Skip to Content

7 Tips to Save Money on Food While Traveling

Sharing is caring!

save money on food when traveling

One of the most expensive aspects of being on vacation can be the food and drink. This is because we all tend to eat and drink more when we are on vacation.

If you’re traveling on a budget here are some tips to help save money on food and drink while traveling.

Save Money on Food When Traveling

It may come as a surprise that it is extremely easy to save money on food when traveling. There are a lot of strategies that you can use to help you save money on food whether you are traveling alone, as a couple or as a family.

free breakfast

The first rule of food saving is never pay for breakfast. Be sure when you book your hotel that breakfast is included. There are so many hotels that offer this option; Holiday Inn Express, Hampton Inn and Residence Inn are just three that offer a wide selection of foods for breakfast not just a donut and a cup of coffee.

Be sure to take full advantage of this offering by eating a substantial breakfast especially a little protein which can keep you feeling full a lot longer.

Some hotels also offer evening treats and snacks that can also save you a bundle when it comes to having a snack. Some of the offerings are enough to take the place of dinner. Be sure to check exactly what the hotel or hotels that you are considering offer.

Share meals

Many restaurants, especially Italian ones offer huge portions of pasta. Most of them are large enough to share especially if they come with a basket filled with Italian bread and a salad. Some restaurants may charge more to share a meal but it is still less expensive than having two meals.

For lunch, a large Hoagie or submarine sandwich can often feed a family.

Look for discounts

Do your research and choose restaurants that offer an online coupon or regularly offer specials. Boston Chicken almost always has a coupon that you can print out, TGI Friday’s offers happy hour half price appetizers and all day Sunday.

Applebee’s and Denny’s offer free kids meals on certain days of the week when an adult orders a meal. These are just a few of the discounts that you can take advantage of.

Early bird specials

From 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. there are many restaurants and diners that offer a reduced priced menu. This is to encourage people to eat at the earlier, less busy time. When you have kids, eating early is a good idea and can save you a lot of money.


Who doesn’t love eating al fresco? It can be outdoors or it can be in your hotel room. Go to the local grocery and buy some paper plates, plastic utensils, napkins, a whole roasted chicken, cold cuts, cheese and drinks.

Most grocery stores have a whole section of prepared foods and especially if your hotel room has a microwave you can prepare just about anything. If your hotel has a breakfast room ask them if it is okay if you have your picnic there. This will save you a bundle.

Fast food

Everyone knows you can eat fast food quite inexpensively and you can even make healthy choices. Even if this is something you don’t do at home, as a savings strategy on vacation it is worth considering especially since so many fast food restaurants offer a dollar menu, how much cheaper can you get than that?

Watch the drinks

Tap water is free, everything else costs unless it is included in the meal price. Go with the free and if you must have a coffee, make it when you get back to your room or pick up a $1 Green Mountain Coffee at McDonalds. You will save yourself a lot of money.

Cocktails on vacation can definitely cost a fortune! Choose wisely. Those fancy drinks with umbrellas can add up quickly.

Do your research before you leave so that you don’t feel as if your entire vacation is centered around saving money on food. You want to be able to just relax and have a great time.