I think this is part of the reason why I don't think I'll be an ABD person, even after we do our trip next year. From what I have seen, ABD's revised itineraries cover fewer meals each time. In 2 week-long TB trips, I have done exactly one meal on my own. Each trip actually covered more meals than suggested by the itinerary, either by adding in a boxed lunch, or giving 20 Euros per person, or just picking up an extra meal. Sometimes they make the reservations for you at the hotel restaurants so that you get to pick the place and time and eat with your family and it's still covered. I don't mind spending $ on a trip, and I clearly anticipate buying souvenirs, etc., but I really do prefer to just pay it in advance, and not have to deal with tipping guide hundreds of dollars or dropping tons of money on food. As a practical concern, we have a child who is allergic to nuts and sesame, and in countries where there is a language barrier, it is so nice to have our needs communicated in advance for meals rather than assuming a risk on our own. I even map out McDonalds locations, if there is one, in advance so that we can have a safe option for my son, if necessary.