Book Review: How To Travel The World on $50 a Day

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I met Matt Kepnes (also known as the popular travel blogger Nomadic Matt with the travel site by the same name) during a trip to Mexico a couple of years ago and despite our differences in age and lifestyle, I liked him almost immediately. To many, Matt personifies the dream of countless people who wish to not just travel, but to do so often and for a long period of time.

I think it’s great for people to hear how and why many of us started to do those things that make us so happy, look so easy, but yet seem so impossible to most, and Matt is always happy to share his story with anyone who asks and has gotten really good in doing so in a way that makes it more attainable.

His popular e-book, “How to Travel The World on $50 a Day” has now been published by Penguin Publishing as “How to Travel the World on $50 a Day: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Smarter” and provides the reader with a bit more information to learn from and prepare themselves with. Matt’s expertise is in providing his readers with money-saving tips from practically anywhere in the world, and in reading his book you can really get a sense of the value in the lessons he has learned through his own mishaps and rookie mistakes.

The book is divided into three parts; 1) Planning your trip, 2) On-The-Road Expenses, and 3) Breaking It Down by Region. His honesty and candid approach is refreshing and thought-provoking.  More than once, I found myself feeling excited about one tip or another, especially in the first part of the book.

Matt is clear to point out that spending $50 a day is dependent on how you travel, of course, but then also, where you are traveling to (some places may require more than $50 a day, but the expenses here average out in other destinations where you wouldn’t spend nearly as much). The book also points out that it isn’t necessary to sacrifice perks or comfort while saving money through traveling when following the advice he provides.

Obviously, as a family of 5, I have to account for the $50 being a bit more than that a day when my time comes to travel the world, but I really appreciated reading how Matt addresses this, though briefly, in his book.

And that brings me to my favorite part of reading it. I’ve followed Matt for a long time, and even since meeting him a couple of years ago, I have seen how the years and even the lessons he has learned through travel have grounded him a bit and given him a better ability to get a wider audience excited about traveling in a way that is honest and realistic. Part 1 of his book touches on a lot of the insecurities, questions, stereotypes, and hesitation many of us experience when thinking about travel, whether as a solo traveler or as a family. It’s great to see someone as young as Matt, and as well-traveled, speak out about these things in a way that anyone wanting to follow on this path can understand. He addresses it all head on, which makes it much less intimidating and a bit more possible.

Whether you are ready to set off on a world adventure or just daydreaming of the day when you can, this book is a great place to start. And as Matt points out in the beginning of his book, the first step to living out our dreams is to get over our fears. Once you are ready to do that, make sure to keep Matt’s book handy for even more tips on making those travel dreams come true – with or without kids in tow.


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Carol Cain

Carol is her happiest when on an adventure, either close to home or farther away. She's the mom to three fun boys and wife to a handsome Irish/Scot. She lives in New Jersey with her happy crew, but will always be a girl from Brooklyn. You can read her full profile here.

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