8 Money Saving Tips to Going Out while Abroad


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One thing I will say before anything else is that food abroad can be one of the best experiences you will ever have in your life. The flavours, textures and spices among different tribes, villages, cities and countries can astound you. Don’t be stingy with your meals, get out there and explore!

1. Eat Buffet Meals
Depending where you are in the world buffet meals may be of similar price to the normal dishes available. If you’re digging in to an all-you-can eat buffet for lunch or dinner, you’re guaranteed to walk away waddling with no more room for digestion. Of course I’m not saying you should be indulging every day of the week, but sometimes you can save a little cash by really eating a full and proper meal during the day which will save you money on buying snacks throughout the day.


2. Eat Locally
Experience the cuisine and let it be a huge part of your trip! Eating locally can be exciting and nerve racking at the same time. As long as you aren’t prone to allergies, try anything you can (however, be weary of street food in some places). Eating the local dishes will most definitely save you money no matter where in the world you are. Imported food inflates the price of the meal and usually won’t taste the way it should anyway. If you’re in South East Asia, avoid buying the expensive ‘western food’ and eat locally!


3. Follow the Younger Crowds
This is a tip I have been given time and time again. Though we can’t assume that all people of a younger generation will be gathering somewhere affordable, many backpackers are between the ages of 20 and 30 whom are mostly looking to save a few pennies anywhere they can to continue their trips onward. If the restaurant is packed with tourists chances are the food is delicious and also likely very affordable.


4. Look for Free Entrance
This is more in terms of going out at night to a bar or club however, always try and look for places with free entrance. Depending where you are in the world, some entrance fees and tack you up quite a bill! If you’re going to buy drinks anyway, why spend the money on just entering the doors?


5. Eat a Late Lunch for Dinner
Most places will have a cheaper lunch menu than they will dinner. Sometimes the portions aren’t even different it is just because dinner is a much more popular meal to eat when gathering with friends and family. If you’re willing to eat dinner a little early, some places will shut down their lunch menu around 4:00pm. Buy a few snacks if you’re looking for a midnight snack and eat a ‘late lunch’ for dinner.


6. Cook from Home
There are so many meals now-a-days that you can eat even without a fridge, microwave or oven in your hotel room. If you’ve got access to any of these, definitely take advantage of the situation and cook from home as much as possible! If you’re looking to save quite a bit of cash, buy snacks that don’t require preparation to tide you over for a while before getting a full meal.


7. Buy Drinks before Going Out
Have you ever heard of a ‘pre-drink’? This is where you’re consuming your cheapest drinks of the night that were likely purchased at a local grocery store or liquor store. These ‘pre-drinks’ will be the drinks before the bar. Purchasing drinks at the bars no matter where you are, are always going to be much more expensive.


8. Get Water with Your Meal
You don’t need soda pop at every meal, so just go with water when you can (even tap water if it is safe). You can buy your juice, soda and alcohol at a local convenience shop usually for less than half the price as you would have in the restaurant. There are a few exceptions however, like in Germany when beer is cheaper than water, then you should just disregard tip number 8 – haha.


What ways have you saved money on food and drinks while traveling abroad? Share it with us and let other travellers know!

About the Author: Jenna Davis

I am a 20-something Canadian travel blogger whose home address is as unknown as the next destination I will be visiting. I run my own travel blog at www.giveforgranted.com with a focus on affordable travel and unique experiences. Helping keep our true north strong and free, I have also developed a non-profit organization which supports northern Canadians living in poverty. Give for Granted.

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