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Saturday, September 10, 2022

Affordable Dining On Vacation

We're all trying to get back into the world, but with fuel and airfare costs soaring, it's really important for us budget travelers to figure out how to save on other parts of our vacations. I love trying new food, but all those meals out can really add up. 

I love trying new food, but all those meals out can really add up. Dining can be a big chunk of your budget, so here are 8 ways to save on food.

Dining can be a big chunk of your budget, so here are 8 ways to save on food:

  1. Bring Snacks 
    Trick your stomach by bringing snacks with you in your bag each day. This way, if you’re tempted to nibble on something, you know you have them on you and are less likely to spend money on food you don’t really need.
  2. Eat Where the Locals Eat
    Just by avoiding touristy areas, you can save a lot on your meals. When you’re out, ask a few people where they recommend. They aren’t going to tell you they prefer a chain restaurant over their favorite local pub. The food is likely more authentic than those that you can find right near tourist attractions, making it cheaper, because it’s local and not shipped in from a different country. 
  3. Make Lunch Your Main Meal
  4. If you really want to try one of the “hip” restaurants by a celebrity chef, make reservations for lunch. The food will be just as good, but it’s usually much cheaper at lunch than at dinner.

  5. Hit Up the Food Carts
  6. Food carts can have a huge variety of different local and international foods, but can be half the price of (or less) than dining at a sit-down restaurant. With this kind of savings, you can try fare from several carts with no regrets.

  7. Rent a Vacation Home Or Stay In a Hotel With a Kitchen(ette)
  8. This is a great way to stretch a food budget, because there are so many options. Renting can be a great value over hotel stays if you’ll be visiting for a week or more, plus it gives you the chance to check out the local grocery store. If you aren’t a big breakfast person, instead of eating out for that meal, shop for new cereals and pastries that you can’t get at home. There’s never a better time to try new foods!

  9. Sign Up for Groupon
  10. Groupon is an amazing little site that offers daily deals on a wide assortment of things, not least of which is dining. Each day a new offer goes up at a big discount off the regular price. Dining certificates can be purchased quite often and many times you can grab a half-off gift certificate to a new local restaurant or one just trying to bring in new customers. It works! Sign up at Groupon for the destination of your next vacation (they cover many international locations as well as the United States) and eat for less!

  11. Don't Order Off the Kids' Menu
  12. If you travel with children, you’ll notice that all kids' menus seem to have the same small rotation of foods. Obviously, little ones don’t just live on hot dogs, pizza, chicken nuggets and PB&J sandwiches. Not only do they charge an outrageous amount for these “staples” that cost hardly anything to make, but they offer hardly any nutritional value and your kids are likely to eat only half of it before declaring they’re full. Instead, order a meal that you both will eat and share. This saves you money and might get them to eat a vegetable or two.

  13. Stay At a Hotel That Offers Free Breakfast
  14. You don’t realize how much dining out can cost until you go on vacation. A reasonable breakfast can cost between $8-15 per person. If you multiply that by the number of people you’re traveling with and the number of days you’ll be staying, that number can be huge. If you find a hotel in your price range that offers free breakfast, you’ve hit a jackpot of savings.
Hopefully, this helps you scale back on your food budget on your next trip and then you can find other ways to save as well. Give us some of your favorite food tips in the comments.

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