Friday, 11 August 2017

Keeping Travel Costs Down - Food

A lot of people ask us about how we afford travelling so much and we truly do try and answer this as broadly as possible, but sometimes I know it's like clicking on a link for a blog post about how to get soft hair, only to find that it's specifically targeted at blondes and you're a redhead. As in, there's definitely some tips there that you can take away with you, but mostly it's tips that you sort of already knew, or aren't really helping you out that much. So, I took to twitter to ask you guys what it was that you really struggled saving money on when you went abroad, and though I'll do a mini series targeting as much as possible that was mentioned, the main one was definitely food.

Eating abroad definitely can be a tough one - especially as most of the time you don't have that helpful, genuine word of mouth that you would have at home; at most, you have a hotel that may get a cut from sending you to the restaurant they've chosen, or menus that you can try and decipher when you walk past. The internet can definitely help you - and if you've got the time to scour through pages and pages of tripadvisor, this can definitely be one of the best ways to find little haunts; but don't just blindly trust their pound sign rating system, as we've been to £££££ restaurants that have cost less than £££ ones. If you want to use tripadvisor, definitely take the time to check through the reviews and try and compare them with online menus - if the site doesn't have a menu, make sure to check tripadvisor photos or do a quick google of the name of the restaurant followed by the word 'menu' and there'll likely be at lease one tourist that's helpfully taken a picture and popped it up on a random review website.

There is an old saying that can often be more fruitful however, that tells you to follow the locals; and it stands to reason that this one would work. Locals aren’t going to pick bad places to eat, nor are they going to pay excessive amounts for foods readily available in their area (and these are usually the foods that you want to get your hands on) and so this can be a good choice - though likely will lead you down tiny winding roads in the centre of town somewhere, so make sure that you have your google maps ready to find your way back out. When you find your way to one of these restaurants, bear in mind that cheaper restaurants serving authentic foods don’t typically have English menus, so if you don’t speak the language you may have to pick randomly, rely on google translate or get over to the waiter that you’ll have what they suggest (if you’re not a fussy eater and have no food preferences or allergies, this can be a great way to try some fantastic dishes).

However food doesn’t have to be restaurants and bars - pound the streets to find food. You’re, realistically, never going to eat three meals per day in restaurants, bars and cafes and still hit your trip’s budget quota - but that doesn’t mean you have to cut down on food. Bakeries, fast food joint and even street food booths are all fair game that’ll barely break into the note in your pocket. Bakeries, in particular, are a goldmine. In many countries, baked goods are done by weight rather than number, and so one bread roll, one pizza slice or one sausage roll will weigh nothing, and therefore cost next to nothing - it’ll be fresh, hot and, more importantly, in budget. Similarly, if you need food and you’re low on cash? Don’t be afraid of opting for fast food. Probably don’t eat it every single day for every single meal, definitely do see what’s out there on offer - but a McDonalds for breakfast one day, or a late dinner one evening, will definitely help to keep you full, whilst keeping though finances in check.

One last tip, but this is only for if you’re staying in somewhere with a kitchen - but, use the supermarket. This might sound obvious, but you can save money by dishing out your own pasta and having food in before you head out for the night - there’s no shame buying vital bits from the supermarket and using these to keep costs low - after all, the less you spend on food, the more you have for other bits and pieces.

These are just some of the tips I could think of for keeping costs low on food, and I’ll be talking about some more bits and pieces about ways to save money on specific things, so keep in touch. If you have any places you struggle to save money on holiday, or any tips - definitely leave them below!

Sammy xo

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