Eating Well on a Travel BudgetWritten by Jed Clark
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In Rome, I discovered a little take-out pizza shop around corner from Pantheon. The restaurant made pizzas on huge rectangular sheet pans and put them in a deli case with a clear glass window. You could order by pointing to kind you wanted, motioning for how big you wanted your piece (they charge by weight), and asking for it to be heated. Then you happily take your piece of pizza over to square, sit on steps and enjoy.
Being friendly with other guests in hotel, concierge and locals, is another great way to discover good food that won't break budget. Ask a local if they know any good restaurants that aren't too expensive. They should be able to come up with a few good options for you. Make sure you indicate that you want to sample some local cooking. I've even known friends that have gotten themselves invited over to dinner (not that this should be your objective).
Another good way to find inexpensive restaurants is to always be looking for a good place to eat. If you're out visiting a tourist site, stop by a few restaurants and read their menus (usually posted in window). Even if you are not hungry, you may decide to come back later. I've had better luck with this technique when I'm in an area of city that is not your standard tourist destination.
Eating in a sit-down full service restaurant is most expensive dining option, so if you are really on a budget, you may want to limit number of full service meals you eat. Also, in some countries eating at counter is less expensive that sitting at a table. By listening to recommendations and doing a little research, you can avoid expensive restaurants that cater to tourists.
If you're on a budget, you can still eat great during your travels, you just need to be aware of all your food options. Ask around with locals for recommendations. Make sure you know price before you eat. Most important of all, try new things. Stretch your boundaries and try something that you would never eat at home. After all isn't reason you travel is to discover something different.
Jed Clark is a travel writer, photographer and long-time San Francisco resident. For more travel tips and information about San Francisco destinations, attractions and neighborhoods, visit Zurdo Go - a destination guide to San Francisco.
Playing Golf On Ana's EyeballWritten by Steve Gillman
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Fortunately, we drove during daylight after that. In Colorado mountains we went from 16 to 20 miles-per-gallon, confusing sensors and causing "check engine" light to turn on. We successfully ignored it until it changed it's mind.
In Farmington, New Mexico, we spent a few days resting and coughing. We were about an hour away from buying a house when we discovered it needed new wiring, had a garden hose attached to natural gas line, and other problems we missed on our first visit. The old man begged me to buy it, called our motel room to tell me he needed money for open-heart surgery in three days, and called again to lower price, but we moved on. By way, house was to be a winter project, not a new home.
Monument Valley was beautiful, Christmas parade in Holbrook was cute, and despite various problems and illnesses, we're having a great time. You see, I didn't want to make you all jealous, so I left out a lot - constant sun, beautiful sculptures in Grand Junction, and nine times we've been in hot springs in Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. Next week we're going to Mexico for lunch. Hope all is well in Michigan. Adios,
Steve and Ana
Steve Gillman hit the road at sixteen, and traveled the United States and Mexico alone at 17. Now 40, he travels with his wife Ana, whom he met in Ecuador. To read letters #2 and #3, plus stories, tips and travel information, visit: http://www.EverythingAboutTravel.com