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Seamless Journeys

Travel knows no boundaries

Planning for Food


To each their own. There can't be a standard choice of food preferences ever. Nevertheless, in an honest attempt to help come up with a food plan, I have just summarised what we generally do in our tour.

Being strictly vegetarian since birth, adapting to outside food in an alien country proved difficult. Moreover, the trips lasted almost 3 weeks each time. In the given scenario, eating all three meals outside, not only worked out expensive , but also didn't seem healthy.. Of course, lately, there were cheaper & healthy "take away" options in some places that we did consider. Even so, after much thought and reading, clearly self- cooking turned out to be the cheapest, healthiest and the best option. If not all 3 meals at least 2.

Trips always turn out a lot easier for travellers who are less fussier about food and do not mind skipping meals. A few travellers also make do with whatever is available. Somehow, as a group we could never do that. On longer journeys it was best to carry at least self-made healthy sandwiches.

After much thought and calculations, I discovered that carrying basic food items from our home country, including some ready to eats, saved us loads of money and kept us in good health throughout the journey. Never did we miss a meal. We also had the opportunity to learn a few quick and healthy recipes that came handy.

The process for a long time now, has been - to cook up our own breakfast , lunch and dinner in our self-catering accommodation. We carry lunch all days during travel. The Non-greasy, easy to make & carry food, has been the best lunch option. You don't want any spillage to destroy your hand baggage do you ? Of course we do taste local vegetarian food, but a packet of sandwiches or healthy rolls are always tucked away in our backpacks, along with a bottle of water. We, therefore, break for lunch at any suitable place. This not only saves time, but also money. When ever we get past a good restaurant, cafe or some interesting eatery, we never miss a chance to feast.

The food expenses , therefore , are bare minimal as compared to the costs under other heads. Moreover, preparing, packing & carrying food daily during our touring period is a fun team event now. Every member enjoys his/her role. Those who don't enjoy this at least appreciate the idea of cost saving. Trust me its a lot more saving than you can imagine.

The planning process includes the following :

(1. ) Collecting fixed amount from each passenger towards food cost and packaging items (also read MISCELLANEOUS) ( 2. ) Apportioning a part of the total collected amount towards basic grocery purchases in home country (if the prices for the same in the destination country is higher) ( 3. ) Converting the rest of the amount so collected to relevant country's currency and maintaining it separately with an expenses diary to pen down daily expenses while on the move (4. ) Purchasing basic groceries and spices locally and distributing them among families, for carrying in their baggage, at the time of travel.

NOTE : Customs & Clearance at the airport , of certain countries, are highly particular about what food items are prohibited into their country. Please ensure to update yourselves of such rules , beforehand, in order to avoid unnecessary hassles , interrogation, fines and delays.

It is also possible to buy all groceries from any supermarket in the destination country. However, many items may be unavailable. It may also be more expensive . Therefore, in my opinion, it is best to carry the basics for eg. spices and shop for daily supplies in the destination country. To arrive at the approximate food costs for the entire trip, it is best to read up the general FOOD PRICES in that country. This will help arrive at a probable daily purchase value. Ensure to add an overall amount to this figure, for expected contingencies. This can be multiplied by the number of days of stay and shared by all group members.

In fact, in case you plan to eat all 3 meals outside, just stay prepared for the expenses by reading up the FOOD PRICES of that country.

Overall, have fun. It is just a vacation !

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