Eating Cheaply While Travelling: Your Guide to Savings



Are you looking for ways to eat delicious meals without breaking the bank while travelling? Discover our guide to eating cheaply while on the road and start saving on your food expenses.

Key Takeaways

  • Eating cheaply while travelling can help you save money on your trip
  • Look for accommodations with kitchen access to cook your own meals
  • Take advantage of hotels with free breakfast to save on morning meals
  • Avoid expensive airport meals and bring your own snacks
  • Stock up on food and snacks at grocery stores upon arrival

Travelling on a budget doesn’t mean you have to settle for subpar meals or sacrifice taste. With these tips, you can enjoy affordable and delicious food while saving money for other travel expenses. Eating cheaply while travelling is all about being smart and resourceful. By planning ahead and making the most of cost-effective options, you can indulge in satisfying meals without putting a strain on your wallet.

Benefits of Cooking Your Own Meals While Traveling

One of the best ways to save money on food while traveling is by cooking your own meals. Not only does it help you stick to your budget, but it also allows you to have control over what you eat. When you cook your own meals, you can choose ingredients that suit your dietary preferences and restrictions, ensuring that you have nutritious and delicious meals throughout your trip.

Cooking your own meals while traveling also gives you the opportunity to explore local markets and grocery stores. This can be a fun and immersive experience, where you can discover new ingredients and flavors that are unique to the region you are visiting. You can experiment with local produce and spices, creating dishes that reflect the culture and cuisine of your destination.

Moreover, cooking your own meals can be a social activity if you’re traveling with friends or family. You can take turns preparing meals, sharing cooking tips, and enjoying each other’s company in the kitchen. This not only saves money but also creates a memorable bonding experience during your travels.

Save Money and Eat Well

Cooking your own meals while traveling is an excellent way to save money on food expenses. Eating out at restaurants for every meal can quickly add up, especially in popular tourist destinations where prices tend to be higher. By cooking your own meals, you can stretch your travel budget further and have more money to spend on other experiences.

  • Look for accommodations with kitchen access, such as Airbnb or Vrbo, as they allow you to cook your own meals and save on eating out.
  • Visit the nearest grocery store when you arrive at your destination or before leaving to stock up on food and snacks. This helps you save money on meals and drinks.
  • Take advantage of local markets and grocery stores to explore new ingredients and flavors unique to your travel destination.

By cooking your own meals while traveling, you not only save money but also have the freedom to tailor your meals to your taste and dietary needs. It’s a win-win situation that allows you to eat well without breaking the bank.

Taking Advantage of Free Hotel Breakfasts

Start your day on a budget-friendly note by enjoying the complimentary breakfast offered at many hotels. Not only will it save you money, but it will also give you the energy you need for a day of exploration. Most hotels, especially those catering to travelers, provide a variety of breakfast options to suit different tastes and dietary preferences.

When you wake up in the morning, head down to the hotel’s dining area, where you’ll find a spread of delicious food waiting for you. From freshly baked pastries and bread to cereals, yogurt, and fresh fruits, there’s something for everyone. You can fill your plate with your favorite items and savor a hearty meal without incurring any extra expenses. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to mingle with fellow travelers and exchange stories and tips.

Remember to check the hotel’s breakfast timings to ensure you don’t miss out. Some hotels may offer extended breakfast hours to accommodate early risers or those with late departures. So, take advantage of this frugal dining option on the road and start your day off right with a satisfying and cost-effective meal.

Avoiding Expensive Airport Meals

Eating at the airport can be a costly affair, with inflated prices and limited options. By planning ahead and avoiding airport meals, you can keep your travel budget intact. Here are some cost-effective travel food ideas to help you save money on food at airports:

  1. Fill up before heading to the airport: Enjoy a hearty meal at home or pack a lunch to eat on your way to the airport. This way, you won’t be tempted to splurge on expensive airport food.
  2. Bring your own snacks: Pack some portable and shelf-stable snacks like granola bars, nuts, or dried fruit to satisfy your hunger during the journey. This will save you from buying overpriced snacks at the airport.
  3. Opt for a picnic: If time allows, consider having a picnic at a nearby park before or after your flight. Pack sandwiches, fruits, and other snacks that can be enjoyed outdoors.

Avoiding expensive airport meals is a smart way to save money while traveling. By planning ahead and bringing your own food, you can enjoy a more cost-effective travel experience without compromising on nourishment.

Stocking Up on Food and Snacks at Grocery Stores

Before you start exploring your destination, make a trip to the nearest grocery store to stock up on affordable food and snacks. This way, you’ll have options for meals on the go and save money on dining out.

Here are some tips for stocking up on food and snacks while traveling:

  1. Make a list of essential food items you’ll need during your trip, such as bread, fruits, vegetables, canned goods, and snacks.
  2. Consider buying shelf-stable items like granola bars, nuts, and dried fruit that can last longer without refrigeration.
  3. Look for local specialties or regional products at the grocery store to try something unique to your travel destination.
  4. Check for any ongoing promotions or discounts at the store to save even more money on your purchases.

By stocking up on food and snacks, you’ll be prepared for times when you don’t have access to affordable dining options. This is especially helpful if you’re on a tight budget or traveling to remote areas where food choices may be limited.

Traveler’s Quote:

“Stocking up on food before my trip has always been a lifesaver for me. It not only helps me save money but also gives me the freedom to eat whenever and wherever I want, without worrying about expensive restaurants or limited options.” – Sarah, frequent traveler

Remember, eating cheaply while traveling doesn’t mean compromising on taste or quality. With a little planning and a visit to the grocery store, you can enjoy delicious and budget-friendly meals throughout your trip.

Bringing a Refillable Water Bottle

Stay hydrated without spending extra money on bottled water by bringing your own refillable water bottle. It’s a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to quench your thirst on the go.

When traveling, it’s important to stay hydrated, especially in warm or dry climates. Instead of constantly buying bottled water, which can be expensive and contribute to plastic waste, simply carry a reusable water bottle with you. You can refill it at drinking fountains, cafes, or even ask for tap water at restaurants. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also play a part in reducing single-use plastic consumption, making it a win-win situation.

Quote: “Having a refillable water bottle has been a game-changer for me while traveling. It saves me so much money that I can spend on other experiences during my trip.” – Travel enthusiast

Benefits of bringing a refillable water bottle:

  1. Cost-saving: By refilling your water bottle instead of buying bottled water, you can save a significant amount of money over the course of your trip.
  2. Environmental-friendly: Plastic bottles contribute to pollution and waste. By using a refillable water bottle, you are contributing to the reduction of single-use plastic and promoting sustainability.
  3. Convenience: Having a refillable water bottle ensures that you always have water on hand, saving you from constantly searching for a place to buy drinks, especially in areas where it may not be readily available.
  4. Health and safety: Drinking from your own bottle allows you to control the quality and source of the water you consume, ensuring that you stay healthy and hydrated throughout your travels.

Remember to empty and dry your water bottle before going through airport security. Once you’re past security, you can refill it at a water fountain or ask the flight attendants to fill it for you during your flight. Being prepared with a refillable water bottle is a small step towards a more budget-friendly and sustainable travel experience.

Packing Shelf-Stable Snacks

Keep hunger at bay with a stash of shelf-stable snacks that require no refrigeration. These budget-friendly options are perfect for satisfying your cravings during long journeys. Whether you’re taking a road trip or hopping on a plane, having a selection of shelf-stable snacks will ensure that you always have something to munch on when hunger strikes.

Here are some ideas for shelf-stable snacks to pack for your travels:

  1. Dried fruit: From raisins to apricots, dried fruit is a tasty and nutritious option that won’t go bad during your trip. It’s a great source of vitamins and fiber, and it’s easy to pack in small bags or containers.
  2. Nuts: Almonds, peanuts, and cashews are all excellent choices for a protein-packed snack. They provide long-lasting energy and are easy to carry in resealable bags or snack containers.
  3. Granola bars: These compact and filling bars are a convenient snack option for travelers. Look for bars that are low in sugar and high in fiber to keep you satisfied between meals.
  4. Rice cakes: Light and crispy, rice cakes are a versatile snack that can be enjoyed plain or topped with spreads like peanut butter or hummus. They’re a great alternative to chips or other unhealthy snacks.

To keep your snacks fresh and easily accessible, pack them in a small cooler bag or airtight container. This will help prevent them from getting crushed or exposed to moisture.

With these shelf-stable snacks in your travel arsenal, you’ll be prepared for any hunger pangs that come your way. Plus, you’ll save money by avoiding pricey convenience store snacks and overpriced airport food. Happy snacking!

Opting for Local Eateries and Street Food

For a taste of local flavors without breaking the bank, skip the touristy restaurants and explore the local eateries and vibrant street food scene. You’ll discover affordable and delicious meals unique to your destination.

When traveling, one of the best ways to experience the culture and cuisine of a place is by trying the local eateries. These hidden gems often offer authentic dishes at more affordable prices than their touristy counterparts. From hole-in-the-wall restaurants to food stalls lining the streets, you’ll find a wide variety of mouth-watering options to satisfy your cravings.

Benefits of Local Eateries and Street Food

If you’re looking for a quick and budget-friendly meal, street food is the way to go. From delicious tacos in Mexico to mouth-watering Pad Thai in Thailand, street food vendors offer a plethora of flavors that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. Plus, eating street food allows you to engage with the local community and experience the vibrant atmosphere of bustling food markets.

Not only are local eateries and street food options more affordable, but they also provide a glimpse into the culinary traditions and heritage of a place. These small establishments are often family-run, using generational recipes and fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. By opting for local eateries and street food, you support the local economy and help preserve traditional cooking methods.

From savoring mouth-watering kebabs in Istanbul to indulging in savory crepes in Paris, exploring local eateries and trying street food is an adventure in itself. So, step off the beaten path, follow your nose, and discover the hidden culinary treasures that await you.

Making the Most of Restaurant Freebies and Discounts

Stretch your travel food budget by making the most out of restaurant freebies like complimentary bread or appetizers. Additionally, keep an eye out for local coupons and dining discounts to enjoy delicious meals at discounted prices. Here are some tips to help you maximize your savings:

  1. Take advantage of free bread or appetizers: Many restaurants offer complimentary bread or appetizers to start off your meal. These extras can help fill you up and reduce the need to order additional dishes.
  2. Look for local coupons: Check local newspapers, tourist brochures, or websites for coupons that offer discounts at restaurants. These coupons can often be found in hotel lobbies or tourist information centers.
  3. Explore daily deals: Websites and apps such as Groupon or LivingSocial frequently offer dining deals and discounts. Keep an eye out for these daily deals to enjoy meals at a fraction of the regular price.
  4. Sign up for loyalty programs: Many restaurants have loyalty programs that offer perks such as free appetizers, discounts on meals, or birthday rewards. Sign up for these programs to take advantage of the benefits.

Remember to always ask about any available discounts or freebies when dining out. Being proactive and aware of these opportunities can significantly reduce your food expenses while traveling, allowing you to allocate more of your budget towards other memorable experiences.

Using Apps to Find Budget-Friendly Restaurants

Finding budget-friendly restaurants is made easy with the help of apps like Yelp or Google Maps. These apps provide recommendations and reviews to ensure you enjoy meals that not only satisfy your appetite but also keep your wallet happy.

With Yelp, you can search for restaurants in your area based on price range, cuisine, and customer ratings. The app also features user-generated reviews, giving you insights into the quality of food and service. Whether you’re craving pizza, sushi, or a hearty burger, Yelp will guide you to affordable options.

Google Maps is another valuable tool for finding budget-friendly restaurants. Not only does it provide directions, but it also offers a feature that allows you to filter search results based on price range. You can easily discover local eateries with affordable menus and positive reviews from fellow diners.

By utilizing these apps, you can confidently explore your destination’s culinary scene without breaking the bank. Whether you’re looking for cheap eats recommendations or money-saving dining choices, these apps have got you covered. So, before your next trip, make sure to download Yelp or Google Maps and start planning your budget-friendly food adventures!


By implementing these cost-saving tips and strategies, you can eat delicious meals without overspending while traveling, allowing you to allocate your hard-earned money to other exciting travel experiences.

Looking for accommodations with kitchen access, such as Airbnb or Vrbo, can provide you with the opportunity to cook your own meals and save on eating out. Additionally, taking advantage of hotels that offer free breakfasts can help you start your day without spending extra money on morning meals.

Avoiding expensive airport meals and instead bringing snacks for the journey can also help you save money on food expenses. Similarly, visiting grocery stores upon arrival at your destination or before leaving can allow you to stock up on affordable food and snacks, reducing your need to dine out.

Remember to bring a refillable water bottle to avoid purchasing expensive bottled water and stay hydrated during your travels. Packing shelf-stable snacks like dried fruit, nuts, and granola bars can satisfy your hunger on the go without breaking the bank.

To further cut costs, consider exploring local eateries and trying street food, which often offer cheaper options and authentic culinary experiences. Taking advantage of restaurant freebies like bread or appetizers can also supplement your meal. Additionally, utilizing local coupons, daily deals, and social coupons can help you secure discounts on meals at restaurants.

Lastly, make use of apps like Yelp or Google Maps to find budget-friendly restaurants that fit your preferences and offer good reviews. This way, you can make informed dining choices without compromising your budget.

By following these tips and making smart choices about where and how to eat while traveling, you can enjoy affordable and satisfying meals without overspending. This will enable you to allocate your precious travel funds to other exciting experiences on your journey.

Meet Sejal - a passionate food lover and seasoned business professional. See how Your Ritual is making a difference.

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