Whether it’s simply a matter of filling an empty stomach or an important part of the holiday experience, finding somewhere to eat is a necessary part of any globetrotting trip.
But there’s one rule all the travel experts agree on: if you want to eat abroad without spending a tonne, there’s no better strategy than going for local grub. You might opt to visit local eateries or go DIY and cook your own meals - but either way, eating as if you’re at home is key to saving money when travelling.
Travel insurer Fast Cover had a tonne of tips to share about finding affordable local food when you’re overseas. Here are some of the best:
Tip #1 Ask for recommendations
“If you want to try a restaurant, consult guidebooks, tourism websites or local food blogs or ask the locals!” Fast Cover says. No one knows better where affordable, tasty food can be found than the locals, so make some new friends - and maybe some new dinner partners!
Tip #2 Hit the grocery store
We know, we know - grocery shopping is probably the last thing you want to do on your holiday. But Fast Cover suggests buying food from the local grocery store, market or corner shop and making a picnic part of your trip! Another good thing to pick up at the supermarket instead of a restaurant or street vendor is bottled water.
Tip #3 Look for specials
According to Fast Cover, “End of day specials at bakeries, markets and supermarkets are a great cheap way of eating well.” So keep your eyes peeled for sales! If you're travelling with kids and eating out, it’s also worth seeking out places that offer “kids eat free” deals.
Tip #4 Plan your meals
If you’re on an extended trip, or one where you’ll be hopping from place to place, it might be hard to stick to the grocery shopping rules. Fast Cover’s advice? “If you're travelling a lot, only buy what you can eat that day.”
Tip #5 Make the most of complimentary breakfasts
When travelling, it pays to fill up at the start of the day - and those complimentary continental breakfasts can really pull their weight if you “take a few pieces of fruit or a bread roll for later,” says Fast Cover.
Tip #6 Head to happy hour!
You’re on holiday - a cocktail or two is part of the experience, right? But these tasty adult beverages can set your budget back quickly, so take Fast Cover’s advice and “...go during happy hour and look out for bars that offer free snacks!”
Want more? Check out our expert travel tips for every leg of your next journey, or, head over and browse through our Best $20 I Ever Spent series to read tips about global cities like PAris, Rome and Las Vegas.