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Even if you’ve done your research to earmark some highly rated restaurants at your travel destination, there are a number of pitfalls when dining abroad.

Whether you’re of staying at luxurious accommodation such as the stunning villas for rent from PPA Properties or at a budget hotel during your holiday abroad, the following guide offers some key tips on navigating things like as cultural quirks and language barriers when eating out.

Getting the Lay of the Land’

In the UK and US, ordering a Subway can involve a baffling number of hoops to jump through just to get one sandwich, so things can get all the more confusing when ordering food in a foreign country where people are not fluent in English. The first thing to do on entering a restaurant is to order a drink, sit back and get an idea of the lay of the land so to speak. By watching locals as well as the serving staff, you will be able to pick up how things are done to avoid any major blunder.


At the end of the day, the most important thing to remember when travelling abroad is to relax. There’s no point being afraid of not blending in because the locals will immediately see that you’re a tourist. If you act domineering or haughty to cover your self-consciousness this will only irritate locals and make them less likely to be of help. On the other hand, a dose of humility along with a good-natured willingness to smilingly admit when you’re at a loss will go a very long way. Let the experience wash over you rather than trying to remain in full control that is part of the fun of travel!

Tackling a Non-English Menu

Even if you’ve mastered the basics of a foreign language, the nouns and adjectives in a non-English menu are sure to be confusing many people have ended up with a disappointing meal because they did not know the words for baked’, fried’ and grilled’, not to mention the danger of dishes that contain ingredients you might be allergic to. For this reason, always bring a phrase book or translation app with you so that you can quickly look up certain words. This does not always work out however, in which case you will have to rely on the waiter. Practise the phrase what do you recommend, along with any phrases that cover foods you cannot eat.

Better the Devil You Know

While in theory one of the best things about travel is to be adventurous when eating out, do balance this with practicality. If you’re monstrously hungry after a glorious day sightseeing in the sunshine, and particularly if you have diet restrictions, it might be best to simply opt for something on the menu that you’re sure of. This is also good advice if you’re visiting an expensive restaurant it would be very disappointing to order a fancy dish and find out that it’s not to your taste. This is also sound advice when ordering fish in a country like France, where much of their local fare might be unfamiliar and perhaps unpalatable to Britons.

Keep It Simple

This tip covers not only eating out, but your entire trip abroad. Do use simple, straightforward language and speak fairly slowly when communicating with locals, in either English or their language. This will make everything a lot more smooth sailing by avoiding unnecessary confusion. You might think you have mastered Spanish, but it could end up sounding like gibberish if your pronunciation is off. On the other hand, when speaking to locals who are doing their best to help you by speaking English, it would be unfairly frustrating to talk to them a mile a minute and use colloquialisms as if you were in your own country.


Whether you’re on a biking holiday or luxuriating at one of the stunning villas for rent from PPA Properties, when dining abroad you can avoid the most common pitfalls by having a translation book or app on hand, by speaking slowly and simply when talking to the waiters and most importantly by remaining in relaxed good spirits

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