Foodie travelers embracing culinary travel trend

Food and dining are becoming a more central part of many travelers’ vacation experiences. In fact, AAA and the Automobile Club of Southern California found in the latest AAA survey of travelers that an estimated 22 million Americans expect to take a culinary-focused vacation in the next 12 months.

Seventy-five percent of Americans feel that food and dining are an important part of their travel experiences, and four in five say they have engaged in such unique activities as touring wineries and distilleries, eating with local families, and engaging in hands-on experiences such as cooking classes led by local chefs while traveling.

“There is no better way to learn about a destination and immerse yourself in the local culture than by experiencing its unique food and dining customs,” said Jacqueline Garcia, manager of the Auto Club’s Alhambra branch. “When planning a culinary vacation, seek the advice of a trusted travel adviser, who can help customize a trip that matches your dining preferences.”

The younger generation is particularly interested in culinary travel, with 88% of millennials having participated in food-related experiences while vacationing, outpacing members of Generation X and the baby boomers. In fact, 43% of AAA travel agents report a recent increase in the number of members planning culinary-focused vacations, with most planning foodie trips to Italy, France, and Spain. Ironically, however, travel agents also say that one of the top mistakes travelers make when preparing for an international trip is not planning their meals and activities in advance.

“Travelers spent an average of $63 per person, per day on food and dining purchases during their last vacation,” Ms. Garcia said. “Meals can quickly become a significant portion of a family’s vacation budget. That’s why planning ahead is key to enjoying a memorable culinary vacation.”

Before setting out on a vacation, travelers should contact the Alhambra Auto Club branch, 401 E. Main St., for the expert advice of a trusted travel adviser who can provide personalized service and first-hand destination knowledge to create a memorable vacation experience.

Travelers can find thousands of AAA Diamond Rated restaurants across the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean through the AAA Travel Guides and TripTik Travel Planner tool on AAA.com and in the AAA Mobile app.

All restaurants must meet and uphold rigorous minimum standards to pass an anonymous inspection and be approved by AAA. A rating of one to five Diamonds is then assigned to describe the complexity of the restaurant’s service, décor, and food. The Diamond Ratings help diners find restaurants that offer the kind of experience they prefer, whether they want affordable, family-friendly establishments or to indulge in luxurious menu offerings and first-class service. For more information, visit AAA.com/Diamonds.

AAA’s report presents the findings of a telephone survey (landline and cell phone) consisting of 1,013 adults living in the continental United States. Interviewing for this survey was conducted March 9-12, 2017. This study has an average statistical error of ±3.8% at the 95% confidence level for all U.S. adults.


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Jan 2022


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