Skip to Content

This article may be sponsored or include a provided product or affiliate link. See the footer and Affiliate Disclaimer for full details.

How to Save Money on Food When You Travel

1. Eat local food on the street or market

In most places around the world the streets are lined with small food stalls where local food is served. Here you can eat for a few dollars and at the same time try traditional dishes.

Many people are worried about the safety and prefer eating in a restaurant.

Personally, I have never had any problems with the food and would always prefer eating on the street, not only for financial reasons but also because it is in my opinion the best way to experience the culture of a new country and to get in contact with locals.

Thailand for example would not be the same without its street food.

how-to-save-money-on-food-on-your-travels-10015040_649798711767603_6204511023651042179_o

2. Avoid restaurants and ask the locals

Restaurants at touristy places and are mostly totally overpriced.

Therefore ask locals where they like to eat.

A few walking minutes away from the tourist hotspots small restaurants are often offering the same food for a fraction of the price, are more authentic and again, it is an opportunity to get in touch with locals ;)

3. Buy food on local markets or grocery stores and have a picnic

When I am travelling I love visiting local markets.

I often purchase local food at different stands and have a picnic on the beach or on the peak of a mountain with a nice view.

I mainly purchase local food because it is usually the cheapest as it does not need to be imported.

travelling-DSC_0009

4. Look for accommodations with kitchen

Eating out every day is expensive and sometimes you prefer cooking your own food.

Whenever possible I try to book an accommodation with kitchen to prepare simple, cheap meals. Moreover, the kitchen is a good place to meet other people that are staying at your hostel.

Cooking together is not only cheaper but also makes more fun.

5. Catch Happy Hours

When you arrive at a new place check out bars and restaurants that offer Happy Hours.

When you are fine with eating early you can save money by ordering your food at Happy Hours prices.

6. Pack your own meals

The food at places like leisure parks, airports or bus stops are often overpriced.

An easy way to avoid paying to much for food is to carry your own small meals and snacks.

Examples of easy to pack meals are protein bars, pre-made pizza, fruits or sandwiches.

7. Order Take-Away

Ordering Take-Away can be cheaper because you do not order all the extras like desert and after-dinner coffee.

Moreover, instead of the expensive drinks in the restaurant you can buy cheap drinks at a local store or drink tab water and you do not need to pay the tip for the waiter.

How to Save Money on Food When You Travel22

8. No Soda or Snacks

A coke during lunch, a 7 up at dinner and a drink in between.

During a long-term trip buying sodas can really add up.

Money that you could better use to do a fun day trip or to extend your travels. The same goes for snacks.

9. Take a reusable water bottle

Water might not be as expensive as Sodas but at high temperatures you need several bottles a day.

Assuming a bottle costs $1 and you buy three per day over the course of a month you well spend $90.

You see, it is a lot of money and in some countries a bottle even costs more.

Additionally, it is more sustainable to use reusable water bottles.

Read: How to drink water from any water source in the world.

10. Tourism Cards and Coupons 

Tourism cards are not only a good way to save money on transportation17 and attractions but also offer discounts at many restaurants.

Moreover, you can find good restaurant deals on websites like Groupon and many cities have booklets with discount cards for certain restaurants.

11. Shop early or late on markets

Many vendors offer special deals for the first customers of the day or sell the last goods at the end of the day at a fraction of the original price.

Comment below: Do you have any tips on how to save money on food when you travel?

Was this post helpful? If so, be sure to pin it to refer to later!

how to save money on food

Pauline Joie
Travel Expert, Bachelor degree in Tourism
Pauline has a bachelor’s degree in Tourism and is a professional content writer. She specializes in writing about travel and food. Pauline spent most of her career life in Dubai and is a Travel Expert for the United States and Costa Rica.
×
Pauline Joie
Travel Expert, Bachelor degree in Tourism
Pauline has a bachelor’s degree in Tourism and is a professional content writer. She specializes in writing about travel and food. Pauline spent most of her career life in Dubai and is a Travel Expert for the United States and Costa Rica.

martin rossow

Monday 6th of May 2019

Very informative tips thanks for sharing.

Ella Mac

Tuesday 5th of March 2019

Hello, this is really informative blog! Thanks for sharing. If you are planning to travel with American Airlines in a cheap price, American airlines offer more benefit to our America flight passenger, simply call at American Airlines Contact Number: +1-888-388-8628 and can visit our website.

Jude Beta

Tuesday 4th of August 2015

Fab post. Mexico was amazing for street food but being a veggie I find other countries harder to find decent street food.

William Bowie

Monday 3rd of August 2015

Such great an often overelooked advice...gotta be sensible if you want your cash to last!

Meanne Anneklien Casica

Sunday 2nd of August 2015

Great tips ... I love trying street foods

Loading...
shares