Small World Travel

Eating Overseas: Dining Tips for Inexperienced Travellers

When you go abroad, you will soon find that there are many different experiences for you to indulge in. You can take part in activities, go sightseeing and you can even relax in some of the most prestigious locations in the world. Dining is a huge part of going abroad, and it also gives you the chance to try food that you have never tried before as well. If the idea of dining in a foreign country makes you nervous then here are some tips to help put your mind at ease.

Don’t Just Listen to the Concierge

Some concierges are brilliant. Others tend to give you the same five recommendations regardless of the experience you are looking for. If they are happy to engage with you, then ask them for something truly local. Try and opt for somewhere that is off the radar, and where the chefs tend to go. This will give you the chance to try the most spectacular food in the world, in the most authentic way.

Choose your Travel Dates

If you have your heart set on a particular restaurant then check your travel dates. The last thing that you need is for it to be shut when you get there. You also need to make sure that you avoid places such as Spain, France and Italy during August. This is because chefs, key suppliers and restaurateurs tend to go on holiday at this time and the last thing that you want is to pay top price for a meal that is not actually up to the usual standard. Weather can also dampen the mood in some instances as well. For example, if you want to dine in an authentic outdoor noodle market then you won’t want to do this in monsoon season.

Know How to Tip

It’s so important that you know where to tip, and how much. You shouldn’t tip in Japan or China. You should however, tip in the US. In France, Italy and even Germany, a service charge is automatically added to the bill so you don’t need to, but if you want to leave a little something extra for your waiter then this is completely acceptable.

Plan Ahead

The more gourmet your dining experience is, the more in advance you’ll need to book. Some bookings open three months in advance, and they sell out immediately. Some restaurants only take bookings through their website as well. If you haven’t been able to get into a restaurant of your choosing then not all is lost. It may be possible for you to book on the day if they have had a cancellation. To make things easier on yourself, consider hiring a rental car from so that you can drive impulsively to any restaurant in the vicinity.

Dine in your Hotel

Hotel food was once known as being bland and basic. Now, that is no longer the case. There are so many international chefs who pride themselves on working for hotels, and it may be that you get a better experience by dining in when compared to dining out.

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