Monday, January 24, 2011

Healthy Eating on a Budget

This past weekend I took a trip to South Beach in Miami.  While I love to travel it is unusual that I travel two weekends in  row with only a few days at home in between. 

Traveling itself can be expensive and in areas like Savannah and South Beach it can be easy to spend a lot of money on food.  There are times when you want to splurge and treat yourself while on vacation but there are also ways to make little adjustments to your trip and save big. 
Here are a few things that I do while traveling to try and save money while sticking to my healthy eating plan:

1.) Always eat before you head to the airport.  Airport food can be expensive for sit down meals and are generally large portions at sit down restaurants.  While there are less expensive options they are usually in the form of fast food and provide little nutritional value.

2.) Pack a snack for the flight.  There are some healthy on-board options but it is much less expensive to bring your own and pair it with a free beverage.  Nuts, trail mix, granola bars and dried fruit make excellent choices, high in protein and fiber and cost much less outside the airport.

3.) Drink 1 cup of water for every hour you are on the plane.  This will keep you hydrated in a pressurized cabin and also keep you full longer.

4.) When choosing a hotel look for one that includes breakfast.  One less meal to buy meals more money in your pocket for other expenses.

5.) Stock up on snacks at a local grocery store instead of visiting your hotel's gift shop.

6.) Carry around a refillable water bottle.  You will find drinking fountains just about anyplace you may be traveling and by keeping a container with you you always have a free drink.

7.) Look for local coupon books especially ones with buy-one-get-one-free or complimentary items with purchase.

8.) Check out early bird specials.  You can often get 25-50% off the normal menu price by eating at off peak times.

9.) Split an entree at dinner.  Restaurant portions are usually quite large and if your hotel doesn't have a means of saving and reheating your leftovers consider sharing.  Half of a restaurant entree paired with two side salads can make a portion correct meal while staying on budget.

10.) Go off the beaten path.  Often times tourist areas are packed with restaurants charging as much as they can to visitors.  Ask around and see where the locals go.  You might just get a local specialty while paying significantly less than tourist trap restaurants.

How do you save money while traveling?

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