How to Eat on a Traveler’s Budget

How to Eat on a Traveler¹s BudgetJet setting off to a foreign country and getting lost in the city is an adventure few people are actually able to afford. For many, considering a trip abroad is financially problematic. After paying for a round trip ticket, train tickets to other countries, hotel and hostel fees, currency exchange fees, not to mention having to pay for three meals a day, many people find they do not have the money to even dream about a trip abroad.

Except, with a little careful planning, maybe you do. One of the most expensive parts about traveling abroad is the cost of food. Meal prices vary from country to country, which means there is no definitive amount you can designate to a food budget. However, here are some tried and true tips on how to travel the world and cure your wanderlust bug while surviving on a traveler’s budget:

Make Your Own

Making your own food while traveling is not as hard as it might sound. Various hotels, hostels, and room rentals come with a small kitchenette that usually has a hot plate, small oven, mini fridge, and toaster. With these four essential kitchen tools, you can make practically any meal you want.

Look for local, fresh ingredients available at the markets near you. When in France, look to buy local produce like broccoli and asparagus, and don’t miss grabbing a baguette or two. All of these fresh ingredients pair well with a staple recipe like Sargento Cheese sauce, which dresses up any meal.

The sauce is simple, as it only has four ingredients. You begin by making a roux, which is equal parts flour and butter whisked together to make a paste. Be sure to cook the paste until it is golden brown, otherwise the flour flavor will be noticeable in the sauce. Next, add in milk and allow the sauce to thicken, which takes a couple of minutes. Once it has thickened, take it off the heat and add the cheese in order to avoid cheese clumps in the sauce. Pop the broccoli and other assorted vegetables into the microwave and cook for a few minutes until crisp-tender, or simmer them in water over a stovetop.

If you’re creative and willing to experiment a little, you can easily save money and cook for yourself abroad.

Bang for Your Buck

Look for places that offer substantial meals for an inexpensive price like outdoor vendors, street food, food trucks, or fast food. In many cases, some of the best and most authentic food you will try while traveling in a new country is from food places such as these.

Both outdoor vendors and street food are great because they offer cheap meals that can be eaten while on the go. And, in many countries of the world, the streets are typically lined with little food stalls where the food is cooked openly on the street. Most meals from a street stall are authentic local cuisine that costs usually no more than a dollar. And that’s truly what traveling is all about—experiencing the local culture.

Sargento covered the costs of the ingredients used in this recipe, but the opinions are my own.

Author Ted Levin is a food lover and cheese aficionado always searching for the newest recipe craze. You can connect with Ted on Twitter.

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