Discount Travel - Eat Locally
Traveling, as many of us are no doubt aware, is one of the most enjoyable things one can do. It allows us to expand our horizons, to see how people live in other parts of the world, and to experience new things. The problem, of course, is that traveling is one of the more expensive hobbies one can have, and unless you're fairly well-off you have to look into discount travel methods in order to travel regularly.
When you're looking for discount travel solutions, one of the great tools at your disposal is to adjust your eating habits. Besides the cost of getting to your destination and accommodation, food is going to be one of the biggest expenses on your trip. If you eat out at restaurants a lot, or dine mostly in your hotel, you'll likely be surprised out how quickly food eats into your travel budget.
So a smart idea in terms of discount travel is to get in the habit of eating local food, and buying fresh food at markets as opposed to constantly dining out. For example, if you're out for a day trip, stop by a supermarket and buy some healthy fresh food that you can eat on the go, so you don't have to stop at a restaurant for lunch. In many countries you'll notice a much bigger discrepancy between the prices of fresh food and the prices of meals in restaurants then exists here in North America, so taking advantage of this can save you a lot of money.
Of course, it's not expected that you spend your entire trip eating fruit and bread while sitting on a bus - part of an enjoyable traveling experience is in dining out. When you do dine out, however, eat in the places where locals eat - you see that it's radically cheaper. Depending where you are, a significant premium will be placed on North American-style food. If you're willing to put aside a desire for the food that reminds you of home, your trip will be much cheaper over the long term.
Besides being advantageous in terms of discount travel, eating at local restaurants will provide you with a broader cultural experience. You'll get to try new things you'd never be able to try at home. Plus, there's a good chance that a foreign country's interpretation of American food will be poor, so you'll probably be getting better food as well when you eat locally.
In general, avoid restaurants in touristy areas, or ones that serve things that are a radical departure from local cuisine. Remember, especially when traveling in a second world country, that the locals have much less money, relatively, then you do, so any place that they choose to dine in you're likely to find extremely affordable.
So put your desire for a burger and fries to rest - there will be plenty of that when you get home - and experience some local culinary delights. By doing this you will not only discover some new things, you'll be saving money that can be spent on more interesting things during your trip.
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Views expressed in the article are those of the author and are not necessarily the opinions of CaribbeanChoice, its staff or members.