1. You can't have fun if you're hungry
Everyone knows that museums, galleries, scenic tours, and even shopping are downright difficult when you're hungry. At a certain point you realize: just like a toddler, if you're hungry, you're crabby. Who wants to spend a vacation in a crabby mood?
2. Follow the food, see sights along the way
If you're eating the must-try foods in a city, you're bound to see the must-see sights along the way. The best part is that you see the sight, snap a pic, and then get to the good stuff: the pastries, street meats, coffees, and local specialities.
3. Or, avoid the sight seeing all together
The most popular sights in a city will be tourist traps. Once you're there, you're more likely to buy a ten dollar bottle of water and a quick snack than to find an awesome meal. It's tougher to find low-key sight seeing spots than it is to find hidden-gem eateries. The less well known spots are often the most authentic and incredible finds. Follow the locals as they skirt the popular sights and you'll find their favorite old haunts!
4. Spend money on something you enjoy
There are a lot of sights you feel like you must see to have visited a city. But if it isn't free, then weigh your options carefully! Don't do something that you're reluctant to do just because you feel like should. Do what you'll enjoy, and your entire travel experience will make you happier and will be more memorable.
5. You'll remember it
Some people argue that you shouldn't spend money on something that you can't take home as a souvenir, but you'll always remember the paella in Valencia and the ceviché in Costa Rica. A good meal with friends always makes for an unforgettable time.
6. Vacation is the best time to try something new
Definitely try scuba and zip-lining, but also try those frog legs and lychee fruits. Half the fun of eating food in a foreign city is coming away with a story. Even if you never eat venison heart again, at least you've had a small culinary adventure! Go to a restaurant, open the menu, close your eyes and point, order whatever your finger lands on.
7. Broaden your taste
When you're at home, you're always going to head to your favorite food spots before trying something new. Eating your way through a new city will definitely have you eating outside the box. When you get back home, you might miss those foreign flavors and be inspired to find new places near by. Sometimes you have to leave a place to get to know it better.
8. Vacation easier
Don't sweat the preparations -- make one dinner reservation ahead of time. Besides that, wing it! You won't wake up begrudging the plans you made two months earlier, while sitting at home. Keep your days open, before vacation, and during.
9. Make everyone happy
Don't bother arguing with friends and family about plans for the day. Everyone loves to eat.
Follow Eliza Sankar-Gorton on Twitter: www.twitter.com/lizacsg