Staying at five-star resorts and hotels is a wonderful way to travel, but you can find that the cost of “eating out” stacks up on a day-to-day basis. So how can you enjoy the culinary delights of your destination without it hitting your wallet too hard? One great way to savour and experience the local food scene is to shop at grocery stores or markets. It is simple; many will have deli counters selling all manner of cold meats, cheeses and salads, cooked chickens, also fresh bread, canned and jarred goodies, packets of dry crackers. And if your accommodation includes tea and coffee making facilities such as an electric kettle you can also consider adding dried noodles or rice pots. A key thing to remember if you are planning to go down this path, however, is to bring or get hold of simple utensils to use, such as paper or plastic plates, plastic cutlery and at least one knife for cutting meat or items such as tomatoes. Also remember to add a bottle opener to your list, including a corkscrew, or buy wine with a screw-off top. If you’re really serious, considering packing a cool bag and a picnic kit which will have wine glasses and all the basic utensils you’ll need.
Restaurant meals are a wonderful way to savour the local food scene, with new places to eat being a big part of the fun of travelling. If you’re staying at a hotel, ask bartenders, wait staff or baristas where they personally like to eat, or do some research at home before you and draw up a hit list of affordable places where locals would go and are well rated. You can also check out any locally produced food blogs. At your destination, look out for lunch or early bird dinner specials, also fixed menus or all-you-can eat buffets, or offers where kids eat free. Another option, depending on where you’re travelling to, is to buy a number of meal deals from sites such as Scoopon or Living Social, making sure they are valid for the time you’re travelling, and booking them before you leave home. If you are travelling to a country where it isn’ safe to drink tap water, however, don’t take risks and buy bottled water from supermarkets or convenience stores; getting sick from eating food is a real risk when you’re away from home, but increases if you add dodgy water to the menu.