Food is a necessity, and so it will always be one of the major expenses for anyone going on a trip or vacation.
Along with hotel bills, food costs while traveling can quickly add up. Fortunately, there are many ways to please your palate on a trip without breaking the bank.
What is the secret? How.com, Africa’s No. 1 online hotel booking site shares 5 easy ways to save money on meals while traveling.
Eat like the locals, Hit the Streets
Some of the best budget food in the world comes from street vendors. It is hearty and cheap, and permits you to eat to your fill without shelling out too much money. Rather than patronize recommended tourist restaurants and cafes (which are usually overpriced) in the town you are visiting, ask questions and find out where the locals eat.
Ask the hotel staff or even your taxi driver about their favorite food joints, and you are more likely to end up with an affordable meal, also, you gain a more authentic dining experience as you savor local specialties. To avoid food poisoning, be sure the meal is served hot, check out the environs of the hotel or eatery as it will give you a hint on how thorough their hygiene routine is.
LODGE IN ACCOMMODATIONS WITH IN-ROOM KITCHENS
This option may seem stressful, but it is a very viable one. Instead of eating at restaurants for every breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout your trip, consider booking a hotel room with a kitchenette and then visit the local market or grocery stores for ingredients to cook your own meals.
Staying in a place with a kitchen can do wonders for your budget, and your taste buds as well, as you get to have meals that suit your particular taste, seeing as you will be making them with the condiments that you prefer.
Search for discounts, deals and free vouchers
Meal deals and dining coupons are always available, you just need to find them and the internet is usually a big help.
Scour the internet. Scope out hotel deals and packages that include daily breakfast to help cut costs, or that offer credits towards meals at the hotel restaurant to offset the cost of dining out every time.
If you are in Nigeria, hellofood.com is a good start. You are bound to find discounts for meals and coupons for popular restaurants, grocery stores, and bars in the place you will be visiting.
Vouchers can also be found at your hotel, the airport, bus or train stations, or any other location that caters to tourists. Newspapers and magazines also include vouchers in ad sections for discounted meals and entertainment.
KEEP ALCOHOL INTAKE ON THE LOW
Experiencing a unique, regional craft beer or wine might be high on your list but it is best to keep alcohol intake generally on the low. Alcohol has a way of making you stray from being budget-minded to splurging extravagantly.
The best way to keep on budget is to avoid alcoholic beverages altogether. To maximize your savings, stick to water or fruit juices. If you can, bring powdered drink mixes to compliment your meals.
Draft a detailed meal budget
Most people tend to neglect the cost of feeding while planning a budget for a trip. They focus on the price of airfares, hotels and transportation.
It is essential to research the place you are traveling to and consider available restaurant options, and estimate how much you could possibly spend per meal. By doing that, you will have a set amount to spend per meal and you will know how to regulate the frequency of the meals for the time you will be on the trip.
There will only be a slim chance of you blowing your budget on an impulsive dinner at that fancy restaurant you know is way out of your price range.