Oftentimes when people travel, we forget just how much the food choices we make affect us both in terms of our health as well as in terms of our budget. Now, I tend to travel a whole damn lot, so over time, I have collected more than a few tips and tricks here and there and figured that I it was high time I spilt my guts and shared my secrets with you:

001: Do some research

The internet is a pretty magical place full of endless amounts of information. (And cats! Lots of cats!) Once you know where you will be staying (or have a pretty good idea about where you will be staying, should you choose do take a more spontaneous approach to travel and simply buy a round-trip ticket and do the rest of the deciding once your feet hit the ground), go ahead and check out sites like foursquare – which uses user generated-content to give you the lowdown on local haunts and also allows you to search based on type of food, type of place, or dietary preference – or happycow which will let you know your local vegetarian and vegan options.

instagram can also be a great resource and is now my new go-to place for finding new cafes and restaurants both in my own city and while traveling. Before my trip, I like search for my destination and scroll through the images that pop up. Oftentimes popular restaurants and beautiful cafes will show up in the search. Voilà! You’ve just come up with your own curated travel guide!

Now, clearly this can backfire, if you are only creating a list full of pizza places, but I tend to use these three sites to find places that suit my dietary preferences, don’t aggravate my allergies, and will also ensure that I keep a healthy diet while away. It’s also a great way for you to find out about some places ahead of time that are within your price range (Foursquare includes a price key) so you can avoid walking around aimlessly, only to begrudgingly finally decide on the nearest thing possible to you at that given moment which may very well be a very overpriced and touristy restaurant because you are too hungry, tired, and pissed off to keep looking for anything better.

002: Stay at places with kitchens or communal kitchens

I love staying in a place with a kitchen or communal kitchen because it allows me to save a bit of money on some of my meals. It gives me total control over what I put into my body. This is so important if you are trying to stay healthy during your holiday, but also, if like me, you are allergic to pretty much everything except air. By preparing meals yourself, you can be 100% sure of the ingredients that are going into your meals.

*Pro Tip: If you are in a place with a communal kitchen, don’t be shy! Make a new friend, go grocery shopping, divide up the cost, and cook a dinner together! Just use common sense and refrain from going anywhere alone with anyone who is giving off a creepy vibe. Trust your gut!

003: Get creative

You still have options, even if your place doesn’t have a kitchen, but you are still looking to save money and stay healthy! Most hotels and motels have refrigerators, so you can at least buy some food, keep it cold, and eat it the next day. I often do this with soy milk and cereal or soy yogurt.

*Pro Tip: Just be careful! Some hotel fridges have sensors so if anything is removed from the minibar, you will be charged regardless of if you drank all of those overpriced sodas stashed inside or just set them on the counter to temporarily make more space!

If you don’t have a fridge, most places should have an icebox (especially if you are traveling within the US). When I am on trips and do not have access to a fridge but still want to have some easy to eat no-cook meals, especially for breakfast, I just put a small bottle of soy milk or soy yogurt in an icebox full of ice to keep it cool and prevent it from going bad. I also always make sure to have fruit on hand that will still be fine even if just chilling on the mini bar counter, like bananas.

When it comes to preparing a make-shift breakfast in a hotel room without a kitchen, make sure to grab a disposable spoon and make use of a those plastic or glass cups you usually find in the bathroom or at the minibar – Now just pour some of that soy milk that has been chillin’ in your icebox in a cup full of cereal and BAM! Breakfast: McGyver style. Alternatively, if breakfast is complementary, eat up, but grab a clean bowl and a spoon and bring it up in the room with you to use for the rest of your stay should you crave a midnight cereal snack. (I’ve done this plenty of times.)

004: Come prepared

I often bring along with me a few teabags of my favorite green tea and individual serving sizes of oatmeal as most places have a coffee machine which you can also use to simply make hot water. Use the cup technique mentioned above, and enjoy a warm breakfast and tea without ever whipping out your wallet.

*Pro Tip: Just make sure that if you are using a disposable cup it is made for hot temperatures if you are planning on using it to make your oatmeal or tea in!)

005: The grocery store is your friend

On about every trip I take, whether alone, with a s.o., or with family, we always make good use of the grocery store. Here you can stock up on things like fresh fruit, carrots, and nuts to either eat in your room or take with you on the go so that you can be sure you are getting your daily serving of healthy fruits and veg while away from home.

006: Pack a lunch

When my ex boyfriend and I went to Fuerteventura a few years ago, we booked an all-inclusive stay (including airfare!) at a low-budget hotel. All of our meals were included, but we were often out exploring the island and missed lunch. We took care of the situation by making a few sandwiches with the items at breakfast and taking them and a few pieces of fruit with us in the car. This enabled us to save money each day.

*Pro Tip: Use discretion here. I like to live by the rule, “Don’t be an asshole”. It’s worked for me pretty well thus far in life. We made our sandwiches discreetly, and took only a few pieces of fruit with us. Yes, the food was included, but ain’t no reason to get greedy now.

So there you have it – 6 tips for staying healthy and saving money while eating out (and in) during your next holiday. These are all tried and tested by me, and I have found them to be pretty effective.

Have any other tips? Please share them in the comments below!

photography by: Rae Tashman

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Stay conscious, Rae


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Rae Tilly

Rae the EIC of LFB and YEOJA Magazine. She is also a photographer and social media influencer.


  • Morgan Miller

    The Teabag tip is my fav! I have this weird thing about foriegn teas haha!
    -Morgan x | http://www.justmorgs.com

  • Hello! Have not been here for way too long! I’ll be better, I promise. I agree that research is very important. Especially Instagram, it looks like most places at least where I am based, moved from FB (only basic info) to Instagram where there is so much more photos available. Connect with me:

    BLOGLOVIN: https://www.bloglovin.com/blog

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    • rae

      So glad you stopped by LFB today!

  • Love this post, thanks for sharing!
    xx Elle

    Check out my blog:

    http://www.cherryblossomstreet.com – Swedish Model and Travel & Lifestyle blogger i Tokyo!

    • rae

      No worries!

  • I’ve got to start packing lunches. I don’t travel but I don’t drive either, so when I get sent to school, all the food options I have are fast food chains and basically unhealthy food, so I think I can definitely take these tips with me to school.

    May | THE MAYDEN | bloglovin’

    • rae

      If you can spare the extra 20 or so minutes to prepare a meal for school days, I would say do it! Not only do you save money but like you said, if everything there is unhealthy, it helps you keep a proper diet!

  • KNC

    Yes yes yes to this whole list! I’m a huge believer in the idea that if you’re going to eat out, it better be great and worth it. Otherwise, do it yourself! Even when travelling, which I do a bit of with work. This is such a great hack set.


    • rae

      So true! I like to mix it up and cook some of my own meals and go out for dinners mainly!

  • Great tips, I always gain extra pounds and feel bad after, when I travel xx Bing.

    • rae

      I think sometimes it is sadly unavoidable, but hey, I guess it’s a fair trade off when you get to see a new land and experience something new!

  • Danielle

    Great tips! I usually try to buy fruits for breakfast and then always go out for lunch and dinner. Have an amazing week!



    • rae

      I find that just a small breakfast of fruit is often enough too! Thanks!

  • Love these tips! I have yet to really get out and travel a lot, but I will definitely refer to this when I do :) Foodies unite

    Enclothed Cognition/Bloglovin

    • rae

      Thanks, Keri, and I am sure you will be putting these tips to good use once you get traveling!

  • Siffat Haider

    These are all such great tips. Honestly, when I’m traveling I don’t generally end up cooking or going grocery shopping, just because I am so keen to try all the different restaurants a place has to offer. That being said, what I do try to do is go really cheap (street food) and light for lunch so I can enjoy a big hearty dinner :)

    • rae

      Ah, cheap street food is also a really great tip – although not every place you visit has that, I do really love cheap street food when I am in new cities. But I totally understand too, wanting to eat out mostly and trying all of the interesting and new options.

  • Great tips! I never think to check Instagram for places to eat when I’m travelling. Also, yes to breakfast picnics! I went on a budget holiday to Disney Paris and we made about 10 sandwiches from the breakfast buffet each morning (eek, I guess that counts as being an arsehole though haha!) xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Travel, Food, Italy

    • rae

      LOL your story about Disney Paris is kind of hilarious. I mean honestly, if you are paying and it is an all-you-can eat I think it’s okay, especially if you are like me and have so many allergies you only eat like a piece of fruit and oatmeal at breakfast anyway. And if you guys were a few people, then honestly 10 sandwiches isn’t a lot – it’s not like you were just one person sitting there making a bunch of sandwiches! I have heard stories about a friend of a friend AND a friend of mine getting kicked out of all you can eat buffets though, for staying for literally hours eating all the food. XP

  • “only to begrudgingly finally decide on the nearest thing possible to you at that given moment which may very well be a very overpriced and touristy restaurant because you are too hungry, tired, and pissed off to keep looking for anything better.” this is SO true, especially when travelling with a friend and you just get snappier and snappier at each other haha.

    It is also definitely useful to stay at a place with a kitchen, I usually eat in some nights to save some money. In Copenhagen somehow we’d picked a hostel without a kitchen (something about health and safety in Denmark) and it was a blow because things are pretty expensive there!

    • rae

      LOL I know, right? I am pretty sure we have all been there at one point or another in our lives either with friends, family, or alone.

      And a hostel without a kitchen? I always thought all hostels had kitchens, so that is a bit weird to me! And yes, my friends just got back from Denmark and were talking about how expensive everything is there!

  • Great tips, thank you for sharing.

    Jenn | jenniferjayne.blogspot.co.uk

    • rae

      No worries, Jennifer!

  • These are such great tips!! You don’t really think about how you’ll get food when you travel just that you want to eat a lot of amazing food, so this is so helpful!

    • rae

      So glad you think so, Sara!

  • Research is the best for me! With my mom we always search in tripadvisor cool restaurants to go to and they are always so good! Also asking the natives of the place you’re in is helpful haha


    • rae

      Oh yes, tripadvisor is also a really great resources as well!

  • Sophie Lee

    Totally agree with you, i always do some research before actually trying something

    Love from Best Bags For Women 2016

    • rae

      It’s really the best way to get the most out of everything

  • These are really great tips. I made the mistake of not doing a lot of research on my last trip


    • rae

      So glad you liked these tips, Vicky! I did the same the first time I visited Paris and I really regret it.

  • minaali

    I do agree that Instagram is a great resource for finding food places. I really like judging how good a place is by the photographs people post. ^^

    The Snap Narrative

    • rae

      I tend to do the same haha. I know that a place may still have amazing food, even if it is not the prettiest place inside, so I still like to go by crowd-sourced rating which focus more on the food, like foursquare, but I am a very visual person, so I do really appreciate a beautiful interior so much.

  • Great post, I love the foursquare website! Thanks for sharing your trips :)

    Pop over to my blog :)



    • rae

      So glad you found these tips useful, Sarah!

  • April Yap

    Great tips!!! it is very informative article. Thank you for sharing.. ;)