Eating is one thing that most people love and when you are traveling in a different country then eating out is more pleasure as well as expensive also. The budget travelers are always looking for ways to cut their costs whenever possible, but that doesn’t mean we won’t try Sushi in Japan, Butter Chicken in India or Fries in Belgium.
In fact, going with the local foods is a part of the travel experience that most of the traveler believes. So, here I am going to share with you 10 easy tips to save money on food while traveling.
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1. Eat Local Food:
Eating from a roadside food stall or local market is the best way to save money on food while traveling. In most of the tourist attractions, there are several small food stalls beside the road and from here you can eat cheap and tasty food for a few dollars.
Some travelers tend to avoid local street foods for hygienic purpose but personally I did not face any issue with local foods. Specially I enjoyed the street foods in Bangkok during my budget solo Thailand trip. It will not only save your money on food but also give you an opportunity to experience the food culture of a new country.
2. Book Accommodation with Kitchen:
I always try to book budget accommodation (Hostel, Guesthouse or Airbnb) with the kitchen. It will be way cheaper if you cook your own food in your accommodation kitchen. Buy some ready to cook food from local markets or supermarkets and make your cheap meal easily.
The best part is you will meet people from different countries with different tastes in foods. Sometimes if you are lucky enough then you will find some unused foods from the ‘free food section’ that people leave back in the hostel kitchen. Believe me, cooking in the hostel is really fun which you should try.
3. Avoid Restaurants in Touristy Area and Ask the Locals:
Most restaurants you will find in the touristy area are at a higher price than usual. Avoid those restaurants ask the locals where they like to eat.
You can find small restaurants walking distance away from the main tourist spot with the same food for half of the price. You can taste here more authentic food.
4. Look for Free Breakfast and Skip Lunch:
I always try to book hotels or hostels which offer free breakfast. I usually eat a lot at breakfast and keep myself well stuffed. Thus I can skip my lunch and save a good amount of money. If you need to eat even after a heavy breakfast then you can take some dry foods like a biscuit, cookies, peanut, sweet bread, chocolate etc.
P.S: Sometimes I steal some extra pieces of bread, biscuits or cheese from the free breakfast area when no one is looking which I can eat while on the go. Though I won’t recommend it to anyone. 😛
Please Note: Some hotels or hostels offer free breakfast increasing their fees. Avoid those hotels/hostels and do well research before booking your budget accommodation.
5. Bring Some Food from Home:
I always carry some ‘ready to eat’ food and dry foods like biscuits, chocolates, peanuts packet, noodles, dry soup mixes etc. which are lightweight also. This helped me a lot in my 8 days budget Switzerland travel to save my money as food in Switzerland is very expensive.
This strategy will also save you from expensive airport food during your long wait at the airport.
Please Note: You need to be well aware of the food procedure at customs as some countries don’t allow to bring food.
6. Carry a Water Bottle:
Never forget to carry a reusable water bottle if you are a budget backpacker. Buying packaged drinking water will increase your travel budget. It is a good practice to top up your reusable bottle with water from the tap of your hotel or hostel. It can save your $2-3/day which is not bad for a long trip.
7. Visit Grocery Store:
No need to be worried if you cannot bring some snacks or dry food from home. Whenever you are in a major city you can find a supermarket or convenience stores. This is the best option to buy some snacks that are really cheap.
You can buy the necessary ingredients if you have a kitchen in your hostel. If it’s not, then buy some prepared meals like sandwich, pizza, noodles etc. which are much cheaper than any restaurant.
8. Less Drink, Less Meat:
Try to avoid drink and meat as much as possible while traveling as both are pretty expensive in foreign countries. Moreover if by any chance you are not in control while drinking you might end up your trip with fatal consequences.
I am not saying to enjoy your trip with only veggies but try to skip one nonveg meal every day that ultimately saves your budget on your long trip.
9. Use Discount or Coupons:
Some restaurants and grocery stores often offer discounts if you are a student, teacher or senior citizen. Always keep your eyes open to avail of those discounts. Don’t be shy to ask the restaurant manager if there is any discount. I got several discounts on the total bill just by asking if there is any discount for travelers which most of the travelers hesitate to do.
You can also use some coupon websites like ‘Groupon’ that offers restaurant deals. You can save a good amount of money by using this kind of coupon. You can also try some free travel apps like OpenRice, Zomato etc to get cheap food on your doos steps.
It is not a problem when you traveling with family or friends or in a group. But when you are traveling solo try to make some travel friends and share your meal with them. It will not only reduce the cost but also you will get a chance to get close with other travelers from different countries.
Eating on a low budget doesn’t mean that you won’t enjoy your food. You can keep both your belly and pocket full by using these 10 amazing tips on how to eat cheap while traveling.
Let me know if you also have some money-saving tricks on food.
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Happy traveling… 🙂