Summertime offers an exciting opportunity to get away and explore new places (or return to your favourites), so I’m sharing some of my top vacationing tips I use while travelling in the summer.
Carry a notebook to jot down information about places you want to return to, or places you have been advised to go like markets, restaurants and speciality shops. There are plenty of reviews online but nothing beats the advice from locals. Write down your top areas of interest and ask the locals which ones they recommend.
Download a weather app, translator app and Google Maps to use offline. This has saved me from hours of driving in the wrong direction. With these apps, you can more easily reach your destinations, which in my case are often markets, restaurants and bars.
Plan to be flexible. Have a few areas of interest that you would like to visit each day so that if anything changes (weather, long lines, etc.) you can head to the next point without delay.
When dining out in a foreign country, language can be restricted to basic words or hand gestures. Be sure to learn how to communicate any food allergies with restaurant staff before ordering from the menu so they can assist you by navigating your choices away from items of concern.
In a reusable bottle filled with clean water, add freshly squeezed lime juice, a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar as an electrolyte boost.
Enjoy your morning coffee as a chilled option with ice cubes and sugar. To enhance the coffee, add a twist of lemon zest.
Buy some cucumbers, watermelon or coconut — fruit that packs a lot of added hydration – at a local market and snack on that.
Prepare summertime salads. Our family favourite is a tomato salad with celery, carrot, chickpeas, cucumber, shaved red onion, garlic, oregano, sea salt, olive oil and fresh basil. But see what’s fresh and available where you are visiting.
Make refreshing fruit salads. Find out what fruits are in season where you are and use them to make a sweet and savoury salad. Try this one: mango, red and yellow bell pepper, red onion, fresh basil and serrano chili pepper, all topped with a dressing of olive oil, salt, a pinch of granulated garlic, honey and apple cider vinegar.
Want to enjoy the outdoors on vacation? Plan for a picnic and head to the local park. Pick up some local market ingredients like hummus, marinated olives, pickled vegetables, fresh breads, cured meats and cheeses.
Massimo De Francesca is the executive chef of Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa.