We are closing in on the point where half of the children in our group will be teenagers, and with that some questions take on more importance. One of those questions is : WTF? You know, short for “Where’s the Food?” Food is always important and maybe more so when considering group travel! There are many things to consider regarding food for your group travel. Our top tip is: preparation goes a long way! Aside from picking a destination and accommodations, we probably spend the most time discussing food prior to each trip.
Pick an approach first. It may be tempting to say that you don’t want to mess with cooking and you will just eat out on your vacation or just wing it once you are there. These may be great options for your group, but even this requires some level of planning.
Questions to think about if considering eating out or figuring out food on the fly
- What will the cost be and how does it fit into my overall travel budget?
- Does my destination area have sufficient restaurant/fast food options that fit the tastes and/or dietary restrictions of my group?
- Will the size of my group or the time of year I am traveling restrict my ability to find seating in restaurants?
- How close is the nearest supermarket? Are there other options (farmer’s markets, co-ops, etc.) to enjoy local flavor?
- How much time should I plan for eating out and/or food shopping each day?
While we typically eat out a time or two on our trips, we have found that preparing our own food works best for our group.
Considerations for planning and preparing your own food
- What appliances can I count on in at my accommodations? Meal prep in a hotel room is much different than in a vacation rental!
- What are the dietary restrictions and/or limitations in my group?
- How much time do I need to count on for preparing food each day?
- Will everyone plan a meal(s) or will this be done as a group?
- Will everyone bring groceries or will this be done as a group?
- How will extra food be used or disposed of at the end of the trip?
Over the years, we have found that planning a menu before the trip and doing a large grocery shop upon arrival works best for us. We understand that this “big shop” is going to come with a price tag that may invoke gasps, but actually works out to be very economical per person per day.
We will devote an upcoming post (or posts!) to menu planning and preparation. As you contemplate what is right for your group, please remember that food will be an important part of your trip! Your planning will go a very long way in making sure the dining experience is part of your positive memories!