(or at least we don’t)
So you’re a foodie. Or actually, you hate the term “foodie” but are a person who recognizes and appreciates good food. Also, you want wine with your meal, or at the very least a beer, and yes, something sweet at the end as well. Can this be done, when you are on the road and on a budget?
Yes, especially if you save your entire food budget until dinner.
When my husband and I travel, we try our hardest to make it on two meals a day. We may require an afternoon snack every now and then, but a hearty mid-morning breakfast, a handful of nuts in the late afternoon and an outstanding dinner is our preferred way to go. Or, no breakfast, an early lunch splitting a sandwich and chips, and that same outstanding dinner. Or, a light breakfast and then huge late lunch, and an evening ice cream cone if needed.
Two meals a day works especially well in Europe when a nice continental breakfast with meats and cheeses is included in the room rate. The key is to come down to breakfast as late as possible, fill up with plenty of protein (which means cheese and a hard-cooked egg for me, and a hearty meat sandwich for Chad) and any fruits and veggies they have on offer (I love it when there’s tomatoes and peppers). Then keep yourself so busy all day long that you don’t even think about food, but have a bag of trail mix on hand just in case. The more days in a row you keep this schedule, the easier it will be.
Most budget sites (and Rick Steves) will tell you to have your main meal midday when restaurant prices are cheaper. For the really posh places we have our hearts set on trying we might do that, but I like a big fancy dinner late (and really we’re not big enough foodies to get our hearts set on too many places). There’s something so festive and relaxing about ending your day with a nice meal and a bottle of wine, and we find it to be a nice time to reflect on the day’s adventures and look forward to what’s on tap for the next day.
Bonus tip: Never, ever, ever order the same thing as your spouse or partner. That way you get to try more things, and if one dish is a dud the meal isn’t a total loss. And don’t be squeamish about eating after each other. You make out all the time anyway, right? So you might as well share the same bowl of bouillabaisse so that the other person can try whatever the night’s special is, and in case the bouillabaisse sucks (fyi, bouillabaisse never sucks).