Ms. Travel Chic: Ways to save on food while traveling

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ways to save on food while traveling

When planning a trip it’s very easy to budget for hotel, transportation and tours since you have the figures up front. However it can be a bit more complicated to anticipate what you will end up spending on food once you arrive.

Here are some tips to help you save money when dining out on your travel journey:

Pre trip: Groupons and Living Social. Before heading to your destination check out these sites for discounted deals at local restaurants. Most deals are between 30%-50% off for popular and newly opened establishments. Pre purchasing vouchers and planning out your meals will make it easier to stay within your budget.

In Flight: Unless you are flying first class only expect a complimentary beverage for domestic flights! In flight food is big business now...I mean $5.00 for a cookie? No thanks! Airport food can be just as pricy. Try to eat before you start your trip or pack a brown bag meal from home. Bring an empty water bottle and fill up at fountain once at airport.
If you've got the status it's always worth upgrading to first class for the FREE hot food and drink. Good news is, if you are traveling internationally on a flight 8+hrs you will be served three meals, the first one is usually within an hour of take off. Also, beer and wine are complimentary on international flights!

Hotel: Make sure your room at the least has a refrigerator and microwave. If this doesn't come standard in your room, call ahead and request them. Since they are portable appliances usually hotels are able to honor the request, most times at no additional charge. Leftovers won't go to waste and you can pick up items from the local market to store in fridge and have on hand for snacks.

Local Scene: Please don't go to Rome and eat burgers everyday! Immerse yourself in the local cuisine:) I love checking out "Hole in the wall" restaurants! They usually have the best food at a more affordable price point. You can still pick one night (maybe two) where you will splurge on a fancy dinner or brunch but keeping it simple is key to spending less. Ask the concierge or "locals" you interact with for their dining recommendations.

Alcohol: If you are a drinker, this can end up being where you spend the most money! Wine and Cocktails can be between $8 - $15 a piece at most restaurants, hotels bars, cruises and nightclubs. As an alternative you can pack a bottle (or two) of your favorite beverage with you (this is where that hotel fridge comes in handy). Only taking a carry on? Clear liquors can easily be transported in 3oz travel containers just label them "contact solution" lol. Also invest in a FLASK and carry your own drink "on the go"! Order cranberry juice and mix your own drink:)

So how do you save on food and beverage when you travel?