Even if you budget carefully, traveling can be very expensive. From air fare to accommodations, you can easily spend thousands of dollars on your vacation. If you’re looking for ways to cut costs on your next holiday, your meals are one of the easiest things to scale back on. Here are five ways that you can save a bit of money on your food expenses the next time that you travel:
- Head to the Grocery Store
- Eat Like a Local
- Order In
- Eat for Free
- Pack a Cooler
If you can find an apartment or a hotel suite that has a kitchen, you can save a great deal of money by cooking in. Find the local grocery store and stock up on food just like you would at home. Cooking in will allow you to spend your money on more important things like activities and attractions. In fact, if you eat the majority of your meals in, you can splurge on dinner at that luxurious restaurant that all of the travel guides rave about.
While you can easily find chain restaurants and expensive eateries in the city you are visiting, it’s a bit more difficult to find those out-of-the-way places that the locals frequent. These smaller restaurants are often a better value and tend to have dishes that are native to the region. Stop at the front desk of your hotel, talk to people on the street or sign on to Yelp to find out where the locals eat.
Ordering in can be a great way to save a few bucks on your meal. If your hotel doesn’t provide menus in your room for restaurants that deliver, ask for menus at the front desk. There’s nothing wrong with ordering a pizza or a few cartons of Chinese food while you’re on vacation. Order your dinner in, spread it out on the table, floor or bed and use the down time to plan an itinerary for the next day.
Many hotels offer free continental breakfasts or snacks in the bar during happy hour. While the food on offer may not be enough to make a full meal, eating a smaller meal or snack means that you’ll spend less at the restaurant for lunch or dinner. If your hotel offers free food, take advantage of it and then toss a few granola bars in your bag. Eating smaller, more frequent meals will keep your energy levels consistent during your busy days of sight-seeing.
If you’re going to spend the day at an amusement park or other attraction, find out if you are permitted to bring a cooler of food with you. It’s incredibly easy to spend hundreds of dollars on food during the day at a popular attraction; packing a cooler of sandwiches, chips and even water can save you a significant amount of money. Fruits like fruits, vegetables, energy bars and even yogurt will stay fresh in your cooler for the entire day.
Because traveling can be so expensive, it makes sense to save money where you can. By following the tips above, you can often save hundreds of dollars during your holiday. While you can certainly treat yourself to an extravagant meal or two while you’re on vacation, there is no reason that food has to take up the bulk of your travel budget.
Additional Travel Resources
Nathan Bates is a guest writer for delivery.com a site he recommends using to order food online in the DC Area.