5 Ways to Spend Less on Food When on Vacation

Now maybe the right time to go on a vacation due to non-peak bookings, which is often characterized by reduced traveling costs. By saying traveling costs, I’m referring to airline ticket costs, hotel and accommodation costs, dining and wining costs, and many other related costs.

Even though it’s just still the beginning of the year, a time when many of you have not saved enough money for a vacation, it doesn’t mean you can’t go on vacation or that you should let the once-in-a-lifetime deals pass you by. You can work with the little budget you have, especially if you know how to spend less on the foods and drinks that you will consume when vacationing. Having said that, we can share a few tips that can help you prepare for your next trip and others that can help you save money, including tips to save on what goes into your stomach when you are on vacation.

Here are 6 good budget travel tips focused on spending less on food when on vacation.

1. Avoid Eating in Business Districts and “Uptown”

susnet view at Tivoli Avenida

the Lisbon scene like all such places are more expensive.

Every city has a central business district (CBD), plus uptown and downtown. Characterized by the best of what a city has to offer, at least in terms of development and infrastructure, the CBD is the heart of every city. Then there is uptown, which is almost similarly more developed than downtown.

Unfortunately, businesses located in the business district and uptown tend to charge more for their products and services than do businesses located downtown. That’s so because they incur higher operating costs than their downtown-located counterparts. So, by eating downtown, you’ll spend less as a general rule.

2. Ask For Recommendations

An easy way to spend less on food when traveling is to ask the people around you for recommendations for cheaper eatery options. Sounds simple and if you don’t have a tour guide, you can talk to locals kind enough to hear you out or perhaps it is time to research online for recommendations.

Giving that person a small token of appreciation or gift for the advice can be appreciated too.  Not to necessarily tip in cash, but perhaps give something from your travels. It never hurts to make friends and be kind.

Leo my tour guide in Santiago de Cuba

As part of a tip, Craig gave his guide a baseball in Cuba.

3. Choose Accommodations with Kitchens

The internet offers us cheaper alternatives for everything. When it comes to tourist accommodation, we no longer need to book hotels, but can utilize options like Air BnB, which allow tourists to enter into an accommodation agreement with homeowners. Some hosts even allow you to cook your own food within the premises they temporarily rented out to you.  And another option is Vrbo, where you are renting out the entire premise – kitchen and cooking utensils included.

the first floor kitchen of bunaglow #2 at Casa de Corazon in Soliman Bay,, Riviera Maya, Tulum

The Full Kitchen

This can be a great way to cut down on your food expenditure, especially if you are smart enough to subscribe to a meal delivery service. If you are looking for one, Home Chef, Hello Fresh, and Sun Basket can be great places to start. These are some of the best options in 2021, at least according to the New York Post and other online resources.

4. Pack a Lunch When Going on an Excursion

Going on an excursion is often part of any holiday. We recommend that you carry your own food and water (such as with a reusable water bottle) as opposed to buying some at a tourist destination. Restaurants will often be available but will charge more than your local supermarket.

Plus many restaurants found within tourist attractions tend to charge more for their foods and drinks often based on their costs. It may seem unfair, but you can carry your own food and water to avoid these higher prices. This remains a great way to save through an avoidable expenditure.

5. You Don’t Need to Eat Three Meals a Day

You can have a very heavy breakfast and skip lunch, taking your subsequent meal at dinner. This can also be a good strategy for weight-conscious vacationers. Or perhaps for lunch you can take a quick light snack like nuts to avoid hunger.

full english breakfast at the Eagle and Child

go big on breakfast …. a full English Breakfast  can carry anyone through the day

But if you do decided to eat out, definitely consider breakfast and lunch, they are often much cheaper options and at times can serve the same quality food. Look for places with a late lunch menu, and perhaps skip dinner.

Final Thoughts

Food is one of the highest costs you can ever incur when on a vacation. But with a few simple tips at your fingertips, you can pay less for what goes into your stomach. These tips are as follows; ask around for low-budget recommendations, avoid business districts and uptown eateries, and find a means of accommodation that allows you to cook your own food. Also, carry parked meals when going on an excursion, and you don’t have to eat all the three main meals of the day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner).

Hope these help.


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