Eating Well on a Travel BudgetWritten by Jed Clark
When you're traveling it can be difficult to find good food at reasonable prices especially if you happen to be staying in a big city that has an established food and restaurant culture. When you're faced with a budget, you want to try and maximize your enjoyment per buck. If you want to eat well and sample local cuisine for a budget price, you'll need to do a little research to find that perfect restaurant that offers a balance between quality and price.
First, check with your hotel or hostel and inquire whether breakfast is included in your stay. In Europe many hotels provide breakfast. If you're hotel does provide breakfast, don't skip it in favor for paying for food elsewhere. Some of my most memorable meals were hostel breakfasts that were nothing more that a roll, butter, jam and some coffee with milk. Hotel and hostel breakfasts are also a great way to get to know other guests.
One option for budget eating is to eat at a chain restaurant that you a familiar with, such as McDonald's, Burger King or Kentucky Fried Chicken. You can find a McDonald's about anywhere world-wide. I made my way through Rome using a free McDonald's map that in addition to indicating all tourist attractions had a mark for every McDonald's in Rome. However, if you want to become familiar with culture of country you are visiting, eating at a fast food restaurant is not a good option.
Another option is to buy groceries and make your own food. If you don't have a fridge or hot plate in your hotel room, this option may not be very feasible. Still, you can buy items that don't need to be heated and make a meal out of those. When I was in Florence, a loaf of bread, parma ham and cheese coupled with a Chianti made a very nice picnic that I enjoyed thoroughly. Make sure you try to sample items from local cuisine.
Eating one or two meals a day from a street vendor or take-out restaurant may also be a good way to still eat great, but save some money. In Paris, I got great ham and cheese sandwiches from a street vendor for lunch. They were delicious, kept me going and didn't break budget. When I was at a conference in Washington D.C., I discovered a little convenience store that made fresh egg and cheese sandwiches on toast to order. They sold them for only $2.00 and I ate there every morning.
Playing Golf On Ana's EyeballWritten by Steve Gillman
As we drove from Traverse City, Michigan to Tucson, Arizona, I wrote a series of letters, and photocopied them to send to family and friends. This was first of three.
Travel Letter #1
Saturday, 12/13/03 - Good morning. Welcome to our vacation form letter. We're in Arizona now. The sun is shining and it will be in sixties today, which should melt ice on windows soon. Ana's foot doesn't seem to be broken, as we thought, so we took a long walk in desert last night. We saw a coyote, probably same one I chased other day, and there were javelina tracks everywhere.
The library in Safford has books in Spanish, so Ana is enjoying reading now that her eye-patch is off. The doctor promised that "divet" left by his golf-club-like blade will heal soon. We learned that eyeballs have many nerve endings, and we think object in her eye may have been a fiber from a yucca plant.
Our uncontrollable coughs are under control now, and we aren't among ten people in Arizona that died from flu this week. Oh, and antibiotics from Safford clinic seem to have helped with Ana's abcessed tooth.
I should start at beginning. The first day, after dealing with usual rudeness of INS employees in Detroit, we made it to Kansas. We hit a traffic cone there at high speed, and heard a horrible sound coming from under van. The cone, I discovered, had been dragging along underneath. Nothing was broken, but later bright light switch stopped working.