Dining Vouchers: A New Way To Save Money On Vacation

Dessert at The Melting PotDessert at The Melting Pot
Courtesy phil_g/Flickr

Dessert at The Melting Pot

If you're planning a trip to South Florida anytime soon, especially the greater Miami, Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale areas, keep your eye on Destination Meals, a website that offers meal vouchers to help visitors cut down on dining expenses. The website targets out-of-towners with $15 vouchers good for $30 worth of food and drinks at select restaurants in 17 cities including Boca Raton, Coconut Creek, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Miramar, and Pembroke Pines. You can purchase the vouchers through the website or from your travel agent.

What I like about it: You don't need to choose which restaurant you want to use the voucher for, since it will be accepted at any of the places listed on the Destination Meals website, so it's up to you where to cash it in.

What I don't like about it: Certain restaurants tack on additional requirements like minimum spending amounts—Fort Lauderdale's upscale Catalina Restaurant says you must spend at least $60 at lunch and over $100 at dinner, for instance—or that vouchers may only be accepted along with a regular purchase—The Melting Pot says vouchers are valid with the purchase of a four-course fondue dinner for two.

The fine print: In order to use the vouchers, you must live at least 100 miles outside the Greater Miami and Fort Lauderale area (and show ID at the restaurant to prove it). Meal vouchers last for six months and you can only use one per table. They are non-transferable and non-refundable. Like any typical meal voucher you may see on Groupon or Living Social, if the amount you spend exceeds the $30 voucher, you pay the difference, but don't expect to receive change if your bill is less than the $30 limit. Also note that they cannot be used towards taxes and tips—the website asks that you please tip your server on the entire bill amount—and it's always a good idea to make reservations first, as area restaurants can fill up quickly.

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