As many of you know, I freakin love to travel, and I love to travel with my husband. I do travel for work, but as often as we can, we like to just get away for ourselves! Having our own little getaway vacation is very different from traveling for work. For one, we have a lot more space in our luggage since we're not hauling around all our equipment. But also, the expenses aren't getting covered by our business or client, so we're having to foot the entire bill from our personal finances. This is fine, and it's even something that we budget for, but one thing I wanted to talk about today is how we budget for food while we're traveling, since that could easily eat up your travel budget in one fell swoop.
First of all, I wanted to clarify that a lot of the time, our reason for traveling is to see places and do things, and sampling the local cuisine is usually not at the top of our priorities list. Sometimes it is, and that's when we're willing to save up a little extra for the dining out. But for the most part, our plan is to eat really cheap so that as much of our travel money as possible can go towards the fun parts of the trip, like sight-seeing, staying in fun locations, activities, etc.
One easy way you can plan ahead to save money on your trip is to use a little of your luggage space to pack cheap snacks that will travel well and fill you up. We like to pack things like granola bars and oranges, things that can act as breakfast or a light mid-day lunch if we have plans in the morning and evening for meals. As we eat these up, it also frees up space in our suitcases for souvenirs or dirty clothes, or anything else we want to bring back with us.
Another way that we save on food is to eat the same thing for lunches every day: sandwiches. Sandwiches are cheap, the ingredients are really easy to find wherever you go, and they can fill you up. We don't mind eating the same thing because we're not picky about having a diverse meal plan and we fully recognize how much money it's saving us and how much more we can do by traveling and eating this way.
The last recommendation I have for you if you're traveling with someone is to share your meals when you go out to eat. Most of the time, depending on where you travel to, you can find a solid, filling meal that's still big enough to feed two people, and not have any leftovers. You probably don't have a ton of space to save your leftovers or take-home box anyway, so just share the food, and if you're still really hungry, eat one of your granola bars! My favorite is to eat at a Mexican restaurant because beans and rice are really filling, we can easily load up on chips and salsa before our meals arrive, and then a big ol' enchilada is the perfect amount to split between me and Matthew.
If you like to travel, and you want to make the most of your travel budget, that's the biggest recommendation I could give you: use your budget for the actual travel and experiences as opposed to the food. You gotta eat, but you don't gotta eat fancy just because you're away from home. I hope you take this to heart and you can start exploring the world to your heart's content!!