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So we have worked out that food is a big part of travelling for me. Indulging in the local foods of the different areas of the world is something I look forward to, it is a social time to make more plans, to reflect on the day and it also helps to shape my overall feel for the city or country but eating out every day is costly and can take up a huge amount of your budget. So over the years I have picked up little ways to help save on the cost of food without compromising on taste or experience.
The biggest one right here, where ever you maybe the local cuisine is pretty much always going to be the cheapest as you are using the local produce. I am a massive believer in eating the local food anyway but I do understand that sometimes people just want the food that they are used to from their home countries, but do not be surprised when this is at least double the price. Be brave, try new flavours!
Street food vendors / stalls
Street food vendors and markets are gold mines for incredible food at a low-cost. I still remember eating the best Pad Thai of my life cooked by a twelve-year-old girl at her Mum’s stall in Chiang Mai, and I believe it cost about 50p. I know a lot of people worry about hygiene but it helps to look for the places that are busy with lots of other travelers and better still skip the meat for a safer veggie alternative. In Asia especially most markets will have seating areas so you do not miss out on the social aspect of eating.
This one is mainly aimed at American travel, as buffets are very prominent in big tourist cities such as Orlando and Las Vegas, but buffets are a good way to fill yourself up for a low-cost. You can also be cheeky and sneakily pop a few non-perishable items in your bag for lunch or breakfast the next day!
Following on from eating local, the other best way to save money is to drink the local beer or spirits as ordering imports are going to be a higher cost. Please do not waste money on expensive alcohol, I never drank beer until I went to Vietnam where the local beer of Siagon is roughly about £1 a bottle compared Rum which was about four times the price. No brainer.
This may be a slight contradiction to my earlier comment of trying all the local foods, but snacking on all the waffles in Amsterdam or danishes in Copenhagen is going to add up, so if you are on a budget try to eat larger meals at lunch to help you last until dinner time. In Asia look out for local people selling fresh fruit, it is usually ridiculously cheap and is always so much fresher and juicier than anything back home.
When booking your accommodation look for places that offer free breakfast and make the most of it. I generally do not find breakfast an exciting meal, so would much rather have something basic and save money for a nicer lunch or dinner. As well if you are on a really tight budget, use the hostel kitchen to prepare the odd meal and by cheap produce from the supermarket, I do urge you not to have all your meals like this, though, just on the odd occasion.
Another American thing, most hotels will provide you will a coupon book, a lot of this book will be rubbish, but there will be the odd great discount or deal for a restaurant, so it is totally worth searching through. The same with European tourism cards, aside from free entry to the local attractions, these cards often provide a discount at local eateries.
Frequent travelling often means being on a strict budget, but it does not have to mean compromising, and in my opinion that especially means never compromising on good food. Before you leave research where you are going, find recommendations on where to eat from other people who have visited and when you are there talk to the locals, after all, they know it better than anyone and know all the best spots!
Further reading: How to save money for travel ( While still having a life!)