Book Review: How to Travel the World for $50 a Day

Book Review: How to Travel the World for $50 a Day

Written by Avid Traveller

Topics: Finance, Travel

I recently read How to Travel the World on $50 a Day by Matt Kepnes

Matt Kepnes

Matt (aka Nomadic Matt) has a great blog and has finally consolidated a lot of his information into a 270-page manual.

Section 1 covers topics related to the planning aspect of your trip including: banking and credit cards; airline tickets; travel insurance; and an extensive discussion of selecting a backpack.

Section 2 is all about how to spend/save during your trip. The main areas covered are accommodations, transportation, food & beverage, and activities. This is an expanded discussion of the excellent article on his blog How to Be a Travel Hacker.

Section 3 is where this book really helps the most in my opinion. While much of the information in this book can be gleaned from the blog if you spend quite a few hours going through the articles, the last section of this book goes region-by-region (including specific countries) for spending strategy and expectations. The book covers: Europe (East, West, Scandanavia); Australia, New Zealand, SE Asia, Central America, South America.

So is it possible to really travel on just $50 a day? The answer according to Matt is a resounding ‘Yes’, depending on where you are going and what your expectations are – and it is stated many times that this is an average daily spending. For example, if you spend much of your time in Europe and Australia it would be quite difficult to meet the $50 target – but if you spend all your time in SE Asia and South America, you can do it for less!

All in all this is a good primer on planning for your trip and estimating costs based on the type of travel you are willing to do, and where you are planning to go.

A couple of key examples of the tips in this book are:

  • Keep track of what you spend; The ones who go home early are the ones who don’t know how much they are spending.
  • Never eat in a tourist area.
  • In SE Asia use vs AirBNB for better selection.
  • In Central America take the bus [between countries], don’t fly, the prices are not economical.


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