Eating on a Budget During Family Travel

While enjoying New England travel this summer, we’ve had to eat on the road a lot. Dining out is not cheap! That’s why we’ve developed our own guide to help you eat on a budget during family travel seasons. Use these tips and tricks to save money while traveling New England with kids.

It’s not easy to be in charge of portion control for kids when your only options for a meal are dining out, cooking by campfire or cooking on a grill. When you opt to enjoy New England travel with kids, you’ll quickly find out that you must learn som tricks to save money on food. 

I tried the whole, “do you really have to eat three meals a day?” question with my preteen and teens, but they didn’t seem to think less than 3 meals per day is an option. So, we had to develop a plan to feed our kids, without going broke during our New England travel adventures. 

If your kids are like mine and have to eat every day, then check out these awesome ways to eat on a budget during family travel. 

Baymont by Wyndham West Lebanon Provides You with Free Cookies & Coffee

Eating on a Budget During Family Travel

Let me start by saying that some hotels offer you unlimited free coffee, free cookies at night, and most offer you a complimentary breakfast. If you’re staying at a New England hotel, then you’ll love being able to get your coffee, snacks, and breakfast free. This helped our family eat on a budget during family travel. 

Baymont by Wyndham West Lebanon Provides You with a pretty extensive complimentary breakfast 7 days a week.

Dining Out

Let’s face it, sometimes we get tired as parents and traveling with kids is no different. While sure we could cook by a campfire or on the outdoor grill at most hotels, dining out or ordering delivery was an option we went for. One resource we found that helped us is this 2019 Kids Eat Free list. We had no idea that so many restaurants have a ‘kids eat free night’!

Dollar Tree is your friend for snacks!

Dollar Tree For Snacks & Lunch

No matter where you are, it seems a Dollar Tree isn’t far. That’s what we found out during our New England travel season with kids. I recently purchased myself some Dollar Tree tortilla chips, salsa, and jalapeno cheese sauce to feel a little spoiled after buying the kids cheap lunches and snack options at a New England Dollar Tree location. 

Apple Cinnamon oatmeal at the Super 8 in Vermont for the win

Use the Microwave

Not every room we stayed in had a mini-fridge or microwave. This sucked a little bit. That is until we realized that most hotels had a microwave near their breakfast area that you could use to heat up meals. That’s why I highly recommend you purchase some microwave meals for kids to eat on a budget during family travel. 

Cook Outdoors

If all else fails, and you’re completely broke, then get outdoors and cook! You can easily use the grill at most hotels or cook over a campfire when camping in New England. The fall season may be here, but this is the best time to enjoy camping in New England, perhaps without kids if they don’t like the colder nights in a tent. Grab those sausages, burgers, and hotdogs to enjoy a grilled meal. 

Cooking over an open fire is DELICIOUS

At the end of the day, you’re the person in charge of what’s for dinner. So grab these tips, figure out which one will help you eat on a budget during family travel, and show off those muscles to tell the kids who’s boss. Make the most of your New England travel adventures by cutting some corners with meals, such as dining out on “kids eat free nights” or cook at the hotel on a grill or in the microwave to save some cash. 

See those muscles? 😉 No kids shall mess with me when it comes to saving money on food during family travel

What are some tips you’d share with the traveling family to save money on food options?


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16 thoughts on “Eating on a Budget During Family Travel

  1. Traveling costs can add up so fast! These are good ideas for helping keep spending down. We were just talking about birthday coupons and kids eat free.

  2. These are all great tips to enjoy a vacation and stay within budget. It is so easy to overspend on food while traveling but if we do careful planning, we can still have our fill and not go home broke.

  3. I look for hotels that serve breakfast and now there are some that do dinner during the week too. This helped cut down on eating out. We also went to the grocery store for sandwiches or wraps. I also travel with granola bars, snacks and treats for the kids.

  4. These are great tips! My family always spend too much money when we travel. And we always love hotels that come with extra perks.

  5. Great tips! I actually dread how much food costs when we are on the road as a family. It can kill the trip budget.

  6. These are some absolutely wonderful ideas. I have to admit me and budget when it comes to travelling are not friends. I definitely need to take on some of your tips by next time.

  7. I love all these ideas. I’m always looking to eat on a budget as well, especially when out on a trip. I think it’s great to save money when you can.

  8. These are great ideas that you got here. This seems to be a practical way of eating when you’re on a budget. This is awesome!

  9. Food takes a huge chunk out of our travel budget. We usually end up finding a Costco and stock up on granola bars, poptarts and other snacks and try to wing it by only eating out once or twice a day. It still gets awful expensive, but every little bit helps!

    1. Yes! We do stock up on what we can, but without a fridge or microwave in every location we stayed, we had to get a little more creative. I know we did get pop tarts and oatmeal for breakfast (most hotels have a hot water area near the coffee) this meant we could put oatmeal in a bowl, bring it down to the lobby and fill it up. I did that for dinner one night, actually to save some cash.

  10. Eating when you travel can turn into double digits. I am so glad to be able to pack my own snacks and bring them along.

  11. I love your ideas. We do bring a lot of our food when we travel to help save. Normally I pick one meal where we will go out though, because on vacation I don’t want to worry about preparing much.

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