Often, eating out while on vacation can be the most expensive part of your trip. You may end up eating at restaurants for every meal, and if you do not know the area where you are visiting, then you will likely not know which restaurants serve quality food at good prices. However, it is possible to reduce your food costs if you follow these tips.
Take Advantage of Included Meals
Many hotels include the price of breakfast in their cost or allow you to add meals to your stay. If you have already paid for your meal, then you should make sure that you take advantage of the meal. This may mean being at your hotel and awake while meals are being served. For example, if there is a breakfast buffet available at your hotel, you may want to wake up early and have a long, leisurely breakfast while you plan your day. This can allow you to eat (and pay for) a smaller lunch while you are out in the afternoon.
If your meals are not included in the price of the hotel, it is important to assess whether the convenience of dining at the hotel is worth the extra cost, or if you can find quality food for less money elsewhere.
Consider Booking a Suite With Kitchen Supplies
If you will be staying at a hotel for a few days or longer, then you may want to upgrade your booking to a suite with a kitchenette. This will allow you to cook full meals in your room and not have to pay restaurant prices. Although even a mini refrigerator and microwave can be helpful in reducing your food costs, you should look for a room that offers a cooking range as well as pots, pans, and dishes. This will allow you to take advantage of the kitchenette without packing your own supplies. It can be disappointing to arrive at a hotel with a kitchenette that is not stocked with the supplies necessary to use it.
Cook Simple Meals In Your Hotel Room With Everyday Items
Even if you do not upgrade your room to a suite with a kitchenette, you can use common hotel supplies to cook simple meals. For example, coffee pots can be used to heat water for several types of meals such as instant noodles, soft boiled eggs, or oatmeal. Additionally, an iron and some tin foil can be used to make grilled sandwiches, quesadillas, and even bacon.
If you will be taking this approach, it is important to bring a few supplies with you. For example, you may want to bring a set of camping dishes for each person in your room. These weigh little and do not take up much space. Additionally, they usually come in a mesh bag in which they can be hung to dry after washing.
Ask the Concierge for Local Suggestions
You should make sure to ask the hotel concierge if they have any suggestions for low-cost, local places where you can eat. Do not be afraid to make it clear that you are looking to save money. Otherwise, they may suggest more tourist-oriented or upscale restaurants, assuming that because you are on vacation you would like to treat yourself. If your hotel does not have a concierge, you should ask the front desk clerk or any lobby staff.
Research Ahead of Time
Before you leave for your trip, you should get online and find nearby restaurants that you may want to try. You can compare prices and reviews and make a meal plan for your trip. However, it is important to be flexible when you actually arrive. You may find a worthwhile restaurant in person that did not have an online presence, and it is important to be able to change your plans to try new places.