Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Staycation tip: Let’s talk About food

Talking about food is easy for me. Unless the talk is about how I shouldn’t be eating as much of it.

Anyway, food is a staple of the vacation experience. No matter how far away you go, or how close to home you stay, it should be a highlight. It was for Melissa in Massachusetts, who I interviewed for the book. She said the favorite part of her staycation was discovering that local food that was as good as anything she’s had on vacation. She didn’t have to “make a monster carbon footprint and break the bank” to experience great food and service.

You undoubtedly have your favorite local restaurant. It’s the place where you have a favorite spot to sit and don’t need to see the menu before ordering. That restaurant has a place in your staycation, but to create the vacation environment, why not try something new?

Consider another staycationer's tip to a successful staycation:

“It’s about pushing yourself to do something you wouldn’t normally do,” she said. “Force yourself out of your comfort zone.”

Here’s your chance to break your staycation out of the ordinary. Spend a week sampling international foods. Visit a Thai restaurant one night, a Mexican one the next, and finish with Italian, French, or German food. You can get recommendations on all types of food from sites such as www.roadfood.com and www.chowhound.com, which have user reviews of restaurants across the country.

If you like to cook or bake, try experimenting with something new. If it doesn’t work out, you can just laugh it off and head to a restaurant.

*** "The Great American Staycation: How to Make a Vacation at Home Fun for the Whole Family (and Your Wallet!)" is now available. You can find it in stores or online.

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