Prep for Vacation Dining with 10 Priceless Tips for End of Summer Trips

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Eat and Vacation Well with Travel "i-Dinnerary" from Restaurant.com

People often dine out more than usual while on vacation and it's a great opportunity to explore new restaurants

Americans across the country are celebrating their final days of summer freedom by enjoying one last vacation. Whether the destination is a local theme park, a lakeside cabin or a big city hotel, chances are you'll dine out. Planning ahead can save valuable time and money and make meals more enjoyable experiences. So, says Restaurant.com President and CEO Cary Chessick.

"People often dine out more than usual while on vacation and it's a great opportunity to explore new restaurants," said Chessick. "Many of our customers tell us that with just a little bit of pre-planning they were able to turn what used to be an expensive, confusing and even frustrating experience into a relaxed, enjoyable cost-savings experience."

As travelers enjoy the summer sun and continue to keep up with their vacation itineraries, Restaurant.com presents a companion restaurant "i-Dinnerary" guide with tips guaranteed to make summer vacation dining sizzle.

i -- Investigate on the Internet. Plan your meals to get an idea of how often you're eating out. Research restaurants before leaving and make a list of three cuisines, names and locations per meal out that are most inspiring.

D -- Dress to Impress. If you're questioning the dress code, call the restaurant to confirm appropriate attire so you can avoid uncomfortable and unfashionable situations.

I -- Immerse Yourself in Culture. Every area has its own culture and traditions. Enhance your vacation memories by trying at least one local delicacy that you can't get anywhere else.

N -- Nix Your Diet. Vacations only last a short time, so indulge your sweet tooth after dinner. You won't regret not eating those few extra calories, when you're staring at fat-free yogurt at work that next week.

N -- Nail Down a Reservation. Making reservations for a few special meals will keep the rest of your day on track. Take this opportunity to request a special table with a great view to capitalize on your time away from your normal scenery.

E -- Evaluate Your Bank Account. Vacations are a time to have fun, but not a time to go into debt. Determine how much money you want to spend and give yourself a daily food allowance to keep on track and on budget.

R -- Reach Out to the Locals. The best restaurants are sometimes off the beaten path, those that tourists don't know about. Find a friendly local face and ask where they go for the best local eats.

A -- Ask the Server for Recommendations. While traveling, it's exciting to try new cuisine. If the menu is foreign to you, ask your server what he recommends. If you're feeling really bold, skip menu perusing altogether and have the chef surprise you with her best creations.

R -- Refuse the "Usual." Although you may be tempted to resort to familiar, national restaurants, vacations are a time to be adventurous. If you're a picky eater, promise yourself that you'll have at least one meal per day at a place you've never been to, which will add some mild spice to your dining repertoire.

Y -- Yell it from the Mountain Tops! Did you have great service? Was the steak the best you ever had? Share your dining stories with fellow travelers through a review for the restaurants so they know what you enjoyed and so future diners can take advantage.

To ensure successful summer vacation dining, Restaurant.com is running a special 80-percent-off promotion on all gift certificates available through the site. Through the promotion, for example, $25 gift certificates that traditionally sell for $10 are available for only $2. To take advantage of the savings, consumers and vacationers should enter the code "PORTION" at check-out before August 13th at midnight CDT.

About Restaurant.com
Restaurant.com connects restaurant seekers and food lovers to savings at more than 11,000 restaurants nationwide and to various online retailers. As the nation's leading online directory of restaurants and restaurant gift certificate provider, the company brings people together to relax, converse and enjoy well-prepared and -served meals at affordable prices. Restaurant.com has operated since 1999 and is based in Arlington Heights, Ill.

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Jeff Conlin

Stephanie Peters
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