If eating out at lavish restaurants while on vacation tends to decimate your travel budget, there's only one thing to do: eat smarter. Use these helpful tips to save money while travelling by planning ahead, being choosy and even prepping some meals yourself.
Bring your own non-perishable nibbles such as granola bars, trail mix, chips and dry cereals so you can avoid purchasing overpriced food at airports. You can even earn PC Optimum points when you use your PC Financial Mastercard to stock up on goodies. Just make sure you aren't breaking any border control regulations.
Refill Your Water Bottle
Unless you're visiting a country with questionable drinking water, pack a collapsible bottle in your suitcase and fill it at every opportunity, instead of buying bottled water, juices or sodas. At restaurants, stick with tap water as well. It will help you save money while travelling.
Stock Up on Groceries
After you've settled at your hotel or rental, make your next stop the bakery, fruit-and-veggie market or butcher. Though you'll still want to eat out to taste local flavours, you can buy ingredients for making a few easy breakfasts, lunches or dinners. And if you have a coffee maker, pick up ground coffee or beans so you can cut back on daily caffeine purchases.
Ask a Local
Instead of searching best-of lists or tapping your hotel concierge for restaurant recommendations (where you'll often learn about high-end or touristy hotspots), ask a bartender, cab driver or tour guide for their favourite places to eat on a budget. You'll likely get to dine like a local and won't have to spend a ton to do it.
Sign Up for Coupons
Plenty of websites have coupons for restaurants in major cities around the world. Simply perform a search for your vacation destination plus "restaurant coupons" and you'll find deals galore. Now that's how to save money on food while travelling.
Two Words: Street Meat
Wondering how to save money on vacation meals? Outdoor vendors often serve tasty dishes that are cheap, too. While you may not want to eat every meal from a cart, picking up a few dinners from a street vendor may help minimize your overall dining costs. Choose merchants that look clean and have a bit of a lineup.
Eat Out at Lunch, Not Dinner
If you're going to eat at a restaurant for one meal a day, make it breakfast or lunch, since most establishments have more affordable menus earlier in the day. And if there's a pricey restaurant you really want to try, make a lunch reservation. You'll receive the same quality of food but typically for a fraction of the dinner price.