We’re in the homestretch of winter. The days are finally getting longer, tulips are making an appearance at the market, and swimwear and sandals are on your mind (and in your shopping cart). Summer is not the distant mirage it once seemed, which means it’s time to start planning your next vacation. If you’re already dreaming of summer but can’t quite bear the thought of waiting until August to travel, consider taking a trip this spring instead. Airfare is typically more affordable in April and May, and you can get lucky with temperate weather and fewer crowds during the spring.
Now, that I’ve convinced you to go on vacation, let’s talk about what kind of trip we’re taking. If your favorite part of any trip is the food, then consider a culinary vacation — a food tour is what they are technically called. Think of the possibilities — pasta making in Italy, wine tasting in Napa or learning how to bake fresh croissants in France (and sampling the goods while you’re at it). Food tours are a great way to immerse yourself in a city’s culture and learn the language, history and the traditional cuisines of the region. And you’ll bring your newfound knowledge and cooking skills home with you at the end of the trip — way better than any souvenir you could buy. To get you started on your food adventure, we’ve rounded up the best culinary vacations you can book this spring. Ditch the guidebook and pack yourself a sturdy apron for the trip of a lifetime.