One my favorite parts of traveling is getting to try new food. I love finding new dishes to bring back home and recreate or share with friends. But more often than not, I do a lot of research before I get to those new foods. As the second part of my Universal trip, I wanted to share a few tips and tricks for staying healthy and on budget while in Orlando.
Tip 1: Make reservations. Something we didn’t do. On our second day, we ventured into downtown Disney for a low key day. We saw La La Land, it’s awesome by the way. But we also spent time looking for somewhere suitable the group could eat last minute. Luckily, we stumbled onto a burger joint with a serious veggie burger (picture below). However, this was sheer luck for us.
Both Universal and Downtown Disney feature several popular chef’s restaurants or just genuinely popular places. If you know there is somewhere you are going to want to eat, make reservations ahead of time. This way you don’t have to take chances like we did.
Tip 2: You can bring snacks in the park. Best news ever, right? I was so excited when they told me this. Personally, breakfast can be my struggle meal when I travel. For example, I packed pre-packaged oats so that I was guaranteed to have a healthy meal to start my day. Super easy to do and it saved me money. But on the mornings I wasn’t hungry yet before we left I had a trusty clif bar in my bag. It kept me energized, from eating junk and tied me over until the next meal.
Tip 3: You can bring bottled water. Even better news! I never thought I could go to Universal and it be so affordable. Shocker. But being able to bring in a bottle of water and refill it at the fountains was a definite money saver. Now you can stay hydrate and save your money for other fun things!
Tip 4: There are plant friendly places to eat in the park. I was pleasantly surprised to make this discovery but there are options. From a beet root salad to a hummus platter, I didn’t find it hard at all to eat nutritious foods in the park. The Universal app is great at telling you if a restaurant has veggie options available. I will say that I didn’t attempt breakfast in the park but all other meals went well and weren’t crazy unaffordable.
Tip 5: Butterbeer isn’t vegan friendly. I was really hoping to try butterbeer. I mean who goes to Harry Potter World and doesn’t get one. Well, I do apparently but still. In my hopes of being a true Potterhead, I asked a kind lady in Diagon Alley about the ingredients in butterbeer. My main question: is this drink dairy free? She explain to me that while the drink is safe that there is whey in the foam part on top. Bummer. I asked another man serving it the next night if it was possible to get the drink without the foam. I was told no. However, they add the foam. So, if they allowed him, he could serve it that way. Sad day.
However, if you are going to get a butterbeer, let me recommend the frozen version. The group tried multiple versions over our two days and the winner was frozen.
Despite the normally challenges of theme park food, I found Universal & Orlando super easy to navigate. Plus, we opted to eat at home for several meals to save funds. Overall, the trip ended up being super affordable because of it.
What are some of your favorite ways to stay healthy and on budget while traveling? Do you have a favorite place to eat in Orlando or at the parks? Leave me a note below and let me know.
For now, I’m off to plan a trip to Birmingham. More food adventures and travels coming your way.
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