Some of the best travel advice my mum ever gave me was the bread roll in the handbag trick. Exactly as it sounds, so long as you have breakfast included at your accommodation, simply sneak a bread roll or two into your bag to snack on later when hunger strikes again.
When you look at where most of your money is spent while travelling, taking out the big ticket items such as your airfare and accommodation, the majority of what’s left usually goes on eating and drinking. As someone who enjoys good food and wine as much as the next person, there’s nothing wrong with this. But for both your waist and wallet’s sakes, it’s good to take a break from eating out all the time.
Here are three tried and tested ways to save money on food and drink while travelling:
1. Breakfast buffets
Breakfast has long been my favourite meal and I wholeheartedly agree with the statement that it is the most important meal of the day. After a couple trips this year staying in apartments that did not include breakfast, I would now recommend opting for accommodation that does. The simple reason being that a big breakfast can mean that you can skip lunch or have a light lunch, and save money later in the day. Not only is it one less cost you have to factor in, it’s so easy to roll out of bed, throw on some clothes and hit breakfast rather than thinking about where you need to venture out to find some food first thing in the morning, when all your brain can think about is coffee. Being gluten free I often opt for an apple but, as Kaye taught me, if there’s bread rolls, fruit or other easy (and safe) to stash foods on offer sneak some in your bag for morning or afternoon tea – two meals down, three to go!
Often on many tourists’ sightseeing lists anyway, markets are not only a great way to see a city and its culture, they also make for a fantastic cheap feed. Featuring some of the destination’s best produce, many markets will have sections where you can sit and try dishes, or you can wander round and see what takes your fancy. If there’s a few of you, why not grab some different bits and pieces and head to a local green space for a picnic? Stock up on fruit and nuts for snacks during the day and don’t forget to try the samples – they are priceless after all!
Ahh aperitvos, one of the many reasons I love Italy so much. The Italians are definitely onto something with this idea. When it hits 5pm or 6pm in Italy, many bars and restaurants will lay out the most amazing spreads, which usually consist of olives, bread, cold cuts, cheese and mini tapas-style bites such as quiches and bruschetta. The best part about aperitvos is they are free for you to enjoy if you purchase a drink.
Recently in Rome my mum and I stumbled across such a restaurant we were hoping to have dinner at, only to find out they were fully booked. Thankfully they had the most extensive spread of dishes laid out which were free to enjoy with a drink. Selecting for a glass of wine, four plates later we rolled out the door so full we no longer needed dinner a solution which cost us less than 15 euros!
While not every country has adopted aperitvos (even though they clearly should) most bars will serve some sort of complimentary snacks when you order a drink. The only downside is if you’re very hungry you’re going to have to drink a lot…
How do you get more bang for you buck when it comes to feeding yourself while travelling? We’d love to hear your tricks and tips in the comments.
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