Book Review: How To Travel The World On $50 A Day

Posted: December 20, 2013 in Book Reviews
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I just finished reading How To Travel The World On $50 A Day by Matt Kepnes, more widely know as Nomadic Matt. Overall I was pleased with the book and in fact I will be bringing it with me when I head out on my RTW trip. Ironically this would go against the authors advice of traveling light with only what you really need. If you are somebody who has experience with RTW travel, backpacking and solo travel then some of the tips and advice in the book will not be new information to you. Even if you’ve never traveled and are in the planning stages and have been doing your homework some stuff will just be a refresher for you. If you are experienced or have done some research things such as or AirBnB may be familiar names. What I really like about this book though is the well planned layout, different aspects of the travel process are separated well yet still flow into each other nicely.

In part one Matt starts with dealing with the same thing we all go through, the fear of leaving what we know for something totally different. Some readers may not need the reassurance that is given and some might but either way when he says “I’m smart, I’m capable, and I have common sense. If other people could travel the world, Why couldn’t I?…I’m just as good as everyone else. And so are you.” the reader can’t help but feel a little better about what lay ahead. Matt goes on to cover things like banking tips to avoid overseas charges, choosing the right credit card, travel insurance, buying the right backpack and what to do with those seemingly important possessions.

Part two deals with all the expenses that are inevitable once you’re out there doing your thing. The part is broken down nicely into sections relating to food and beverages, accommodations, transportation and activities. These things are the unavoidable aspects of travel but whatever it is you love most about travel undoubtedly falls into one of these categories. Some people travel for food and some culture and history, no matter what it is that motivates you there will be tips on how to save some moolah.

The third part, in my opinion the best, takes all the previous info and places them into sections based on regions of the world. Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, Central America and South America are all dealt with. Greater and more area specific advice is given on the above mentioned four categories. This entire part is something that you can always go back to for future reference. Admittedly I skimmed through the Central and South America sections as they aren’t in my immediate plans, but someday who knows.

To finish things off there are three excellent appendixes. Appendix A is a goldmine of websites and resources for everything you could possibly need in your travels. And just like part three some of it is broken down by regions. Can’t remember that hostel in Chiang Mai or the bus company in Germany that Matt mentioned? No worries, it’s in the appendix. Appendix B is the suggested packing list, thanks to this section we get guidance on what to bring with us and we receive the answer to the burning question “Does Nomadic Matt wear boxers or briefs”? I won’t spoil the surprise. Appendix C is about vaccines. The tips are great and the jist of it is that yes indeed the rest of the world has medicine and doctors and pharmacies so don’t bring a separate bag with medical supplies. Of course Matt advises to see a doctor before going, I wrote an earlier post about this and that’s my advice to you as a fake doctor, see a real one. With other travel books I have near destroyed them with pen marks and hi-liters, with this book you can easily find the important info quickly.

What makes this book different from many other travel books is the author not only tells you what you need to do, he tells you how to do it and provides guidance on where to find even more info for getting your trip done well and most important efficiently. Whether you are a seasoned traveler or a rookie I suggest this book.

As a side note, Matt Kepnes runs one of the best and most popular travel blogs around. Check it out at
If you’re looking to purchase the book or any of his other books click HERE


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