6 Ways To Eat Cheap While Traveling

street food A.I. image

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street food A.I. image
Cheapism / DALLE-E 3

Eat Well and Save Money

Traveling is getting more expensive every year. Remember when you used to be able to find hotels for under $100 a night? That feels so far away now. 

Another major money pit when you’re traveling can be dining experiences. Have you found yourself saddled with upcoming travel plans and restaurant reservations and a wallet a little too thin to accommodate them? I’ve been there so many times. Here are six tried-and-true ways to eat cheap while you’re traveling.

International airport terminal. Asian beautiful woman with luggage and walking in airport

1. Don’t Eat at the Airport

Your money-saving journey begins at the beginning. The $18 you’re about to spend on a pre-made Caesar salad could be put to far better use at a restaurant or grocery store. (Another tip? Bring your own snacks to the airport.) At the very least, save your money for some booze on the plane.

inn the clouds hostel kitchen
Dana W. / Yelp

2. Cook When You Can

Cooking your own food rather than eating out is a clear frontrunner for saving money. For the most part, eating at sit-down restaurants is far more expensive than making your own food. If you’re renting an apartment or house, the kitchen can be your best friend.

Maybe you’re staying in a hostel, and you’ve only got access to one burner. Local grocery stores and even corner stores will usually carry things like instant ramen and cans of soup. Staying in a hotel with no stove access? The microwave in your room can work wonders.

al pastor
al pastor by Ted McGrath (CC BY-NC-SA)

3. Eat Street Food

Depending on where you’re traveling, street food may be both a cheaper and tastier alternative than most restaurants. In many parts of Asia, Mexico, and even the U.S., street food can define a city. You’ll be stunned by how little this food can cost, especially if you’re traveling to a place with a forgiving exchange rate.

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Chips and snacks on shelves in supermarket
Credit Card Crunch

5. Use the Right Credit Card

You can “save” money even when you’re spending it if you've got the right credit card. There are countless cards these days that boast dining and travel points, so find one that works for you and consider leaning on it during your travels. Then you can become one of those people that constantly tries to get referral bonuses by convincing your friends to sign up.

Related: 22 Travel Destinations You Can Visit on $20 a Day

Choosing breakfast at restaurant buffet

6. Stay at Hotels With Free Breakfast

Don’t underestimate the power of a good hotel breakfast. Free breakfasts can range from cereal to a full hot bar buffet, depending on which hotel you stay in. Take advantage of shaving one meal off the bill every day.