Guest post: Tips for saving money on food and drink abroad, by Mel Jones

“We all want to save money when we go abroad and I find that food and drink is often the biggest culprit for draining our travel budget. So! I’ve combined my top 10 tips for saving money on food and drink that I swear by when travelling.

1) Pack snacks for on the move.
Definitely pack a snack before you go. It will save you at least £20 by the time you’ve wandered through duty free, had something to eat, got some snacks for the plane and loaded up on bottled water. This can also apply whilst you’re exploring your new destination

2) Book self-catered accommodation.
This year I’ve booked a weekend away to Barcelona with friends and as there are four of us going, we decided to book an apartment and split the cost. It has worked out a lot cheaper than booking separate hotel rooms, and we split costs on food shopping. We will save about £20 every meal we eat at home.

3) Eat where the locals eat.
Try and avoid eating in tourist spots, prices will always be surged. If you’re out and about, ask a local where is cheap to eat or ask staff at your hotel.

4) Try to avoid alcohol.
As I typed this I was cringing! How can you go on holiday and not enjoy some cheeky cocktails whilst you’re there? Well unfortunately the cost for one, *sad face*. In Amsterdam it was €13 (approx. £10) for a single vodka and pint of Guinness, which was steep compared to home. Have fun, just be aware of getting carried away with the drink if you’re on a tight budget especially on nights out.

5) Eat on the go.
It’s tempting to eat in restaurants whilst you’re out and about on holiday, but if you’re on a city break try getting lunch or dinner on the go in between activities. You can save money by grabbing food from street vendors or a sandwich from the supermarket.

6) Order sides instead of mains.
I always find that restaurants give you really big portions anyway so sometimes I get a couple of sides instead of a main. That way I get a meal that I know I’m not going to waste because I’m too full and I save some money.

7) Share with a friend.
If you don’t fancy any of the sides, why not share with a friend? You split the cost as well as save yourself on the added calories, bonus! Make sure you assess the portion sizes first, just incase the restaurant is stingy on them!

8) Don’t be tempted by the extras.
Starters, desserts, sides and alcohol. Keep it simple. If you’re eating out for every meal try to stick to mains. The little extras really do add up.

9) Refill your water bottle.
You’re not allowed to take a full water bottle through security at the airport but you can take an empty one and refill it at the other side so you’re not forced to pay airport prices just for water. When you’re out and about at your destination you can also refill your water bottle as you go along. If you’re unsure about the tap water in your location you can buy a bottle with a built in filter from Amazon.

10) Take advantage of special offers.
2 for 1, buy one get one free, 10% off, lunch and dinner specials, whatever it may be, it’s all good! Keep your eyes open for meal deals as you’re on your travels to save you some extra pennies

I hope these tips help save you some money on food and drink whilst abroad!”

photo from
photo from

By Mel Jones of Footsteps on the Globe

Mel is a full-time Marketeer and part-time adventurer, aiming to inspire office dwellers to follow your travel dreams whilst still working your 9-5. Through her blog she hopes to demonstrate that travelling is not just for elite full-time nomads.

Take a look at my post Spending as little as Possible, for more tips on how to stretch your pennies further when travelling!

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One thought on “Guest post: Tips for saving money on food and drink abroad, by Mel Jones

  1. Awesome guest post! It is true costs can add up pretty fast while away and it is so important to manage and balance the budget! Buying your own food at local markets and making sandwiches or small picnics is the best way I found to save money while in Europe or North America. While in South America or Africa, they usually have local eats (like mentioned in the article) that can be cheap, authentic and delicious!


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