How to Save Money on Food While Traveling

Learn how to save money on food when you are on the road.

By Reader's Digest Editors

Just because you spent a fortune on your flight and hotel, doesn’t mean you have to break the bank on food while you’re on vacation. Here are some tricks to saving money on food while you’re on the road:

1. Any day of the year, early evening will usually produce “early bird specials” in restaurants. Eat early on the cheap so you’ll have some extra money for ice cream later.

2. Lunchtime menus often offer the same dishes as in the evening for a sizeable discount. Have your main meal at lunch or get the cheaper lunchtime specials to go and save them for dinner.

3. Restaurants that have just opened often offer lower prices to attract customers. Do your research online before you leave and keep an eye out for promising new restaurants as you walk around during the day.

4. Choose from our list of  12 hotels that offer free breakfasts. And Kimpton hotels offer free happy hour!

5. If you’re going to a major city, sign up for a social coupon site, like Groupon or LivingSocial, in that city and receive great deals on restaurants.

6. Have a picnic. Farmer’s markets are popping up all over and offer fresh, local eats on the cheap. Grab some fresh veggies and fruit, local cheese, and homemade bread and have lunch al fresco.

7. Finally, you can always bring your own food for quick breakfasts and snacks on the go. Here are some ideas that don’t require a refrigerator. If you have a mini fridge in your hotel room, the possibilities are endless:

Breakfast

  • Instant oatmeal
  • Bread/Bagels and peanut butter
  • Granola
  • Breakfast bars
  • Cereal

Snacks

  • Fruit, fruit leather, and fruit snacks
  • Rice cakes and peanut butter
  • Granola bars
  • Pretzels
  • Trail mix

Plus:

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