How important is food while traveling?
When we decided to plan a trip down south almost everyone warned us that we would have food issues. I am usually a frugal eater who only needs three regular meals no matter how small or big. My constraint for eating is only that I need something thrice a day that’s it. And I am good to go.
Frankly I was not boggled down by any one’s threat about food issues in South India. But of course I was wrong.
My in laws too traveled with us this time. And it was for them we were always out on a food hunting expedition. Being vegetarians they needed only indian veg food and also more importantly only at an all veg restaurant.
I had a tough time searching for one. Because almost all veg restaurants there served only south indian. Again something they didn’t like to eat much.
Cutting a long story short. I wish to know if food or eating is part of your trip planning? And more importantly while traveling should food be a side issue and perhaps enjoying the scenic beauty or places a bigger priority?
I will list down five things I always follow while traveling with respect to food.
1. I make sure I eat. I eat whatever falls in my way. Not eating means health/weakness issues and can most definitely be a spoiler for traveling
2. If I do not enjoy the cuisine of the place I try to go for brands. I hunt for McDonalds or Pizza huts which I am quite sure will be almost similar tasting across the world.
3. If I find a good place I bookmark it. I do not experiment (especially if it was hard to find) and keep going for my meals to the selected joints.
4.For me more than food tea is an issue. It is my own tried and tested method that all restaurants or hotels sell bad tea. I always go for tea corners or tapris and they have so far never failed me.
|Best tea I had this trip. At Tirumala|
5. More than food water is important. Having a mineral water bottle is more important to me than finding wholesome food.
Still I want to know if you too plan for eating while traveling? How important is it for you?
And also on that note the ‘I travel’ theme is kicked off!!
I am taking part in the Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th-14th December 2013 and this post has been written for Day 2 which has the prompt as food
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Food was never a big issue for me too. As long as I get my morning dose of caffeine I’m ready to go anywhere. 🙂
And that for me is tea!
I agree completely on tea part. Food has never been a big issue for me. Although I am a vegetarian, I can eat almost any veg food from a place of any grade. Also I hate to buy bottled water but cannot help while I am traveling to remote places.
Yes I too can have veg food at a place where both are cooked. And I think in that way we all should be slightly flexible..
Given that I am vegetarian who doesn’t mind the occasional chicken and egg dish, travelling for me has never been an issue. Although when travelling with my lil 2 yr old girl, we do ensure that we carry enough snacks, bananas, apples, etc which she can eat. Given her age, she is not too fussy an eater, but can get picky at times 🙂 Nice take on today’s prompt.
Yes I believe when travelling with kids, food becomes an issue…
Richa you listed out in a concise way the precautions to be taken while traveling. Very informative post.
Thanks Usha ji, I hope they are helpful for others while traveling..
Although I love to eat and love to experiment with local cuisines my stomach fails me sometimes! Stomach upset on a holiday has been a spoiler for me in my last two trips down south. Lesson learnt that typical south Indian thali doesn’t suit me. Traveling on hills I try to eat only fruits till we reach the destination and yes water is more imp than food! My tip always carry water, fruits and nuts and you are good to go!
Waiting to know more about your holiday!!
Fruits and nuts helped us too. They are full of energy and also help fill up stomach..
Food is certainly important. Trouble is, our taste buds are so pucca now, we need to have only our kind of food. On my recent trip to USA I really needed a big heart to eat some of their food. Luckily, most times, I was cooking in my daughter’s house. I loved Mediterranean food. Mexican was good, but you had to be sure you ordered something really spicy. Their bland Rajmah is merely boiled.
Within India, I don’t think I will have any issues. I am sure I can find something.
Yes we have a very different sense of taste and I believe that gets in our way of liking food elsewhere..
When we go sight seeing we have a heavy breakfast at the hotel (usually complimentary). light is a sandwich or a light dish. dinner is rice kichidi or rice dish. I avoid non-veg food while sight-seeing. Pizza Huts are a safe option.
Pizaa huts are the safest and best!! 😀
Sensible pointers there. With kids we do plan for food while travelling. However since we’re a family of North Indians who are passionately in love with South Indian food we find one or the other kind and haven’t had much of a problem. It’s the mid meal snacking for the kids that we have to prepare for.
You are lucky if that is the case. North indians who enjoy south indians you have practically covered the whole nation that way 😛 😛
Food is a big issue for me, and that’s because of my cleanliness freakishness and I may eat less, but it has to be good food. So, MCd, Pizza Huts are my saviours and of course fruits and packed food. But it is truly sad that despite the number of eateries at any tourist place, very very few serve good enjoyable food. At Shimla, other than Mall Road there isnt a good eating joint and can you beat it, there are no branded food outlets anywhere else in the city other than the Mall Road.
Yes Shilpa, at tourist places good food should be a must. But like you said that is often a rarity..
Sorry Richa, I would have to rewrite your five rules to suit myself:
1. I make sure I eat, sometimes only eat the whole day. Whichever animal falls in my way. Not eating some animal might be a guilt factor later.
2. I would hunt down traditional/local/hard-to-find/dish-that-only-one-grandma-knows and eat it, all of it. Co-travelers with me who as so much as mention McD/PizzaHut in passing are looked down upon.
3. If I find a good place I will experiment, eat strange dishes (read mysterious animal parts)
4.Who drinks tea when alcohol is the beverage of the gods? 😛
5. More than food water is important. Hydrate always as much as you can, you never know who will but the next bottle of water and it might get over before it reaches you so gulp down as much you can.
hehehehe I know that Anshul jee, and well if I travel with you some day you will practically only look down upon me 😀 😀
This is something i didn’t realize and I always end up buying something when the bus halts..munch on lil bit of snacks which is not good..need to pack a decent course next time. Yeah, water is always a necessity:)
But sometimes that is all one can do, pick up a few snaks…
Some great tips here for travellers – however, one more tip to add is pack some regular stuff that will keep – for us it’s biscuits, cheese, kakras etc – they come in real handy in a food crisis! 😉
Enjoy the rest of your trip, girl. ♥
Oh nice! Cheese and kakras!! 😀
I used to carry chapathis for train travel. Don’t like train food!! and biscuits and chips and other snacks! 😀
Also, anything veg will do for me! 🙂
I love experimenting with local cuisines.. its such an adventure! there is so much of diversity! 🙂
I also don’t like train food much. But surely enjoy the odd platform snacks 😀
travelling outside india for vegies like me and you can spoil the fun if
1. we are too adamant about our typical vegetarian dishes
2. we have not done enough reasarch of the place to know what are the good vegetarian delicacies of that place
3. We are not carrying maggie and ready to eat stuff for emergencies
And its always good to try new beverages …like in south you have missed something if you did not try degree coffee…
All three points mentioned are super important to note! And yes I tried degree coffee 😀
I m nt vry fussy abt food and I can survive even wd tap water :p
hehe tap water! really?
Before marriage I had not traveled much. But after marriage, I have to travel for vacations as well as official trips. As you mentioned more than food, water is important to me. So far, we have never planned about the food, but we do take recommendations from the locals. In fact, we have taught our kids also to have whatever is served at least while on a vacation. 🙂
If you have taught them and they are following it, you are actually preparing your kids for traveling way better than most parents..
Yes another insight in to “Richa” 🙂 I am absolutely not fussed about the food bit. Though cleanliness is a factor sometimes. But then my five years in college, I had street food in Chennai, so I suppose, I can adapt !
Perhaps it is because we have been exposed to hostel years that it makes us less picky about food, no?
Of course I plan the food bit while traveling- I research beforehand every local dish that I have to try. And I pretty much scoff at anyone who carries along ready-to-eat or survives on Pizza Hut, etc. Sampling local food is an intrinsic part of the travel and unless the local delicacies figure too high on the adventure scale (like dog meat, snails, frogs, etc during my recent trip to Nagaland) , I prefer being open. If all else fails, fruits are the way to go!
Well well that should be how travelers be. But then I know I often do fall back on the regular pizza huts 😀
oh! It is. But ofcourse my mom does the planning all the time but if i am alone i will go food hunting into unknown territories. There are so many varieties of food in the world so why constrict to just some. Nice post 🙂
But then the varieties may not get approved by taste buds then?
Isn’t food one of the reasons to travel? 🙂
I’ think food is very important while traveling. Eat to live, live to eat type. 🙂
hehe 😀 eat to live live to eat types 😛
as much as possible I carry my own stuff and lots of it!! i hate eating out….and i’m terribly choosy….!!
But then how much can one carry no?
I know this post i sabt food… but gal u looking cut ein the pic esp that jeans ka color 🙂
Only one who commented on that 😀 sweetheart you are (me always narcissist :D)
This post is akin to my thoughts Richa. Food and I go a long way. Personally I don’t give much importance to food, but with the external family it is a tradition. Give me a packet of potato chips, some maria biscuits and some packets of Haldiram Moong dal 😛 and I done.!
hahaha yes when with family it becomes an issue 🙂
Travelling with my 2 year old, I carry lots of stuff for her. We manage with what we get on the way….cause her stuff is baggage enough 🙂 nice post.
yes with kids there is always a lot of baggage 🙂
Certainly food is an important factor .Being a Vegan, South Indian food tastes the best for me. Of course i really dont experiment with the local cuisines ..Yup water is always a necessity while travelling. Bottled water is perfect idea!!!
Yes water is a necessity. And being a vegan and liking south indian food is a win win situation!!
Right on all points and yes as Corrine said carry a few snacks along. Chennai has quite a few good North Indian eat outs.. Cream centre etc… Where did you face a problem?
They do have but the issue is that their taste was not meeting the parents somehow. I have no issues at all when it comes to food 😀
3 meals a day is by no means frugal.
I(Vikram) for one never has food issues, I can pretty eat the same dish in the two weeks we stay at a place for all 3 meals. Ishwinder on the other hand loves to experiment.
I can enter the limca book of records for drinking most water in a day, when I am not drinkin much, I drink about 7-8 litres.
In some cities our expenses on Mineral water were comparable to our Meals.
More than Food and Water, I would sleeping properly is more necessary.
If I get my 10-12 of sleep, I can pretty much do without any food.
I agree with the sleep part. And also there are times my travels get spoiled more on account of sleep than food. A great point highlighted 🙂
Yes, in trips food is not so important than doing priority things..all the best!
Thanks a lot 🙂 and yes traveling should have priorities..
Food planning does play an important role during the travel. I am planning to tour north east and I am yet to figure out veg food.
Well north east is an even more difficult thing to pull off. And as a fellow vegan I would say do plan!!
Thank God I am not a tea drinker so I don’t crave for tea but yea I need to have good food while traveling
Good for you man, coz finding tea is often a bigger task!
The comment is coming very late, I hope you Notice it. Once again blown by the post, so accurate, so very traveler like, I was on a trip recently (well, I always am) so I didn’t get to visit your blog and when I do i always am overwhelmed. the food part-would love to disagree 🙂 I find out the best places, the cheapest places and the weirdest places to eat, chai is always tapri made as you say, and I too hate the bottled water part but its like a majboori when you are out travelling for long time, you cannot risk your health with wrong water intake. 😀 🙂
Then you are super lucky if you found food to eat around! And yes I did notice 😀
My Day is made 😉
A traveler needs to adjust. We cannot expect the place of our visit to suit us, instead we should be ready to experiment with our eating and be open to new tastes. As far as I am concerned, I do plan – to eat as many local varieties and as much as possible 😀
haha great plan! I do plan the same though when compared to husband who loves non veg food, me being vegan does come in my way at times 🙂
I’m quite spontaneous with my food on travels – go with the flow is my mantra.
Then it is a great thing for you Suzy! And I am sure most of your travels are totally hassle free!
Striking the balance between healthy eating and eating to the right amount to give us energy is what really matters 🙂
True Ashwini and also to remember that healthy need not mean tasty 😀
The food is vital for me in any trip. Specially the breakfast. If I have had a good breakfast then I wont tire easily and I can enjoy throughout the day. Since I am a foodie I like to try out whats special in the place that I am visiting and I have a friend who is a food expert and tells me exactly which hotel to visit in which village in Tamil Nadu and so I always give him a call while planning my trip.
Please do lend us such friends when we go out traveling you know 😀 we too need special experts on those breakfast plans 😀
I believe the blog post name says it all 🙂 What a narrative work. Good read Richa. Way to go!
Thanks tara I am glad you enjoyed it 🙂