Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Family and Children => Topic started by: BuffaloFang on April 02, 2013, 09:40:25 PM

Title: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: BuffaloFang on April 02, 2013, 09:40:25 PM
I recently took a week long trip to a foreign country with a large group of friends, with two picky eaters.  Unfortunately their pickiness didn't coincide (ie, they both ruled out different foods). I'm a pescetarian and I had assumed I would have the hardest time finding food, but the difference was that I was willing to compromise and eat sides/salads/pastries if it came to it, since I figured my dietary restrictions were my problem.   These two were both unwilling to compromise and we would spend hours every day trying to find a restaurant that was acceptable to everyone.  I think a large part of traveling to a foreign country involves eating local fare, and I was a bit frustrated since one of the picky eaters didn't want to eat unfamiliar food.  And the country wasn't even that culturally different than ours!

I tried suggesting we split up, but one of the picky eaters refused to do that and instead insisted on coming with us and then complained that she didn't want to eat at that restaurant the rest of the trip.

Any thoughts on how to handle this situation?  We are likely to travel again at some point, and the experience has left a sour taste in my mouth.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Sophia on April 02, 2013, 09:44:33 PM
Simple.  Don't go with the picky eaters.  It could not have been any fun.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: snowdragon on April 02, 2013, 09:55:11 PM
"I am willing to travel with you, but I am going to eat where I want to eat, if you don''t want to try new things, that's fine. I do want to try new things, just as you do not want to be forced to eat what is unfamiliar to you, I do not wish to be limited by anyone else's comfort zone. I think we need to agree before we leave that if we can not agree on a place to eat together in X amount of time we will separate and find the places we are comfortable with.. if we have to go that route and you decide to join me, I expect you to not complain about my choices."

   What you describe would drive me nuts and I would resent my companions.  I do hope you work it out before you leave next time
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: WillyNilly on April 02, 2013, 09:59:36 PM
I would not have put up with it. This is a HUGE peeve of mine. At first I would have been nice, but by the 3rd or fourth meal and or whining session I would have told the person off.

Eat or don't eat what ever you want, but don't make it someone else's issue and don't ever, ever, ever say "no" to an idea unless you have a counter idea ready. If someone says "Chez Meathouse" and you open your guide book and say "oh, actually how about Hummus Chateau 3 blocks way", that's cool, but if someone says "Chez Meathouse" and you whine and say "but I can't eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeat there!" you can just just sit outside and pout by yourself while the rest of us get our carnivore on. Bonus if its raining and we get a window table.

Guide books, for tourists and most likely for locals as well, are not hard to come by and list restaurants by all sorts of methods - by food, by neighborhood, by price. Picky eaters especially should invest in one or more.

In a group, everyone has to compromise a little, and sometimes in a restaurant of "familiar" foods is super fun (McDonalds in Japan has rice balls, in London people eat Pizza Hut with utensils, etc) to see how is done there, but food exploration is a HUGE HUGE HUGE part of traveling and under no circumstances would I let someone's pickiness stifle my foodie-ness continuously. People can make do, or separate but dictating and whining are not ok.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: blarg314 on April 02, 2013, 10:16:24 PM
I would make arrangements to meet up after the meal, and eat where I wanted to.

For me, a huge part of travelling is the food, and it's not something I want to compromise on.  There are people with restricted diets that I will travel with  - vegetarianism for example - but inevitably it's someone who is flexible, and has an attitude more along the lines of "as long as I can eat something" rather than insisting on choosing all the restaurants.

In the future, you can make this clear while planning the trip - ask people directly about food restrictions and pickiness, and say straight out that if your dining styles are incompatible, you'll arrange to meet after meals.

If you travel with the same group, you can bring it up in context of the previous trip, and you can be pretty blunt about it - you're going to enjoy the local food, and you're not going to plan your eating around other people's incompatible pickiness.
 
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: NyaChan on April 02, 2013, 10:43:07 PM
At some point, I would have just said, "I am eating at X.  Anyone who wants to join me is welcome."  and then walked away.  I have actually had to do that before when people could not decide as a group where they wanted to eat.  This situation you described would have driven me crazy and I would have put my foot down - a huge huge part of traveling is getting to try local fare!
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: sweetonsno on April 03, 2013, 01:13:19 AM
I think it depends a bit on what you meant by "split up." I can understand why someone might not want to eat all alone, especially in an unfamiliar environment. We're social animals.

Okay: "Well, George and John aren't too interested in eating fried grasshoppers either. How about you all go eat at that place across the way and we meet after?" If the suggestion of splitting up was framed that way, then whoever was refusing was being unreasonable.

Not so much: "We all want to go to and eat bosintang. You can go eat at MacDonald's by yourself." This comes across a bit more like an ousting, and I can see why it wouldn't go over too well.

Bottom line on traveling with people who have dietary restrictions: It's definitely snowflakey to insist that everybody eats your way, but it's unkind and inconsiderate to completely and totally disregard somebody's dietary restriction. I'm thinking about spicy food as an example. I love it, but I know others who hate it. (Some actually get blisters around their mouth if they eat it.) It would not be okay for a spice hater to insist that we go to only bland restaurants, or that nobody orders anything above one star. I also don't think it would be okay for everyone else to say, "If you want to go out with us, you have to go to Chez Incendiary" knowing that they'd only be able to eat the garnishes.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Allyson on April 03, 2013, 01:39:20 AM

Not so much: "We all want to go to and eat bosintang. You can go eat at MacDonald's by yourself." This comes across a bit more like an ousting, and I can see why it wouldn't go over too well.


What would you suggest in this situation, where everyone but 1 person wants to try something new and local/spicy/meaty and a lone person doesn't? I think saying those people shouldn't go eat that special thing they want isn't fair either. I would be incredibly frustrated by this situation. Sometimes I feel like it ends up always ending up with the least adventurous eater getting their way. And while I wouldn't be nasty about it, nor would I be OK with going to McDonald's to keep someone company rather than eating X thing I liked.

I'd be fine with something like, they come along to the restaurant but don't eat anything, but instead eat before or after, if that works at all. Not sure if it would in all cases, though.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: blarg314 on April 03, 2013, 03:14:57 AM
I'm thinking about spicy food as an example. I love it, but I know others who hate it. (Some actually get blisters around their mouth if they eat it.) It would not be okay for a spice hater to insist that we go to only bland restaurants, or that nobody orders anything above one star. I also don't think it would be okay for everyone else to say, "If you want to go out with us, you have to go to Chez Incendiary" knowing that they'd only be able to eat the garnishes.

I think stuff like this depends on where you are travelling, too, and how much of an imposition your dietary restrictions put on your travel companions. If your restrictions rule out a small fraction of restaurants, then it's reasonable to expect that most of the group choices will be okay for you, and you may be on your own for a meal or two. If your restrictions rule out most of the restaurants, you shouldn't expect the others to accommodate you most of the time.

If you're travelling in Italy and you hate spicy food, you can work around it pretty easily. If you're travelling with a group in Thailand,  though, you're going to have a very hard time - a lot of the food is quite spicy, in unexpected places, like cold salads, and there's a strong language barrier (asking for a non spicy version can be really hard). If someone gets blisters eating spicy food, they're going to have difficulty eating the local food at all, unless they go to the blandest of tourist traps.


Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: kherbert05 on April 03, 2013, 05:21:26 AM
Picky eater needs to stop whining and go find something they can eat. I've been in a group that all wanted to go to a certain chicken place. I will NOT eat there because the owners are horrible bigots and the food will kill me. I simply said, Sorry can't eat there I'm going to try X I'll meet you at y at time. A couple of time people joined me - other times they didn't. My issue so I just read a book.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: cicero on April 03, 2013, 05:37:32 AM
"I am willing to travel with you, but I am going to eat where I want to eat, if you don''t want to try new things, that's fine. I do want to try new things, just as you do not want to be forced to eat what is unfamiliar to you, I do not wish to be limited by anyone else's comfort zone. I think we need to agree before we leave that if we can not agree on a place to eat together in X amount of time we will separate and find the places we are comfortable with.. if we have to go that route and you decide to join me, I expect you to not complain about my choices."

   What you describe would drive me nuts and I would resent my companions.  I do hope you work it out before you leave next time
this. I think that *everyone* has to give a little - the very picky eaters (or people with allergies or other dietary requirements), have to sometimes be willing to eat at a more adventurous place (or at least be willing to *sit* there), and people who are adventurous might have to sit at the Gold Arches a few times.

and in many "foreign" countries today, restaurants tend to reach out to tourists - offering items that are not spicy (in a spicy cuisine), or indicating what foods are spicy, offering more "familiar" items, and in general in this global world, you will often find things like burgers and pizza almost anywhere. (OK, i haven't been "everywhere" but I work with people who travel a lot and this is the impression that I get).
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: nayberry on April 03, 2013, 05:51:50 AM
been there, sadly it was me and two others and they were useless when it came to trying anything different,
ie i suggested food A as it is a speciality and they make several different versions which would have solved the vegetarians problem,
but no we went and had fish and chips because, and i quote, "food A is poopadities!"

Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: YummyMummy66 on April 03, 2013, 07:01:50 AM
I would have stated, "You know what?  This is my vacation too.  I am going to this restaurant and sit down to eat.  You can either split up and go somewhere else that suits you or join me and find something that you can eat, as I have done in every other restaurant that you chose" and go into the restaurant and sit down.

It is not so much that they were picky eaters, but that you let them dictate what you do on your vacation also.  It is not just them on the vacay, it was everyone involved.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Emmy on April 03, 2013, 07:36:50 AM
Simple.  Don't go with the picky eaters.  It could not have been any fun.

I don't think the pickiness was the problem as much as the entitled attitude.  I would not eliminate traveling with a good friend who is a picky eater, but would not want to travel with an SS who thinks their food preferences should control the whole trip.  Going with you to the restaurant and sulking was really rude.  In this situation, the majority should have more say and it rude for one or two people to waste so much time arguing about food.  Splitting off was a good idea if the group couldn't come to a compromise and it was very spoiled and selfish of them to not go along with the, but chose to spoil your meal by complaining  I would not travel with these particular people in the future.  This would have made me very angry.  I would have let them know that I want to try X food, anybody who wishes to join me is welcome, anybody who does not can split off and we can meet up later.  Even if it meant eating by myself, I would enjoy it much more than whiny companions or missing out on the traveling experience.

In the future when traveling with a group, maybe you can have each member pick one or two meals on the trip and agree to this ahead of time or find places with a wide variety of choices that everybody can agree with.  That way everybody gets to eat at a restaurant of their choice.  In most restaurants, the chef is willing to adjust the dish so if somebody doesn't like it, they can simply ask for plain chicken and rice or a salad.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: bopper on April 03, 2013, 08:29:25 AM
If you all are going to travel again together, then someone (leader?) needs to tell them that part of this trip is going to be eating at local restaurants and it was too much hassle everyday to find a restaurant that the pickier eaters were happy with. If they want to come, they either 1) need to try new foods 2) Be able to find SOMETHING on the menu that they can eat 3) Bring their own food 4) Not attend this time.
If we are in Spain, we are going to have Spanish food so opt out if you are not interested.

Our family just went on a vacation to a well known sea food area...I am allergic to shellfish but we went to seafood restaurants twice because my DH loves it. I made sure ahead of time that there was something I could eat and told the people of my allergies and chose things that would be easy for the restauant to ensure there was no cross contamination.

Another day we were going on a tour at 12:30 and due to running out of hot water issues we got a late start. I wanted to make sure to eat before the tour because I realllly don't like eating lunch late as I start to feel terrible. So we pulled into a Wendy's and grabbed some hamburgers to go. My eldest proclaimed "I don't eat at Wendy's" and I said, that is great, but this is where we are going and there is no other options before the tour.  She didn't eat, but after the tour we stopped for a snack and she ate at that point and was happy with the choices.

Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Thipu1 on April 03, 2013, 09:13:35 AM
There's a big difference between picky eaters and people who have medical, religious or ethical needs.  These requirements have to be thoroughly discussed when travel plans are made.  We can easily travel with people who are vegan, who keep Kosher or who are diabetic. We can't travel with people who demand familiar North American food in Spain, Iceland or even England. After all, sampling local specialties are a major factor in travel. 

Also, picky eaters who don't have special dietary needs should not dictate the food choices of omnivores. 

   
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: BuffaloFang on April 03, 2013, 09:22:34 AM
There's a big difference between picky eaters and people who have medical, religious or ethical needs.  These requirements have to be thoroughly discussed when travel plans are made.  We can easily travel with people who are vegan, who keep Kosher or who are diabetic. We can't travel with people who demand familiar North American food in Spain, Iceland or even England. After all, sampling local specialties are a major factor in travel. 

Also, picky eaters who don't have special dietary needs should not dictate the food choices of omnivores. 

 

This was part of the problem.  If Picky Eater A didn't like a food, she would proclaim that she "couldn't eat it."  The problem was she "couldn't eat" fish, chicken if it wasn't in tender/shredded form, beef if it wasn't served in hamburger form instead of steak, vegetables today because she had them yesterday, etc.  What's worse is that Picky Eater B, if we went to a restaurant with food he didn't like, would loudly proclaim "This is disgusting! Get it away from me!" and then make a big show of having to eat other food afterwards, which was a bit embarassing.

I do like the plan of alternating picking restaurants, and opting out if the restaurant picked doesn't have anything for you.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Lorelei_Evil on April 03, 2013, 09:30:42 AM
As a reforming picky eater, that makes me just crazy. 

I can always find something to eat somewhere.  Granted, I eat a lot of caprese sandwiches sometimes!
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Thipu1 on April 03, 2013, 09:38:45 AM
She 'couldn't eat vegetables today because she ate them yesterday?'  :o

Most people eat some sort of vegetable every day. 
 


Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Cami on April 03, 2013, 09:45:44 AM
My dd is a picky eater and we have schooled her on not thinking her pickiness gets to dictate the food choices in a group.  We also taught her to order "off menu" -- by asking for plain chicken, etc. She also has been taught better than to make comments on other people's food or to sulk if she ends up not liking her food.  She just doesn't eat it.

Even with those rules in place, traveling with her (or my even more picky sister) causes problems. Neither of them can skip a meal because (like me), skipping a meal means a serious drop in blood sugar,  which then leads to negative behaviors and having to spend additional unplanned time finding food she does like. At the very least, we  have to check every menu and deal with the anxiety of their food not being to their liking. Basically, traveling with the picky eaters I know -- who I love and otherwise enjoy traveling with -- leads to a lot of time spent dealing with their food issues.

There's a big difference between picky eaters and people who have medical, religious or ethical needs.  These requirements have to be thoroughly discussed when travel plans are made.  We can easily travel with people who are vegan, who keep Kosher or who are diabetic. We can't travel with people who demand familiar North American food in Spain, Iceland or even England. After all, sampling local specialties are a major factor in travel. 

Also, picky eaters who don't have special dietary needs should not dictate the food choices of omnivores. 

 

This was part of the problem.  If Picky Eater A didn't like a food, she would proclaim that she "couldn't eat it."  The problem was she "couldn't eat" fish, chicken if it wasn't in tender/shredded form, beef if it wasn't served in hamburger form instead of steak, vegetables today because she had them yesterday, etc.  What's worse is that Picky Eater B, if we went to a restaurant with food he didn't like, would loudly proclaim "This is disgusting! Get it away from me!" and then make a big show of having to eat other food afterwards, which was a bit embarassing.

I do like the plan of alternating picking restaurants, and opting out if the restaurant picked doesn't have anything for you.
Wow. I wouldn't travel with those particular picky eaters again. The issue with them is not being picky, it's being entitled and immature.

Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: BuffaloFang on April 03, 2013, 09:53:07 AM
She 'couldn't eat vegetables today because she ate them yesterday?'  :o

Most people eat some sort of vegetable every day.

I don't even think she has anything against vegetables.  That day I was pretty sure she was just being difficult, but I don't know!  I know a lot of picky eaters have some serious and legitimate problems with food.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: TootsNYC on April 03, 2013, 10:00:20 AM
They refuse to split up? Well, that doesn't have to have anything to do with YOU. They are YOUR feet. Walk over to the restaurant you want to go to.

Tell them you'll meet them at X place at Y time. And just close your ear flaps as they talk, and walk off.

And w/ the guy who made comments, I'd say something to him quietly afterward.
"Your comments made the whole meal unpleasant for me. Next time just shut up, or go somewhere else to eat."

And i don't know why one can't announce, "If you get to announce where you will or won't eat, and we all have to cater to you, then I have my own list. And I won't eat with the two of you. I'll see you back here at X time."
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: StuffedGrapeLeaves on April 03, 2013, 10:05:28 AM
They refuse to split up? Well, that doesn't have to have anything to do with YOU. They are YOUR feet. Walk over to the restaurant you want to go to.

Tell them you'll meet them at X place at Y time. And just close your ear flaps as they talk, and walk off.

And w/ the guy who made comments, I'd say something to him quietly afterward.
"Your comments made the whole meal unpleasant for me. Next time just shut up, or go somewhere else to eat."

And i don't know why one can't announce, "If you get to announce where you will or won't eat, and we all have to cater to you, then I have my own list. And I won't eat with the two of you. I'll see you back here at X time."

I agree with Toots.  BuffaloFang, they sound extremely unpleasant to travel with.  I have traveled with some picky eaters, but we all take turns and no one makes a scene about having to eat certain things or eat at different times.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: White Lotus on April 03, 2013, 10:47:09 AM
I am a vegetarian and now gluten-free.  Within my restrictions, I am an adventurous eater.  Vegetarian is easy.  Adding the gluten free makes it much harder.  I am now the most boring person in the world to eat with unless I am cooking.  But I haul around protein supplements and as long as there is something I can eat, and I am not expected to eat all meals at places where all I can eat is a tiny side salad, I keep my mouth shut.  I think that is polite -- as long as there is something on the menu for everyone, that should be enough.  However, there are great vegetarian restaurants and cuisines all over the world, and it would be nice if we could go to one of those restaurants at least once.  I mean, since I am eating side salads at Chez Meat the rest of the time and chugging protein shakes in my room. Courtesy goes both ways, IMO.  In OP's position, I would have called the discussion very quickly and said, "I am going to Chez Fried Rice.  Join me if you like.  Otherwise, I will see you at Place, at Time."  Nothing impolite about that.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Hmmmmm on April 03, 2013, 11:08:00 AM
I agree they sound unpleasent to travel with. I like trying new food and places. Nothing annoys me more when in a new city, state, or country and going to a chain restaurant that I can eat at in my own city if I chose to.

If traveling for pleasure, eating locally is a huge part of the pleasure for me. Even when traveling for business I want to eat locally but am more willing to compromise if we have a large group.

If you find yourself in a similar position, you might try rotating who gets to select the restaurant. Vacationer A picks place for Lunch on Day 1 and Dinner on day 3, Vacationer B gets to pick Lunch for Day 2 and Dinner Day 4, Vacationer C gets to choose Lunch Day 3 Dinner Day 2, and Vacationer C gets Lunch Day 4 and Dinner Day 1. And if anyone objects to the selection, then can choose to eat independently. 

And learn to head off their refusal.

Vacationer A: Let's have lunch at XXX
Vacationer B: I don't want to eat there.
Vacationer A:  OK, we'll meet you back at the hotel at 9. Come on guys.

Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: DoubleTrouble on April 03, 2013, 11:36:10 AM
This was part of the problem.  If Picky Eater A didn't like a food, she would proclaim that she "couldn't eat it."  The problem was she "couldn't eat" fish, chicken if it wasn't in tender/shredded form, beef if it wasn't served in hamburger form instead of steak, vegetables today because she had them yesterday, etc.  What's worse is that Picky Eater B, if we went to a restaurant with food he didn't like, would loudly proclaim "This is disgusting! Get it away from me!" and then make a big show of having to eat other food afterwards, which was a bit embarassing.

I do like the plan of alternating picking restaurants, and opting out if the restaurant picked doesn't have anything for you.

I'm a picky eater but on vacation I do like to try different foods (as long as it's not looking back at me LOL). That attitude would annoy me to no end. Either alternate restaurants or don't travel with them!
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: snowdragon on April 03, 2013, 11:36:47 AM
There's a big difference between picky eaters and people who have medical, religious or ethical needs.  These requirements have to be thoroughly discussed when travel plans are made.  We can easily travel with people who are vegan, who keep Kosher or who are diabetic. We can't travel with people who demand familiar North American food in Spain, Iceland or even England. After all, sampling local specialties are a major factor in travel. 

Also, picky eaters who don't have special dietary needs should not dictate the food choices of omnivores. 

 


I don't think any of that should be dictating the choices of others.  I won't go into a place where I *know* there will be smells that can set off my allergies, but I have no business saying that I won't split off so that you can try it.   Same with any other choice/restriction/need/ whatever -they don't get ti say " I refuse to go where you want to go, but I also refuse to allow you to go by yourself. You have to live around my choice/restriction/need or I will make your regret it/embarrass you."  Which is essentially what insisting on staying together and making a scene about other people's choices is.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Giggity on April 03, 2013, 11:44:42 AM
this. I think that *everyone* has to give a little - the very picky eaters (or people with allergies or other dietary requirements), have to sometimes be willing to eat at a more adventurous place (or at least be willing to *sit* there), and people who are adventurous might have to sit at the Gold Arches a few times.

Not me. On vacation, I don't eat what I can get at home.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: bah12 on April 03, 2013, 11:56:12 AM
I just don't think I would have been able to put up with it.  For me, a big part of traveling is sampling the local cuisine (plus I'm a foodie), so traveling with someone that refused to eat just about everything and wouldn't even be willing to split up for meals would have driven me batty.

Trying new foods, dining out, and cooking are a big part of my life and I tend to automatically not form close relationships with people who make it difficult for me to enjoy those things.  The picky eaters I have known just tend to fade out of my life, because I can't share something that I enjoy a lot with them.  If I somehow did end up traveling with a picky eater, I'd have to put my food down.  It's fine for them to decide that they are unwilling to try something, but that shouldn't hinder everyone else from enjoying what they want.  In other words, they can't have it both ways...insist on eating what they want and insist that everyone else eat with them.  It's just as rude for them to refuse to let you (the non-picky eater) eat where you desire as it would be for you to force them to eat where they won't find anything they like.    I would have said something like "I understand that you don't want to eat at any of these available restaurants.  That's your prerogative.  I'll be dining at this restaurant.  You're welcome to join me but I understand if you don't.  Enjoy your evening and I'll meet up with you after dinner."
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Kimberami on April 03, 2013, 11:59:48 AM
I'm of the opinion that if they are going to be miserable regardless of where they go, then go where you want to eat.  You might as well be happy.   :D
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: BeagleMommy on April 03, 2013, 12:31:27 PM
This would make me bonkers.  We stopped traveling with friends because of the wife's picky eating habits.  She refused to eat anywhere where she couldn't be guaranteed that she'd like the food.  Even when they went to Hawaii they ate at McDonald's and Denny's because it was "easily recognizable and she knew what she was getting".  Add to this that she was a cheapskate and it made traveling with them next to impossible.

If the picky eaters are going to be that difficult I say break off on your own and enjoy yourself.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Margo on April 03, 2013, 12:47:10 PM
I'm of the opinion that if they are going to be miserable regardless of where they go, then go where you want to eat.  You might as well be happy.   :D

Grin. I like this.

I have travelled with picky eaters - my sister and I did a 2 week road trip (my sister has very acute sense of taste and there are lots of things she dislikes, so she tends not to be very adventurous. My best friend is a strict vegetarian.) IN all cases, we've worked round it with communication and compromise - it did mean that we ended up eating in some tourist traps (which I would not have chosen, myself) but equally my friend ended up eating in places where she was mostly eating salad and bread and fruit - but we discussed it in advance and worked out arrangements which we were both OK with.

Your travel companions sound really inconsiderate and entitled, and I agree that talking about the issue before you go away together again is a good plan. And being prepared to say "OK, we'll eat here. See you back at the hotel / bar / museum in 2 hours"

Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Judah on April 03, 2013, 02:39:06 PM
Eat or don't eat what ever you want, but don't make it someone else's issue and don't ever, ever, ever say "no" to an idea unless you have a counter idea ready. If someone says "Chez Meathouse" and you open your guide book and say "oh, actually how about Hummus Chateau 3 blocks way", that's cool, but if someone says "Chez Meathouse" and you whine and say "but I can't eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeat there!" you can just just sit outside and pout by yourself while the rest of us get our carnivore on. Bonus if its raining and we get a window table.

This so much. 

Sampling the local cuisine is a huge part of travel for me, so traveling with someone who refuses to try new things would be a non-starter.  I'm just not going to do it. 
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: wyliefool on April 03, 2013, 03:49:29 PM
There's a big difference between picky eaters and people who have medical, religious or ethical needs.  These requirements have to be thoroughly discussed when travel plans are made.  We can easily travel with people who are vegan, who keep Kosher or who are diabetic. We can't travel with people who demand familiar North American food in Spain, Iceland or even England. After all, sampling local specialties are a major factor in travel. 

Also, picky eaters who don't have special dietary needs should not dictate the food choices of omnivores. 

 


I don't think any of that should be dictating the choices of others.  I won't go into a place where I *know* there will be smells that can set off my allergies, but I have no business saying that I won't split off so that you can try it.   Same with any other choice/restriction/need/ whatever -they don't get to say " I refuse to go where you want to go, but I also refuse to allow you to go by yourself. You have to live around my choice/restriction/need or I will make your regret it/embarrass you."  Which is essentially what insisting on staying together and making a scene about other people's choices is.
This. After the second time it took hours to agree on a place to eat, and after the first time of the whining and 'Eew get that away from me' I would say 'OK, I want to try __ for dinner tonight' [cue whining] 'Ok, that's fine, we can split up and meet later' Then start walking toward dinner. When they follow, whining, 'No, sorry, I'm not having a repeat of yesterday. You go find something you can enjoy and I'll do the same' If they went so far as to follow me into the restaurant, I'd say very clearly 'Table for 1, please' and completely ignore them.

Although, if I'd suffered thru this on one trip I'd be highly unlikely to travel w/ these children again. They are the living embodiment of why so many people hate tourists. I'd honestly probably tell them that too.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: The TARDIS on April 03, 2013, 11:23:53 PM
There's a big difference between picky eaters and people who have medical, religious or ethical needs.  These requirements have to be thoroughly discussed when travel plans are made.  We can easily travel with people who are vegan, who keep Kosher or who are diabetic. We can't travel with people who demand familiar North American food in Spain, Iceland or even England. After all, sampling local specialties are a major factor in travel. 

Also, picky eaters who don't have special dietary needs should not dictate the food choices of omnivores. 

 

This was part of the problem.  If Picky Eater A didn't like a food, she would proclaim that she "couldn't eat it."  The problem was she "couldn't eat" fish, chicken if it wasn't in tender/shredded form, beef if it wasn't served in hamburger form instead of steak, vegetables today because she had them yesterday, etc.  What's worse is that Picky Eater B, if we went to a restaurant with food he didn't like, would loudly proclaim "This is disgusting! Get it away from me!" and then make a big show of having to eat other food afterwards, which was a bit embarassing.

I do like the plan of alternating picking restaurants, and opting out if the restaurant picked doesn't have anything for you.

Oh for the love of....I can't deal with people like that. The nasty TARDIS in me is inclined to lean over closer and crunch or chew loudly in the upset person's face. Polite TARDIS who behaves herself would ask the person to go elsewhere and forage somewhere else if they can't tolerate the local food. I'm quite a foodie and I don't like to listen to somebody grumbling about my food choices.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: sweetonsno on April 04, 2013, 03:12:40 AM

Not so much: "We all want to go to and eat bosintang. You can go eat at MacDonald's by yourself." This comes across a bit more like an ousting, and I can see why it wouldn't go over too well.


What would you suggest in this situation, where everyone but 1 person wants to try something new and local/spicy/meaty and a lone person doesn't? I think saying those people shouldn't go eat that special thing they want isn't fair either. I would be incredibly frustrated by this situation. Sometimes I feel like it ends up always ending up with the least adventurous eater getting their way. And while I wouldn't be nasty about it, nor would I be OK with going to McDonald's to keep someone company rather than eating X thing I liked.

I'd be fine with something like, they come along to the restaurant but don't eat anything, but instead eat before or after, if that works at all. Not sure if it would in all cases, though.

Bear in mind that I'm approaching this question from Thipu's perspective. I'm taking into account that one person's "picky" might be another person's allergy, intolerance, or values-based restriction. I give people who have health or moral/religions restrictions a bit more leeway than people with vast quantities of gustatory preferences.

I think absolute "My way or the highway" attitudes are pretty off-putting whether they come from the majority or minority.

I think that if one member of the group has an absolute restriction, it's better for the group to be sensitive of it. Take, for instance, seafood restaurants. There are ones around here that literally have no fish-free options (beyond, perhaps, cole slaw. . . even the chips are fried in the same oil as the fish, which ). A person who cannot eat fish for one reason or another might not have anything to eat at all if everyone goes there.

If the group is only going to be in the vicinity of this restaurant once, of course they shouldn't all be expected to skip out on it. However, I think they should do the best to accommodate the other person as well as they could. Even offering a choice (say, "Would you prefer to split up and meet later, or do you want to sit with us while we eat and we'll help you find a place to get takeaway afterward?") would be preferable than telling them that they're out of luck. If, however, the group is going to be in the area for more than one meal, it would be gracious (no necessary, but gracious) for someone to offer to accompany the person who cannot eat at the one restaurant for at least one meal elsewhere.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: cicero on April 04, 2013, 05:08:34 AM
this. I think that *everyone* has to give a little - the very picky eaters (or people with allergies or other dietary requirements), have to sometimes be willing to eat at a more adventurous place (or at least be willing to *sit* there), and people who are adventurous might have to sit at the Gold Arches a few times.

Not me. On vacation, I don't eat what I can get at home.
I don't know, i'm not a fan of the golden arches, but if i were traveling with friends, and *everyone* was being reasonable, I would trade off a few fast food meals if they would go for a few adventurous/local/ethnic.  or at least, if they would sit with me in Chez LocalEthnic, I would sit in GoldenArches.

As Thipu and others pointed out, not everyone is *just* picky- sometimes there are religious/health/ethical reasons for not eating X or Y. If someone is being SS about it, that is one thing. But if everyone is being considerate and reasonable - then yes, I would trade a few Golden Arches/Pizza etc for a few Local/Ethnic
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: iridaceae on April 04, 2013, 05:37:01 AM
I've been to the McDonald's in Milan....because that's where our host's daughter wanted to eat. Since they were hosting us it seems to be beyond churlish and tacky to say "no way Jose; see you in an hour."  We ate at a McDonald's in Kaiserslautern not because we wanted to but because it was some big Eastery holiday and literally every other restaurant we saw was closed.

My point is it's easy to say "eat differently than home! It's why you're on vacation!" but real life sometimes intrudes. And sometimes etiquette dictates diplomacy.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: o_gal on April 04, 2013, 09:39:04 AM
this. I think that *everyone* has to give a little - the very picky eaters (or people with allergies or other dietary requirements), have to sometimes be willing to eat at a more adventurous place (or at least be willing to *sit* there), and people who are adventurous might have to sit at the Gold Arches a few times.

Not me. On vacation, I don't eat what I can get at home.
I don't know, i'm not a fan of the golden arches, but if i were traveling with friends, and *everyone* was being reasonable, I would trade off a few fast food meals if they would go for a few adventurous/local/ethnic.  or at least, if they would sit with me in Chez LocalEthnic, I would sit in GoldenArches.

As Thipu and others pointed out, not everyone is *just* picky- sometimes there are religious/health/ethical reasons for not eating X or Y. If someone is being SS about it, that is one thing. But if everyone is being considerate and reasonable - then yes, I would trade a few Golden Arches/Pizza etc for a few Local/Ethnic

Another thing to consider is what I can only describe as "homesickness". Sometimes, when you are travelling in an area that is extremely foreign to you, it can just get overwhelming to always be doing things that are unfamiliar. At first, it's probably awesome and you dive right into everything. But there might come a point where you or your travelling companion can't take it anymore and you/he/she just wants a little touch of the familiar. Of course, they should phrase it that way and be polite about it, but in that case, please cut them a little slack.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Thipu1 on April 04, 2013, 09:55:31 AM
I can understand this, o-gal.

After a week of fancy cruise ship food, we often get the urge for meat loaf with a good Mac & cheese. A diet of shrimp cocktails and prime rib loses its appeal. 

  Also, no matter how good the local food is, the stomach may just revolt. We have had this happen.  We don't get ill.  We just want to eat the simplest things possible.   

However,once the homesickness is taken care of, bring back the trippa Genovese! 
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: siamesecat2965 on April 04, 2013, 10:01:55 AM
I agree that all parties have to be willing to compromise in some form or another. I drove cross-country about 10 years ago with two friends. From NJ to AZ and back again. My one friend, who has gotten much better, used to be the world's pickiest eater. That being said, she was pretty good about finding SOMETHING on the menu she could eat, and told us so right off the bat.  Her main issue is condiments, saucees and dressings. So she'd order a plain burger. or plain chicken. My other friend is just plain picky. I am not. I am adventerous and prefer local cuisine to places I can eat at at home.  We discussed ahead of time, our food issues, i.e. one is picky, but will manage, and the fact I need to eat real meals, ice cream won't do for lunch or dinner and so on.

We did ok; we manaaged to get in some local flavor, although we did a  bit more fast food than was to my liking. Given a choice between a "local" eatery and McDonalds etc. they chose the familiar.

I'd travel with them again, and have done so.  I have another friend who is quite picky, and between that and some other issues regarding temperatures etc. I won't go anywhere with her if we have to share a room or make meal choices.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Cami on April 04, 2013, 10:39:25 AM
this. I think that *everyone* has to give a little - the very picky eaters (or people with allergies or other dietary requirements), have to sometimes be willing to eat at a more adventurous place (or at least be willing to *sit* there), and people who are adventurous might have to sit at the Gold Arches a few times.

Not me. On vacation, I don't eat what I can get at home.
I don't know, i'm not a fan of the golden arches, but if i were traveling with friends, and *everyone* was being reasonable, I would trade off a few fast food meals if they would go for a few adventurous/local/ethnic.  or at least, if they would sit with me in Chez LocalEthnic, I would sit in GoldenArches.

As Thipu and others pointed out, not everyone is *just* picky- sometimes there are religious/health/ethical reasons for not eating X or Y. If someone is being SS about it, that is one thing. But if everyone is being considerate and reasonable - then yes, I would trade a few Golden Arches/Pizza etc for a few Local/Ethnic

Another thing to consider is what I can only describe as "homesickness". Sometimes, when you are travelling in an area that is extremely foreign to you, it can just get overwhelming to always be doing things that are unfamiliar. At first, it's probably awesome and you dive right into everything. But there might come a point where you or your travelling companion can't take it anymore and you/he/she just wants a little touch of the familiar. Of course, they should phrase it that way and be polite about it, but in that case, please cut them a little slack.
I've felt that too. In fact, while in Italy -- we LOVE Italy, we love Italian food -- we got to the point where we were dying to have a Diet coke with ICE. When we finally got it, we were so thrilled. (And we were equally as thrilled to eat our lovely six course meal with wine that night.) So yes, it's perfectly possible to enjoy foreign cuisine, but want the occasional touch of the familiar. That desire doesn't make one a philistine or a bad tourist, it's a sign of being human.

Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: snowdragon on April 04, 2013, 11:54:04 AM
this. I think that *everyone* has to give a little - the very picky eaters (or people with allergies or other dietary requirements), have to sometimes be willing to eat at a more adventurous place (or at least be willing to *sit* there), and people who are adventurous might have to sit at the Gold Arches a few times.

Not me. On vacation, I don't eat what I can get at home.
I don't know, i'm not a fan of the golden arches, but if i were traveling with friends, and *everyone* was being reasonable, I would trade off a few fast food meals if they would go for a few adventurous/local/ethnic.  or at least, if they would sit with me in Chez LocalEthnic, I would sit in GoldenArches.

As Thipu and others pointed out, not everyone is *just* picky- sometimes there are religious/health/ethical reasons for not eating X or Y. If someone is being SS about it, that is one thing. But if everyone is being considerate and reasonable - then yes, I would trade a few Golden Arches/Pizza etc for a few Local/Ethnic

Another thing to consider is what I can only describe as "homesickness". Sometimes, when you are travelling in an area that is extremely foreign to you, it can just get overwhelming to always be doing things that are unfamiliar. At first, it's probably awesome and you dive right into everything. But there might come a point where you or your travelling companion can't take it anymore and you/he/she just wants a little touch of the familiar. Of course, they should phrase it that way and be polite about it, but in that case, please cut them a little slack.
I've felt that too. In fact, while in Italy -- we LOVE Italy, we love Italian food -- we got to the point where we were dying to have a Diet coke with ICE. When we finally got it, we were so thrilled. (And we were equally as thrilled to eat our lovely six course meal with wine that night.) So yes, it's perfectly possible to enjoy foreign cuisine, but want the occasional touch of the familiar. That desire doesn't make one a philistine or a bad tourist, it's a sign of being human.


   The desire for something familiar is one thing...dictating that others must not go to any place one does not approve of it.  One's diet restrictions are one's own business, but because one has them does not mean one's choices are any more important than one's companion's.   Folks can't come to a consensus? Time to split up and there is no need/choice/restriction that is so great that it gets to dictate that a group can not split up.  Sorry, but people with restrictions do not get that much control over others. 
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: TootsNYC on April 04, 2013, 12:23:34 PM
this. I think that *everyone* has to give a little - the very picky eaters (or people with allergies or other dietary requirements), have to sometimes be willing to eat at a more adventurous place (or at least be willing to *sit* there), and people who are adventurous might have to sit at the Gold Arches a few times.

Not me. On vacation, I don't eat what I can get at home.
I don't know, i'm not a fan of the golden arches, but if i were traveling with friends, and *everyone* was being reasonable, I would trade off a few fast food meals if they would go for a few adventurous/local/ethnic.  or at least, if they would sit with me in Chez LocalEthnic, I would sit in GoldenArches.

As Thipu and others pointed out, not everyone is *just* picky- sometimes there are religious/health/ethical reasons for not eating X or Y. If someone is being SS about it, that is one thing. But if everyone is being considerate and reasonable - then yes, I would trade a few Golden Arches/Pizza etc for a few Local/Ethnic

Another thing to consider is what I can only describe as "homesickness". Sometimes, when you are travelling in an area that is extremely foreign to you, it can just get overwhelming to always be doing things that are unfamiliar. At first, it's probably awesome and you dive right into everything. But there might come a point where you or your travelling companion can't take it anymore and you/he/she just wants a little touch of the familiar. Of course, they should phrase it that way and be polite about it, but in that case, please cut them a little slack.

That's my McDonald's story.

And Snowdragon, please remember that NOBODY has been advocating that the McDonald's eaters should always drag everybody to McDonald's.

The phrase "a few times" was very specifically inserted--please don't assume hyperbole that doesn't even exist.

I think the major point we all agree on is that BOTH sides of the spectrum should be accommodated at one time or another.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: snowdragon on April 04, 2013, 01:52:24 PM
this. I think that *everyone* has to give a little - the very picky eaters (or people with allergies or other dietary requirements), have to sometimes be willing to eat at a more adventurous place (or at least be willing to *sit* there), and people who are adventurous might have to sit at the Gold Arches a few times.

Not me. On vacation, I don't eat what I can get at home.
I don't know, i'm not a fan of the golden arches, but if i were traveling with friends, and *everyone* was being reasonable, I would trade off a few fast food meals if they would go for a few adventurous/local/ethnic.  or at least, if they would sit with me in Chez LocalEthnic, I would sit in GoldenArches.

As Thipu and others pointed out, not everyone is *just* picky- sometimes there are religious/health/ethical reasons for not eating X or Y. If someone is being SS about it, that is one thing. But if everyone is being considerate and reasonable - then yes, I would trade a few Golden Arches/Pizza etc for a few Local/Ethnic

Another thing to consider is what I can only describe as "homesickness". Sometimes, when you are travelling in an area that is extremely foreign to you, it can just get overwhelming to always be doing things that are unfamiliar. At first, it's probably awesome and you dive right into everything. But there might come a point where you or your travelling companion can't take it anymore and you/he/she just wants a little touch of the familiar. Of course, they should phrase it that way and be polite about it, but in that case, please cut them a little slack.

That's my McDonald's story.

And Snowdragon, please remember that NOBODY has been advocating that the McDonald's eaters should always drag everybody to McDonald's.

The phrase "a few times" was very specifically inserted--please don't assume hyperbole that doesn't even exist.

I think the major point we all agree on is that BOTH sides of the spectrum should be accommodated at one time or another.


No, we don't someone's reluctance to try new stuff, ethics, whatever, should never be dictating where others go to eat.  Someone wants to go to McD's they can go - but  under no circumstances would I tolerate, even once, being told I have to 'accommodate" that by eating there or even wasting time sitting there while someone else ate there.  Splitting up is an option,  being limited to what I can eat at a given meal because of someone else's unwillingness to make to the compromise of splitting up - is never going to be acceptable.    Not to me and it seems on this thread I am not the only one who would object.
   
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Cami on April 04, 2013, 02:19:46 PM
this. I think that *everyone* has to give a little - the very picky eaters (or people with allergies or other dietary requirements), have to sometimes be willing to eat at a more adventurous place (or at least be willing to *sit* there), and people who are adventurous might have to sit at the Gold Arches a few times.

Not me. On vacation, I don't eat what I can get at home.
I don't know, i'm not a fan of the golden arches, but if i were traveling with friends, and *everyone* was being reasonable, I would trade off a few fast food meals if they would go for a few adventurous/local/ethnic.  or at least, if they would sit with me in Chez LocalEthnic, I would sit in GoldenArches.

As Thipu and others pointed out, not everyone is *just* picky- sometimes there are religious/health/ethical reasons for not eating X or Y. If someone is being SS about it, that is one thing. But if everyone is being considerate and reasonable - then yes, I would trade a few Golden Arches/Pizza etc for a few Local/Ethnic

Another thing to consider is what I can only describe as "homesickness". Sometimes, when you are travelling in an area that is extremely foreign to you, it can just get overwhelming to always be doing things that are unfamiliar. At first, it's probably awesome and you dive right into everything. But there might come a point where you or your travelling companion can't take it anymore and you/he/she just wants a little touch of the familiar. Of course, they should phrase it that way and be polite about it, but in that case, please cut them a little slack.

That's my McDonald's story.

And Snowdragon, please remember that NOBODY has been advocating that the McDonald's eaters should always drag everybody to McDonald's.

The phrase "a few times" was very specifically inserted--please don't assume hyperbole that doesn't even exist.

I think the major point we all agree on is that BOTH sides of the spectrum should be accommodated at one time or another.


No, we don't someone's reluctance to try new stuff, ethics, whatever, should never be dictating where others go to eat.  Someone wants to go to McD's they can go - but  under no circumstances would I tolerate, even once, being told I have to 'accommodate" that by eating there or even wasting time sitting there while someone else ate there.  Splitting up is an option,  being limited to what I can eat at a given meal because of someone else's unwillingness to make to the compromise of splitting up - is never going to be acceptable.    Not to me and it seems on this thread I am not the only one who would object.
 
So... the other people are supposed to compromise by splitting up, but you won't compromise by eating a food that isn't your first choice?
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: snowdragon on April 04, 2013, 02:46:29 PM
this. I think that *everyone* has to give a little - the very picky eaters (or people with allergies or other dietary requirements), have to sometimes be willing to eat at a more adventurous place (or at least be willing to *sit* there), and people who are adventurous might have to sit at the Gold Arches a few times.

Not me. On vacation, I don't eat what I can get at home.
I don't know, i'm not a fan of the golden arches, but if i were traveling with friends, and *everyone* was being reasonable, I would trade off a few fast food meals if they would go for a few adventurous/local/ethnic.  or at least, if they would sit with me in Chez LocalEthnic, I would sit in GoldenArches.

As Thipu and others pointed out, not everyone is *just* picky- sometimes there are religious/health/ethical reasons for not eating X or Y. If someone is being SS about it, that is one thing. But if everyone is being considerate and reasonable - then yes, I would trade a few Golden Arches/Pizza etc for a few Local/Ethnic

Another thing to consider is what I can only describe as "homesickness". Sometimes, when you are travelling in an area that is extremely foreign to you, it can just get overwhelming to always be doing things that are unfamiliar. At first, it's probably awesome and you dive right into everything. But there might come a point where you or your travelling companion can't take it anymore and you/he/she just wants a little touch of the familiar. Of course, they should phrase it that way and be polite about it, but in that case, please cut them a little slack.

That's my McDonald's story.

And Snowdragon, please remember that NOBODY has been advocating that the McDonald's eaters should always drag everybody to McDonald's.

The phrase "a few times" was very specifically inserted--please don't assume hyperbole that doesn't even exist.

I think the major point we all agree on is that BOTH sides of the spectrum should be accommodated at one time or another.


No, we don't someone's reluctance to try new stuff, ethics, whatever, should never be dictating where others go to eat.  Someone wants to go to McD's they can go - but  under no circumstances would I tolerate, even once, being told I have to 'accommodate" that by eating there or even wasting time sitting there while someone else ate there.  Splitting up is an option,  being limited to what I can eat at a given meal because of someone else's unwillingness to make to the compromise of splitting up - is never going to be acceptable.    Not to me and it seems on this thread I am not the only one who would object.
 
So... the other people are supposed to compromise by splitting up, but you won't compromise by eating a food that isn't your first choice?

Nope, I won't.  their preferences do not get to control anyone else. Splitting up means that they get their food choices and  I get mine.  At least one of the other people in the OP would not split up, they wanted what they wanted, and would whine about it if they did not get it.    I don't travel to another country to eat at McD's - heck I don't eat at McD's more than a couple times a year at home - but I should do it a few times over the course of a vacation? Sorry, no.  Every time I eat at a McD's  takes away one more once in a life time experience from me - why does Ms Limited get to do that, simply because they can't order a Big Mac on their own.?
   
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Margo on April 04, 2013, 02:48:04 PM
this. I think that *everyone* has to give a little - the very picky eaters (or people with allergies or other dietary requirements), have to sometimes be willing to eat at a more adventurous place (or at least be willing to *sit* there), and people who are adventurous might have to sit at the Gold Arches a few times.

Not me. On vacation, I don't eat what I can get at home.
I don't know, i'm not a fan of the golden arches, but if i were traveling with friends, and *everyone* was being reasonable, I would trade off a few fast food meals if they would go for a few adventurous/local/ethnic.  or at least, if they would sit with me in Chez LocalEthnic, I would sit in GoldenArches.

As Thipu and others pointed out, not everyone is *just* picky- sometimes there are religious/health/ethical reasons for not eating X or Y. If someone is being SS about it, that is one thing. But if everyone is being considerate and reasonable - then yes, I would trade a few Golden Arches/Pizza etc for a few Local/Ethnic

Another thing to consider is what I can only describe as "homesickness". Sometimes, when you are travelling in an area that is extremely foreign to you, it can just get overwhelming to always be doing things that are unfamiliar. At first, it's probably awesome and you dive right into everything. But there might come a point where you or your travelling companion can't take it anymore and you/he/she just wants a little touch of the familiar. Of course, they should phrase it that way and be polite about it, but in that case, please cut them a little slack.

That's my McDonald's story.

And Snowdragon, please remember that NOBODY has been advocating that the McDonald's eaters should always drag everybody to McDonald's.

The phrase "a few times" was very specifically inserted--please don't assume hyperbole that doesn't even exist.

I think the major point we all agree on is that BOTH sides of the spectrum should be accommodated at one time or another.


No, we don't someone's reluctance to try new stuff, ethics, whatever, should never be dictating where others go to eat.  Someone wants to go to McD's they can go - but  under no circumstances would I tolerate, even once, being told I have to 'accommodate" that by eating there or even wasting time sitting there while someone else ate there.  Splitting up is an option,  being limited to what I can eat at a given meal because of someone else's unwillingness to make to the compromise of splitting up - is never going to be acceptable.    Not to me and it seems on this thread I am not the only one who would object.
 
So... the other people are supposed to compromise by splitting up, but you won't compromise by eating a food that isn't your first choice?
For me, this would depend on circumstances - I wouldn't want to eat in McDs but for a *pleasant* and *considerate* travelling companion, or one who is homesick, I'll* nurse a cup of their coffee while that friend eats.  And I would hope that they'd be willing to do the same if I want to eat at Awesome Local  Eatery. I'd see it as a way of spending a bit of time with thwat person, not as 'wasting' time.

I don't think that a total lack of willingness to compromise on either side is reasonable.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Eden on April 04, 2013, 02:59:06 PM
this. I think that *everyone* has to give a little - the very picky eaters (or people with allergies or other dietary requirements), have to sometimes be willing to eat at a more adventurous place (or at least be willing to *sit* there), and people who are adventurous might have to sit at the Gold Arches a few times.

Not me. On vacation, I don't eat what I can get at home.
I don't know, i'm not a fan of the golden arches, but if i were traveling with friends, and *everyone* was being reasonable, I would trade off a few fast food meals if they would go for a few adventurous/local/ethnic.  or at least, if they would sit with me in Chez LocalEthnic, I would sit in GoldenArches.

As Thipu and others pointed out, not everyone is *just* picky- sometimes there are religious/health/ethical reasons for not eating X or Y. If someone is being SS about it, that is one thing. But if everyone is being considerate and reasonable - then yes, I would trade a few Golden Arches/Pizza etc for a few Local/Ethnic

Another thing to consider is what I can only describe as "homesickness". Sometimes, when you are travelling in an area that is extremely foreign to you, it can just get overwhelming to always be doing things that are unfamiliar. At first, it's probably awesome and you dive right into everything. But there might come a point where you or your travelling companion can't take it anymore and you/he/she just wants a little touch of the familiar. Of course, they should phrase it that way and be polite about it, but in that case, please cut them a little slack.

That's my McDonald's story.

And Snowdragon, please remember that NOBODY has been advocating that the McDonald's eaters should always drag everybody to McDonald's.

The phrase "a few times" was very specifically inserted--please don't assume hyperbole that doesn't even exist.

I think the major point we all agree on is that BOTH sides of the spectrum should be accommodated at one time or another.


No, we don't someone's reluctance to try new stuff, ethics, whatever, should never be dictating where others go to eat.  Someone wants to go to McD's they can go - but  under no circumstances would I tolerate, even once, being told I have to 'accommodate" that by eating there or even wasting time sitting there while someone else ate there.  Splitting up is an option,  being limited to what I can eat at a given meal because of someone else's unwillingness to make to the compromise of splitting up - is never going to be acceptable.    Not to me and it seems on this thread I am not the only one who would object.
 
So... the other people are supposed to compromise by splitting up, but you won't compromise by eating a food that isn't your first choice?

Nope, I won't.  their preferences do not get to control anyone else. Splitting up means that they get their food choices and  I get mine.  At least one of the other people in the OP would not split up, they wanted what they wanted, and would whine about it if they did not get it.    I don't travel to another country to eat at McD's - heck I don't eat at McD's more than a couple times a year at home - but I should do it a few times over the course of a vacation? Sorry, no.  Every time I eat at a McD's  takes away one more once in a life time experience from me - why does Ms Limited get to do that, simply because they can't order a Big Mac on their own.?
 

In this case I think you should not travel with someone like that.

Why does your preference for local fare get to make your (I assume) friend eat alone throughout the entire trip. It boggles me that you don't see you're taking the exact same stance on the opposite end of the spectrum. I think in most reasonable circumstances, all sides should compromise some.

If I take food out of the equation and make it about two friends vacationing, one who likes excursions an one who likes to lay on the beach. If one's aversion to the other type of activity was so strong, they should not vacation together. But if they do vacation together, both should compromise so that both get experiences they enjoy. Go on an excursion one day, lay on the beach the next.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: snowdragon on April 04, 2013, 03:18:32 PM
this. I think that *everyone* has to give a little - the very picky eaters (or people with allergies or other dietary requirements), have to sometimes be willing to eat at a more adventurous place (or at least be willing to *sit* there), and people who are adventurous might have to sit at the Gold Arches a few times.

Not me. On vacation, I don't eat what I can get at home.
I don't know, i'm not a fan of the golden arches, but if i were traveling with friends, and *everyone* was being reasonable, I would trade off a few fast food meals if they would go for a few adventurous/local/ethnic.  or at least, if they would sit with me in Chez LocalEthnic, I would sit in GoldenArches.

As Thipu and others pointed out, not everyone is *just* picky- sometimes there are religious/health/ethical reasons for not eating X or Y. If someone is being SS about it, that is one thing. But if everyone is being considerate and reasonable - then yes, I would trade a few Golden Arches/Pizza etc for a few Local/Ethnic

Another thing to consider is what I can only describe as "homesickness". Sometimes, when you are travelling in an area that is extremely foreign to you, it can just get overwhelming to always be doing things that are unfamiliar. At first, it's probably awesome and you dive right into everything. But there might come a point where you or your travelling companion can't take it anymore and you/he/she just wants a little touch of the familiar. Of course, they should phrase it that way and be polite about it, but in that case, please cut them a little slack.

That's my McDonald's story.

And Snowdragon, please remember that NOBODY has been advocating that the McDonald's eaters should always drag everybody to McDonald's.

The phrase "a few times" was very specifically inserted--please don't assume hyperbole that doesn't even exist.

I think the major point we all agree on is that BOTH sides of the spectrum should be accommodated at one time or another.


No, we don't someone's reluctance to try new stuff, ethics, whatever, should never be dictating where others go to eat.  Someone wants to go to McD's they can go - but  under no circumstances would I tolerate, even once, being told I have to 'accommodate" that by eating there or even wasting time sitting there while someone else ate there.  Splitting up is an option,  being limited to what I can eat at a given meal because of someone else's unwillingness to make to the compromise of splitting up - is never going to be acceptable.    Not to me and it seems on this thread I am not the only one who would object.
 
So... the other people are supposed to compromise by splitting up, but you won't compromise by eating a food that isn't your first choice?

Nope, I won't.  their preferences do not get to control anyone else. Splitting up means that they get their food choices and  I get mine.  At least one of the other people in the OP would not split up, they wanted what they wanted, and would whine about it if they did not get it.    I don't travel to another country to eat at McD's - heck I don't eat at McD's more than a couple times a year at home - but I should do it a few times over the course of a vacation? Sorry, no.  Every time I eat at a McD's  takes away one more once in a life time experience from me - why does Ms Limited get to do that, simply because they can't order a Big Mac on their own.?
 

In this case I think you should not travel with someone like that.

Why does your preference for local fare get to make your (I assume) friend eat alone throughout the entire trip. It boggles me that you don't see you're taking the exact same stance on the opposite end of the spectrum. I think in most reasonable circumstances, all sides should compromise some.

If I take food out of the equation and make it about two friends vacationing, one who likes excursions an one who likes to lay on the beach. If one's aversion to the other type of activity was so strong, they should not vacation together. But if they do vacation together, both should compromise so that both get experiences they enjoy. Go on an excursion one day, lay on the beach the next.

  Because they can make a choice for themselves, they do not  get to make choices for anyone else.   They are making the choice to limit themselves - are also making the choice to eat alone.  But just because they want company, their choice of what to put in their stomachs does not supersede mine. Especially when their only acceptable choice is something I can get at home. 
 
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Eden on April 04, 2013, 03:31:16 PM
  Because they can make a choice for themselves, they do not  get to make choices for anyone else.   They are making the choice to limit themselves - are also making the choice to eat alone.  But just because they want company, their choice of what to put in their stomachs does not supersede mine. Especially when their only acceptable choice is something I can get at home.   

It certainly is their choice. As is it is your choice to be unwilling to compromise or accommodate a friend.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: snowdragon on April 04, 2013, 03:41:28 PM
  Because they can make a choice for themselves, they do not  get to make choices for anyone else.   They are making the choice to limit themselves - are also making the choice to eat alone.  But just because they want company, their choice of what to put in their stomachs does not supersede mine. Especially when their only acceptable choice is something I can get at home.   

It certainly is their choice. As is it is your choice to be unwilling to compromise or accommodate a friend.

Seems to me that only one side of the equation is expected to be accommodating.  The ones who are limiting themselves seem to be being given a pass.



Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Eden on April 04, 2013, 04:24:01 PM
  Because they can make a choice for themselves, they do not  get to make choices for anyone else.   They are making the choice to limit themselves - are also making the choice to eat alone.  But just because they want company, their choice of what to put in their stomachs does not supersede mine. Especially when their only acceptable choice is something I can get at home.   

It certainly is their choice. As is it is your choice to be unwilling to compromise or accommodate a friend.

Seems to me that only one side of the equation is expected to be accommodating.  The ones who are limiting themselves seem to be being given a pass.

That's an interesting perspective on the idea of sometimes going somewhere you prefer and sometimes going somewhere your travel companion prefers.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: stargazer on April 04, 2013, 04:27:37 PM
  Because they can make a choice for themselves, they do not  get to make choices for anyone else.   They are making the choice to limit themselves - are also making the choice to eat alone.  But just because they want company, their choice of what to put in their stomachs does not supersede mine. Especially when their only acceptable choice is something I can get at home.   

It certainly is their choice. As is it is your choice to be unwilling to compromise or accommodate a friend.

Seems to me that only one side of the equation is expected to be accommodating.  The ones who are limiting themselves seem to be being given a pass.

I have not seen one single person on this thread say that picky eaters should be given a pass.  However, you are the only one I've seen that won't accommodate the other side even once.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: WillyNilly on April 04, 2013, 04:28:08 PM
  Because they can make a choice for themselves, they do not  get to make choices for anyone else.   They are making the choice to limit themselves - are also making the choice to eat alone.  But just because they want company, their choice of what to put in their stomachs does not supersede mine. Especially when their only acceptable choice is something I can get at home.   

It certainly is their choice. As is it is your choice to be unwilling to compromise or accommodate a friend.

Seems to me that only one side of the equation is expected to be accommodating.  The ones who are limiting themselves seem to be being given a pass.

Where did you get that from?
The suggestion of McD's was "a few times", which means the other times the picky eater would be going to the local-fare eateries.
Which means both sides would be accommodating each other.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: rose red on April 04, 2013, 05:00:16 PM
Going to McDonald's (and Pizza Hut) in other countries is an interesting experience.  They have food that's not available in the US.  Food seems fresher too (at least in Asia) because there's so many competition. 

Like a PP, eating local food is great, but once in a while I just crave fast food in the middle of it all.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: NyaChan on April 04, 2013, 05:12:58 PM
Yup! the Pizza Hut in India was really yummy and the staff did a Bhangra Birthday dance to celebrate another table.  I wasn't thrilled about having to eat there at first, but it ended up being almost another sightseeing experience lol
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: kherbert05 on April 04, 2013, 05:36:49 PM
I see Snowdragon's point. Also splitting up doesn't mean eating alone. I will not eat in several American Fast Food places because either a) I've had allergic reactions to their food or b) I don't get a dependable answer to my allergy questions. Some of my family love these places. We often "split up" go to places we like and meet up at a park to eat together.

I had 2 nasty experiences traveling with school groups being dragged into American fast food places instead of eating local matched with eating local being having haggis when there were more in the middle choices available. That made me decide that when I travel in the future any companions and I will have serious conversations about how we want to travel including eating.

I want to be adventurous - but I also have "food can kill you or make you feel that death would be better than this" issues. So I get the picky eater's point of view also. BIL is a foody in some ways. Sis is great about finding places he gets what he enjoys and I get to start in a safe place and expand what I eat. I've also been trying food from places that don't use peanuts and shell fish. That eliminates death and most of the death would be better situations.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: blarg314 on April 04, 2013, 11:12:13 PM

Not me. On vacation, I don't eat what I can get at home.
I don't know, i'm not a fan of the golden arches, but if i were traveling with friends, and *everyone* was being reasonable, I would trade off a few fast food meals if they would go for a few adventurous/local/ethnic.  or at least, if they would sit with me in Chez LocalEthnic, I would sit in GoldenArches.

As Thipu and others pointed out, not everyone is *just* picky- sometimes there are religious/health/ethical reasons for not eating X or Y. If someone is being SS about it, that is one thing. But if everyone is being considerate and reasonable - then yes, I would trade a few Golden Arches/Pizza etc for a few Local/Ethnic

I think it comes down to different definitions of a reasonable trade.

I wouldn't consider eating at McDonalds a reasonable trade for eating at Chez LocalEthnic on vacation. I *would* trade eating at McDonalds for dinner at the local night market with no knowledge of the local language, or a dinner at a restaurant specializing in offal.

(Mind you, I wouldn't actually expect a difficult eater to go anywhere near a local nightmarket meal. That would probably be a good point for us to split up and have them go to McDonalds.).

If I'm somewhere for an extended period, going to Pizza Hut or McDonalds can be entertaining. But on a short trip, seeing what the local version of McDonalds hamburgers is is pretty low on my priority list, compared to all the other options.


Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Allyson on April 05, 2013, 12:48:53 AM
I think someone can either say 'I don't want to split up' or 'I don't want to eat there', but not both. If someone's going to absolutely refuse to go somewhere ever, be it Local Place or McDonald's, they can't also specify 'don't leave me'. If neither party wants to split up, then the only option seems to be, they both go to the place the other wants and perhaps have a drink while their friend eats.

Splitting who chooses the restaurants might work for some people, but not always, if there is one or more parties who won't/can't eat at some places. I would be really unhappy giving up half my dinners to eat at a fast food place while on vacation, and equally someone who doesn't want to eat non-Western food isn't going to be very happy to get dragged to local places half the time.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: lowspark on April 05, 2013, 08:04:11 AM
I am going to side with Snowdragon. I'd much rather split than eat at McDonald's on vacation. Especially for multiple meals. Eating alone isn't as terrible as one might think. I've traveled alone and eaten in foreign restaurants alone. It's not as fun as eating with others but it's not a horrible experience either.

I do agree that people whose traveling styles don't mesh shouldn't travel together. But sometimes, you can find yourself stuck in that very situation for various reasons, sometimes beyond your control. Then you do have to find a way to work things out. Although sometimes the ideal solution is "you do what I want today and I'll do what you want tomorrow", sometimes it can be, "let's each go our separate ways and meet back".

It just doesn't make sense to me that the compromise is each person spending some of their time being miserable while the other one is happy. So for example, I abhor sitting on the beach all day doing absolutely nothing. I'd be miserable doing that. On the other hand, there are folks who would be miserable trudging through museums all day or shopping all day, two things I love to do. For me to make them spend their day doing those things and being miserable, and then turn around spending my day on the beach to make up for it, well, it just doesn't make sense to me.

Trading off activities is something that only works if both people are at least ammenable to the different activities. In the case of meals, eating a fast food burger on vacation would make me pretty unhappy. If I had my heart set on eating at Chez LocalEthnic but my traveling companion wanted to eat at ChezLocalNotEthnic, I could compromise and do that. But I don't see Chez LocalAnything as a fair trade off for McD's.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: rigs32 on April 05, 2013, 09:58:54 AM
It sounds like the basic issue is one of communication.  Had there been a discussion before the trip regarding food preference and the choice to split up or stay together, hopefully an understanding could have been reached.  But the issue arose while on the trip. 

I guess I don't see how splitting up is a failure to accommodate or compromise.  If the picky eater wanted company, each person *could* get take out and eat together in a separate location.  But why is constant companionship a requirement?  I find it difficult to be with a traveling companion 24/7.  Even my SO and I take time to do our own thing when traveling so we don't get sick of each other.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: TootsNYC on April 05, 2013, 10:03:19 AM

It just doesn't make sense to me that the compromise is each person spending some of their time being miserable while the other one is happy. So for example, I abhor sitting on the beach all day doing absolutely nothing. I'd be miserable doing that. On the other hand, there are folks who would be miserable trudging through museums all day or shopping all day, two things I love to do. For me to make them spend their day doing those things and being miserable, and then turn around spending my day on the beach to make up for it, well, it just doesn't make sense to me.


Truly miserable? There is absolutely nothing at the beach that you could find to enjoy if you went here for *part* of your vacation? There is absolutely no way to find the slightest bit of interest or enjoyment in a trip to the museum?

That sounds like the picky eaters in the OP--they can't set aside their personal preferences long enough to discover that the might actually BE *something* enjoyable  even if the basic event is not to their tastes.

(Not that I personally think splitting up is so bad. I just wonder sometimes if there are too many people in our world who want to only ever do things THEIR way.)
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: NyaChan on April 05, 2013, 10:24:45 AM
Well look at this way -

You can't wear just a swimsuit for various reasons.  You wear it with capris and a jacket to cover your arms.  You don't like being in the sun, because it is very uncomfortable for you heat-wise and you tan at an alarming rate (i.e. milky tea to americano coffee with one dollop of cream in one day).  If you go to the beach, you spend the whole day chasing the shade, of which there is very little, wiping off sweat, wrapping yourself in a towel to escape the sun, and trying really hard not to look like you are miserable because then it might spoil the fun of the person you are with who is there to lay out and tan. 

Will I do it?  Yes, and I have.  But that is a period of time that I did not in the least enjoy, especially since we'd been to the beach the day before to snorkel and the other person had opportunities to lay out, both on the beach and on the deck of the cruise ship every day of our 5 day vacation, albeit without my immediate company for a lot of it (I picked chairs that were in the shade while she picked ones out on the deck).  Luckily, this is a friend I am very close to, and despite my efforts to look like I was comfortable, she cut the second beach day short, recognizing that there was a better compromise available where both of us could have something fairly close to what we actually enjoy.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Venus193 on April 05, 2013, 10:33:23 AM
I would not have put up with it. This is a HUGE peeve of mine. At first I would have been nice, but by the 3rd or fourth meal and or whining session I would have told the person off.

Eat or don't eat what ever you want, but don't make it someone else's issue and don't ever, ever, ever say "no" to an idea unless you have a counter idea ready. If someone says "Chez Meathouse" and you open your guide book and say "oh, actually how about Hummus Chateau 3 blocks way", that's cool, but if someone says "Chez Meathouse" and you whine and say "but I can't eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeat there!" you can just just sit outside and pout by yourself while the rest of us get our carnivore on. Bonus if its raining and we get a window table.

Guide books, for tourists and most likely for locals as well, are not hard to come by and list restaurants by all sorts of methods - by food, by neighborhood, by price. Picky eaters especially should invest in one or more.

In a group, everyone has to compromise a little, and sometimes in a restaurant of "familiar" foods is super fun (McDonalds in Japan has rice balls, in London people eat Pizza Hut with utensils, etc) to see how is done there, but food exploration is a HUGE HUGE HUGE part of traveling and under no circumstances would I let someone's pickiness stifle my foodie-ness continuously. People can make do, or separate but dictating and whining are not ok.

Exponential ditto on this before I've even read the rest of the thread (which it is my usual habit to do).
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: lowspark on April 05, 2013, 10:48:52 AM

It just doesn't make sense to me that the compromise is each person spending some of their time being miserable while the other one is happy. So for example, I abhor sitting on the beach all day doing absolutely nothing. I'd be miserable doing that. On the other hand, there are folks who would be miserable trudging through museums all day or shopping all day, two things I love to do. For me to make them spend their day doing those things and being miserable, and then turn around spending my day on the beach to make up for it, well, it just doesn't make sense to me.


Truly miserable? There is absolutely nothing at the beach that you could find to enjoy if you went here for *part* of your vacation? There is absolutely no way to find the slightest bit of interest or enjoyment in a trip to the museum?

That sounds like the picky eaters in the OP--they can't set aside their personal preferences long enough to discover that the might actually BE *something* enjoyable  even if the basic event is not to their tastes.

(Not that I personally think splitting up is so bad. I just wonder sometimes if there are too many people in our world who want to only ever do things THEIR way.)

Yup, truly miserable. I know because I did it. Once. I spent the day on the beach with two people who loved the beach. It wasn't even a vacation, it was one friend who was in town visiting me and another friend. We live 50 miles from the beach and visiting friend really wanted to go so we went. They spent most of the day in the water. I don't like going out into the water so I spent most of the day sitting under the parasol, hot, sweaty and uncomfortable. I did bring things to do, books, magazines, etc.

But I was still bored stiff, totally uncomfortable, and as it turns out, mildly sunburned at the end of the day because the shade simply does not protect you as much as I thought it would. Yeah, I would have covered up more had I known, but then I would have been even hotter and more uncomfortable. (And I'm dark complected so I don't burn easily.)

I learned my lesson. One hour on the beach is my limit. I will happily occupy myself for that long if my companion wants to frolic or venture out into the surf or take a walk in the sand or whatever. Any more than that and I'm going to have to decline.

As far as others occupying themselves in a museum, I can't really answer that because I love them. But I do know people who pretty much refuse to go at all, so I'm sure that for them, it's equivalent to my experience at the beach. Different strokes, as they say.

I just don't get the idea that it's so important to force yourself to do something you really really don't want to do for the sake of togetherness. It's not so much that I insist on doing things my way. As I said, I'm perfectly willing to compromise in some areas. It's more that I insist on not doing things that I already know from experience that I will not be happy doing.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Venus193 on April 05, 2013, 11:14:25 AM
I think someone can either say 'I don't want to split up' or 'I don't want to eat there', but not both. If someone's going to absolutely refuse to go somewhere ever, be it Local Place or McDonald's, they can't also specify 'don't leave me'. If neither party wants to split up, then the only option seems to be, they both go to the place the other wants and perhaps have a drink while their friend eats.

Splitting who chooses the restaurants might work for some people, but not always, if there is one or more parties who won't/can't eat at some places. I would be really unhappy giving up half my dinners to eat at a fast food place while on vacation, and equally someone who doesn't want to eat non-Western food isn't going to be very happy to get dragged to local places half the time.

Absolutely this.

I have only ever traveled once with a picky eater (who couldn't handle any spices).  She had no problem ordering plain food wherever we went on that vacation.  She had her plain steak and bottled water while the other woman and I had Seafood Specialty of the House.  We didn't once eat in McDonalds or Pizza Hut.

A couple of years later another person requested advice on traveling to the same destination; she was planning an itinerary that involved five other people, none of whom had been there either.  When the conversation turned to food I advised her to check out the local pubs and various ethnic restaurants and forget about McDonalds and pizza.  She said "Oh, that's going to be a problem; what will Boyfriend eat?"

I have no idea what happened because none of the people in that party were willing to talk about the trip after the fact.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: AnnaJ on April 05, 2013, 11:32:03 AM
I'm surprised so many people think that eating by yourself is some sort of punishment.  When I've traveled with friends I've never felt the need to be with them all of the time, including at mealtime - if someone wants to eat a place A, then they can eat at place A while I eat at place B, not a problem.

I can understand if everyone is traveling by car and you only want to make one stop, or the occasions some people have mentioned where local friends want to treat them, but most of the time it seems reasonable to go your separate way and find what you want to eat - not because it's selfish or you want things your own way, but because it avoids needless stress.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Venus193 on April 05, 2013, 11:39:42 AM
I eat alone 90% of the time so this wouldn't bother me.  I think part of the issue in this thread is about people who aren't comfortable traveling [relatively] alone.

Since I hate the idea of being insulated in escorted tour groups most of the time I do my homework on a destination and work out my own itinerary.  I can't travel with people who are too insecure with that.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: daen on April 05, 2013, 12:23:25 PM
Sometimes there are considerations other than food.

On my one major overseas trip, I swore I would not set foot in a McD's. I was travelling alone, so I didn't have anyone else's food preferences to contend with. However, I started getting tired of being on my own All The Time.
When I ran into a congenial bunch of Aussies who folded me into their group, I stuck with them all evening for companionship, and we went to a McD's. I didn't eat anything (although the baby Brie on the menu - a tie-in to a Disney movie that was on at the time - did sound much more appetizing than anything I had ever seen in my country's McD's), and I was inside a Golden Arches, but it was worth it to be with some nice people for a while.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 05, 2013, 01:59:51 PM
My sister is one of the pickiest eaters I know, but she is willing to try new cuisines and restaurants.

I will not travel with MIL, who feels the need to share exactly what she thinks about anyone else's food.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: stargazer on April 05, 2013, 02:05:52 PM
I am considered a picky eater by some (I will eat all fruit sans tomatoes but few veggies, no beans, potatoes, seafood or spicy food - although I will eat things MADE with tomatoes like sauce or potatoes like fries).  However, I can find something to eat at almost any restaurant and unless I already know from the ingredients I won't like it, I will try something new.  Just discovered I liked avocado egg rolls (my resolution for this year was trying new things).  It sounds like the problem most people are dealing with is not picky eaters, but entitled eaters.  (The only problem I have run into is people mocking my food choices for being boring - hey, if I'm eating here with you and happy with my food, how bout NOT commenting on my pasta with cheese and butter and comparing me to your kid when it's the only thing I want to eat in a seafood restaurant?).
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Mikayla on April 05, 2013, 03:19:34 PM
It sounds like the basic issue is one of communication.  Had there been a discussion before the trip regarding food preference and the choice to split up or stay together, hopefully an understanding could have been reached.  But the issue arose while on the trip. 

I guess I don't see how splitting up is a failure to accommodate or compromise.  If the picky eater wanted company, each person *could* get take out and eat together in a separate location.  But why is constant companionship a requirement?  I find it difficult to be with a traveling companion 24/7.  Even my SO and I take time to do our own thing when traveling so we don't get sick of each other.

I agree with this.  It's never happened to me, because anyone who knows me well enough to travel with me knows I'm all about the ethnic cuisine!  But if this somehow did occur, there's no way I'd let it happen more than once.   I'd just wander off by myself, or set up a Plan B for the adventurous ones.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: iridaceae on April 07, 2013, 06:17:00 AM


Since I hate the idea of being insulated in escorted tour groups most of the time I do my homework on a destination and work out my own itinerary.  I can't travel with people who are too insecure with that.

Massively interesting assumptions there about people who have traveled on tours. Also about tours.

Snowdragon,  as I said upthread we ate at a McDonald's in Milan because our Italian host's daughter desperately wanted to; what would you have done?
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Margo on April 07, 2013, 09:08:55 AM
I eat alone 90% of the time so this wouldn't bother me.  I think part of the issue in this thread is about people who aren't comfortable traveling [relatively] alone.

Since I hate the idea of being insulated in escorted tour groups most of the time I do my homework on a destination and work out my own itinerary.  I can't travel with people who are too insecure with that.

I'm surprised so many people think that eating by yourself is some sort of punishment.  When I've traveled with friends I've never felt the need to be with them all of the time, including at mealtime - if someone wants to eat a place A, then they can eat at place A while I eat at place B, not a problem.

I can understand if everyone is traveling by car and you only want to make one stop, or the occasions some people have mentioned where local friends want to treat them, but most of the time it seems reasonable to go your separate way and find what you want to eat - not because it's selfish or you want things your own way, but because it avoids needless stress.

I think a lot of people do find eating (out) alone very hard, especially in a foreign or unfamiliar place - I personally don't see it as a punishment, but I can understand the perspective of those for whom "just split up" isn't a good solution. That's one of the reasons why I would see sitting with / having a coffee with the person who wanted to eat somewhere I didn't as being a potential way of compromising, as well as the possibility of separating completely for meals.

Equally, while I would never chose to be part of a tour, I don't think one should assume that those who do, do so out of insecurity, any more than one would assume that someone who choses to read a guidebook rather than wander around is insecure. It's simply a personal preference. (after all, someone travelling outside their homeland for the first time , even with a tour group, may be being far braver and more adventurous than some one who travels a lot and is in the same city as an independent traveller, once you take into account the starting point and experience of each..)
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: *inviteseller on April 07, 2013, 10:00:48 AM
I hatehatehate people whose eating issues take over and become everyone's issue.  I don't eat meat, but my dad's favorite place to go out to is a steakhouse with very little choices for me...but I make do with an appetizer and salad.  I don't stomp my feet and whine and say but I don't liike that!  I worked with someone though that took pickiness to an art form.  There were only 5 of us, so on Fridays we would pick from over 40 different places to order from for a group lunch.  Each one of us took a turn picking a place but she started whining because she only liked 2-3 places.  So, the boss, who was spinesless when it came to her, let her keep picking.  The problem?  2 of the places literally each had 1 thing on the menu I could eat, and I had tried both and did not care for them at all.  The third was so expensive that I could not justify spending the money, so I quit joining in for lunch.  I was berated for being too picky (????) and yelled at because I ordered from another place instead.  Everyone has different food tastes, and it can be difficult to appease everyone, but with co operation it can be done.  When a few hold the whole group hostage from enjoying a local food in a foreign country (which is part of the fun of traveling!) then it is time to cut them loose from the travel group, or simply saying "the majority wants to go to place A, so go find whatever you want to eat and we will meet back up late."
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: ettiquit on April 10, 2013, 01:53:12 PM
Slight thread-jack - I have a rule that I must go to McDonalds once anytime I'm in a new country.  Every country changes up the menu (Rome served beer, Greece has gyros), and I amuse myself by taking this tradition very seriously.  Thankfully, my DH doesn't mind indulging this, although I would never expect anyone I'm traveling with to eat a McD's with me.  I wouldn't expect them to sit with me either, assuming that transportation isn't an issue. 
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Twik on April 10, 2013, 03:34:14 PM
McDonalds does blackened chicken outside of Houston. Quite good, actually.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: sammycat on April 10, 2013, 09:48:20 PM
Slight thread-jack - I have a rule that I must go to McDonalds once anytime I'm in a new country.  Every country changes up the menu (Rome served beer, Greece has gyros), and I amuse myself by taking this tradition very seriously.  Thankfully, my DH doesn't mind indulging this, although I would never expect anyone I'm traveling with to eat a McD's with me.  I wouldn't expect them to sit with me either, assuming that transportation isn't an issue.

I love visiting foreign McDonalds too, for this reason. It's interesting to see the differences between foreign McDonalds and my local ones.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Sophia on April 11, 2013, 10:48:26 AM
It is funny that I NEVER go to McDonald's at home.  Rarely burger fast food of any kind.  But, usually once per trip I usually go.  I'll crave french fries and a giant soda.  Mcdonald's is usually the place outside the U.S. to get both.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Cami on April 11, 2013, 11:00:14 AM
Slight thread-jack - I have a rule that I must go to McDonalds once anytime I'm in a new country.  Every country changes up the menu (Rome served beer, Greece has gyros), and I amuse myself by taking this tradition very seriously.  Thankfully, my DH doesn't mind indulging this, although I would never expect anyone I'm traveling with to eat a McD's with me.  I wouldn't expect them to sit with me either, assuming that transportation isn't an issue.

I love visiting foreign McDonalds too, for this reason. It's interesting to see the differences between foreign McDonalds and my local ones.

Now this is funny:  my sister had an au pair from Poland for awhile, and the only place she wanted to eat was McDonald's, because she just LOVED the McDonald's back in Poland.
We get a lot of foreign visitors from many different countries in my office and their top two choices for eating out are:
1. McDonald's
2. A steakhouse

In fact, we actually had an incident with a group of foreign dignitaries who were treated to a truly awesome dinner party at someone's home. They asked their host if they could leave and go to McDonald's.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Thipu1 on April 11, 2013, 01:28:56 PM
Back in the days of the USSR friends from the museum would sometimes play host to scholars visiting for conferences.  They were the opposite of picky eaters.  When asked what sort of food they wanted to try in NYC, the answer was always, 'MEAT'.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: BuffaloFang on April 15, 2013, 10:47:47 AM
Funnily enough, the country we went to was one of the few first world countries with absolutely no McDonalds, so at least we were spared that.

The issue itself, however, extends to more than just while in a foreign country.  When we go out to eat as a group in our hometown, the same two people tend to be making the stipulations on our dining options.  The difference being that the rest of the group doesn't really tend to care at home (though there has been a little bit of tension about it), since it's not a "This is our only chance to try *foreign specialty!*. 

Perhaps that was the bigger problem: they had grown accustomed to having their pickiness accommodated and couldn't see why it was different abroad.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Midge on April 17, 2013, 09:20:48 AM
Slight thread-jack - I have a rule that I must go to McDonalds once anytime I'm in a new country.  Every country changes up the menu (Rome served beer, Greece has gyros), and I amuse myself by taking this tradition very seriously.  Thankfully, my DH doesn't mind indulging this, although I would never expect anyone I'm traveling with to eat a McD's with me.  I wouldn't expect them to sit with me either, assuming that transportation isn't an issue.

I love visiting foreign McDonalds too, for this reason. It's interesting to see the differences between foreign McDonalds and my local ones.

That's how my hubby and I are when we travel. We try one restaurant "from home"--TGIFriday's in London, McDonald's in France, etc--just to see what it's like. We also try the Coca Cola in each country, go to grocery stores, and watch several hours of television. It gives you a nice perspective on the normal lives of normal people in the country.

We spend the rest of our time wandering, taking tours, trying the local cuisine, and talking and drinking with anyone who'll talk and drink with us.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: LadyClaire on April 17, 2013, 02:06:08 PM
I have an extremely picky co-worker. She won't eat veggies of any sort, and pretty much only likes pasta, chicken fingers, and cheeseburgers from one particular place but not from anywhere else. When we have a group lunch, or a work related lunch, we all end up limited by the very few places she will eat. Even when it's someone else's birthday lunch. I'm all for telling her just to suck it up, try something new, or just don't go, but most of the other people will say "Ohh, it would be MEAN to exclude her/tell her she just has to deal with it".

It's very frustrating sometimes.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: magicdomino on April 17, 2013, 02:51:57 PM

It just doesn't make sense to me that the compromise is each person spending some of their time being miserable while the other one is happy. So for example, I abhor sitting on the beach all day doing absolutely nothing. I'd be miserable doing that. On the other hand, there are folks who would be miserable trudging through museums all day or shopping all day, two things I love to do. For me to make them spend their day doing those things and being miserable, and then turn around spending my day on the beach to make up for it, well, it just doesn't make sense to me.


Truly miserable? There is absolutely nothing at the beach that you could find to enjoy if you went here for *part* of your vacation? There is absolutely no way to find the slightest bit of interest or enjoyment in a trip to the museum?

*raises hand*  I'm another one who is truly miserable at the beach, for much of the same reasons as other posters have mentioned:  heat, sunburn, sand in your underwear, overall boredom.  I don't like swimming, and haven't worn a bathing suit in many years.  In fact, I went on a cruise to the Caribbean, and never went anywhere near a beach.  Having said that, I wouldn't go on a vacation to a beach area with someone who loves the beach, anymore than I'd go on vacation with someone whose eating habits are drastically different than mine.  This is why most of my vacations have been by myself. 
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Venus193 on April 17, 2013, 04:22:33 PM
Ditto.  I don't get the beach vacation thing and always wonder why honeymoons are expected to be at such places.

As for the picky cow-irker who always wins the restaurant battle?  The other co-workers are enabling her.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: lurkerwisp on April 17, 2013, 04:56:37 PM
I hatehatehate people whose eating issues take over and become everyone's issue. 


I confess that I have an eating issue which does dictate where I can go when a group of friends wants to get together for food.  I have a severe skin allergy to coconut.  As such, I cannot set foot in a Thai restaurant ever.  What's more, if someone were to eat something with coconut in it and then say, hug me, I'd be a resident of hive city for the next week.  My friends and family are aware of this, but occasionally forget.  If everyone else wanted to go for coconut-laden-food I'd have to just decline.

On vacation I'd not feel particularly safe being left alone in a foreign city.  I think I would have to insist that something that would cause a serious medical issue abroad be avoided out of respect for my safety.  If my travel buddies couldn't do that little for me I don't think we'd be friends anymore after traveling.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Moray on April 17, 2013, 05:11:26 PM
Ditto.  I don't get the beach vacation thing and always wonder why honeymoons are expected to be at such places.

As for the picky cow-irker who always wins the restaurant battle?  The other co-workers are enabling her.

Because honeymooners want to go someplace they consider romantic, and many of them (like other, non-honeymooning people ;)) find the beach romantic, relaxing, and enjoyable? The ones who don't feel that way, generally find other places to go.

Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: Lady Snowdon on April 17, 2013, 05:17:43 PM
Whenever I read this thread, and people's reactions to the picky eaters, I'm always reminded of a college trip I took to London in 2011.  We all went to the Tower of London one morning and our profs gave us all a certain amount to buy lunch with (maybe 10 pounds?).  Anyway, 26 girls (including me) all went off to find lunch.  25 of them wound up going to McDonald's.  I bought fish and chips from a vendor.  I was amazed that nobody else wanted anything but "American" food.  I had a reputation for being a very picky eater at the time, and yet I was being "daring" and "bold" to eat fish and chips, according to these other girls.  :o
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: rose red on April 17, 2013, 05:53:30 PM
How limited were their diets? :o  I've never thought of fish and chips (battered fried fish and fries) as daring and bold.  People eat it in America all the time.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: NyaChan on April 17, 2013, 06:44:06 PM
Sometimes it isn't just the food itself but the process of buying it.  Ordering from a McDonalds is familiar and easy.  Going to a shop where you don't understand the custom or terminology can be intimidating.  I've experienced something similar (I sucked it up to get the experience & the super yummy food) when for example my family visits India and I go up to a chat stall by myself.  I know what foods they sell, but don't necessarily feel comfortable as I'm not in the know on the specifics of how it works. 

But a fish and chip shop in the UK...that does surprise me. 
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: cabbagegirl28 on April 17, 2013, 07:51:33 PM
I hatehatehate people whose eating issues take over and become everyone's issue. 


I confess that I have an eating issue which does dictate where I can go when a group of friends wants to get together for food.  I have a severe skin allergy to coconut.  As such, I cannot set foot in a Thai restaurant ever.  What's more, if someone were to eat something with coconut in it and then say, hug me, I'd be a resident of hive city for the next week.  My friends and family are aware of this, but occasionally forget.  If everyone else wanted to go for coconut-laden-food I'd have to just decline.

On vacation I'd not feel particularly safe being left alone in a foreign city.  I think I would have to insist that something that would cause a serious medical issue abroad be avoided out of respect for my safety.  If my travel buddies couldn't do that little for me I don't think we'd be friends anymore after traveling.

In my opinion, that's on the level of allergy/sensitivity/specific diet, not whiny behavior. I wouldn't make a friend eat at a restaurant which would cause medical issues of some sort; that's not okay. I think *inviteseller was talking more about people who are unreasonably picky and won't consider others' needs.
Title: Re: Traveling with picky eaters
Post by: blarg314 on April 17, 2013, 08:54:16 PM
I hatehatehate people whose eating issues take over and become everyone's issue. 


I confess that I have an eating issue which does dictate where I can go when a group of friends wants to get together for food.  I have a severe skin allergy to coconut.  As such, I cannot set foot in a Thai restaurant ever.  What's more, if someone were to eat something with coconut in it and then say, hug me, I'd be a resident of hive city for the next week.  My friends and family are aware of this, but occasionally forget.  If everyone else wanted to go for coconut-laden-food I'd have to just decline.

On vacation I'd not feel particularly safe being left alone in a foreign city.  I think I would have to insist that something that would cause a serious medical issue abroad be avoided out of respect for my safety.  If my travel buddies couldn't do that little for me I don't think we'd be friends anymore after traveling.

If you were travelling in Europe, say, I'd say that was reasonable, if you made this clear in the planning stages (no-one in the group can go to a restaurant of X type, and no-one, at any point during the trip, can eat coconut). I'm assuming, however, that you wouldn't go on a group vacation to Thailand and then insist that your group couldn't eat at  Thai restaurants because it wasn't safe and you didn't want to be left alone.

Actually, on a group trip, I think that not being willing to be left alone is something that should be discussed while planning.  There are a lot of people, me included, who would think that splitting up occasionally to each do their own thing would be a normal part of a group trip (personally, I'm a lot happier if I  get some time by myself.) If I went on a trip with a friend and found out that I was expected to do stuff with them all the time, I would find it kind of stressful. Better to discuss that before the trip.

I do know that I'm pretty far over on the adventurous/independent side of international travelling - while there are some places I wouldn't feel safe, I've travellled alone in places where I don't speak the language, and happily eat things I can't identify (I love local markets).  I have actually moved to a country where I don't speak the language by myself. So I do know that if I were planning a trip with someone, or a group, it would be important to discuss how things were going to work before making the decision to go, so we'd all either be reasonably content, or decide that we weren't good travel companions.