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Tips for Eating Out on a Budget While Traveling

Last updated :
March 10, 2024

minutes read

I. Introduction: The Great Budget Food Odyssey

Dear fellow food-loving wanderers, we feel your pain. We know that as young professionals or recent graduates, your wallets might be a bit slimmer than your appetite. That's why we've crafted this guide to help you satiate your taste buds without emptying your bank account during your travels. Get ready to embark on a delicious journey filled with smart budgeting, amazing food discoveries, and a generous helping of your appetite.

Executive Summary: Budget Bites for the Globetrotting Foodie

  • Young Indian professionals and new graduates can enjoy delicious food while traveling on a budget
  • Researching local cuisine and prices can help budget-conscious travelers plan their meals
  • Eating like a local and timing meals strategically can also save money
  • Cooking at accommodations and sharing dishes and costs with other travelers are other ways to stick to a budget
  • Embracing spontaneity can lead to unexpected culinary adventures
  • With these strategies, food enthusiasts can enjoy a gastronomic journey without breaking the bank.

II. Plan Ahead: The Art of Food Reconnaissance

A. Unearthing local cuisine and prices like a food detective

Before setting off on your grand adventure, it's wise to gather some intelligence about the local food scene. Arm yourself with knowledge by exploring apps like Zomato and TripAdvisor, or diving into food blogs and vlogs to uncover gastronomic treasures at wallet-friendly prices.

Example: Uncover hidden gems like Mumbai's budget-friendly Parsi cafes or Kolkata's iconic puchka stands by following local foodies on Instagram.

B. Creating a daily food budget to avoid financial indigestion

Design a daily food budget to prevent any unpleasant surprises at the end of your trip. Allocate funds for each meal and track your expenses like a hawk, adjusting your budget as needed.

Pro tip: Allocate a "splurge" fund for that irresistible dessert or must-try local specialty.

III. Eat Like a Local: Diving into Affordable Delights

A. Street food and local eateries: A wallet's best friends

Street food is often not only a budget-friendly option but also a great way to experience authentic local cuisine. Make sure to eat from vendors who follow basic hygiene guidelines to avoid any unwanted gastronomic adventures.

Example: Savor delicious and affordable Vada Pav in Mumbai, or feast on mouthwatering Chole Bhature in Delhi.

B. Harnessing local wisdom for budget-friendly conquests

Strike up conversations with fellow travelers or locals to get insider information about the best budget eats. Don't be shy; people are usually more than happy to share their favorite food spots. Join social media groups or forums where food enthusiasts and locals exchange recommendations, post drool-worthy photos, and discuss hidden culinary gems. These online communities can be treasure troves of budget-friendly dining suggestions, helping you uncover amazing, wallet-friendly eateries that you might not find in a typical travel guide.

IV. Timing is Key: Savoring Delicious Discounts

A. Breakfast buffets and hotel deals: A food lover's dream

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so make the most of hotel breakfast deals or buffets. Start your day with a hearty meal and save some moolah for later. Ensure that, when booking a hotel, you choose one that provides a complimentary breakfast or, at the very least, offers a delicious breakfast spread at an affordable price. This way, you can kick-start your day with a satisfying meal without incurring extra costs.

B. Lunch specials and happy hours: Taming the midday munchies

Dining out during off-peak hours can be a wallet-friendly and crowd-free experience. Keep an eye out for lunch specials or happy hour deals. Like taking advantage of Bangalore's thriving pub scene by hitting up happy hour discounts on both food and drinks.

V. DIY Meals and Snacks: Unleashing Your Inner MasterChef

A. Grocery shopping and culinary adventures in your temporary abode

Save money by cooking some meals at your accommodation. Pick up local ingredients and experiment with easy recipes.

B. Packing snacks to avoid the tourist trap tango

Fill your backpack with a mix of nuts, dried fruits, and granola bars to satiate your hunger pangs during long sightseeing tours, to avoid being lured into tourist traps or making impulse buys. Choose energy-boosting options to keep you fueled for your adventures.


VI. Splitting the Bill: The Art of Food Diplomacy

A. Sharing dishes and costs: A foodie's guide to camaraderie

When you're out dining with your squad or colleagues, don't hesitate to go for family-style meals. This way, you can relish a diverse range of dishes without breaking the bank. And when it's time to pay the bill, split it evenly. This trick will help you avoid any awkwardness and ensure everyone gets a taste of the local cuisine. So, next time you visit a dhaba, order a variety of dishes and split the bill evenly. That way, you can enjoy different flavors and experiences without worrying about the cost.

B. Group discounts and promotions: The power of numbers

Harness the power of group dining to score discounts and promotions. Look out for group deals on websites or apps and don't hesitate to inquire about group rates at restaurants. Here are some popular apps in India that can help you find group dining deals and buffet discounts:

  • Dineout: Known for its restaurant deals, Dineout offers discounts on buffets, group dining, and set menus at various establishments.
  • EazyDiner: With a wide selection of restaurants, EazyDiner provides deals on group dining, buffets, and prix-fixe meals.
  • Nearbuy: Featuring local deals and discounts, Nearbuy offers savings on group dining experiences and buffet meals at numerous restaurants.
  • Magicpin: This app rewards users with cashback and discounts for group dining, buffets, and more at a range of eateries.

Utilizing these apps can help you find budget-friendly group dining options and make your culinary adventures even more enjoyable.

VII. Be Flexible and Embrace Culinary Surprises

A. Spontaneity and last-minute deals: The thrifty foodie's secret weapon

Keep an eye out for pop-up food events, food trucks, and flash sales on food apps to score delicious last-minute deals. Afterall, what can be better than stumbling upon a local food festival where you can taste a variety of dishes at discounted prices.

B. Keeping an open mind and an open mouth

Embrace the unknown and be willing to taste new foods and flavors. This adventurous attitude will not only make your travels more exciting but may also lead to budget-friendly culinary discoveries. Like venturing into a local market and trying an exotic fruit you've never seen before, or sampling a street vendor's specialty dish.

VIII. Conclusion: The Gastronomic Joys of Exploring the World on a Shoestring

As we wrap up this scrumptious guide, remember that budget-friendly eating doesn't have to be a bland experience. With a little planning, creativity, and a hearty dose of excitement, you can feast on delicious food without breaking the bank.

So pack your bags, prepare your taste buds, and set off on a culinary adventure that will leave both your stomach and your wallet full and happy. Bon appétit and happy trails, fellow food-loving wanderers!

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Shuaib Azam
Shuaib is a Marketing & Growth lead at Hubble. When he isn't working on growth initiatives, Shuaib writes fiction and doodles space monkeys.

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