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When traveling, one of the major expenditures that must be planned is food and drink. There are some tips for how to manage these costs when travelling
1.) Stay in accommodations which offer free breakfast
Many accommodations included breakfast as part of their room rate. If this is the case, take advantage of this situation and have a hearty breakfast before setting out on the day. This can save you the cost of a meal even before going out for the day.
*Note that you’ll need to compare room prices like-for-like as some accommodations offer rooms (w/breakfast) at higher prices.
2.) Have a big lunch and go easy on dinner
Regular diners will note that lunch sets and specials are quite common while restaurants tend to charge full fares during the evening meals. With this knowledge, you can do well to make lunch your big meal during the day while going easy or even taking a pass on dinner.
3.) Look for 2-for-1 and other deals
To entice dinners, restaurants and bars sometimes offer very good deals. If you are dinning as a pair, this can be a good way to save a bit on a meal.
4.) Split or share meals
Similar to the 2-for-1 deals, if traveling in a group and can split or share your orders (ie. 1 main and 1 appetizer) you can reduce your food expenditures.
5.) Downgrade your dining requirement
Another quick way to save on food and dining expenditures is to downgrade your venue requirements. If you want a restaurant – go to a café. If you want a café – go to a bakery. If you want a bakery – go to a supermarket. If you are thinking supermarket – go to a wet (open) market (if these are available).
Downgrading your food source requirements allows you to reduce the amount you pay into the food value-chain. If you are able to pass multiple layers (ie. want a restaurant but end up going to a street market vendor instead), you can save a can save a lot of money on your food and dining bill.
6.) Cook your own meals
Similar to the downgrading tip, if you have access to cooking facilities, you can save quite a lot by being the chef yourself and preparing your own meals. This cuts the cost of having someone else prepare your meal for you and is cheaper than dining out in most countries of the world
*Note in Asia (for example), this isn’t always the case. You can actually find a fair number of places where eating at local restaurants is no more expensive then you buying your own food from the supermarket and preparing it yourself.
7.) Go Soft drink and alcohol less for a meal or two
Soft drinks and alcohol do end up costing a fair amount, especially if you end up ordering a second or third drink during a meal. Sometimes, travelers end up spending as much on drinks as they do on food. If you keep this in mind and try to just have water with meals, you can save quite a bit while dining.
*Note, it can be the case that ordering house wine or beer can actually be cheaper than ordering bottle of water at certain restaurants. This is something you can learn about on Tripadvisor destination forums when researching and preparing for your travels.