How to eat at great restaurants when traveling

I consider myself a minor league foodie. By this I mean that there is nothing very sophisticated or educated about my food obsession, other than the fact that I simply love good food. And because I wouldn’t say that I really love to cook, I’m a person who loves good food in a restaurant.  It doesn’t have to be fancy, or complicated, or even hard to pronounce… it simply has to be delicious.  For this reason, I am a firm believer that every amazing vacation should include great food.  There are very few destinations on my list of places I have immensely enjoyed visiting that didn’t offer this component.  (Besides maybe the Czech Republic. I loved Prague...hated the food!)

As such, I like to make it a point to discuss this topic with clients when creating custom itineraries. Would they prefer reservations every night for the hottest restaurants in town? Are they going to trust the concierge to point them in the right direction? Or do they plan on wandering down unknown streets and simply pop into wherever is calling their name? None of these approaches is wrong, but just in case they find themselves at a loss and in a country that isn’t as yelp friendly as they’re used to, I like to give some recommendations so they feel prepared in this department

The following is a list I included in a custom itinerary for a client’s recent trip to Sydney.

I myself have only been to Sydney once, and it was years ago, before I was in the habit of noting extraordinary restaurants I might stumble upon. As such, this list was mostly done from research. However, checking in with clients when they return is a good opportunity to learn and continue to refine my knowledge. According to them, a dinner at Mr. Wong’s was LIFE CHANGING (emphasis theirs), a delicious meal at Home Thai proved to be so legit, and an afternoon spent at Bondi Iceberg Club right on the beach was a wonderful way to relax, take in the beautiful views, and enjoy some cocktails. They shared with me a few of their own faves they discovered from their trip that I can now add to my list and feel confident in recommending the next time I have clients heading to Sydney!

Is this something you might find helpful when you're out traveling the world?

Where to ring in the New Year

A friend of mine has this tradition of never ringing in the New Year in her home city.  I love it.  Traveling for this holiday in particular is great because it gives you the chance to usher in the New Year in a unique and exciting location, and if you want, shed your winter coat for some beach gear and make everyone at home jealous as you spend the first day of 2015 basking in the sunshine.  I’ve been researching some possible trips for either this year or next and so I figured I would share a couple of my most promising finds with you. If I am not able to go, perhaps I could live vicariously through your travels!

Sydney Australia:

I kind of like the idea of being among the first people on the planet to celebrate the New Year. Sydney already happens to be one of my favorite cities to visit, but a celebration down under also allows you to attend one of the largest parties in the world that happens along the waterfront and lasts all day and into the night, including two firework shows.  Also, January is summertime in Australia so you also have the chance to enjoy some beautiful weather and explore the city during one of the best times of year to visit.  


Any trip that includes relaxing beach days is a plus in my book.  Celebrating the New Year in the Caribbean is a win/win on many levels and allows for a more casual celebration style that is intrinsic to the nature of Bahamas.  Bahamians have their own version of Mardi Gras, which is known as Junkanoo.  This conventional Bahamian style of celebration highlights their New Year’s Eve and includes people of all ages eating, drinking, dancing, cheering, and celebrating.  There are also many performances and a procession in which mostly everyone participates.  This totally sounds like my type of party.

Valpraiso, Chile:

This seems to be the biggest New Years Eve show in Latin America, and after doing a little research, it definitely seems like a celebration I need to experience at least once in my lifetime.  The festivities begin on the 28th, so be prepared to power up for this one. They also have many great customs they ring in the New Year with. Women looking to be lucky in love will be donning yellow underwear.  If you see Chileans lugging along an empty suitcase around their neighborhood, they do so hoping to travel in the year to come.  And if you do nothing else, make sure you eat 12 grapes at midnight, as this apparently increases the chances of affluence during the year.  


Is there somewhere special you are going to spend this New Years, or any amazing places you’ve rung in the New Year in years past?