How to Pick a Great Restaurant

When it comes to restaurants you don't need to have a tons of money to have a great time, but you do need to be picky. Let's face it, a bad experience can ruin your vacation, literally. So here are essential tips and tricks to discovering mouth watering experiences on your travels.

Planning Restaurants Before you Go

Chances are you are only going to happen upon a restaurant once you get there. But, if you are one to pre-plan everything to the last detail here are some suggestions:

Note: Travel reviews from past travelers are a great resource, but remember, they can be biased, meaning the restaurant could be posting themselves, or their competitors could be posting negative things about them. For these reasons I stick to advice from pro's.

Look for local foodie bloggers from where you are headed who have tried the food first hand. Remember to check out their comments section to see what other locals think.

Peruse the local online newspapers for the food critic section.

Ask your friends through social media. Unless heading somewhere completely obsolete someone can probably help you out with where to eat ... and perhaps even more importantly, where not to.

If reservations are recommended, make them. Even if you end up cancelling later, this is better than waiting for a table. Time is precious so always make the most of it on vacation.

If you're heading anywhere in the USA check out Restaurants.com You can save a bundle by buying gift certificates ahead of time. ie. You can buy a $20 gift certificate for $5. Just know that there are minimum spending requirements. For example if you buy a $5 certificate you will need to spend $20 at the restaurant. If you plan right, you can save tons on food.

Of course, I do have to point out ... The easy way is to check MyVacationPages restaurants. We only list restaurants that pass our strict guidelines to help you easily find the best options. (Use the menu on the right to pick your destination).

If you don't find enough recommendations through the search, you are welcome to email me directly or send a private message through Facebook. Just be sure to mention any special requirements and the group size.

Already there? Here's what to look for

- Ask locals, but try to be a bit precise. Where can I go for authentic tacos? Which restaurant is cheap with a veggie option? Check with more than one to see if you get the same answer.
- Ask guests at the resort if they found anywhere worth heading to.
- Check out the menu first. If it is not posted outside send in one or two people to look at the menu and be sure it hits your requirements.
- Take in the aroma. If it doesn't smell good, it probably doesn't taste good either.
- If you have special dietary issues call ahead to make sure they can accommodate you.
- Remember, if the parking lot is empty, keep going.
- You can walk out up until you order. So, if the person at the table next to you is complaining about the food, make a polite excuse and get out of there. We recommend leaving a ten dollar tip for the trouble. And, you must pay for any drinks you received.
- Only drink from bottles that are sealed. Even if the travel expert at the resort says the water is fit for consumption, don't take a chance. This is the main reason people end up ill.

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