Vacationers mostly eat out but prefer local, chill spots, survey says
By Jay Keller
According to a recent survey of 1,600 TripAdvisor travelers, the majority said they eat out 10 times or more during a typical week-long trip.
What’s more is that most travelers say they crave local and laid-back spots with 83 percent making a point to experience a destination’s famed dish.
“Dining out is a significant part of the trip experience and a way for travelers to experience local culture and flavor,” TripAdvisor spokesperson Brooke Ferencsik says.
At least six in ten said they usually indulge in less-healthy options while dining on vacation but less than one percent chose fast food.
Ferencsik adds that vacation is a “time for travelers to indulge and that often means relaxing some of our dietary inhibitions.”
Casual dining, full of local culture, appeals to 26 percent of the travelers surveyed but 77 percent prefer independent establishments over restaurant chains.
Locally-grown or sourced food at a restaurant is important for exactly half of those surveyed.
Other popular restaurant settings include waterfronts (20%), bistros or cafes (18%), open-air or al fresco (13%) and fine-dining rooms (11%).
While the survey results indicate that most people research local restaurants before their trip, travelers are more spontaneous when it comes to being seated, as 55 percent say they rarely make reservations for a table.
Travelers find local gems through word-of-mouth advice and recommendations from a variety of sources, according to the survey.
Most people research local restaurants beforehand with 77 percent reading and acting upon online reviews.
Asking local residents, hotel staff, a concierge, friends and family are other resources that travelers say they tap before a trip.
Making reservations, however, is not a priority but slow or poor service still matters.
Travelers continue to find deals appetizing with 55 percent saying discounts can influence where they choose to dine.
In terms of a price range, 61 percent prefer to spend $10-25 per person while 29 percent opted for a meals in the $25-40 range.
In general, American cuisine is the top choice followed by Italian, Mediterranean, Mexican and French.