The right way to 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.

In truth, consuming is certainly one of my favourite actions, and in addition certainly one of my favourite elements of touring.

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

I’m at all times disillusioned after I meet vacationers who cook 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 once you go to a brand new nation, it’s vital to be as open as potential to their meals tradition.

After all, many vacationers have a sound concern on the subject of meals. For one, consuming out on a regular basis is dear. Think about in case you ate out day by day — your meals price range could be astronomical!

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

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

Nonetheless, I don’t truly cook dinner fairly often after I’m on the highway. Whereas I like cooking at residence, I hate poorly geared up hostel kitchens.

To verify I can eat out with out breaking the financial institution, I’ve needed to discover ways to stability 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 positively is feasible. Right here’s easy methods to eat out on a price range whilst you journey the world:

1. Eat at Buffets

Whereas they don’t at all times serve the perfect meals, buffets provide nice worth in your cash, particularly since they’re all-you-can-eat. As a rule, you may replenish on one meal for the whole day. They’re an excellent economical alternative and provide the most meals in your buck (whereas permitting you to pattern a number of completely different meals).

2. Go to Outside Avenue Distributors

Small stands that promote scorching canine, sausages, sandwiches, and related meals nice locations to get an inexpensive and fast meal. Whereas in Sweden, I lived off these kinds of 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 stuffed 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 hold 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 brazenly on the road.

You seize a plate, sit down in slightly plastic chair, and luxuriate in a scrumptious meal. Avenue meals is a few of the greatest meals on the planet. Meals at avenue stalls (completely different from avenue distributors, who’ve a bit extra everlasting set-up) value lower than a greenback more often than not and are a good 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. (Generally) Eat Quick Meals

Quick meals isn’t the perfect for you, however it’s another choice if you need an inexpensive meal in cheap elements of the world. For as little as $5 USD (extra in costly nations like Norway, residence of the $15 Whopper), you will 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 can assist you rein in your spending. (Nonetheless, be aware: in Asia, quick meals is usually dearer than native meals.)

5. Go Native

Whenever you’ve been touring for some time, it’s solely regular to crave a style of residence from time to time. That signifies that certain, generally I get sick of Greek meals after 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 nearly at all times dearer than native delicacies. For instance, in Vietnam, a bowl of pho is lower than a greenback, however a burger is about 3 times 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, provide lunch specials, the place objects on the dinner menu are provided at an enormous low cost. You may get an incredible afternoon meal for a fraction of the fee 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 may look like an affordable method to quench your thirst, however it’s a alternative that provides up (very like shopping for a espresso day by day). Positive, I’ll splurge from time to time on a Coke, however I hardly 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 certainly interesting. However spending a few bucks day by 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) day by day can add up. As you stroll round and sightsee, you’ll want to keep hydrated. However shopping for a bottle of water isn’t 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 elements of the world, bottled water prices much more than that!)

Carry a refillable bottle of water (with a filter) with you as an alternative and simply use the faucet water. I recommend a Lifestraw bottle. It ensures your water is at all times 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.

For the reason that value is so small (“It’s solely a euro!”), we don’t consider snacking as having a huge impact 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 in case you simply purchase two little snacks for 1.50 EUR per day, that’s going to be at the least 90 EUR (over $100 USD!) by the tip 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 follow large, filling meals as an alternative. For those who do must snack, ensure you account for it in your price range.

For those who’re somebody who loves snacking all through the day, take into account shopping for snacks on the grocery store like fruits, crackers, power bars, and many others., to take with you to munch on over the course of the day so that you’re ready as an alternative of splurging on an overpriced vacationer lure snack.

10. Cook dinner Usually

I don’t cook dinner so much on the highway as I don’t like hostel kitchens. They by no means have all the pieces I want, and I hate touring with a transportable 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 cook dinner a number of meals.

Cooking is without doubt 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 choice is Asia, the place avenue meals is normally cheaper.

As I discussed, I’ll typically exit for a nicer meal at lunch after 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 technique 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 every day lives.

For those who’re staying at a hostel, it is a nice ice-breaker for assembly new individuals. Simply invite everybody alongside to hitch you and also you’ll be making new buddies 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 points of interest. However these playing cards additionally provide reductions at many eating places. Sometimes, reductions are round 15-25%, however generally lunch specials could be as much as 50% off.

Go to the native tourism workplace once you arrive and ask what meals reductions are included. Chances are high you’ll be capable of save much more cash in case you simply take the time to study concerning the tourism cross. it’s a worthwhile funding!

13. Discover Free Breakfast

If you’ll find hostels or resorts that embrace breakfast, you’ve already eradicated the price of one meal. Plus, if in case you have an enormous breakfast that fills you up for a lot of the day then you definitely don’t must eat as many meals out. Furthermore, many hostels world wide additionally provide 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 seemingly low cost locations to eat close by. Test Google Maps for native post-secondary establishments and see what you’ll find within the close by space. Many bars within the space will seemingly have low cost drinks and glad hours too, so it can save you much more.

15. Use Grocery store Offers

In lots of nations, supermarkets provide lunchtime specials for employees 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 seemingly end up some discounted (however nonetheless completely secure and edible) meals.


I 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 once in a while.

And that’s what is absolutely vital — discovering the fitting stability.

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

E book Your Journey: Logistical Suggestions and Tips

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 at all times know no stone is being left unturned.

E book Your Lodging
You possibly can e-book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you wish to keep someplace aside from a hostel, use because it constantly returns the most cost effective charges for guesthouses and resorts.

Don’t Overlook 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 improper. I by no means go on a visit with out it as I’ve had to make use of it many instances previously. My favourite firms that provide the perfect service and worth are:

Wish to journey without spending a dime?
Journey bank cards can help you earn factors that may be redeemed without spending a dime flights and lodging. They’re what hold 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 newest greatest offers.

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