Don’t just split the check, share the meal
Eating out is a necessary part of traveling, and it ends up being a larger expense than one anticipates. Since this expense can’t be avoided, here are a few ideas on how to lessen the pain of this expense:
Hotel breakfasts: If the hotel breakfast is part of your room, take advantage of it. It is at a convenient location and you have already paid for it.
Share: Is there any part of the snack or meal that can be shared? From desert to that last beer, sharing with your traveling companion can allow you to have everything you want to taste without spending too much money.
Follow the locals: Find out where the people who live or work near your hotel or the tourist site eat. Most likely, it will be less expensive than the typical tourist spots and you may even be served more quickly. If you are too shy to ask, see if you can spot someone who looks like a native and follow (at least for a short distance). This may also be a great tourist opportunity to find out what the locals really are like.
Local grocers: If there is a grocer near your hotel, consider popping in each day before you leave and buying some fruit or snacks to bring with you. If you have a few healthy snacks, it will likely be less expensive than eating lunch at a tourist spot or you won’t be too hungry at lunchtime, so you can split a sandwich with your traveling companion.
Convenience stores: This idea depends on the city. Some cities have lots of convenience stores, so take advantage and buy a cheap sandwich and fruit for lunch.
If you can find ways to save some money at breakfast or lunch, then you won’t feel guilty when you splurge for dinner.
Eating tips vary from city to city. If you have a tip for a particular city, please leave a comment!