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8 Surefire Ways to Save Money on Food While Traveling

Hotels make a huge profit on room service, hence you should avoid calling for room service whenever possible.
Traveling is a great way to find oneself, and discover the beauty around. It’s an amazing way to explore different parts of the world, meet new people, try out new things, and have fun. However, everything in the world comes with a price tag, and traveling definitely comes with an expensive one.
When we plan for a trip, we tend to focus mainly on the airfare and accommodation. We leave the rest unplanned, and that is where our downfall lies. Expenses while traveling can quickly add up, and before you know it, you will have already crossed your budget. We make a mistake by not planning the rest of the trip, which includes our food. Most people think that food gets accounted for in the accommodation cost, but this is far from true. Of course, the hotel you are staying in might provide complimentary lunch or dinner, but the chances are slim. Most hotels offer only a complimentary breakfast, making huge profits when you dine at their restaurants.

In the end, you realize that the most expensive part of your trip was not the airfare or the accommodation, but the food. Well, thankfully, there are a few simple ways by which you can reduce the money you spend on food while traveling. In this article, we give you tips to ensure that your food expenses remain lower than your airfare.

Do Your Homework
Couple looking at guidebook
You need to conduct proper research about the place you are going to be visiting. Once you have finalized the destination, look for people who have been there and ask them about general costs. Look for hotels or motels that provide complimentary food. These might be few and far in between, but you will end up saving a lot if you find such a place. Also, make sure you understand the terms and conditions that accompany the complimentary tag. Most big hotels will not provide lunch and dinner, so try to avoid big hotels. Look for a B&B, or a motel that is not too close to major tourist areas.
Look for Kitchenettes
Family preparing lunch together
While searching for places to stay, try to find places that provide a kitchenette facility. This includes a small refrigerator, some utensils, and a microwave. Again, stay away from big hotels, as you will not find such facilities there. A few hotels and motels might allow you to cook food in your room. Cooking in your room, even if it is something simple, saves you from going out and paying exorbitant rates every time you are hungry. Again, a bed and breakfast, or a small motel away from the city is your best option.
Spend Wisely on Water
Water bottle
Water is something you need frequently. You may not be able to carry a lot, which means you will end up buying a lot of it. However, spending on water can be done wisely. Buying a bottle of water every time you are thirsty is not the way to go if you are looking to save money. Instead, buy a big bottle of water and carry a smaller bottle, which you can refill, every time you head out. Try to avoid drinking tap water when you are traveling, especially if you travel to a different country. When you are thirsty, do not try to quench your thirst drinking sodas and the like; these will only make you more thirsty.
Choosing Restaurants
Family lunch in garden
When you travel, your natural instinct will make you eat the local cuisine served at local restaurants. This means, you will be eating out, shelling out more money every time you do so. However, here are some ways to ensure that you don’t spend too much. Try to eat at modest places; if you opt to go to a swanky 5-star place to eat, then you are going to have to pay a lot more. Try to move away from popular tourist zones; prices here are generally higher. Some restaurants may have promotional offers, try looking for these in the local papers. Restaurants that have just opened are also a good bet; they usually have promotions and discounts that you can avail of. If you have kids with you, there are a few places where they serve kids for free. Simply stepping into the first place you see is not the way to save money.
Try the Street Food
Man eating street food
Many places around the world have a huge culture of street food. Vendors prepare the food right in front of you, and the best part is that it hardly takes a few minutes. In some places, the street food may even be better than fancy restaurants. Such vendors are usually found in heavily populated tourist areas, so this is something that you don’t have to go around looking for. Street food is nowhere as expensive as food served in a restaurant, so you will end up saving a significant amount of money.
Look Out for Deals
Couple looking menu card
Many stores, hotels, and restaurants have promotions that they advertise for in various places. While you are searching for your flight, or booking your hotel, you may come across these offers. Taking these offers can reduce a significant part of your expenses on food. Offers are also available at the airport, the bus-stand, or taxi-stand. Newspapers are another source of these offers and coupons. Make sure you research well before you finalize any restaurant.
Heavy Lunch
Food with drink
In most places, restaurants charge a different rate for lunch, and a different rate for dinner. Usually, the rate for lunch is cheaper. If you can identify any such restaurants around the place you are staying, then you can opt to make lunch a bigger meal, and eat less for dinner. Not only will this help you save money, but is a healthier option as well. Also, when eating out, there is no need to order all the courses, you can order an entree directly. You can even get your leftovers to be packed and taken back to the hotel to be eaten later.
Drink Smart
Friends having dinner together
Having a few drinks while eating out is the fastest way to increase your food bill. It is best to avoid drinking at restaurants while you are traveling. If it is a necessity, then look for places that serve complimentary drinks with the food. Many places have happy hours, where the cost of drinks and food is slightly lower than the normal rate. You can visit these place during these hours to make the most of the offer. If it is legal in the country and the hotel you are in, then you can even have a few drinks in your room before heading out. Wine-tasting offers you free samples, so don’t forget to check for such deals.
These were a few suggestions that can help you save some money on food while you are traveling. You can also visit a supermarket and stock up on things that you can eat in your room, like chips, pretzels, and the like. Similarly, stock up on water and beverages instead of heading out for a coffee all the time. Also, make sure that you are choosing your restaurants wisely, and compensating for unnecessary expenses. Keep a track of all your food expenses in a journal. This should help you keep those food expenses in check. Have a nice trip!

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