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7 Ways to Find Cheap Eats While Traveling (When You’re a Student)

A Food Fun Travel Guest Post

There’s so much to love about traveling. Whether it’s new sights, adventure, or just relaxation, there’s always something to enjoy. Even if it’s just the pleasure of getting away from the day-to-day worries that students face quite often like “who can rewrite my paper (the answer is or when should I clean my dorm room”. You can worry about writing your paper or editing the one you had to rewrite or tiding up your place later!

One of the most pleasant activities while traveling is food! Everyone likes a taste of the exotic, traditional or classical cuisine, but how can you find it on a shoestring budget? What are the cheapest ways to eat the best food? These seven tips can help you fill your belly and leave your wallet with only a few bucks missing by using the tips on the cheapest way to eat.

Try Street Food

It’s something that a lot of people are squeamish about, but it’s the best place to find cheap foods to eat, especially in a foreign country. Street food is normally something that the locals eat, making it more authentic than what you can find in the big-name restaurants. You’ll also be charged a lot less for cooking and serving. Just make sure that the hygiene standards are up to snuff. If it looks alright, be brave and try it!

Eat at Local Restaurants

Tourist areas tend to have two types of restaurants:  Big, well-known places that are tourist havens and smaller, quieter eateries for the locals. If you want to eat cheap, you should look for the latter. Search for the restaurants that advertise mostly in the local language, or that a lot of tourists don’t see. Ask anyone you meet who lives in the area, including those working at tourist locations, for their suggestions. They’re more likely to be the real deal.

Bakeries, Pubs, and Coffee Shops

Everywhere in the world, there are those little, hole-in-the-wall places where people go for a quick bite or a small pick-me-up. For those without a lot of money to spare and who wants to have cheap food to eat, finding a pub, bakery, or a similar place is a way to sample the local fare without having to shell out big bucks.

Your Hotel Matters

And we’re not just talking about room service here! The hotel you stay at can make or break your attempts to eat cheaply. If you stay in a tourist haven (or, worse, a big brand hotel), you’re probably only going to be pointed towards the standard tourist attractions. But if you stay at that charming local bed and breakfast, or even a hostel, the management can probably point you towards more authentic options. An even better option might be an Airbnb room, where you can talk to your hosts (who should be local) about the best places to grab some grub.

Hit the Grocery Store

The grocery store is the best place to go for food, even if you don’t plan on cooking it yourself. Just make sure that it’s a local store and not that city’s branch of the Value Mart. Most grocery stores offer some food already prepared, and some have a full menu available in the back.

Go to the Locals

This is the big tip. Locals always know the best places to eat for cheap, because they live there! To them, buying food in the area is an everyday thing; they can’t usually afford to treat every day like a vacation. Ask them where they go to eat after a long day when they don’t feel like cooking. You might have to filter out some fast food suggestions, but when you get to the local places, you’re on the right track! Even better if you can find people pointing you to someone by their name.

Explore a Farmer’s Market

A farmer’s market sells what has been grown and made in the area, and they are always targeted towards locals. Because of this, if you’re willing to get your hands a little dirty and try something new, you can’t do much better. Look at the local newspapers for guidance as to when and where farmer’s markets gather. Head there and take a look. Many of the sellers are happy to tell you the best way to prepare local dishes, and some people even sell food ready-made.


There are plenty of ways that you can find the delicious, exotic food you want while saving big. If you can break out of the tourist rut into the local scene, there’s a lot available to you. Budgets don’t mean that you have to do without. From local grocery stores to pubs, to even more, there’s an option that will suit everyone. So head out, grab a fork (or spoon, or pita, or wet wipes), and dig in!