Millennials lead the way in the growing demand for food-related travel experiences

BOISE – (April 26, 2017) – Although tourists typically reach for their camera to capture a memorable moment, many Americans also want to savor the travel experience with a knife and fork, according to a new AAA survey.

The survey reveals that an estimated 22 million Americans expect to take a culinary-focused vacation in the next twelve months. A separate survey of AAA travel consultants confirms the trend – more travelers hope for a unique, immersive experience through local cuisine.  Many AAA members are planning trips that include dining with a local family or participating in a cooking class.

Culinary-Travel-22-Million-Vacation 550

“The world is becoming smaller and more interconnected,” says AAA Idaho spokesman Matthew Conde. “Travelers are looking for a fresh approach to exploring other cultures, and culinary experiences provide that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

AAA says millennials have a particularly high interest in the food travel niche. More than 88 percent of the millennials surveyed report participating in a food-related experience while vacationing, outpacing Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.

Conde notes that food and beverage expenses are a substantial part of a family’s vacation budget; on average, travelers spend $63 per person each day of the trip. “If you’re going to spend the money anyway, it’s not a bad idea to step outside of the typical menu options in favor of something a little more unique,” he said.  “If nothing else, the experience usually makes for a great story.”


Friendly food advice

AAA produces a wide range of print and online content for almost 59,000 Diamond-rated hotel and restaurant locations in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Mexico. In AAA’s TourBooks, inspectors provide insightful recommendations that can steer foodie travelers in the right direction.  For more information, visit or download the AAA mobile app.

“More than ever before, AAA is working with eager travel partners that want to differentiate their product offerings from the crowd,” Conde said. “Savvy travel companies understand that national landmarks and historic places no longer make the experience unique.  Culinary experiences literally add an unforgettable local flavor.”

For more information on a broad range of culinary travel offerings, AAA recommends making an appointment with a reputable travel consultant.