Skip to content
Playback speed:

One of the most exciting parts about planning a trip is…. the FOOD!

You could taste specialties like Chicago deep dish pizza, Boston clam chowder, New Orleans gumbo, or Maine lobster.

Search the internet for your trip location and “Where do the locals eat?” or “Best restaurants in” the city you will visit.

To help estimate costs, you could use a customer review website or look at menus from interesting restaurants.

But restaurants can get pricey quickly, especially if you add in soft drinks and tips.

To save money on local foods, have a larger meal at lunch instead of dinner.

Many restaurants reduce their prices at lunchtime.

Food trucks are also a popular option for lunch in many cities.

Although they can be more expensive than a convenience store or fast food, you can eat fresh, local cuisine on the go, without the formality or price of a sit-down restaurant.

If you enjoy having a nice restaurant dinner to wind down after a day of sightseeing, consider spending less on breakfast and lunch.

That way, you can splurge on dinner!

Your hotel might come with a free breakfast.

That could save you ten dollars or more a day!

You could eat fast food for lunch.

Or, you could pack a sandwich and buy cold drinks at a convenience store.

Research the great restaurants and other food options in your vacation location.

Then, balance heavy, more expensive meals with cheaper, lighter fare.

Now It’s Your Turn: Research food costs for your vacation.

Add food costs to your vacation budget spreadsheet.

Choose an extension

Watch this video for tips on transportation options for your trip.


Watch this video for tips on finding a place to stay on your trip.


Watch this video for tips on finding places to eat on your trip.

Attractions and Souvenirs

Use this video to help budget for things to do and souvenirs to buy on your trip.

Review of Formulas and Visuals

Watch this video to review how to use formulas and add visuals to your budget spreadsheet.