Try to avoid anywhere within or in close proximity to large tourist attractions if you are trying to travel on a tight budget. It’s much cheaper and much more interesting to sample the local cuisine and check out the local establishments while you’re away. When Half a shoestring were in India last year one of the tastiest lunches was had in a tiny one-roomed shack, in a village about a mile from the beach. And it only cost 42p. For 3 courses and chai. Street food can also be a great option – from Currywurst and Pretzels in Berlin to the many “meat on a stick” vendors that line the streets in Bangkok.
Travelling with a vegetarian or vegan might limit your options (no freaking out and heading to a McDonalds or KFC) but shouldn’t blow your budget. Half of half a shoestring is a pesky vegan. Use HappyCow to track down budget wholefoods places, many of which will have the Holy Grail of cheap vegan travel, the infinite salad bar.
In Asia, temples and ashrams sell excellent veg food at local prices. The Hare Krishna movement (bear with us) is enjoined to hospitality and runs super cheap veggie restaurants throughout the world (look out for the word Govinda). In addition, they celebrate a weekly feast on a Sunday with a huge, free, Indian banquet. If there’s one in a city you’re visiting don’t be nervous about dropping by – just be open, friendly and honest about why you’re there.