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After traveling the world as a family of three for 9 months straight, we had to cover three daily meals and snacks, all on the road. Eating out can get pretty costly, and it can be difficult to stay on budget, especially when visiting different countries. We found ways to keep our food costs in check, that you can use for a vacation of any length.
- Book an Airbnb or a hotel room with a kitchenette. You can save on dining out by having a kitchen where you stay. You can begin with breakfast in the morning and even cook a dinner rather than dining out, especially if you want to get a little one to bed earlier. We made an attempt at staying healthy on our trip, so we cooked breakfast every day and often had lunch at our Airbnb, then went out to dinner to enjoy the local cuisine and the nightlife. This saved us a ton of money — instead of spending on three daily meals (times three!) we only had one meal out each day. Shop at a local grocery store or market, which will be cheaper than eating at a restaurant. Look for hotel rooms with refrigerator, microwave and stove top, if you prefer a hotel to an Airbnb. (See our story on how to make the most out of Airbnb.)
- Get a quick meal for your children. Before dining at a high-end restaurant, stop in a local quick-service restaurant (even if it is McDonald’s). Children don’t care for expensive meals, so allowing them to eat a cheap meal before you go to a restaurant will save you money. (It’s also helpful in the event children don’t like the local cuisine; finding our son chicken nuggets rather than a more expensive meal in China, for example, could help him eat what he liked.) By feeding Aarav before we went to our “grown up” dinner, he was full and the walk to dinner often put him to sleep, so he would sleep in his stroller and we got much needed time to ourselves.
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