What will the food be like is an important question for me, something I always research before heading to another country. My concern is, ‘can I find food I like and/or can eat (allergies),’ where ever in the world I am. Hong Kong, for me, was the most challenging because of the seasoning they seem to use on everything. But never fear in most cities there usually is a restaurant you can go to that you may be familiar with like KFC, Hard Rock Café, Pizza Hut, and Subway Sandwich to name a few.

All that said a huge part of traveling is all about the food – how it is prepared and tasting what the locals like to eat. Going to a pub in England or a Pizzeria in Rome are a fun experience you do not want to miss.

Photo by Paula Vermeulen

In Paris, one of our favorite meals was getting slow roasted chicken from one shop and right next store to the chicken shop was a bakery. My husband grabbed the chicken and my sister and I ran in and bought a freshly baked baguette. We found a bench in a park, right across the street, and dug in. It was one of our most fun and very inexpensive meals we had in Paris.

At a Rick Steves seminar that I went to recently he said, “that many old buildings in Europe are being converted into indoor food markets.” This is so exciting to me. I am definitely going to keep an eye out for them in future travels. Make time to wandering through food markets, you will find many meal possibilities and great fresh snacks. These markets often have some locally made souvenirs,sometimes pricey and sometimes very reasonable.

If you are on a budget remember you do NOT have to eat at restaurants. Go to the local markets and get things that you can eat as you walk or in your hotel room. Would you eat out two to three times a day at home? No, at least not for me.

Never let food be a reason to not travel internationally! Think about what you eat at home, especially if it has only a few ingredients. If you like fish, then finding something you can eat is usually no problem. If you are a little more selective than select a meat you can easily find, most likely chicken. If you add rice or bread to chicken you will not starve. That combination has been a basic we have found in all the countries we have gone to including China.

Take a stroll at your grocery store you buy at and you will be amazed at how many foods you can find to take with you just in case. Peanut butter comes in a variety of sizes and some even come with crackers. Tuna fish is another food that comes in lots of packaging choices that is easy to throw into a suitcase to take with you. Think nuts, beef jerky dried fruit, all good as snacks or can be substituted as a meal if needed.

Tip before you go to any country that does not speak your language, it is important to learn a few basic words like chicken. In my case, I always learn to say “no cheese, thank you,” in the local area I am traveling too.

With the Internet you can look up your travel destinations and find out what food is popular or common in the area – something you should do if you love food – so you don’t miss anything unique, or if you have food concerns – so they are no longer a concern!

Bon appétit.

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