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5 tips for eating like a local

(NC) Whether we’re away for a few days, weeks or months, many of us want to truly immerse ourselves in a culture when we travel. One great way to do this is through food.

  1. Do your research. Before you leave, take some time to dig through travel books, blogs and websites to see what experts and fellow visitors recommend. Some popular spots might require a reservation, so it pays to plan ahead.
  2. Time your visits. One way to get a good feel for the people and food of your destination is by checking out a food market or festival. Mingle with the locals and get a wide sampling of culinary treats. These kinds of events are planned months in advance, so it’s easy to schedule your trip around that timing.
  3. Hit the shops. Sure, the locals will eat some meals at restaurants, but for the most part they are doing their cooking at home. So visit grocery stores and farmers’ markets to get the most authentic taste of local food. If you’re not staying at a home share or don’t have access to cooking equipment, grab some fruit, veggies and fresh bread and enjoy a picnic at a park.
  4. Try a package. An easy, stress-free way to sample your destination’s best cuisine is with a tour or package. If you’re heading to Europe, check out Air Canada Vacations’ food-centric vacation packages that include flights, hotels and dining activities. For example, you can try a family cooking class in Rome or their Flavours of Portugal package curated with your taste buds in mind.  
  5. Ask your server. Servers and bartenders are excellent resources for finding delicious and affordable places to eat. They work in the industry so often have a professional interest, and you’ll want to eat where the experts eat.

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