We will tuck into guinea pig, dolphin & rattlesnake on holiday – but not in France

The British can cook, but do not seem to enjoy doing so on holiday. A recent survey carried out by  Owners Direct the accommodation rental specialists has revealed that despite selecting accommodation that is self catering, more than 75% still opt to eat out more that 4 times a week while they are on holiday.

The term of self catering has been confused for some time, and there have been calls for it to be renamed ‘self hosting’. This would certainly seem to be more applicable as 40% of those who responded in the survey said that they ate out every day. 37% also said that on average, for two people, they spent only £100-£250 on eating out for a week, as it cost a lot more than this to upgrade to a full board or all inclusive option, budgets are clearly still important.

Whilst the majority of Brits say that they embrace the local cuisine whilst abroad we still like our home comforts. We Brits are notorious for enjoying a good cup of traditional tea to start off our day. It is no surprise that over 40% of us take our own little luxuries away, with marmite and tea bags proving the most popular items to take abroad.

When feeling a little adventurous, some of the strangest foods consumed by Brits abroad include guinea pig, crocodile, dolphin, rattle snake, mud hopper crab and fish eyes. Yet sometimes we find out about local customs the hard way, with a few confessing to finding themselves in embarrassing situations. 

One holidaymaker recalled using ‘the lemon in the finger bowl to squeeze on my asparagus.’ Another remembered ordering fish soup in Singapore and instead received a bowl of water with fish heads floating in it. Local customs are also well known for catching people out – one diner quickly learnt not to cause offence by eating with his left hand in Morocco.

With dining out comes the challenge of ordering from the menu. Whilst some favour picture menus, 75% are willing to give the local lingo a go – even if that means slipping up and being the butt of dinner time jokes. 

When people do choose to cook for themselves, 46% of travellers like to purchase locally produced products such as meat and fish from the local market to fit in with the culture and try out new dishes. Over 50% wait until they get home to cook traditional meals like a roast dinner or curry.

Results revealed that 59% of Brits surveyed believe Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece deliver the cheapest but the best local food, with others enjoying the food culture in Thailand, Vietnam and India. Controversially France appears to be a common answer for the worst meal Brits have experienced along with being the most expensive!

When it comes to eating out as a family, 50% of Brits feel that their children are adventurous with trying new foods abroad. One commented that their children “will eat almost anything except snails and calamari.” 
58% of holiday makers find that restaurants abroad are more welcoming to children than at home, with most agreeing that they are simply more tolerant of younger diners.

The most common languages spoken abroad are Spanish (70.7%), French (57.3%) followed by German (19.1%) and Italian (15.4%). By contrast, very few people are prepared to have a stab at Greek, Arabic, Portuguese, Cantonese, Dutch, or Norwegian whilst on holiday.