Frugal Foodie Mama: 5 Simple Tips for Sticking to a Travel Dining Budget

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

5 Simple Tips for Sticking to a Travel Dining Budget

Staying on a dining budget while traveling is easy with my 5 Simple Tips for Sticking to a Travel Dining Budget...

Staying on a dining budget while traveling is easy with my 5 Simple Tips for Sticking to a Travel Dining Budget.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the Visa Clear Prepaid program and 

the Green Dot® Reloadable Prepaid Visa® Card.

If you happen to travel at all- whether it be once a year for a family vacation or you take multiple road trips throughout the year- you probably already know that dining out while traveling can really eat up (pun intended ;) ) most of your travel budget pretty quickly. 

Being a foodie and food blogger, experiencing the local food scene in a new city ranks right up there in my top priorities when traveling. And because of that, the dining out expenses can really start adding up. Mainly because I want to try it all. 

Since my family and I love traveling, we have had to find ways to keep our dining budget in check because going over it one too many times means less trips throughout the year as our annual travel budget is depleted. Savvy savings and sticking to a budget with our travel dining = more trips as a family for the year! :)

So what are my best tips for staying on a travel dining budget? I am sharing my top five with you all below...

1. Start hunting for restaurant deals & discounts online a few months before your planned trip. I always start looking for deals and discounts to restaurants in the area we are traveling to about 3 months out. Check out all the popular deal and coupon sites. Often times we are able to pay for some of our meals for a deep discount before we have even packed a suitcase! :)

2. Try to book a room or suite with a kitchenette or a full kitchen. If it is in the budget and the cards, try to splurge for a room or suite that has a kitchen of some sort. Often times you can more than make up for the little extra you will pay for a room with a kitchen by being able to make some of your meals right in your room. This is a great option for breakfasts and some lunches and dinners during your stay. Purchasing a few bags of groceries at a local grocery store or farmers market is much cheaper than having to eat out for all 3 meals each day of your visit.

3. Look for happy hour or late night specials at local restaurants. By being willing to eat a little earlier or later than usual, you can really save money on food and drinks at local restaurants in the area you have traveled to. Most restaurants offer drink specials, smaller plates, or their appetizer menu at a discounted cost- sometimes as much as half off- before and after their dinner rush. We often take advantage of happy hour specials on appetizers and order several and then share as a family tapas style. :)

4. Take advantage of your hotel's complimentary cocktail hours and continental breakfasts. More and more hotels, inns, and bed & breakfasts are now offering their guests a complimentary wine hour each day complete with light hors d'oeuvres. Not only does taking advantage of this light cocktail hour save you money on your dinner out (hello, you have already had a drink or two and your appetizers), but it is a great way to meet and chat with other guests at the hotel. And don't forget the complimentary breakfasts if your hotel offers that! Many major hotel chains now offer complimentary continental breakfasts, and a stay at a B&B always gets you a freshly made breakfast each morning of your stay.

Staying on a dining budget while traveling is easy with my 5 Simple Tips for Sticking to a Travel Dining Budget.

Staying on a dining budget while traveling is easy with my 5 Simple Tips for Sticking to a Travel Dining Budget.

5. Decide on a dining budget before you travel and easily stick to it with help from a GreenDot® Reloadable Prepaid Visa® Card. Decide how much of your travel budget you want to spend on dining out and food before you leave for your trip. Then take that amount of cash out from your ATM and head out to purchase a Green Dot® Reloadable Prepaid Visa® Card, part of the Visa Clear Prepaid program. (I conveniently loaded up our Green Dot Visa at our local Walgreens for a small fee before our family vacation to the beach in June.) 

Now you have the card that you will use for all your travel dining needs. Use it every time you eat- restaurants, ice cream breaks, groceries, etc. Since you load your budgeted amount to your Green Dot Visa card, there are no worries of going over your dining budget. Cards in the Visa Clear Prepaid program don’t allow for overdrafts, meaning you can’t spend more than you have. No one wants to deal with overdraft fees while on vacation, am I right? ;)

Why choose Green Dot® Reloadable Prepaid Visa® Card for your travel dining budget needs?

  • All frees are clearly communicated. 
  • You are protected by Visa’s Zero Liability* fraud protection, so if you lose your card or it gets stolen while you are away from home, you are covered. 
  • You can use your Green Dot® Reloadable Prepaid Visa® Card anywhere that Visa debit cards are accepted- in stores, online, & even over the phone. (Note- please do not use the Prepaid Visa® Card to rent a car or reserve a hotel room as these types of transactions usually incur a large deposit on the card making travel budgeting difficult.) 
  • Fewer budget worries and financial hassles means you can make more time for what matters most- creating lasting travel memories with your family! :) *Visa’s Zero Liability Policy covers U.S.-issued cards and does not apply to certain commercial card transactions, or any transactions not processed by Visa. You must notify your financial institution immediately of any unauthorized use. For specific restrictions, limitations and other details, please consult your issuer.
Go to to find the prepaid card that works for you!

How do you and your family stay on budget with your dining while traveling?

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