Vacations are wonderful times to break out of the daily rut and head off to see and experience new things. Without proper planning though, costs can quickly mount while you are away from home. Never fear though. With a little advanced preparation and armed with budget-savvy knowledge, you can keep spending in check. To help you out on the eating front, here are 9 Ways to Save Money on Food on Vacation.
Pack Snacks and Sack Lunches for the Road-Before heading out, stock up on eats for the road. That way you avoid the marked up prices at convenience stores and avoid drive-thru or sit down meals while in route.
Take Along Refillable Water Bottles-Simply refill along with the way and carry along the portable drink mixes if you want to add some flavor.
Explore Kids Eat Free Options-The Krazy Coupon Lady offers a really nice Comprehensive Guide to Kids Eat Free Restaurants.
Groupon Deals-If you know your vacation destination at least a few months in advance, you can keep an eye out for Groupon restaurant and other food deals for the area to which you are traveling.
Pick Up Coupon Books at Visitor’s Centers and Rest Stops-Many of these spots stock these booklets full of savings. Especially, at the Visitor’s Center at your destination, you will likely find promotional material with deals included.
Snag Local Entertainment and Event Magazines or Pamphlets-If you are vacationing in an area that is at least moderately populated, you may find publications that focus on local happenings and offer savings opportunities.
Speaking of locals, Go Where the Locals Go-Ask folks who live in the area(s) where you are vacationing, where they like to eat. Often, you will find it is not the touristy spots, but other locations that tend to fly below the radar. On average, these spots tend to be less pricey that the tourist haunts.
Take Advantage of Microwaves or Refrigerators-Many hotel rooms these days provide at least a mini fridge for guest use. Some facilities have common areas with microwaves and toasters that you can access throughout the day. Take advantage of what equipment is available to prepare some meals.
Of course, eat any meals that are included with your lodging costs. Do steer clear though of any mini bars and vending machines in the hotel.
When Getting Take Out, Do So With Meals That Can Be Shared– Pizza and pasta are always economical bets for take out portions that will feed a group. When taking away, you are also able to furnish your own drinks and do not have to pay as much in the way of tips.