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How To Eat On A Budget When Traveling The World

How do you eat on a budget when you’re trying to travel the world?

After all, eating is one of my most favorite things to do in life.

It is also the thing I look forward to the most when I travel.

After all, there is just so many different kinds of food in the world, with each culture having their own variation.

It is simply amazing!

However, eating all these delicious foods does come at a cost.

Depending on which country you choose to go to, or what type of cuisine you want to eat, it can get pretty expensive.

It is because of this cost that many people who travel tend to not like eating out and instead choose to just cook their own foods. That or they just go into a local convenience store and buy something small to eat for cheap.

But in my opinion, that isn’t really how you should do things.

I mean, why travel to Europe to only to eat a ham and cheese sandwich?

Or why travel to Japan and eat McDonalds?

You might be traveling, but you are missing out on one of the biggest aspects of traveling. That is trying out the cultural foods you can only find in that particular country.

Now that doesn’t mean you have to always try out every single cuisine when you visit a new country. Because lets face it, that will be too expensive.

But you should at least give your self a chance to try some of the local cuisines once in a while.

Plus, there are ways to cut down on costs so that you don’t have to be spending so much just on food.

And that is the topic of this post.

In this post, we’ll show you all the ways you can eat on a budget around the world.

So if you are ready, lets start!

How To Eat On A Budget Around The World

Street Food

If you ever been to Asia, then you’ll know that street food is some of the best tasting foods you’ll ever eat. You’ll have stalls lined up one by one next to each other cooking fresh food for you to eat.

All you do is pay them money, and they’ll give you your food. You can choose to either sit down and enjoy your meal or you can walk around while eating it.

The best part about street food is that most of the time, they are insanely cheap! Like beyond cheap!

I was in Taiwan and bought a large piece of fried chicken almost the size of my head for only $1.00 USD.

Food Vendors

Food vendors are an amazing source for some great tasting food at a low cost.

You can often find hot dog, sandwiches, or burger food vendors all around when you travel.

When I was in New York, I got a chance to try out a lot of these vendors which made my trip a lot more memorable. My sandwich that I got from the vendor was only $3.00! That is amazing!

In Taiwan, I got to try out a lot of noodle stands that had some of the most delicious noodles I had ever tried. A full plastic bowl of noodles only costed $2.50!

These food vendors although aren’t the highest of qualities out there, do serve their purpose in giving you some great tasting foods without making you go broke.

Fast Food

To be honest, I wouldn’t really recommend fast food if you are traveling around. After all, why would you want to eat something that you can get back in your country?

But there is another side to that.

Often times, you can find fast food places in other countries where they serve a different menu than the one you are use to back home.

For instance, Japan has a McDonalds where they serve some kind of ice cream flurry with mochi inside.

In other parts of Asia, you can find chocolate sauce covered fries.

It all depends on what part of the world you are visiting.

Plus, it is also cheap as we know fast foods are some of the cheapest foods around. They aren’t good for you, but they are the best value for your money.

However, I wouldn’t rely on fast food too much as I would definitely recommend trying out the local cuisines from time to time.


Buffets are probably your best bet at trying out all the local cuisines served at a reasonable low price.

Now they might not have the best qualities out there, but they do offer great value for what you are paying. Since they are basically all you can eat, you can eat as much as you want till you pass out.

Not to mention that one buffet can probably be enough to fill you up for the entire day. That is usually what I do whenever I go travel. I just eat a buffet for lunch, and that is my meal for the entire day.

If you want to save some more money, a good tip that I learned is that when you are looking for a hostel or hotel to stay in, try to find one that includes a breakfast buffet. This way you can save money while making sure you are full at the same time.

Eat Locally

Did you know that local cuisine is most often cheaper than non local cuisines?

Its true!

When I was in Japan, I could find seafood for under $5. But if I wanted something American, I would have to be paying around $10 for that same sized portion.

So if you want to save some money, always try to eat local cuisines instead.

Start Cooking Your Own Meals

To be honest, I don’t really like this idea as when I am traveling, I love to enjoy all the local cuisines that the place has to offer.

However, if you are on a tight budget, cooking your own foods might just be a great way to save some money.

Since all you do is go to a local grocery store and buy your ingredients to make your own meal. Which can always be cheaper than what you are going to be paying when you eat out.

Discounted Foods or Specials

A lot of places all around the world, especially Europe will offer discounts or specials for their food. This means that items they are serving are being offered at a huge discount.

The amount they discount varies from place to place, but sometimes you can find discounts of up to 40% off! That is a steal!

Although your choices are pretty limited, but it is a great way you can save some money.

No Soda or Snacks

One of the biggest costs that eat your wallet up is when you go out of your way to buy some soda or snacks.

Now I know these things might not seem like the most expensive things in the world to buy, but it can add up.

A soda here, a snack there, maybe even some jello at night….these things can slowly eat away at your wallet. Before you know it, you are done tens or hundreds of dollars just sinking away into these little indulgences.

So instead of getting soda or snacks periodically, I would suggest to fill up on your regular meals like during breakfast, lunch, or even dinner so that you won’t feel hungry later on.

Bring A Refillable Water Bottle

This is going to be pretty similar to what I just wrote above about the soda and snacks. Basically, you should always have a refillable water bottle with you in case you ever need water. This way, it stops you from buying so many water bottles.

After all, one, two, three bottles a day can definitely add up.

Not only does it save you money, but it is also environmentally friendly.

Nowadays with the world becoming increasingly more advanced, you can find water stations almost every where you go.

No need to buy bottles of water anymore.

Use Tourism Cards

Tourism cards are a great way to save some money.

Not only do they work for many attractions and popular places around the city, but certain tourism cards can even offer discounts on food.

The discounts might not be the best, but a modest 10-15% is still better than nothing.

So if you are wanting to save some money, getting a tourism card is the way to go.


Overall, eating around when traveling doesn’t have to be expensive.

I mean, I love eating out just as much as the next person, but sometimes that can be costly.

Fortunately, there are a lot of good alternatives that you can do to help you save some money.

Hopefully this list was able to help you out in some sort of way so that next time you travel, you too can save some money.

So let me know! What methods do you do to help you cut down the costs of eating when you travel?

Also if you are interested in reading some of my other posts about traveling, you can do so by clicking these links:

Or you can check out all my blog posts by click this link.

Hope you have a safe and fun trip~

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