Food travel used to be a necessity back when humans had to hunt for sustenance. Now, it’s more of a pleasure and a passion for those with an urge to satisfy their taste buds. From restaurant critics forever on the lookout for a new find to culinary learning vacations and walking foodie tours, there’s a whole new world awaiting discovery.
All the major types of food travel are listed below, but those interested should realize that it’s not just about eating or taking a city tour. This has as much to do with preparing food and learning about the culture behind each dish and place. Not to mention the pleasure of the journey and getting to know each city intimately, as opposed to flying to ten different destinations just for the tourist attractions.
The single most popular type is culinary tourism. This can be in the form of visitors getting a package deal which includes a resort stay, free meals and cooking classes taught by expert chefs. It could also be a tour of a region famous for its culinary offerings, like Italy’s Tuscany, France’s Loire, California’s Napa Valley or Australia’s Hunter Valley.
Similar to culinary tourism are wine country vacations involving winery & vineyard tours and wine tastings. These areas are renowned for their fine dining restaurants offering gourmet cuisine and extensive wine lists. Wine country vacations in these scenic valleys can combine quality cuisine and wine with a leisurely getaway.
The simplest way is for foodies to take themed city tours that take visitors for a taste of the city’s best culinary offerings. This can be a walking tour of a specific neighborhood that is packed with restaurants. It can also be a bus or private vehicle tour that takes visitors all over the city to taste a specific dish or item, like a pizza or burger tour, or a visit to classic cafes or bakeries, and so on.
Wine/Beer Festivals also offer an easy way to sample many different cuisines from different regions or countries. Another trend that’s slowly getting more followers is the slow food movement. It’s a whole new subject, but let’s just say that those who have the time and patience to practice it will gain valuable insight into the local culture and learn how each dish is prepared.
Yet another big trend these days is the habit of eating at organic restaurants while on the road and frequenting only those establishments that use sustainable and local produce. Some travelers even stick to Vegan or prepare their own meals on the road to ensure it is organic and sustainable. It’s not as hard as it seems, but it does need a lot of advance planning to map out suitable restaurants along the way.
For those planning on embarking on a food travel trip or adventure, it might be worthwhile to consider becoming a restaurant critic. Most magazines and publications don’t have the budget these days to hire an in-house critic, so they’ll be happy to pay only for each restaurant review. There’s only thing better than tasting all kinds of cuisines while traveling, and that is getting paid to do the same.