I don’t know about you guys but when I travel, one of my main concerns is food. Where do I get it, will I like it, do they have a McDonalds if necessary and most importantly – how much does it cost? The UK is not known for its amazing food but they do have a lot of selection (Paris was another story so stay tuned for that…). That being said, with the conversion rate being absolutely crap, food was basically double in England and Scotland. Therefore, I had around 50$ Canadian to spend on food a day…
So that equates to about one good meal in the UK (not including alcoholic beverages which were a priority for me and the girls). So how did I combat this? By spending my food budget on dinner and scrambling for breakfast and lunch.
Meaning: between the three of us we would purchase one loaf of bread, one small block of cheese and some salami for the day. We would pick at this all day until dinnertime rolled around and we could splurge. Sometimes if we were lucky the hostel we stayed at would provide a small breakfast (usually just toast and coffee but still it’s something!) and we could gorge on that before heading out for the day.
You will be starving by dinnertime due to all the walking during the day but you will be surprised at what you can survive on. You will also really enjoy and appreciate your dinner more because you really suffered for it (sarcasm). That being said, this is no way to live permanently!!
If you’re in one place for a long period of time (as we were in London for 7 days on the first trip) go to the local grocery store and stock up on breakfast and lunch materials. Buy a couple muffins and a bag of apples and you’ve got breakfast. Buy a loaf of bread, some sandwich meat and lettuce and you’ve got lunch.
Definitely make dinner in your hostel one night at least! Another way to save money but also a good conversation starter. When we were in Glasgow we bought enough pasta to feed the entire hostel so we went around asking people if they were hungry (nobody wanted our pasta but at least we were talking to people!). It can save you a lot of money and sometimes it’s nice to have a home cooked meal while travelling.
Bring granola bars from back home. Julie did this on our trip and it was a good idea! That way during the day you can just have a small snack to keep you going until dinnertime. Also the bars were purchased back at home which made them half the cost of anything in the UK at the moment.
Purchase your alcohol from the local store – not when you get to the bar. On our trip we would buy a couple bottles of wine, pre drink a little before going out to dinner, maybe get one bottle to share at dinner, and then return home to drink some more before heading out for the night (sorry girls – I am making us sound like alcoholics). It is much cheaper to buy your alcohol at the grocery store than at the restaurant or bar (and lucky for us, they sell alcohol everywhere in Europe it seems like).
Try the local food i.e. street meat. Definitely okay while travelling in Europe but I’d be careful in other countries where the definition of street meat is literally meat found from the streets. Be brave and order the most random thing or ask the owner what they recommend!
All in all remember that eating while travelling is an experience in itself so try and limit the trips to McDonalds if you can (this tip is mostly for myself since I am a sucker for Big Macs).