According to a poll conducted by international trade site Alibaba and finance app Wacai, nearly a third of Chinese travelers pack three to five portions of instant noodles when traveling. The survey (here in Chinese) also says more than half of travelers polled listed “buying instant noodles” as a priority when they got to their destination. One reason was concern for being unaccustomed to the local food, but another is “noodle tourism” — seeing which varieties of instant noodles are available wherever they happen to be. Who knows, maybe Argentina has the best kind they’ve never tried!
Packing noodles isn’t a bad idea — particularly if you’ve ever woken up at 3:30 a.m. somewhere on the other side of the world ready for lunch. Most hotel rooms have a coffeemaker that boils water in a couple of minutes. Noodle packs are sturdy enough to withstand whatever the TSA does to your suitcase. Noodle bowls don’t even need a separate container for preparation and consumption. International travel is jam-packed with awesome new gustatory pleasures, but sometimes you just need a slurp of the familiar to recalibrate.
While it may seem like a great way to save a few bucks on dining out when traveling, the study also indicates that income had no bearing on whether or not travelers packed instant noodles. Truly, the love of this great foodstuff unites us all.