Ways to Save

5 ways to eat for less in Europe

Pastries in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany.

Traveling on a budget? With a little planning, you can save money on meals and treat yourself to new experiences — the best of both worlds.

  1. A room with a kitchen. If possible, find accommodations with a kitchenette or access to kitchen facilities. AirBnB has plenty of options, as do some hotels and most youth hostels. While it might cost a few more dollars for the room, the meal prep savings will outweigh the higher price.
  2. Find your local grocer. Buying food and cooking your own meals is less expensive than eating out, and shopping in foreign grocery stores is a fun way to learn more about the city you’re visiting (and maybe practice the language in line at checkout). Win-win. Bonus: farmers’ markets.
  3. Ask a local. Do enjoy meals at local restaurants; don’t head for the first, flashiest place you see. Instead, ask for a recommendation from someone who lives there, and chances are you’ll find find a tried-and-true favorite within your budget
  4. Mix your own drinks. Bar tabs can add up. If you fancy a drink, save money and buy your own booze while you’re stocking up on groceries. Check the local liquor laws and, if it’s allowed, pack a bottle of wine and plan a picnic at your favorite scenic overlook.
  5. Don’t be afraid of fast food. Sure, it’s McDonalds (or Subway or any other ubiquitous fast-food brand). But many international fast-food eateries offer country or region-specific food (always fun to try), and it’s reliably inexpensive in a low-budget pinch. You might even find a free wi-fi signal while you’re at it. No shame.

A fresh breakfast spread in Hamburg, Germany.

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Categories: Ways to Save

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