For travelers, there are a few things that make up the bulk of expenses. The plane ticket clearly is a main one, then accommodation and transportation within the destination. Bus rides and train tickets can definitely add up. After that, food is a major expense that many travelers experience! You might not think that eating would cost so much money, but if you don’t really put some thought into how you can best budget your food money, you can watch it slip through your fingers very quickly! Of course you want to enjoy yourself and try all the local specialties when you’re traveling. This isn’t a time to be eating ramen noodles out of a cardboard container! But it’s important to find the balance between spending all your money out at restaurants, and enjoying budget meals that still fill you up with energy for your adventures. If you want to compare the costs of eating and living in different cities, check out this link. You can see the differences between cities like New York, Sydney and London. So when it comes to eating and traveling, here are some tips to help you find that balance and save your budget!
Avoid the tourist traps
When you stay in a tourist center somewhere, you’re going to be surrounded by lots of tempting places to eat. You’ll see menus advertising pizza, cocktails and all kinds of Western delights that you might be craving after being on the road. But keep in mind that you’re going to pay extra for these types of restaurants. If you see lots of travelers eating there, you might want to reconsider or at least be aware that this meal could be a bit of a splurge.
Instead, head out of the center part of town to find some areas where there are more local places to eat. This could mean local restaurants serving up the local fare, where you’ll get a great taste of the local cuisine. You can tell where the good places are because you’ll see more locals eating there than tourists. At these kinds of places, you’ll pay far cheaper prices as well.
When you’re traveling in Asia, you’ll see all kinds of opportunities to try super cheap street food at the street vendors. This food can be very delicious, and is ridiculously cheap. For example, in Thailand you can eat a Pad Thai and mango sticky rice along with a smoothie for less than $3. This is true local cooking and you won’t find a cheaper price! If you do want to eat out sometimes, balance it with cheaper street meals.
Cook some meals
You obviously want to eat out a bit when you’re traveling, because you’ll be tired after a long day of seeing the sights, and want to try the local specialties. But sometimes it can be a great idea to shop at the local market for some ingredients, and cook a meal if your hotel or hostel has a kitchen available. Not only is this cheaper than eating out, especially if you share costs with people, but you’ll probably be eating much healthier as well! It’s a great way to meet other travelers and really enjoy sharing a communal meal together.