Followers of this blog know that our family loves to travel, and we travel as often as we can. They also know that there is no money tree in our backyard. Each and every month we make a decision to allocate the prior months earnings (yes, we budget) to the current month's expenditures: mortgage, health insurance, transportation, food, etc. We also save money each month towards travel. And when it is time for travel, we pull our funds from the savings. As we launch into one vacation we usually have plans for the next simmering in our mind. That causes us to know what we spend on vacation #1 impacts our ability to take vacation #2. One way to stretch our travel dollars is to eat in.
Rarely on travel do we eat out at a restaurant because we select lodging that comes with a full kitchen: fridge, stove, cookware, etc. Upon arrival we unload what food we brought along and then head to the local market. Simple meals are the staple: pasta, eggs, grilled sandwiches, etc.
From years ago on a trip to Bayfield, Wisconsin to last years 2 week adventure in Southern Sweden. We find hotels or apartments to rent for home base, and enjoy traditional family meals for a fraction of the cost of a restaurant meal.
What's your key to frugal travel? I'd love some more ideas since my to-see list continues to grow!