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Top Reasons Why You Should Go On a Culinary Vacation

by Lystia Putranto

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Are you looking for awesome ideas to help you plan your next great adventure? In order to truly make the most of your travels, keep in mind that you can only grow and enrich your life by doing something you have yet to try. 

So instead of setting yourself up for yet another touristy sightseeing trip, why not try something different for a change?

To start, did you know that a report published by Skift, the largest travel industry intelligence platform, found that by 2015, 77% of those who travel for leisure can be classified as culinary travelers? Moreover, food tourism is predicted to rise even further this year. With culinary vacations becoming more popular than ever, it’s about time that you get on this scrumptious bandwagon too!

With that, here are my top  reasons that may just convince you to make your next getaway, a cooking holiday


You’ll Discover a Myriad of Exciting Flavors




Any avid traveler knows that food is an immense part of any culture. And If you are someone who has a penchant for delicious food and beverages, you’d be excited to learn that one of the best things about discovering new destinations is that you’ll get to indulge yourself in plenty of local eats!

Through cooking vacations, you’ll get the amazing opportunity to explore the vast variety of the world’s culture through its gastronomic delicacies. As you might have guessed, food is almost always much more delicious and authentic when we are able to enjoy it in the country or place of origin. Plus, some local dishes and ingredients can’t be found anywhere else in the world.

Some culinary holidays may even include visits to the local markets where you get to purchase the ingredients for your meal or even pick your own fresh produce straight from their own farm! In this case, it’s not uncommon that everything you make is farm-to-table ready, making your holiday that much more special.


You’ll Meet Like-Minded People


Meet like-minded people

Image credit: Porto Club Travel Services


Whether you prefer traveling solo or with your friends and/or family, through a cooking vacation, you are bound to meet plenty of new people. This includes both locals as well as other travelers from all corners of the globe. The best part is that though you may all come from different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences, you are all brought together by your passions for food and travel.

As a lover of travel, I can vouch that it’s always a treat to be around like-minded individuals when I’m traveling.

Through interactions with your new friends, you have the awesome opportunity to expand your horizons. This is your chance to cultivate a better understanding of the diverse culture and languages of the world. Who knows? Perhaps some of the people you meet on your culinary adventure may just end up becoming lifelong friends!


You’ll Learn to Cook Authentic Delicacies


Homemade Tom Yang Goong

Image credit: Lystia Putranto


What makes culinary vacations stand out from the usual “run-of-the-mill” vacations or food tours is that you don’t only get to enjoy a variety of mouthwatering local dishes; you’ll also be able to learn to whip them up yourself. So, if you can’t get enough of the food you tasted on your trip, you can always re-create them back home. That is the simple yet powerful beauty of a hands-on cooking experience.

While learning from world-renowned chefs has its perks, learning from the locals opens a window into their culture. Notice how, when preparing a traditional meal, they are never in a hurry and they use the same ingredients every time they prepare that dish. This is to ensure it does not lose the original taste. When dining, observe how they eat their food. In many cultures, various dishes are added to the table and everyone digs in.

As a self-professed foodie, I adore all type of cuisines – but I must admit that Thai food is amongst my top 3 favorites. So, on my last trip to Thailand, I decided to sign up for a cooking class in Bangkok to learn how to prepare authentic Thai dishes such as Tom Yum Goong  and Pad Thai so I can whip up them up later in my own kitchen. It’s safe to say that not only did I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, thanks to the warm guidance of the school’s professional instructors, I was also genuinely impressed how fun and easy it all was!

Whether you are a beginner in the kitchen or a culinary professional, through a cooking vacation, you will undoubtedly learn useful tips and tricks that will ‘wow’ yourself as well as your loved ones. 


You’ll Immerse Yourself in the Local Culture


Balinese 'Kecak' dance

Image credit: Alila Manggis Bali


They say that travel is the only thing that one can buy that makes us richer. I personally believe this to be true as it allows us to learn more about what our beautiful world has to offer. And there’s no better group of people that will be able to teach us a destination’s local culture than the locals themselves.

Culinary travel allows you to center your trip around cultural immersion – meeting the locals, sampling local cuisines, wines and beers, and having time to really explore the local ways of life. Wherever I travel to, whether it be Croatia, Turkey or Vietnam, I always make sure that a visit to a local market is a feature of my stay. The markets are always a hive of activity and I love watching the locals bargaining, sampling, and socializing in their communities. 

Through this experience, you will not only be treated to authentic cultural experiences that will tantalize your taste buds but also those that will open your eyes and mind to a whole new perspective of seeing the world.

A local organizer can be of great help in this voyage of taste and flavors. Your acquaintance with the local dishes, famous food spots to visit, and the history of the place are enhanced with their help & knowledge.


You’ll Learn Useful Tips and Tricks to be More Efficient in the Kitchen

people cooking together

The kitchen can be a magical place where all the delicious food we love is created. But many of us are still reluctant to cook in our own kitchen for many reasons. Being constantly busy is one of them.

Going on a culinary vacation opens a world of possibilities for those who want to start their cooking journey, be more efficient in the kitchen, and, why not, even start loving to cook!

The right cooking class can shave a lot of time off the hours spent in the kitchen. You’ll not only learn new recipes, but you’ll get to witness real chefs in action and get to emulate them under supervision! In my opinion, this is the best way to learn. Stealing the craft from cooks and chefs is how it’s done!

Also, a good teacher is there to answer all the questions you might have. If you’re a fan of Italian food, for example, combine a cooking class with a cooking vacation in Italy and you’ll soon find yourself whipping up the most delicious authentic Italian dishes for your loved ones on a daily basis! 

Plus, once you're gaining confidence in the kitchen, one of the best things about preparing your own meals at home is that unlike eating out or purchasing already processed food, we have the advantage of knowing and monitoring exactly what goes into our food. By cooking our own food, we also have complete control to adjust recipes according to our preferences and needs. This makes it a lot easier for us to make healthier choices such as incorporating less salt, substituting meats for vegetables, and so forth, in our daily meals.


You’ll Kickstart a Healthier Lifestyle


Vegan culinary vacation

Image credit: The Farm at San Benito


While it’s true that not all culinary holidays necessarily include strictly healthy foods, there has definitely been a rising demand for healthy culinary vacation packages such as vegetarian, organic, and vegan cooking holidays in recent years.

If one of your goals is to become healthier and fitter, I would highly recommend you try out one of these healthy cooking holidays. This travel experience will provide you with access to the support and guidance of professionals who not only will show you the ropes on how you can establish a healthier lifestyle, but on how to maintain it too! 


Looking for an unforgettable adventure that’s all about food and culture? Why not sign yourself up for a culinary and cultural vacation?

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