Travelling is by no means a cheap experience, but there are many things you can do to stick to a budget, whilst having fun and eating well. I would love to share some tips and tricks I found on my recent travels.
Travelling is incredibly different depending on your destination, so travelling in Bali, exploring South America and heading down under in Australia will introduce many different opportunities in terms of food and a foodie adventure.
At the beginning of January I began travelling down the East Coast of Australia, beginning my journey in Cairns, and finishing down in Sydney. Myself and two friends travelled, by bus, a total of 3115km, stopping at 13 different locations on route for 4 weeks. With so much to offer, we wanted to save our money for the day trips and exploring, so we had to come up with a plan for the cheapest eating and drinking.
Here are some things I found along the way, and I will definitely use in the future:
- Look for hostels that offer free breakfast- A quick search on Hostelworld brings up lots of different hostel options, and sometimes this can be daunting, but by narrowing down your search it can make the job easier. In many cases, we found that hostels with free breakfasts weren’t in fact more expensive than those that didn’t, and this was such an easy way to reduce costs. However, I must admit, that many hostels don’t provide gluten free breakfast options for free, and I had to sort my own brekkie out. The other girls were able to make the most of toast and spreads, cereals and sometimes fruit and yoghurt too.
- Don’t fancy free breakfast? Head to the supermarket!- So, if like me, you can’t eat what’s on offer, you can still eat at a low cost. A trip to the supermarket in each location allowed me to buy big bulk sachets of flavoured porridge and top this with fresh fruit that was on offer at the time. Although, during the trip I had decided apricot flavour should be avoided, I became very fond of apple and cinnamon. These big boxes cost less than $5 and oats have slow releasing energy too- keeping me fuller for longer.
- Packed lunches are your friend!- The thought of packed lunches may take you back to school, but you can do a lot better than cucumber sandwiches and a chocolate bar. Grab a plastic container from the supermarket- ours were from Woolies and only cost around $3- and your lunchbox potential is limitless (well not quite). A big pack of rolls, ham, cheese and salad will not break the bank, and, although grabbing something whilst you’re out seems easier, you can get a lot more for your money if you buy from the supermarket. Cereal bars will be your saving grace- I wish I had counted how many I ate!
- Sharing is caring!- Group meals are great for many reasons. I find cooking relaxing, so after a long day of trekking, cycling, surfing or even a trip to the shops, I love to rewind by making a big meal. Making your own food not only means that you can have a great social experience, but it also saves money and allows you to control exactly what you’re eating. Even as a solo traveller, making a big meal means leftovers, so if you’re staying in one place for a few nights, a big curry or pasta dish is a great idea. With a whole veggie meal costing around $7, or a meat one around $10/12, this creates about 4 portions which gives you so much for your money. However tempting a Dominos seems, a big veggie stir fry will save your pocket and your waistline. Tinned food, for example mixed beans, rice packets and stir fry/curry sauces make cooking quick and easy!
- Do your research! – Food deals and happy hours occur everywhere, and are the great chance to get out and about without breaking the bank! I LOVE eating out, and drinking and exploring bars and restaurants, but when travelling, I have to be sensible. Checking with hostels about local restaurant deals, and by having a quick check on Google, you will be loads of choices. Taco evenings are a great option, and many Mexicans also do drinks deals too. Some hostels may even put on dinners, we were able to have all you can eat tacos for $7- including GF corn tortillas. Happy hours can save you pennies on house beers and wine, and many hostels offer wristbands for nights out and free drinks at local clubs and pubs. A frequent check at the local supermarkets for ready meals and snacks in the reduced section mean you can save money and put it elsewhere- e.g on beers!
These are some of my tips as a travelling foodie, specifically in Australia. It can be simple to save money, eat well and have fun whilst exploring the most amazing places. Just remember to be wise, plan and enjoy everything that comes your way!