?