Life's too short to say 'no' to the good stuff. That's why it pains us when we hear folks foregoing travel due to budget constraints, or declining one of Nashville's famous Goo Goo Clusters because it might botch the diet. By now, you probably know we love to eat, drink and be merry while traveling around the world just as much as in our own backyards.
This wild, wonderful world is full of so many dynamic and delectable delights, it's a cryin' shame not to indulge in good food or good travel experiences. Thankfully, we have some clever tips that let you splurge without wreaking havoc on your budget (or busting the button off your favorite pair of jeans). Whether you are wanting to travel this summer for less money, or enjoy a plate of southern fried comfort food without the guilt, we've got you covered.
Travel Tips That Won't Break Your Budget
There is a myriad of ways to explore the splendor of this diverse world in which we live without smashing your piggy bank. Here are a few suggestions that can save you a load of cash while traveling.
Think Local: Yeah, yeah, this seems like a no-brainer, and maybe not as romantic as a cheap trip to Italy but there's a ton of merit to traveling locally. Besides, the pandemic has put the kibosh on where American's can travel abroad, so traveling local is actually a safer bet as well as a cheaper option. Consult online travel guides for the best deals of the season and you might be surprised how cheap local touring can be.
Fly Cheap: Surfing the internet for the cheapest flights is one way to go about saving your budget while flying. However, many folks don't realize certain flight times are cheaper than others. For instance, mid-week travel days tend to be less expensive than peak weekend flights. You can also find screaming flight deals if you're not firm about departure and arrival dates/times. These deals are typically last-minute flights the airlines are scrambling to book in order to fill seats, and they're often deeply discounted tickets.
Seek the Free (or Discounts): You might be amazed at how some of the most sublime traveling memories are made without spending one thin dime. Start doing Google searches like "things to do for free" at your travel destination. You can also download travel apps on your phone that post free events and even offer discount codes. Speaking of discounts, always flash your student or military ID as well as utilize senior citizen discounts when traveling. Your ID could win you deep discounts at hotels, restaurants, and even entertainment events.
DIY Eats: A huge money-saver is buying your own food and cooking it yourself while traveling. Many hotels offer rooms with tiny kitchenettes and it doesn't always cost that much more. Or think about packing a picnic lunch while visiting popular traveling spots. A cheese plate and fresh fruit can be a perfect (and cheap) way to enjoy a meal while on the go. Preparing meals for yourself and your traveling companions can also be a healthy alternative. This brings us to our next 'splurging without guilt' tips...
Foodie Fun That Won't Wreck Your Diet
All travel without indulging in delicious foods makes us dull peeps! Life is about savoring the good things life offers, and that includes enjoying fabulous foods. Unfortunately, the more scrumptious the bite the more sabotaging it might be to our health or diet. Here are a few tips to relishing rich yummies while still respecting your waistline.
Go Alternative: You know we love good southern cooking, like classic biscuits and gravy with sausage. Yum! Talk about go-to comfort food. Nowadays, with ever-growing diversity in the alternative food industry, you can have your comfort food and eat it too! If you're whipping up a hearty breakfast, try going with a meatless breakfast sausage which can reduce fat and calories by half or more. In fact, replacing meats with tofu or veggie-based products can be a game-changer for satisfying your taste buds while watching your figure.
Air it Out: One of our staples in Nashville is the classic fried pickle. We also love our fried chicken! Unfortunately, enjoying all those beloved bites can pack on the pounds. But thanks to modern technology and the invention of the air fryer, you can fry up catfish, wings, onion rings to your heart's content while making your heart happy too. While deep fryers submerge foods in a vat of oil, air fryers only use about a tablespoon of oil. A specialized convection process in air fryers renders crisp and browned foods almost as good as the traditional deep fat fryer (not to mention the clean-up is far easier with an air fryer!).
Compromise is Key: If you're traveling, it might be tough to haul out an air fryer or find the best plant-based foods. Most of the time, travel demands (and even encourages) indulging in rich, high-calorie foods. We say get your nom-nom on, and enjoy! But do so in moderation. Also, think about sneaking in a quick workout session to compensate for the increase in travel-eating calories consumed. What? Working out on a vacation? We know, it's not always a priority. However, think about moving your body as the locals might. Join a hula dance if you're in Hawaii. Stand in a Tai Chi session while traveling in China. Take a hike while visiting Yellowstone. You get the idea. Just be mindful of eating in moderation as well as adding fun body movements while you're traveling.
We hope this article inspires you to live, love, laugh, and indulge in the best things life has to offer. Sure, you might be dealing with some big restrictions, but this should never restrict you from living life to the fullest! So what are you waiting for? Splurge!