To fast food or not to fast food while travelling

OK, let me start by saying that I am not referring here to perpetual travellers. I don’t think a person should eat fast food all the time – aka every day. I would like to speak about short travels and some of their challenges when it comes to food.

First, I’d like to say that I have friends who are vegetarians, for instance, and who never enter a fast food chain. No matter where they go, they find some restaurants that will serve them something according to their preferences.

Then, I’d like to also mention that I have friends that don’t enter a fast food chain, when in vacation and at home; at most, they visit a fast food store once a year.

burgerphoto source

And now, I’ll tell you how I do it when I travel.

Let me say something first: I have 1,70m and 62 kg. I managed to lose 20kg last year (after pregnancy, some pills and the knee surgery), all that without any diet or exercise, but instead with sodas – small quantity, a little bit of fast food (at least once a week), sweets. Of course, not in excess and, of course, this being only a small part of what I ate – healthy food. But I won’t be hypocrite and say I never get into a MCDonalds/KFC/Burger King (who came three years ago in my country, left last year). No, fast food is not why I usually eat, but, every once in a while I do get a McWrap or a menu of 5 strips, for instance.

When I travel, I like to taste the local food. I like finding restaurants that look pretty, I like to enjoy the local taste.

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However, I don’t manage to do that all the time. For instance, last year, in Paris, when we visited Versailles, we were so hungry and didn’t find a restaurant. So yes, we ate at the McDonald’s near the palace.

The second day, when we visited the Louvre, we stopped at the food court and tried a menu from “Salam” – a cuscus menu, with chicken for me :). Is this fast food? Maybe, in a way. We also had lunch and dinner at local restaurants in Paris – but for us, it was a matter of timing.

In college, we were recommended to read a book called: McDonaldization of Society (published in 1993). It’s not about McDonald’s itself, but about the consequences and impact of fast food on society. I won’t get too much into this sociology matter – you can look for info if you are interested – but I do want to point out an aspect: one of the advantages of fast food from famous chains is that you already know what you’ll get. You know what to expect – yes, some menus may be a little different, some chains have local products (McDonald’s) so, even like that, you taste something local (yes, in Paris we choose French menus at McDonald’s!, some that we don’t have in Romania).

All in all, what I wanted to say is that, though I am not recommending fast food as main food while travelling (nor do I use it like that), sometimes is the one I use. If I don’t have time to look for a restaurant, when I am really hungry and on the run, I do eat fast food. As mentioned, not a permanent food choice – but rather a solution for some moments.

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In the end, it is a matter of choice, and everyone is free to make his or her own choices regarding every aspect of life, food included.

How about you? What do you eat while travelling?



I’m offering public relations, communications and image counseling in everyday life and I have a PR agency – PRwave INTERNATIONAL. I am passionate about reading, blogging (I also have a blog in Romanian) and traveling. Follow me on Twitter - @violetaloredana (Romanian) and @TravelMoments.

9 thoughts on “To fast food or not to fast food while travelling

  • 3 April, 2014 at 15:00

    Personally I try to heat as healthily as possible and generally avoid fast food places. I do eat some junk food though, but do it in moderation most of the time. Health is one of the most important things we have, and once it’s gone, nothing else matters. But you can stay healthy without depriving yourself of the occasional treat.

    • 3 April, 2014 at 15:49

      I totally agree with you: we should be very careful when it comes to our health! As I mentioned in the post, I too believe in eating healthy food. I just mentioned thout that it has happened to me to eat in some fast food chains – for various reasons. Never, however, has been fast food the main type of “dish” served by me. It’s an exception, a type of food I have in various circumstances, but yes, I do confess eating it every once in a while.

  • 3 April, 2014 at 21:50

    My parents gave us fast food when we traveled as a kid. Once I started traveling on my own I hardly ever touch it. That said, occasionally I will stop off in a McDonalds and try the local offering – ie. in the Netherlands I tried their McKroket. It’s kind of interesting to see how they localize their menu around the world.

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