Retire Sooner and Travel More, for Less

“I do believe in traveling like a local,” says Elizabeth Willard Thames, 34, a.k.a. Mrs. Frugalwoods and author of the book “Meet the Frugalwoods,” who lives in rural central Vermont.

When she travels, she takes public transportation or walks and, rather than looking to guidebooks for restaurants, she finds unassuming places where locals gather. Lunchtime often finds her in a grocery store, enjoying the game of trying to figure out what everything is in the local language.

“I love strolling a city, walk around, getting coffee, strolling some more, getting a glass of wine,” she said. “It’s much more interesting, I think; you get to experience it like a local, and it’s so much cheaper.”

She also find creative ways to experience a city’s sights. In Paris, she and her husband wanted to see the Eiffel Tower, but they balked at paying 25 euros (about $28) each to ride the elevator up. “So we took a picnic and sat on the lawn and looked at the Eiffel Tower,” she said. “We felt like we totally had the Eiffel Tower experience.”