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The New York Times' Frugal Traveler seeks out high style on a low budget. Our current columnist: Bonnie Tsui, @bonnietsui. (Profile image by Aurora King)

A Frugal Handoff — After about 650 days on the road over four-plus years, I'll be taking a five-month break from coach seats, lumpy hotel mattresses and greasy street food to work on book and video projects. But don't worry - the Frugal Traveler column will not be usurped by tales of Champagne-fueled cruises aboard bespoke yachts.

A $100 Weekend in Chicago — Even the best-funded traveler can't conquer Chicago in a weekend, or, for that matter, cover the basics: deep-dish pizza, Chicago-style hot dogs, skyline views, troves of historic architecture, Millennium Park, Wrigley Field (the second most charming baseball stadium in the country, at least to this Red Sox fan), a fine arts scene, famed Chicago blues and much more.

In the Northwest, 3 Trips, Planned by Others — In July, I got an email from my friend Caroline that read: "I asked my friend Deepa from Seattle about yoga resort kind of places and she said this place is cool." She added a link to a retreat where sleeping options included quirky cabins with Hindi names and said the spa was "clothing-optional."

The Legacy of a Falling Spider — One of my frugal trademarks is being willing to sleep just about anywhere. A Chinese hotel stinking of cigarettes with a mattress as soft as quarried granite, a jail-cell-size Guatemalan room with filthy walls for $6, the passenger seat of a compact rental car on the side of a Puerto Rican highway, it's all good.

A $100 Weekend in Melbourne — More than once during my attempt at a $100 weekend in Melbourne, food came to my rescue. Last summer, Melbourne, Australia's graceful, lively and remarkably clean second city, was named the most livable city in the world by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Budget-Friendly Seattle, From Meals to Massages — My friend Doug and I approached the ticket counter at the Seattle Art Museum, where suggested admission is $19.50. "Is it true we can actually pay whatever we want to get in?" I asked. "Like, 1 cent?" It was, the man said, so long as we didn't want to see the special exhibitions.

A Winter Weekend in the North Fork — It's free to watch the sun set over the wetlands that fringe the causeway connecting East Marion and Orient, near the eastern tip of Long Island's North Fork. If the weather has been dry enough in this wine country just across the bay from the Hamptons, there's a good perch on the marshy land near Latham Farms, by a little cabin on stilts known locally as the crab shack.

8 Portland, Ore., Meals for $8 or Under — Portland, Ore. - bike-friendly and, to this New Yorker, shockingly affordable - might also be the most delicious small city in America. So, finding myself there with about 30 hours to spare at the end of a West Coast trip earlier this week, I didn't have to think too hard about a plan: rent a bike and look for a few cheap meals around the city.

How I Spent 4 Hours at O’Hare — So let me tell you about my great trip to Chicago. I saw some cool public art, was wowed by a towering brachiosaurus from the Field Museum of Natural History, had a locally brewed beer at the famed Billy Goat Tavern, ate a masterful Chicago-style hot dog, ordered takeout from a famed local chef, browsed in a local bookstore and bought a gift for my mom that she raved about.

Readers Respond to Hotel Saving Tips — Judging from reader comments, my recent column detailing seven steps to finding a better hotel deal touched several nerves, including those that control memories of horrible hotel experiences, disdain for bargain hunters and physical pain. (Two readers contended that the article gave them a headache. Sorry, guys.)
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Oct 25, 2014

fitting tribute: praying mantis at the meiji shrine.

Oct 23, 2014

today's specialty: okinawan sea grapes. new favorite bar snack.

Oct 22, 2014

@dsaezgil @bluesmart hmm, i didn't receive. try me at

Oct 22, 2014

the littlest frugal traveler, on the hunt for a good salaryman meal set in chinatown -- like a boss.

Oct 22, 2014

RT @RoamingGnome: @frugaltraveler the answer is nobody. Nobody (other than pandas) doesn’t like a panda-faced steamed bun.

Oct 22, 2014

who doesn't love a panda-faced steamed bun? a sample of the kawaii offerings in yokohama chinatown:

Oct 20, 2014

@StyleCounselor 7-eleven is pretty good, too, especially for cheap onigiri!

Oct 20, 2014

you know you chose the right udon stand for breakfast when the salarymen are all lined up before opening:

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