Food is an integral part of many cultures around the world. Going to another country and not tasting the local dishes, instead of what we are used to eating, is wasting one of the best traveling experiences of our lives.
There are many backpackers who choose to cook every time, which is not bad if you are looking to save money, but that would imply at the same time not spend trying new things. Go to Spain and not pay to savor the famous paella? I do not think it’s a good travel plan.
On the other hand, it is understood that a backpacker cooks constantly, and is that if he spends his time eating in restaurants, he will be left without a penny in the blink of an eye.
Many of my friends assume that I, as a backpacker, spend my time cooking in the hostels and that this is the law of stone. In fact, I do not consider myself very fond of cooking, especially when it comes to cooking in hostels with a lot of other guests who also do the same. Having said that, it is possible to eat on the street without feeling that you squandered the money.
I want you to take note of the following tips that I am going to offer you, whose purpose is to help you in general terms to spend little on the subject of food:
1- Visit the street food stalls
In many destinations in the world, especially in Asia, you will find infinities of rolling food stalls, where food is prepared in front of you. You can get to taste a delicious Thai pad in Thailand for only $ 1, a price you would hardly pay at a restaurant. The attractiveness of eating in these positions is how cheap it is and they are not usually untidy as one imagines it. hack Instagram!!
2- Take a tour of the market
The ubiquitous public markets (I must admit that it is one of my favorite places in a city) are the favorite spots where you will enjoy eating at ridiculous prices. But neither should we be wrong, because just as there are markets that are neat, there are still those who lack cleanliness and it is almost certain that the food will leave much to be desired. It is never too much to ask locals which market is recommended for your stomach and pocket.
3- Choose a hostel that offers breakfast
The rule of staying in a hostel in these times is that breakfast is included, but still, you will find one or another that do not offer it. When I talk about a hostel breakfast, imagine something as basic as a pancake with ham and an orange juice, although the type of breakfast and the rations are different in each lodging. A well-loaded breakfast (with charged I mean that it will leave you full) is ideal to start the day with the maximum energies.
4- Use tourist cards
Most people think that tourist cards only grant discounts in transport and when accessing the attractions of a city. The truth is that the range of discounts applies to many other things, including eating in restaurants. Some even have discounts of 10% -20%, but sometimes these discounts can be up to 50% as long as you use your tourist card.
5- Search the menu of the day
Many restaurants tend to advertise on a blackboard the menu of the day (it is almost always lunch), where you have the choice of choosing between several dishes at an economical price. Before going to a place that offers a daily menu, find out what the dish is and if there is a cost or extra tax for services.
6- Take advantage of the buffet
Eating in a buffet-type place gives great value to your money, based on the fact that you will eat everything that is available as many times as you want. It is a great option for those who want to fill up for a good part of the day, without resorting to buying snacks (or snacks) in a timely manner.
7- Avoid eating in tourist areas
Why do I say this? It is obvious that the tourist points are to make money at the expense of the traveler, and therefore the costs will be as high as possible. To make the panorama more disadvantageous, the portions of food of the tourist places is smaller and the quality does not compare to that of the restaurants visited by the local people.
8- Eating at airports is synonymous with expensive
If you thought that eating in a tourist area is going to cost you too much money, at airports the matter is worse. I see the airports as something to eat something light and try to take snacks (cookies or chocolates) in my backpack for when I’m hungry.
9- Go on a picnic
A picnic is another form of saving that never goes out of style. Go to the supermarket and buy what is necessary (sweets, yogurt, fruits, bread, etc.) to make a good meal, accompanied by a drink and go to a park is not complicated. More profitable comes out if you do it in countries that are expensive to travel.
10- Share the meal with Meal Sharing
Personally, this website is one of the best ideas to try foreign cuisine without incurring expenses. It consists of promoting cultural exchange by uniting hosts and diners at the same table, where each participant of the meeting brings a plate of food of your choice. Everything happens in a great atmosphere of camaraderie. The United States and Europe have the largest user participation, although Latin America has gradually increased the list of members.
11- Do not get rid of water bottles
While getting bottled water today is not more expensive than a soda or an energy drink, buying a bottle of water every time you are thirsty is adding to the list of expenses. I recommend that you carry a refillable bottle and fill it with tap water (ask first whether it is safe to drink it or not).
I will not deny that often in my travels I go to a restaurant and I give my tastes asking for a dish that would bother more than one because of how expensive it is, but it is not that I make it a routine because then I would be displaced quickly. I guarantee that if you put into practice the 11 recommendations of this post, you can find the balance between eating well, beautiful and cheap.
Do you have any other advice that you think I overlooked? How do you save money with food when you travel?