Whether you’re on a vacation or a business trip, the top three expenses always stay constant: transportation, accommodation, and food. Today, we’ll be focusing on the latter, which is arguably one of the most difficult expense to minimise and keep track of. Sure, you can save up on accommodation by making use of deals and promos through listing apps. But it’s a bit hard to save up (or even stay on budget) when it comes to food, especially if you haven’t researched and planned where to eat. And sometimes, we just can’t help grabbing a snack or eat at a pricey food place to treat ourselves during the trip.
As such, we’ll be taking a look at different ways and tips you can stay on budget and even save on food expenses when travelling (without having to resort to eating cheap convenience store ready-to-heat meals):
Do Your Research, Read Reviews
If you saved up money on your hotel accommodation by doing extensive research online and going through many listing sites and apps, why not do the same for your meals? Once you’ve ‘plotted your course’ for your business trip or vacation, it’s recommended that you take a quick look at the many restaurants and food establishments in the area. If you don’t want to travel far from your accommodation or stray too far away from your route, isolate your search and make a shortlist of food places in the area. After which, you’ll want to check out their menu (to see if they fall in your price range) and, more importantly, read up on online review and feedback to see if they’re worth the money.
Coupons, Promos, and Gift Certificates
While you’re looking up and creating a shortlist of places to eat, you might as well try looking for promos, deals, gift certificates, and coupons at these food places. If you feel like you’re going to have a huge appetite after travelling for the entire day, or after finishing a hectic business trip meeting, try to look for 1 for 1 buffet promotions and other food deals to treat yourself without punching a hole in your wallet.
Ask the Locals
If you’re already on your trip and you forgot to do your research, one of the best ways to find cheap and good food is by asking the locals which food place they’d recommend. You can even go online and ask friends who live (or stayed there) and ask for recommendations. It’s recommended that you ask them about local cuisines, as the locals are more likely to tell you about places they frequently go to and eat that serves their favourite meals. And if you want to save up on money, you may want to consider asking students in the area, as they’re more likely to also bargain-hunt for food. You may even be lucky enough to come across some so-called ‘hidden gems’ this (i.e. places that might not even be on online maps but offer good food and value).
Accommodation with Meals (or a Kitchen)
Another great way to save up on money is to look for a hotel or accommodation that already have meals packaged in. Even if it’s just free/packaged breakfast or dinner, it can go a long way when it comes to saving up on food expenses. Alternatively, if you don’t mind cooking your meals during your trip, you can look for lodging that has a kitchen — you can buy ingredients at the local market and then cook up a meal for dinner or breakfast.
Minimising food costs and staying on budget can be difficult when travelling, so make sure you follow these practical tips to save up on food and fill up your stomach on your trip.