While traveling you may want to experience a variety of different cultural foods. It is a wonderful experience however it is best to familiarize yourself with other common foods so your vacation isn’t spent in the hotel with an upset stomach.
When traveling it can always seem a bit expensive eating at restaurants each night and you may also be worried about what type of eating habits your picking up. Here are some tips to remember when dining on your trip.
- In most cafes and restaurants, you seat yourself rather than being shown to a table.
- In smaller restaurants and cafes where seating is limited, it is customary for complete strangers to share tables.
- If you’re lucky enough to be eating at a restaurant that has paper napkins, ask for a few more and take them with you
- In winter, it is normal to leave your coat with an attendant in the cloakroom. In some restaurants a small fee is charged for the privilege.
- In some cafes, you have to order from a menu, which is posted at the bar. Pay for the food in advance and wait for it. In cafes, table service is common, but not universal.
- Few establishments have public bathrooms, and those that do rarely advertise the fact. Some might charge a small fee and you should ALWAYS carry your own toilet paper with you.
Traveling can always interfere with your eating. As long as you eat healthy and eat smart you should be fine. Here are some tips to follow.
- Eat where the locals do. Casual restaurants with a large local clientele are like to be high quality and low cost.
- Eat in ethnic neighborhoods (this tip works in the US or abroad). You can get some first class feasts for very little money in ethnic neighborhoods.
- If you’re going to splurge at an expensive restaurant, lunch is a good time to do so. You can often get the same famous food at a significantly lower cost.
- Carry snacks. Having some snacks like granola bars, trail mix or even fresh fruit along can help save a lot over buying them from street vendors and convenience stores.
- A cheap and filling meal can be found in university cafeterias in Italy. Found in almost all cities and towns, these “mensas” are a godsend and all you need is a student id to eat there.
- Many hotels in countries other than the US, and all B& B’s include breakfast as part of the room price. Take full advantage of this and fill up so you won’t have to buy food until lunch.
- If you are planning to cook your own meals while staying in hostels it is a good idea to carry a packet or two of spices They are inexpensive, weigh next to nothing, and are an easy way to make all of your meals a lot tastier.
- Drink water with meals. Even without alcohol, soft drinks, coffees and teas can add a substantial amount to your check (especially in countries like Japan). Drink free water with the meal (as long as you’re in a country that it’s safe to do so).
Restaurant Tipping Tips
We have listed some tipping guidelines researched from a restaurateur co-owner of the Four Seasons.
- Rest room attendant fifty cents.
- Hatcheck- Fifty cents to $1 per couple.
- Bartender: One dollar minimum or 15% of check.
- Waiter Fifteen percent of the bill (not including tax).
- Doorman (to get taxi: Fifty cents normally. One dollar in bad weather or rush hour.
- Sommelier Ten percent of the wine selection or 5% if the wine is expensive. Two dollars or $3 is a good tip.
- Headwaiter who seats diners: Five dollars or $10 or more at intervals for regular patrons. He should be tipped in cash.
- Other staff at a restaurant that is used regularly should be tipped once or twice a year. – Hosts, switchboard operators (where the restaurant provides telephone service).
- Captain: Five percent. Note: If diner writes tip on the check, the waiter gets it all, unless the diner specifies how it is to be split. (Example: Waiter, $5; captain, $2.)