I tried sharing a meal with strangers while traveling — and now I’m hooked
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
We here at TPG are no strangers to travel (obviously) but I like to think that I venture out even more than the average TPG staffer. I’ve spent the last few years wandering around the world, from Kazakhstan to the Maldives and everywhere in between. I’ve seen more museums than I can count, climbed in so many medieval castles that I’m basically a 14th century princess and I am so tired of riding the double decker tour bus.
So when opportunities come about for me to do something a little bit different, I jump on them. Like sharing a meal with strangers.
My first experience dining with unfamiliar faces occurred in Tbilisi, Georgia, nearly a year ago and I’ve been hooked ever since. Why? Because eating at someone’s house is real — it’s homemade food made by average Joes like me who usually have a soft spot for playing board games after dinner. It’s meeting families and learning traditions and making friends to keep in touch with well beyond your meal. It’s a world away from the skip-the-line ticket at the Vatican and I’m in love with it.
Since my first experience in Tbilisi (in which I linked arms with my host and drank from a goat horn full of homemade wine), I’ve dined with locals in two other countries: Kazakhstan and Lithuania. Each experience was more unique than the last, but they’ve all had one thing in common: authenticity. And I’m not alone in loving this. Dining with locals tours are popping up all over the internet, with an entire platform dedicated to finding you folks with whom to share a meal.
I’ve booked my dinners through different sites each time, first with Like a Local, which is a large tour site that features freelance guides offering tons of different activities. I used a local site for Kazakhstan, called Friendly Tours, owned and operated by two very friendly Kazakh girls from Almaty. Finally, for Lithuania, I booked through Eatwith, which is arguably the largest platform for dining with locals, and features meals with people from over 130 countries.
The booking process for all three was very similar. This is still a pretty new service in general, so often in a location there is just a single host offering these meals. It’s very simple to manage: you search your location, select your dinner, then book and pay through the website. It’s as simple as that.
Is it uncomfortable? Sometimes. But as uncomfortable as you’d be hanging out with any strangers anywhere. Food brings people together in a way that little else does, and there’s nothing better than that.
Feature photo courtesy of Teefarm/Pixabay.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees