Food costs can take a big bite out of your vacation budget. Discover seven ways to minimize the impact.
1. Use Coupons and Gift Certificates
Don't leave home without those coupons! You can cut your food expenses considerably by purchasing an Entertainment Book
for the area that you'll be visiting, or by picking up discounted restaurant gift certificates from Restaurant.com
. All it takes is a little forethought to save.
2. Get Your Order to GoMost hotel rooms and vacation rentals come with a folder of take out menus. Sift through the folder until you've found something that looks tasty and affordable; then place an order, and skip out on the cost of drinks and a tip.
3. Never Pass Up a Free MealDoes the hotel you've booked offer a free continental breakfast? If so, that's one meal a day that you've got covered. How about cocktails, coffee or an afternoon snack? Find out what's included in the price of your room, and then take advantage of any and all food freebies.
4. Eat Where the Locals EatThose tourist hot-spots that seem pricey to you also seem pricey to the locals. Talk up the clerk at the hotel desk, and find out where she likes to go for cheap eats. Then, enjoy an affordable night out minus the vacation crowd.
5. Eat Out at LunchSkip the pricey entrees and long wait times by eating out at lunch instead of dinner. Lots of establishments offer lunch specials to drive in business during the slower part of the day.
6. Pack SnacksSnack foods purchased from vending machines and convenience stores receive a hefty mark up before they reach you. Avoid this expense entirely by bringing along your own snacks from home, or stocking up at a grocery store once you arrive at your destination.
7. Dine InEating out three meals a day is fun, but pricey. Hang onto a little money for souvenirs and sunscreen by eating some of your meals in your room. It's amazing what you can accomplish with a mini-fridge and a kitchenette.