Ultimate Guide to Saving Money on Food When Travelling

When on holiday, most people end up spending a fortune on food. From restaurant buffets to drinks, they throw caution to the wind. You are having fun, you are happy to be on a holiday, and before you know it you have splurged half of your trip budget on eating out.

If you have the kind of spare money to splurge on fancy restaurants and the purpose of the trip is to have a fun relaxed holiday, then it’s fine. But if you want a budget holiday and are a frugal traveller, then you’d surely want to save on food as much as you can. This is especially significant when you are travelling abroad.

Saving Money on Food When Travelling

Hotel choice

  • Choose a hotel that has a kitchenette so that you can fix your own little meals sometime. Make sure it provides complimentary breakfast without adding too much to the room rent.
  • It’s always better if your hotel has sasta (cheap) eateries nearby. Best if there’s a local market from where you can pick food items.

Take to the Streets

It’s the best way to explore the local area, try local cuisine, and have some inexpensive fun. But beware, you don’t want to get traveller’s diarrhoea. That will be the end of it all. So, just exercise some caution, some common sense, and wham! you are the king of the streets.

Tastier and cheaper

  • Rule 1: Don’t eat all your meals from the same vendor (unless the food seems super clean, super tasty and super cheap). Space them out.
  • Rule 2: choose dry and cooked items. Avoid sugary syrupy dishes.
  • Rule 3: Try the local specialty. Since that is a popular dish in the area, the cooks will rarely go wrong with that. They would know the one thing they specialize in.

Make your own little meals

  • Head to the local market. Buy provisions and assemble a little meal in your hotel room. Bread is the safest option.
  • Get powdered milk and other ready-to-make drink mixes for en energy boost anytime of the day.
  • Carry ready-mixes for making instant noodles, oats etc. Cereal with milk in your hotel room will serve as the perfect cheap but wholesome breakfast.

Stock on these foods if on the road

When you are travelling to an offbeat destination, accessibility to food is often one of the major concerns. Whether it’s Ladakh in India, backpacking in Europe or you’re flying to Australia, when you are on the move constantly, food options come by at long intervals. In such a case, it is sensible to be ready just in case you don’t find edible food. You cannot travel on an empty stomach.

Here are some foods you can practically survive on during your trip:

  • Maggi – our best friend ever since man invented fire.
  • Ready-to-eat foods
  • Energy bars
  • Glucose powder
  • Eggs


  • Spend on junk and packed food.
  • Drink too much. If you have to, don’t order that cocktail in the restaurant, search for a shack or local retail store and buy from there.

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