How to Save Money on Food When You Travel
Visiting new places can be a pretty pricy activity. When you start to add up the cost of airfare, lodgings, transportation, food, entertainment, and other related expenses, you could quickly exceed a meager budget. There are, of course, ways to cut costs. In some cases you can drive instead of flying. If you choose a destination where family or friends live, you could take advantage of a guest bedroom or couch instead of paying for a hotel. There are also a variety of ways to cut back on the cost of food when you travel. Although there’s no getting around the fact that you have to eat, you can certainly take steps to do so in a frugal manner. To a degree, you can bring your own food. This is definitely more easily accomplished when traveling by car since you can pack boxes and even a cooler with enough food to keep you satisfied for at least a few days (provided there is a fridge at your destination, or at least an ice machine). It will be more difficult to bring your own food when you fly, but it’s not inconceivable that you could check a box or bag with dry goods in it. More likely you’ll bring a carry-on with easy snacks like power bars and fruit to tide you over. Another good option is to make your own food during your trip. Even if you’re unable to stay at the home of a family member or friend, you still have a couple of options that will save you some cash. You could look for an inn-and-suites type of establishment that caters to extended-stay travelers. These hotels tend to offer rooms with kitchenettes, complete with a fridge, a range, an oven, and a dishwasher. This will allow you to purchase your own food and cook your meals in instead of paying top dollar to dine out for every meal. You could also look into newer options like Airbnb or VRBO that allow you to rent someone else’s home and take advantage of a full kitchen space. Don’t forget to look for hotels with freebies like continental breakfast and happy hour. If you want to cut back on food costs during your trip, there’s no better way than by getting some of your meals and libations for free. Since the price is included in the cost of your room, though, you just need to make sure you’re not spending a lot more on a hotel that offers these extras, thereby negating your savings. A service like Hipmunk should help you to find the great rates and amenities you’re looking for. Chances are good that you’ll want to savor the local flavor at least a little when you travel, and this means striving to find those hidden gems that offer outrageously delicious fare at a fraction of the cost of fancy dining establishments. A good place to start is by asking the concierge for suggestions or even approaching locals on the street. But these days you also have the option to crowdsource your search, in a sense, by using apps like Yelp or Urbanspoon (You can download it here androidpride.com). With map features, easy star ratings, and plenty of user reviews you should have no trouble finding the best cheap eats in town.