Today’s live chat guest, Matt Kepnes, is one of the first travel bloggers I met when I began blogging in 2006. In fact, he’s one of the first travel bloggers and his site Nomadic Matt is certainly one of the most successful. Matt recently published the revised version of his latest book, How To Travel The World On $50 A Day, and is here to answer your questions on traveling more while spending less.
Thank you everyone for participating in the chat!
Matthew Kepnes runs the award winning budget travel site, Nomadic Matt. After a trip to Thailand in 2005, Matt decided to quit his job, finish his MBA and head off into the world. His original trip was supposed to last a year. Over seven years later, he is still out exploring and roaming the world. He’s scuba dived in Fiji, was a poker player in Amsterdam, taught English in Thailand, got lost in a jungle in Central America, and broke down in the middle of Australia’s outback.
How to Travel the World on $50 a Day: Revised: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Smarter
In 2009, I interviewed Matt about another book of his on how to make money; he’s back today for one hour from 5-6pm US EST to take your questions on how to travel the world for $50 a day. Ask Matt about blogging, his travels, plus smart budgeting for your next trip all in the comments right below!
Congrats on the ten year anniversary, Matt!
Two questions I’d be interested to hear your answers to:
1) After ten years on the road and especially given your success in several different field, do you ever feel yourself starting to lean away from budget travel? Getting out of hostels, jumping for more expensive and comfortable trains instead, and generally splurging to make travel a more comfortable experience? Or do you still feel like that backpacker experience makes for the best experience?
2) With devaluations in hotel and airline loyalty programs recently, how has your strategy for earning and using loyalty points changed? How would you expect these programs to develop in the next few years and what do you see in the future of travel hacking for budget travelers?
1. I love budget travel as much as I did before. I may not love dorm rooms as much and might get more Airbnbs but I still stick to budget travel. I’m cheap. I like the more local experience. That’s my travel style for life!
2. That’s a long answer! I wrote about it last year so I’ll direct you there: http://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/recent-changes-frequent-flier-programs-mean-travelers/
Nope not yet!
Hey Matt, I just booked one of Delta’s last round-the-world tickets which will take me to five continents (besides the US) over a four month period later this year. One of my biggest concerns is minimizing lodging costs. I plan to stay in hostels and airbnb private rooms, which I hope will give me a nice blend of meeting travelers and connecting with locals on a deeper level, but what other advice/resources would you suggest?
Also, my budget is looking like $50 – $55 per day, so I’m basically a crash test dummy for the philosophy of your book. If you’d be interested in me doing some kind of case study about my trip that connects back to your book, let me know.
And when I say “besides the US”, I obviously mean “besides North America”. Morning brain…
booked w/delta before they crashed their program too shall be waiting to hear Matt’s reply
Those look good. Try Couchsurfing too. That’a great community that lets you connect with people locals and save a lot of money on accommodation.
now that Delta had stopped offering RTW tickets for FF points, what other airlines are the BEST value for the long haul trips………….
And have you found any booking/routing web site that will suggest routes with stop overs? The 12 to 17 flights in the back of the plane are too physically destructive
Try airtreks.com. They have a good route planner. Otherwise, use your FF points for biz class long haul and then pay for the short haul flights.
Hi Matt, just wondered how you deal with elements of a trip which you really want to do but may be unavoidably expensive – do you sometimes splurge even when on a tight budget?
Budget travel isn’t a race to the bottom. To me, it’s about value and finding the best deals but it’s OK to splurge. After all, you didn’t scrimp and save to come all the way to do nothing. I say if there’s something you really love, go for it. I splurge a lot on food. That’s my thing. Splurge on whatever your thing is.
Isn’t $50 a day a lot? Why that particular amount?
That’s what the math worked out to be. $50 day is a lot in some places and not a lot in others. Plus, that number also has all your pre-trip expenses and flights rolled into it. It’s an all inclusive number. When you work that into the equation, I think it’s a pretty good number.
Where’s the most budget friendly places to go?
Thanks for answering my question!
Southeast Asia is the best value region in the world. If you’re on a tight budget, go there.
Are there places $50 is impossible? Like Western Europe?
Bermuda and parts of the Caribbean are pretty hard to do. Switzerland and Norway are also difficult. Other places are doable. It all depends on how low you want to go. The $50 a day is just a guideline number.
Hi everyone, looking forward to getting started…
How often do you travel? How have you made your blog so successful?
About 8 months out of the year now. For the blog, right place right time, LOTS of marketing, hiring market teams, PR, and creating evergreen useful content people love to share. That’s my theory at least.
Hi Matt, what are some of the biggest changes in this version of How To Travel The World On $50 A Day since the previous edition?
can you give an example of a typical travel day for you? what you spend on, etc?
Wake up, answer emails, write a blog, head out to explore until about 5 or 6, come back work more, head out again for dinner and drinks. Repeat.
That’s the average day. Some days I only work, some days I don’t do any work and just sightsee!
What made you want to focus in particular on budgeting from the beginning?
Nothing really. I’m just cheap and don’t like spending money so I just blogged about that and well, here we are today!
where can i find your book in austria?
Hi Matt, I really want to know how you’ve changed since you stopped being a permanent traveler? How has your site and lifestyle adapted to New York (or living in one place?)
I have more clothes now….and more stuff. As for my site, it hasn’t changed. I’m on the road so much and have so much content that it’s still the same old site! People probably wouldn’t even notice me living in NYC if I didn’t mention it!
Was it a difficult transition?
Thanks! (and sorry for all the qustions)
Also, do you think it’s easier for men to spend less when traveling?
Not at all. I don’t think there’s a different one bit.
What have you found is the biggest thing people overspend on? Underspend?
do you have any advice for those of us from countries where 50 dollar is a lot of money??
For everyone reading this in the US, I wanted to let you know about Matt’s book tour that might be coming your way:
How’s it going so far Matt?
how can i start a blog, make money, and travel like you ?