Going on vacation with young children can be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it’s great to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and spend some quality time with your loved ones. On the other hand, finding activities and attractions that are both fun and safe for your kids can be a challenge.

One area where this is especially true is when it comes to choosing restaurants. Not all restaurants are created equal when it comes to accommodating families, so it’s important to do your research ahead of time to avoid any stressful situations (or hangry meltdowns) while you’re on vacation. Here are a few tips to help you choose family-friendly restaurants during your next vacation.

Call Ahead for Reservations

This is especially important if you’re traveling during peak tourist season. Many popular restaurants will require reservations weeks or even months in advance, so be sure to plan accordingly. Calling ahead will also give you an opportunity to ask about the restaurant’s menu options as well as any activities or amenities that they offer to keep kids entertained.

Check Online Reviews

Before dining at any restaurant, it’s always a good idea to check out online reviews from other families who have eaten there before. Sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google Maps are a great way to get an idea of what a restaurant is like before you commit to eating there. Be sure to pay attention to both the positive and negative reviews to get a well-rounded picture of what you can expect.

Ask the Locals

If you’re staying in a hotel or resort, be sure to ask the staff for recommendations on family-friendly restaurants in the area. They likely have firsthand experience with many of the local eateries and can give you some insider tips on which ones will be a hit with your kids (and which ones to avoid). You can also ask other families you meet while on vacation for their dine-in family restaurant recommendations – chances are they’ve been in your shoes before and will be more than happy to share their experiences with you.

Consider Fast Casual Dining Options

If you’re short on time or just don’t want to deal with the hassle of sit-down dining, consider opting for fast casual options instead. Places like Panera Bread, Chipotle, and Chick-fil-A are typically very kid-friendly and offer plenty of healthy (and delicious) options for both adults and children alike. Just be sure to bring along some snacks and drinks for the kids in case they get restless while waiting for their food.

Make It an Adventure

Eating out doesn’t have to be boring – make it an adventure! Let your kids help you choose a restaurant from a travel guidebook or website, then let them order their own meals when you get there. If they’re old enough, challenge them to find something new and exciting on the menu that they’ve never tried before. Ordering food can be half the fun if you make it into a game.

With a little planning and preparation, choosing family-friendly restaurants during your next vacation can be easy – even fun! By following these tips, you’ll be sure to find plenty of places that everyone in your family will enjoy without any drama or stress. So go ahead and book that trip – your perfect dining adventure awaits.