Planning a Family Vacation – Tips for Dining Out
By Terrie Bryan
Dining out at restaurants is part of the fun of any trip.
If you are planning a family vacation, here are some tips for dining out that may make your experience more enjoyable.
Do your research before you leave home. Check out the selection of restaurants in the area you plan to visit, and check ratings and reviews.
If you can find some forums for the city, see if someone will tell you where the local favorite restaurants are, i.e. the “non-touristy” areas.
The tourist areas may have a large selection of places for dining out but they are usually not of the highest quality and may also be higher priced. You’ll almost always find a better meal if you eat where the locals go.
If you need a special diet such as vegetarian, scout out which restaurants may be able to provide this for you when you are dining out.
Call ahead to see if reservations are needed. If it is a popular restaurant in a busy area, some of these places are booked up for days in advance.
When arriving at a restaurant, check out what people are eating if you can do so discreetly. This is a good way to determine what is popular (and good) in that particular eatery.
If you find a long waiting list, check out the seating in the bar. Often you can find a table in the lounge area when others are still waiting for seating in the dining room.
If your meal is not right, don’t suffer in silence. Speak up, but do so politely. Most waitstaff are happy to do whatever it takes to make your meal a happy experience, but if they don’t know anything is wrong, they can’t help you.
If you are on a diet, try to loosen up a little while on vacation so that you can truly enjoy your dining out experience. Time enough to eat those carrot and celery sticks when you arrive back home to the daily routine. Make your vacation a memorable experience.
Know what is expected as far as tipping when dining out. Certain areas routinely add the tip onto the bill, so be careful not to leave another tip on top of that (unless you want to of course!).