Ranking right up there with your lodging and entertainment, food is one of the biggest expenses you’ll incur while traveling. This doesn’t mean that you can’t find creative ways to save on food while you’re traveling. The following tips can help you save money on your food budget without depriving you of its enjoyment.
Pack Your Favorite Food
Whether you’re traveling by train, plane or automobile, make sure to pack snacks and beverages to enjoy along the way. While airlines and trains often have restrictions concerning the types and size of food items that are allowable, you’ll have free reign if you’re making the trip by car. Regardless of how you’re getting to your destination, try to choose non-messy food items that are compact and easy to eat. Putting a little effort into planning ahead can help save you significant money without having to rely on pricey snacks along your route.
Plan Your Meals
Staying in a hotel that offers a kitchenette provides you with the flexibility to cook the bulk of your meals yourself. Even if your hotel room only comes equipped with a mini refrigerator, put it to good use. Plan ahead and bring food from home to use while you’re on vacation.
If your hotel has a kitchenette, plan to cook simple meals and eat most of them there. The presence of a mini refrigerator means you can bring food for most meals with you, even if you can’t cook. Breakfast and lunch are easily covered by bringing items such as cold cereal, milk, instant oatmeal, noodle cups, fresh fruit and sandwich makings.
Be a Restaurant Bargain Hunter
Part of the appeal of traveling is expanding your horizons and trying the local cuisine. Some ideas for saving while eating out:
- Avoid asking the hotel staff for restaurant recommendations as they are coached to steer tourists to the expensive spots.
- Seek out the opinions of a few locals for authentic and affordable fare.
- Time your arrival so you can take advantage of lunch time pricing, happy hour appetizers or early bird dining, as these are often more affordable.
- Check online or at your hotel for coupons or purchase a voucher ahead of time that gives you a set amount for food at a discount
Saving money on food means you can splurge on a nice restaurant some days or funnel your savings into more experiences that make lasting memories.