You’re about to embark on an amazing journey abroad, and you find yourself wanting to go beyond the tourist trademarks of travel: shopping, sightseeing, and sitting on a beach. You want to feel enriched and immersed. You want to learn something and bring back a new skill. You want more. I’ve put together the perfect tips to help guide any epicurean in the right direction.
Take a cooking class
Roll up your sleeves and get ready to chop, slice, and dice! A cooking class is the perfect way to learn some new skills and embrace the cuisine of the area you are visiting. You name it—Italy, France, Vietnam, Peru… every destination offers this type of hands-on activity. It’s a great way to spend a half-day with friends as well as meeting new friends. If you’re lucky, you’ll be instructed by a charismatic and talented chef with a penchant for telling stories.
Pro tip: Did you know Julia Child’s former summer home in Southern France, La Pitchoune, will be available for cooking classes in 2017?
Join a food market walking tour
Stretch your legs, work off some over-indulgent eating, and see a city through the eyes of a local. These are just a few reasons why you might want to go and book a hour-long or half-day walking tour with a local guide. With the guidance of an expert, you too can visit neighborhoods away from the tourist hotspots, discover the best food and wine shops, and talk to vendors and farmers at the local market. Go ahead and gain yourself a bit of insider access.
Pro tip: Katie Parla has been offering well researched, gourmet walking tours of Rome for some time now. With her credentials, you can’t go wrong.
Go on a winery tour and tasting
If you’ve ever spent time in Napa Valley or Sonoma, then you know the allure of winery tours and tastings. Places like Italy, France, and Spain are home to some of the most prestigious winemakers in the world. Do yourself a huge favor and figure out what wine region you’re traveling near (or in) and get yourself to a winery. Many times you can check a wineries website for tasting hours and tour information.
Google is your friend
It’s hard planning your own trip, so don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help. Many times for me, this help comes in the form of Google. That’s right, Google. It’s a great resource for finding the aforementioned cooking classes, guided walking tours, and wineries. Just watch out, before you know it, you’ll have spent the entire day staring at your computer screen.
Pro tip: Avoid the hassle of planning your own unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and join us on the trip of your dreams. We’ll make sure you are learning to cook by Michelin-starred chefs, discovering every nook and cranny of our favorite cities, and tasting the best wine with passionate winemakers.