We created ThereArePlaces to help convey to you the “ins and outs” of how to travel with comfort and convenience when you are away from home. In the “travel well” context, you may wonder why we mention U.S. fast food eateries. The answer is simple: sometimes they are good places to seek respite when you are traveling internationally.
When you think about world travel, you generally do not visualize touring a world famous attraction and, then, stopping off at McDonalds or Burger King for a snack. Conversely, our experience tells us that sometime during your trip abroad, you will run across “good old American fast food” and we recommend that you take advantage of the opportunity.
One of the customs you will need to get used to in the UK and Europe is that drinks are usually served without ice. If you ask for ice, you will either be met with a blank stare or provided one or two of the smallest ice cubes that you have ever seen. We are sure that some of the cubes we have been offered in Europe were frozen during the last Ice Age (and taste like it). If you like ice with your soft drink, the easiest way to find this treat while traveling in Europe is to head for the Golden Arches or Burger Whopper.
Next, consider that the most reasonably priced soft drinks that you can find in Europe will be served at McDonald’s or Burger King. Be prepared to pay more than you do in the U.S., but less than you will pay down the street at a local eatery.
In addition, consider having breakfast at either Mickey Ds or BK, if one is near your hotel. During a recent trip to Germany, the hotel we were at was charging 26 Euros per person for breakfast. We motored over to McDonalds and had a good breakfast for two for less than seven Euros. Make no mistake, it did not include all the yummy things we could have had at the hotel’s breakfast buffet, but on that day, the switch was worth it.
While we are at it, an additional, attractive aspect of McDonalds and Burger King Restaurants in Europe and the UK, that is relatively rare in other shops in these areas, is air conditioning. If you are overheated from touring during those hot European summers, head for the American junk food oases.
During a trip to Milan last summer, we were boiling in the afternoon heat and had quite a distance to go before the next stop on our itinerary. (We like to walk cities, so we can see as much as possible.) It was a miserably hot and humid afternoon and we were dragging. Just then, we saw a Burger King on the next corner. Not only did their soft drink with ice pep us up, but the air conditioning was just the refresher we needed to revive us for a few more stops in glamorous Milan.
Note: in many countries, the pricing is different for food or drinks you take-away from food shop and food you consume in the shop. If you pay for take-away (less than eating-in), don’t try to eat the food in the shop, as you may be asked to leave. The difference in price has to do with the Value Added Tax being applied to food eaten at the restaurant but not on “take away” food.
For more Things Travelers Need to Know, visit our section on Travel Advice at There ArePlaces.
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