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Need some vacation food ideas so that you can save money? Well, you’ve hit the jackpot!

When you’re on vacation, the cost of food can take a bite out of your vacation budget.

Whether you’re stopping for food on the way to your final destination, or dining at a local restaurant, this can still be quite expensive.

The average family of four will probably spend around $300 a day for three meals while on vacation, and this doesn’t even cover the cost of any other expenses associated with your vacation.

In addition to saving money on your hotel, airline tickets, and transportation, you can also save money on your food costs!

So I’ve got the best family vacation food ideas so you can save more money on your next vacation.

These easy vacation food meal ideas are so easy, you’ll be wishing you had started them years ago!

And these cheap vacation food ideas are sure to save you money so you can keep more of your money for the fun stuff!

Here are a few ways to save money on vacation food.

vacation food ideas

Use Coupons

Check your hotel, online, and even at the restaurant for coupons you can use with your meal.

Don’t forget to download your favorite restaurant apps for deals and even free food!

If you visit an area regularly, consider purchasing an Attractions book for coupons you can use for more family vacation food ideas.

BONUS FREE DOWNLOAD

Create A Plan For Your Money

These FREE Budgeting Spreadsheets will help you keep a pulse on your money (from the palm of your hand).

This is going to take a lot of planning before your trip but can end up saving you 50% or more on your meal.

I even cut coupons out of my inserts for chain restaurants and keep the coupons from the junk mail in a Ziploc baggy just in case.

vacation food ideas

Use Gift Cards And Certificates

If you don’t already have gift cards you can use, consider picking some up before your trip for some easy vacation food meal ideas.

You can find discounted gift certificates from Restaurant.com and Groupon. You can also find gift cards to popular restaurants from gift card retailer websites like Gift Card GrannyCardpool, and more.

You can also buy discounted restaurant gift cards at Sams Club and other club stores.

I always google the area where we are going to and then try to pick up some. It saves us money overall and it’s like saving in advance for our food on our trip.

vacation food ideas

Instead Of Eating In, Order To Go

If you are considering dining at the hotel or a nearby location, consider taking your order to go instead.

You can pick up a few dishes for your family to share but then you avoid the cost of drinks and tipping by getting your order this way.

If you are staying at the hotel anyway, you can enjoy items like soda and dessert from your hotel room instead of paying double for it at the restaurant.

A 2 liter at regular price from the grocery store is surely cheaper that one drink at a restaurant. A soda normally costs $2.50 or more!

It’s these cheap vacation food ideas that will keep your budget in check!

vacation food ideas

Don’t Pass On A Free Meal

Before booking your hotel, see if they offer free breakfast options.

Take advantage of the food freebies that your hotel offers! This can save you hundreds of dollars, especially if you are traveling with a large group.

Even if the hotel is a little out of the way, it will cost you less than the gas.

vacation food ideas

Dine Like A Local

We’ve all heard the tip to eat like a local when you’re on vacation, but the real reason why is the price!

Touristy hotspots are always going to be more expensive because they know tourists will pay the premium price daily.

If you need help finding a restaurant in your price range, talk to the clerk at your hotel or ask around to find a great place to eat that fits your budget.

One of our favorite sites to check is Trip Advisor. It will let you know the top-rated restaurants in the area to check out.

vacation food ideas

Eat Out For Lunch Instead Of Dinner

Buffets and other restaurants usually offer discounts for early diners.

Instead of waiting in long lines at dinnertime, or spending twice as much on food, consider eating out for lunch instead.

Many restaurants offer great deals during lunchtime to get more customers in the door during slow periods. Some restaurants even offer these prices as late as 3 or 4 pm.

BONUS FREE DOWNLOAD

Create A Plan For Your Money

These FREE Budgeting Spreadsheets will help you keep a pulse on your money (from the palm of your hand).

Consider having a big lunch in the middle of the day and skipping dinner if you are trying to save money.

You’d be surprised at how much these family vacation food ideas can save you over your trip!

On average, a buffet could cost as much as $5 or more just for a dinner buffet than the lunch buffet. At a savings of $20 for a family of four, save that $20 and eat during the lunch hours.

vacation food ideas

Make Your Own Food

Eating out while on vacation can be fun, but if you can even cut out one of those meals, you’ll be saving A LOT of money.

Having a room with a kitchenette could save you more than the cost of the upgrade!

If you must go out, consider dining out for one of your meals, and enjoying the rest from the comfort of your hotel room.

A crockpot or Instapot is a great tool to have to make quick and easy meals for your family.

vacation food ideas

Pack Your Own Snacks & Drinks

If you are traveling, it’s worth it to pack your snacks and drinks. Gas stations will mark up everything from water to a pack of gum.

If you are going to be enduring a long drive, it can be worth it to pack a cooler and even a snack bag for the trip.

Once you arrive at your final destination, stop by a grocery store and stock up on snacks and drinks for the hotel room.

Be sure to pack a few of these snacks for while you’re on the go in case you get hungry and thirsty as these costs can add up quickly.

A vacation might seem just out of reach if you’re on a limited budget. 

However, if you follow these tips, you’ll find that a cheap vacation might not seem so impossible!

I hope you’ve learned from the best family vacation food ideas so you can save more money on your next vacation.

These easy vacation food meal ideas are so easy, you’ll be wishing you had started them years ago!

And these cheap vacation food ideas are sure to save you money so you can keep more of your money for the fun stuff!

 

YOUR TURN: What other vacation food ideas do you use to save money? Let me know in the comments below!

vacation food ideas
The Best Vacation Food Ideas To Save You More Money
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