How to Find The Best Restaurant Promotions When Traveling

By: Cinnamon Janzer

Sampling local cuisine is one of the most important ways to really experience culture as you travel. Amy Choi points out in TED Ideas, food is a central component to almost every culture. Arab culture associates it with community while the French tack it onto pleasure. “Americans [have] had the luxury of not relying on rotating crops,” Choi writes, contrasting that with Japanese cuisine that was forced to integrate rotating crops like buckwheat and rice into their diet, for example. Trying local cuisine, then, offers plenty of information about the culture it comes from.

But no one likes to spend all of their travel money just on food—there’s just too much else to see, experience, and explore outside of meals.

So, whether you’re halfway through a year around the world and working with a tight budget or you’re on a work trip with a per diem guiding your choices, finding the best restaurant promotions for local establishments is essential to genuinely experiencing a new place without breaking the bank.

Here’s how to find restaurant deals, specials, and promotions as you travel so you can not only eat like a local, but save like one too

Chat up your concierge

Hotels specialize in making sure that their guests find what they’re looking for during their visit. Money Crashers advises stopping by the front desk and simply asking if they know of any restaurant promotion ideas or deals, or have any coupons for local restaurants. There’s a good chance that the answer will be in your favor because restaurants often use hotels to market themselves to travelers.

Even if your hotel doesn’t happen to have direct discounts, the locally-based staff can certainly tell you what’s good and where to eat on the cheap (think a local dive bar with two-for-ones every Sunday).

Subscribe to deal sites

Just like practically everything else, you can source restaurant deals online with just a couple of clicks. As Smarter Travel explains, websites like LivingSocial,, and are all worth checking out ahead of a trip. There’s also the good old fashioned newspaper route, too. Glancing at a city’s local publications is one of the best ways to not only figure out where the locals eat, but to catch weekly specials designed to draw local crowds in.

Make the most of your memberships

Everything from being a student to a senior citizen or a member of the military often entitles you to discounts at a variety of restaurants, according to Money Crashers. You’ll never know unless you ask, though.

There’s nothing wrong with calling up a restaurant in advance and asking if they offer any discounts to members of your group. Even teachers and other particular professions sometimes get discounts at certain restaurants, so always keep your badge or membership card on hand—you never know when it might come in handy. Also, if you’re traveling because of a major convention, ask the organizers if any local restaurants are offering discounts for participants. They often do because it’s a brilliant restaurant promotion strategy used to secure business.

Bottom line: finding a good restaurant while traveling is easy, and thanks to technology and the saviness of your hotel staff, finding the best restaurant promotions when traveling is just as easy!