One of the best parts of travelling is pigging out on tasty new dishes and exotic drinks. But what if your wallet’s looking a little skinny? Don’t stress! There are plenty of thrifty ways to sample all the good stuff without busting your travel budget.
1. DIY DINING
Skip the restaurants and head straight for the grocery store. It’s much cheaper to buy ingredients and whip up something to eat yourself. Buy just enough for the dish you’re going to make (or a little extra if you want leftover lunch the next day). Better yet, see if you can rustle up some hungry travel mates for a group meal (it’ll work out even cheaper!). Alcoholic drinks are also a whole lot cheaper if bought at a store instead of a bar.
2. HIT THE STREETS
Sampling the street food in any destination is a must – no matter what your budget. Not only is it super affordable, you’ll also get a taste of real local food and the specialties each country is known for. Keep an eye out for street vendors with longer queues and local diners. The high turnover means the food will always be fresh.
3. BUDGET-FRIENDLY RESTAURANTS
Not all foreign restaurants are swanky expensive affairs. There are plenty of eateries serving generous portions at great prices if you take the time to find them. Wander off the tourist path and into the more suburban areas where the locals eat. Steer clear of places where the menu is written in multiple languages (this means it’s generally geared towards tourists).
4. SCOUT AROUND FOR SPECIALS
Plenty of restaurants offer special set menus for lunch during the day. Keep an eye out for Happy Hour at local bars too. Do a little research online (there are usually lots of blogs by expats with little-known local tips and secrets they’ve learned along the way). Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from your tour operator, the staff at your hostel or fellow travellers. Everyone loves a good deal!
5. PLAN AHEAD
A little bit of planning can save you a whole lot of money. Before going on a big day out or long road trip, put together a snack pack with enough nourishing food to get you through instead of stopping off at a restaurant. If you are going to eat out, don’t wait before you’re starving to find a restaurant. If you’re feeling hangry, you’re likely to choose the first restaurant you come across (whether it suits your budget or not). Also, take a refillable water bottle wherever you go instead of spending on pricey bottled water (make sure it’s safe to drink in your destination though).
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