1. Included Breakfasts (and a possible free lunch)
– Make sure you book accommodation that includes a free breakfast (one less meal to pay for)
– Sometimes travellers (and myself included) will often fill themselves up with a big breakfast, and then stay full until dinner time.
How can you score free lunches while travelling solo?
One of many lovely surprises in Europe was how they do breakfast. Being one of the most important meals of the day they had a selection of bread rolls, tomato, cucumber, ham and cheeses; in an attempt to save some money I might have (no, I definitely did) took some of those things and created a take away sandwich (hidden in a serviette).
WARNING: In some places, they will NOT let you take food out of the hostel at all. This was a rule posted in the hostel I was staying at in Ljubliana, Slovenia. On the other hand, while I was staying in Salzburg, Austria, this was not a problem and not religiously checked, so I managed to eat a free lunch for the three days I was visiting! At my hostel in Paris, France I took some bread rolls and nutella and that became my lunch/snack for the day.
2. Supermarket meals
During my four and half months of travelling in 2014, I can attest to eating many supermarket meals in order to save money.
Reasons to do supermarket meals:
1. You can buy in together: This can really bring the total cost down. On my USA tour, my friend and I frequently split the cost with others on the tour for lunch. A simple supermarket lunch can include buying some wraps, hommus, avocado and turkey/ham. Investing in supermarket meals can also be the healthier option!
The picture below is me in a Walmart carpark, with another girl from our tour having one of our many supermarket meals!
2. Cheaper (especially when you have access to a kitchen): Throughout my big trip, I stayed with people in places I found on Airbnb and had free access to their kitchen to cook meals. Constantly eating out can become quite expensive when travelling alone, so when you get the chance to supermarket shop and have free access to a kitchen, cooking at-home meals can help cut costs.
In Hollywood, I stayed with a lovely Swedish-born lady for four nights and had free access to her kitchen to make meals, plus a supermarket was within ten minutes walking distance! I made simple meals combining pasta, vegies and a nice sauce – easy to make and if you make a full batch you can save some for another lunch/dinner!
3. Fast food outlets.
Buying from fast food outlets are often the cheaper option when travelling alone. If you are on the road and need something quick and easy, fast food is not a bad choice! There were times when I was travelling that I had no access to a kitchen, plus I needed something quick and easy, so I chose to buy fast food for that particular meal.
Even though fast food is a money-saving option, it is not necessarily the healthiest. I do not recommend completely living off fast food while travelling, there needs to be a healthy balance, so only have fast food every now and then!
4. Go on tours
The biggest reason why going on tours saves you money on food:
Meals are included on tours
Europe: On my four-week European tour, I had all breakfasts, plus some lunches and dinners included in the tour price, which works out cheaper than if you were travelling on your own and had to buy your own meals.
USA: On my three-week USA, similarly to my Europe tour, all of my breakfasts were included, plus some lunches and dinners – the added extra which I loved was the included meals had soft drinks (sodas) included in the price as well! I ended up saving a lot more money on the tour – I took full advantage of the free soft drinks and every now and then skipped on buying alcoholic drinks.
My favourite included meal: My most favourite included meal on a tour was in Santorini, Greece. This was the stunning view I had for dinner:
What are some of the ways you have cut costs on food while travelling?