Pro Travel Tip: Visit Local Grocery Stores when Traveling

About Dining

There are many ways to immerse yourself in the local culture of the destinations you visit. You can explore art galleries and music venues. You can take enlightening excursions to historic sights. And, quite simply, you can go grocery shopping. Because no matter where you are in the world, you'll gain interesting insights about the city and its people at the local supermarket.

Food is a defining element of any destination. You'll learn a lot about a culture by both the selection and the presentation of the foods they offer in a grocery store. In countries like Italy and Spain, for instance, you'll find multiple rows filled with various olive oils; and in Japan, they go to great lengths to protect and display their produce to make it as tantalizing as possible. These national quirks give you a better understanding of the culture than any touristy restaurant.

Also, those restaurants will not be able to offer the variety of items that even the smallest supermarket can. For a fun dining experience, fill your shopping basket with a bevy of intriguing-looking items—the more exotic the better—along with a few local beers and head to a scenic spot to see what interesting flavors you've uncovered.

And did we mention the value? Buying snacks or a meal at the grocery store, instead of at local restaurants or your hotel lobby shop, will save you muchos pesos, or Euros, or Yen. Now that's good advice you can take to the bank, or the banco, or the banque.