How To Save Money While Traveling - Food Edition

Author: Megha Agarwal on Dec 23,2021

Are you planning a vacation in 2021 with a small budget? This post will help you know how to save money while traveling in 11 easy ways. The article has been written keeping in mind one of the biggest expenses on vacation, i.e., food. 


So, let’s get started! 


Food often becomes the most expensive aspect, depending on your vacation. So when money is tight, everyone at some point seems to let go of food expenses and focuses on other tips on how to save money while traveling


However, what if we told you that you could eat and drink as lavishly as you want to on your next vacation without having to worry about spending a fortune?


How to save money on food while traveling?


1. Pack some food along 



Before you start packing for your vacation, take a trip down the warehouse store to get some food that travels well in a cold container. Food items like fruits, granola bars, packed snacks, and nuts go well on vacation, and you can carry them in bulk. 


You will save loads of money because snacks in popular tourist destinations worldwide can be a little pricey.


Moreover, you should also get a reusable water bottle for your vacation. Safe drinking water is available almost everywhere today, so you do not have to worry about spending too much on bottled water.


If you are traveling by car, try to take some bread and peanut butter. They are perfect as a snack to eat while traveling on the road. Plus, they hold up pretty well, no matter what the weather conditions are.  


Get a small backpack and carry all the snacks and water along with you. A Thermo backpack is a great investment to add your drinking bottle, snacks, and other travel essentials. 


2. Cook your meals 


Depending on where you are lodging, you might get easy access to a small kitchenette or a fully functional snacks kitchen. This is important because if you want to know how to save money while traveling, an easy way is to cook your own meals. If you can, try to get your cooking supplies from a local grocery store nearby and cook your food. This is most likely to be cheaper than eating out. 


However, if you do not have a small kitchen, choose a room with at least a small refrigerator and a microwave, and indulge in some no-stove meals. Plan and shop for the basics upon reaching the destination, like milk, cereal, and other small supplies. This works great, especially if you are traveling with children. 


The same is the case for beverages. Stock up on a few of your favorites from a nearby store. This will be a cheaper option when compared to a restaurant or a bar. 


You can also stock up on these items from your home. There is plenty of food that can travel well, without a refrigerator, on the likes of fruits, bars, canned foods, etc. This comes in handy if you are traveling on the road. 


Traveling overseas and bringing your food is not an easier option. However, you can get a reusable water bottle and one or two other beverage options to save up a little on drinks. 


3. Plan your budget 


When traveling, it is important to plan your food budget. Investigate the internet for a few food establishments and look at their usual prices around the area you will be living in. 


Check out a few restaurants and see the prices of the entrees or the kids' meals. This will end up saving you in the long run. 


Also, if you see any special events going on, like a food festival, drink festival, happy hours, you can eat and drink for a lower price.  


According to top travel guides, you should plan and estimate your vacation food budget to about $60 per day, per adult, and a little lower for a child. 


4. Choose accommodations inclusive of meals 



If you are booking a package deal for yourself, it is highly likely you will also get at least one meal included in the same. 


Many hotels include complimentary breakfast in their deals. Although these hotels are not the cheapest option available, they are great for travelers looking to fill up their bellies well before venturing out and exploring the new locations. 


In some cases, you can also skip lunches and substitute them for cheap snacks. 


In other cases, you can make yourself a sandwich or simply pack a few items from breakfast to take with you for lunch. Most places will usually not mind you doing so; however, be careful not to abuse their services. 


Some holiday packages offer an all-inclusive hotel/resort deal with all meals. You will save money on food this way while spending more time in the hotel/resort. 


5. Go for lunch 


If you are not a morning person and like to sleep in late, you can continue doing this on your vacation as well. This habit, though considered bad in some places, ends up saving you money. Once you wake up late, simply go out for a larger meal during lunch and snack up on something light for your dinner. 


Most lunch menus offer the same food as their dinner menus or simple variations of the same. However, lunch turns out to be cheaper. So indulge in food during the day and save during dinner time. 


6. Choose weeknights over weekends. 


If you are planning your vacation, you must already be familiar with this tip. Experts state that traveling during weekdays is cheaper than on weekends. The same goes with meals and eating out as well. 


When you go out to a new place, explore a nice restaurant and eat out during the weeknights instead of weekends. This is a great handy tip when you ask how to save money while traveling.


More people come out to eat during the weekends, which means the prices are a little high. However, on the other hand, most establishments offer great deals and discounts on certain weekdays and weeknights to entice more people to come into their food establishments and dine in. This happens because weeknights are usually a little slow. So make most of it! 


7. Balance your choices 



When eating out in a new place, do not just opt for fancy and grand restaurants. We are sure you would love to explore these places for a great vacation. However, if you balance out your choices of eating out and explore other fast food establishments and casual dining restaurants, you will save a lot of money. 


You will obviously want to have a taste of the local delicacies of the new place you are traveling to, and that food is sometimes a little overpriced. However, if you save up in advance by varying your dining choices, you can balance your expenses and eat out better. 


This is also a great way to ensure you do not get bored of going to just one kind of restaurant. 


Every new place will have something different to offer to you. Make most of your holiday this way. 


8. Be an early bird 


Like the tip we presented above, try to find a few restaurants that offer great value if you are dining in as an early bird. Early meal times and happy hours in some restaurants are when they are not the busiest. 


Getting these deals is one answer to your question, “how to save money while traveling?”.


9. Opt for buffets


Buffets are great value-added deals for almost everyone as they end up saving a lot of money. However, when you opt for a buffet, check ahead if they charge the same amount for kids as they do for adults. If they do charge the same for kids and adults, the buffet might not be such a great deal after all. 


However, buffets are great when you want to taste everything available, especially if you have a great appetite. Usually, you will find huge varieties of food that will please everyone alike, from kids to grandparents. 


10. Ask for recommendations from locals



When traveling to a new place, have conversations with locals. They will be happy to tell you their favorite cheap and delectable food establishments. Visit those establishments to have a great time. These places will usually be more affordable when compared to other established restaurants that cater to tourists and charge a little extra. This way, not only will you be able to have a taste of all the local food and delicacies but also you will end up saving money. 


Talk to the hotel staff or people living around in the area. They will know what is good and what is not. You might as well end up discovering something fantastic at a great price. 


11. Avoid cocktails 


Cocktails are expensive on pretty much any vacation you plan to go. Therefore, you must stay away from fancy cocktails. Opt for a local beer or a local wine instead. Have a glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you were about to consume. Not only will you save up, but you will also not be intoxicated. 


Consume lots of water when you are traveling. It is imperative to stay hydrated when going to a new place. If you want, you can always have a soda or iced tea. This tip works great when traveling with families. 


Final Word 


If you are thinking of how to save money while traveling, there are multiple ways to do so. While some love to save up on accommodations, others save on food. Saving on food directly means you can enjoy your vacation with pleasant experiences altogether. Moreover, you will end up with more energy and creativity at the end of your vacation. Perhaps, you’ll make a new friend while asking for recommendations? Who knows! 


Happy vacation to you.



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