Eat Cheap On The Road

Since this blog is after all titled Learning to Travel, I thought I should start sharing things we’re learning along the way, such as how to eat cheap on the road.

eat cheap on the road

Dinner and fresh mango in Flores, Guatemala

Lesson 1:

  • Look for where the locals eat.
  • If the menu is in English and you are not in an English-speaking country you are probably paying too much.
  • Eat street food.

We are in Flores, Guatemala and there are a lot of backpacking tourists and a lot of restaurants. We looked at some menus last night and we could easily have spent $20-$30 on dinner for the two of us, without even including drinks.

Since that isn’t in our budget (which for Latin America is $50/a day and needs to include not just food, but transportation and lodging as well), we kept walking. (We could have found cheaper items on those menus and possibly eaten for $15 or so, but still more than we’d like.)

Much like Belize, we eventually found some carts with Guatemalan women serving homemade Guatemalan food. We ate for $2.50 and then we found more with desserts and we spent another $1.25.

So instead of eating overpriced versions of what Guatemalans think tourists want to eat, we got to eat what Guatemalans really eat. Some were new things we’ve never seen or tasted before. And isn’t that really what travelling is about. Just one example of how we eat cheap on the road. To be honest we sort of enjoy the challenge of finding good local food at a great price!

How about you? What advice do you have for saving money when it comes to eating while traveling? We’d love to hear any pointers you have in the comment section below.