Eat Low cost When You Journey the World (Up to date 2023)

A food seller in Asia serving tasty local food
Final Up to date: 3/17/23 | March seventeenth, 2023

I like to eat.

Actually, consuming is one among my favourite actions, and in addition one among my favourite facets of touring.

Meals is such an integral a part of so many cultures that to skip out on meals if you journey is to overlook out on part of that tradition.

I’m all the time disillusioned once I meet vacationers who prepare dinner all their meals in a hostel kitchen.

Why come to Italy and never have pasta?

No sushi in Japan?

Avoiding steak in Argentina?

Skipping paella in Spain?

When you don’t must eat each single dish if you go to a brand new nation, it’s vital to be as open as attainable to their meals tradition.

In fact, many vacationers have a legitimate concern in terms of meals. For one, consuming out on a regular basis is dear. Think about should you ate out each day — your meals price range can be astronomical!

Moreover, many individuals have dietary issues that forestall them from totally embracing new meals. And lots of vacationers are vegan or vegetarian, as nicely, which could affect their choices.

As a backpacker, individuals usually assume that I, like different backpackers, prepare dinner all my meals.

Nonetheless, I don’t really prepare dinner fairly often once I’m on the highway. Whereas I really like cooking at residence, I hate poorly outfitted hostel kitchens.

To verify I can eat out with out breaking the financial institution, I’ve needed to discover ways to steadiness consuming 99% of my meals out whereas nonetheless discovering a approach to save cash.

Sure, it takes a little bit of intelligent pondering, however it undoubtedly is feasible. Right here’s methods to eat out on a price range when you journey the world:

1. Eat at Buffets

Whereas they don’t all the time serve the most effective meals, buffets supply nice worth to your cash, particularly since they’re all-you-can-eat. As a rule, you may refill on one meal for your entire day. They’re an excellent economical alternative and provide the most meals to your buck (whereas permitting you to pattern a number of totally different meals).

2. Go to Outside Avenue Distributors

Small stands that promote scorching canines, sausages, sandwiches, and related meals nice locations to get an inexpensive and fast meal. Whereas in Sweden, I lived off some of these distributors. Whereas they’re nothing fancy, they’re tasty and low-cost!

In Amsterdam, FEBO and their croquettes stored my abdomen full. In Costa Rica, the empanada vendor crammed me up for a greenback and I purchased native meals from distributors at markets for mere pennies in Madagascar.

These fast and cheap meals gained’t win any Michelin stars (although there are Michelin star meals stalls in Singapore!) however, they may maintain you full with out emptying your pockets.

3. Eat Avenue Meals

In most locations world wide (and particularly in Asia), the streets are lined with little meals stalls and areas the place meals is cooked overtly on the road.

You seize a plate, sit down in a bit of plastic chair, and revel in a scrumptious meal. Avenue meals is a number of the greatest meals on this planet. Meals at road stalls (totally different from road distributors, who’ve a bit extra everlasting set-up) price lower than a greenback more often than not and are an effective way to essentially expertise the native delicacies.

Many locations — like Thailand and Vietnam, for instance, wouldn’t be the identical if the road meals disappeared.

4. (Typically) Eat Quick Meals

Quick meals isn’t the most effective for you, however it’s an alternative choice in order for you an inexpensive meal in cheap components of the world. For as little as $5 USD (extra in costly international locations like Norway, residence of the $15 Whopper), you may get a filling (and vastly caloric) meal.

Furthermore, the native greenback menu will prevent much more. Positive, it’s not the best meals, and I’m going to skip the philosophical debate about touring world wide solely to eat McDonald’s to say that it’s low-cost and simply one other approach that will help you rein in your spending. (Nonetheless, be aware: in Asia, quick meals is usually costlier than native meals.)

5. Go Native

Whenever you’ve been touring for some time, it’s solely regular to crave a style of residence every so often. That signifies that certain, typically I get sick of Greek meals once I’ve been touring there for a bit. Different instances, I can’t eat any extra Thai meals and simply need a burger.

And that’s OK.

We reside in a globalized world — eat what you need. Nonetheless, non-local meals is sort of all the time costlier than native delicacies. For instance, in Vietnam, a bowl of pho is lower than a greenback, however a burger is about thrice as a lot (or extra!).

Go native and you’ll save your self a ton of cash in the long term!

6. Discover the Lunch Specials

Many eating places, particularly in Europe, supply lunch specials, the place gadgets on the dinner menu are provided at an enormous low cost. You will get a tremendous afternoon meal for a fraction of the price you’d pay for a similar meal within the night.

I normally are inclined to eat my “good” meal throughout lunch, as a result of lunch specials and plates of the day are about 30-40% off what I would pay at dinner. The choices will normally be extra restricted, however the financial savings greater than justify it.

7. Skip the Soda

Grabbing a refreshing can of Coke or Pepsi would possibly look like a cheap approach to quench your thirst, however it’s a alternative that provides up (very like shopping for a espresso each day). Positive, I’ll splurge from time to time on a Coke, however I infrequently purchase soda as a result of it’s so costly (and it’s so unhealthy for you!).

Whenever you’re visiting a tropical location, an ice-cold soda is unquestionably interesting. However spending a few bucks each day can actually add up over the course of a long-term journey!

8. Refillable Water Bottle

Water won’t be as costly as soda, however shopping for a bottle (or three) each day can add up. As you stroll round and sightsee, it’s essential to keep hydrated. However shopping for a bottle of water will not be solely environmentally wasteful — it additionally makes silly price range journey sense.

Assuming every bottle is about $.75 USD and you purchase three a day, over the course of a month you’ll spend $67.50!

That’s some huge cash spent on water! (Plus, in some components of the world, bottled water prices much more than that!)

Carry a refillable bottle of water (with a filter) with you as a substitute and simply use the faucet water. I counsel a Lifestraw bottle. It ensures your water is all the time clear and secure.

9. Don’t Snack

A gelato right here, a gelato there. A soda. A sweet bar. An ice cream. A small pastry. All of it provides up.

Because the value is so small (“It’s solely a euro!”), we don’t consider snacking as having a big effect on our price range. However shopping for snacks a number of instances a day will slowly add up and throw your price range out of whack. Even should you simply purchase two little snacks for 1.50 EUR per day, that’s going to be at the very least 90 EUR (over $100 USD!) by the top of the month.

It’s not one thing many vacationers consider, however snacking actually does add up over the long run. Keep away from snacks and stick with massive, filling meals as a substitute. When you do must snack, ensure you account for it in your price range.

When you’re somebody who loves snacking all through the day, think about shopping for snacks on the grocery store like fruits, crackers, vitality bars, and so on., to take with you to munch on over the course of the day so that you’re ready as a substitute of splurging on an overpriced vacationer entice snack.

10. Prepare dinner Usually

I don’t prepare dinner so much on the highway as I don’t like hostel kitchens. They by no means have all the things I want, and I hate touring with a conveyable kitchen so I can have all of the components I need.

But when I’m in a single place for some time (or if I’m Couchsurfing), I prepare dinner a number of meals.

Cooking is likely one of the greatest methods to maintain your journey prices down, and supermarkets are additionally nice locations to go to see what the native individuals eat. The one place the place cooking your personal meals isn’t essentially the most economical possibility is Asia, the place road meals is normally cheaper.

As I discussed, I’ll usually exit for a nicer meal at lunch once I can discover a whole lot. That can normally imply for dinner I’ll be cooking my very own meals. That approach, I’ll nonetheless get to attempt the native delicacies however I’ll additionally get to maintain my price range intact. Double win!

11. Picnic

One other good self-cook methodology is to picnic. That is one thing I do so much for lunch if I’m someplace the place the climate is sweet. I normally head to an area meals market, choose up a bunch of meals, and go picnic within the park. Not solely am I saving cash (sandwiches aren’t costly), however it affords me an excellent likelihood to look at the locals scurry about their each day lives.

When you’re staying at a hostel, it is a nice ice-breaker for assembly new individuals. Simply invite everybody alongside to affix you and also you’ll be making new pals very quickly!

12. Use Tourism Playing cards

Most individuals consider vacationer playing cards just like the iAmsterdam card or the VisitOslo cross as only a approach to save cash on transportation and sights. However these playing cards additionally supply reductions at many eating places. Usually, reductions are round 15-25%, however typically lunch specials could be as much as 50% off.

Go to the native tourism workplace if you arrive and ask what meals reductions are included. Likelihood is you’ll be capable of save much more cash should you simply take the time to be taught in regards to the tourism cross. it’s a worthwhile funding!

13. Discover Free Breakfast

If you could find hostels or resorts that embody breakfast, you’ve already eradicated the price of one meal. Plus, you probably have an enormous breakfast that fills you up for many of the day then you definitely don’t must eat as many meals out. Furthermore, many hostels world wide additionally supply free dinners, free espresso and tea, and different food-related perks. Search them out to save cash and decrease your meals prices.

14. Eat With College students

The place there are universities, there are college students, and since college students are normally broke, meaning there are possible low-cost locations to eat close by. Verify Google Maps for native post-secondary establishments and see what you could find within the close by space. Many bars within the space will possible have low-cost drinks and completely happy hours too, so it can save you much more.

15. Use Grocery store Offers

In lots of international locations, supermarkets supply lunchtime specials for staff within the surrounding areas. These normally entail recent sandwiches or some soup or salads. Moreover, many supermarkets additionally low cost meals that expires quickly, together with bread, baked items, meat, and produce. Purchase groceries within the night and you’ll possible end up some discounted (however nonetheless completely secure and edible) meals.


I really like a pleasant eating places. I don’t thoughts paying cash for an excellent meal with a pleasant glass of wine. However doing that EVERY meal is just too costly.

However, through the use of the information above, I can afford to maintain my prices down whereas nonetheless with the ability to afford a top quality meal occasionally.

And that’s what is actually vital — discovering the appropriate steadiness.

As a result of should you can handle to steadiness consuming nice meals with saving cash, each your pockets and your abdomen will thanks.

E book Your Journey: Logistical Ideas and Methods

E book Your Flight
Discover a low-cost flight through the use of Skyscanner. It’s my favourite search engine as a result of it searches web sites and airways across the globe so that you all the time know no stone is being left unturned.

E book Your Lodging
You may e-book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you wish to keep someplace apart from a hostel, use because it persistently returns the most affordable charges for guesthouses and resorts.

Don’t Neglect Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage will defend you in opposition to sickness, harm, theft, and cancellations. It’s complete safety in case something goes incorrect. I by no means go on a visit with out it as I’ve had to make use of it many instances prior to now. My favourite firms that supply the most effective service and worth are:

Need to journey free of charge?
Journey bank cards can help you earn factors that may be redeemed free of charge flights and lodging. They’re what maintain me touring a lot for thus little. Take a look at my information to selecting the correct card and my present favorites to get began and see the most recent greatest offers.

Able to E book Your Journey?
Take a look at my useful resource web page for the most effective firms to make use of if you journey. I listing all those I take advantage of once I journey. They’re the most effective at school and you’ll’t go incorrect utilizing them in your journey.