Nomadic Matt’s How To Travel The World On $50 Per Day

My official Nomadic Matt’s How To Travel the World on $50 A Day book review.   Nomadic Matt, otherwise known as Matthew Kepnes, is a travel blogger that runs the budget travel site NomadicMatt.com.

I actually met Matt when I first started my current endless around the world trip.

There was a travel blogger meetup at the time while I was living in Toronto.   Mr. Nomadic Matt came to the table and stated “Hi everyone I’m Nomadic Matt”.  Since then Matt and I have kept in touch and talked about a variety of things.

Watch Nomadic Matt‘s Video on Youtube if you can’t see the video below.

We met up in NYC while I was attending a day trading expo and also decided to get his thoughts on the book on video (at end of post).

Matt Kepnes Nomadic Matt

Matt Kepnes aka Nomadic Matt

Although Nomadic Matt is known to be a backpacker or budget traveler this book isn’t necessarily meant for that type of traveler.  One of the things I found extremely interesting was that he included great information about what to do before anyone sets out on a trip.

Everything a person could think of think of from how to handle fear of going on the road to what to do with your stuff.

The book proves that there are always ways to save money no matter what kind of traveler one intends to be.

Matt even highlights intangible ways to save money such as having a “savings mind-set.”

Matt and I have very different travel styles but the book is extremely useful for any type of traveler.  The travel blogging community as a whole is a big one and Matt sought out many experts in the field.  There are quotes and tips from experts that have been around the world many times over.

The first event that I attended where Matt and I met for the first time was the beginning of many great friendships.  Many have lasted nearly 3 years now!

The credit card and banking sections included in the book are something I have had to learn the hard way.

Many of the major banks charge a fee upwards of $5 just to use an international ATM (Bank of America).  On top of that they charge a 2%-3% in foreign transaction fees, 1% is charged by Visa and the rest by your bank.

Nomadic Matt Matt Kepness

He mentions that everyone should have an account at a major bank due to additional services offer which I agree 100% with.  One piece of invaluable information that everyone should do that Matt does mention is opening a checking account with Charles Schwab.

They refund all ATM fees, international and national, and also do not charge a monthly maintenance fee.  They also refund any fees charged by the bank where one may withdraw funds from.  Money not charged by Charles Schwab, the OTHER BANK!

I remember the days of furious annoyance when I paid well over $300 in 3 months while living in Kenya.  All because I was taking money out of my Bank of America checking acct overseas.

One thing I don’t agree with Matt on is only having one credit card to keep things simple and keep track of expenses.  I have found traveling with more than one card useful due to unforeseen circumstances.

In order to accumulate miles at a rapid pace I charge everything on a credit card.  Just imagine if my wallet was robbed or lost while visiting an exotic tourist destination overseas?

It is always a better idea to have an extra card just in case these kinds of things happen.

Being quite paranoid of not having something convenient I always travel with two of everything; two cell phones, two cameras, two microphones, and now even two GoPro video cameras.  Every electronic has a backup charger as well.

Nomadic Matt taking a picture

I even have gone as far as opening an extra checking account with Charles Schwab (since there are no fees).

The idea is that if my card ever disappears  the extra card can be connected to the checking account with money in it.

When looking for a travel credit card (or credit card in general for that matter) make sure that the card offers no foreign conversion fee transfers.  Banks are crafty and when traveling and living overseas an extra fee is usually charged for making transactions in a foreign currency.

Even if a $95 yearly fee is in order it is usually worth it.

I recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.  I recently was approved for one and since January 1st and have already accumulated nearly 200,000 miles on the account.  It isn’t tied to just one miles or hotels account but several and anyone can transfer points to anyone of the accounts in the program.

  • 2 for 1 dollar for point value on any travel expenses
    • Includes airfare, hotels, airfare, car rentals, taxis, and more
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • American operator available 24 hours a day (sorry India)

I am with Matt being a loyal One World Alliance member and have had a card with Citibank and American Airlines for many years now.  I cannot take Citibank customer service however, it’s atrocious, and is the main reason why I decided to switch.

Mr. Nomadic Matt splits up the regions in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, Central America, and South America.

Nomadic Matt's how to travel the world on $50 a day

Matt does mention that it is dangerous to hitchhike in South America.  There is still a large stigma that most parts in South America are dangerous.  It is safe to hitchhike in Chile, Peru, and to the surprise of many, Colombia.

I would not recommend hitchhiking in any other countries.  Not necessarily because it is dangerous but because it isn’t a norm.  Hitchhiking in United States for examples isn’t a custom of anyone in the country, this would be the same for Brazil.  Colombia would be the only country of caution but only in and around Cali all the way to the border of Ecuador.

There isn’t any detailed information on Canada & United States but the topics Matt covers would apply to those countries as well.

How To Travel The World On $50 per Day is a great book for most travelers.  Even high luxury travelers would get great information on travel credit cards and bank information. Everyone loves a free first class ticket.

Overall I would definitely recommend the book because it includes great information some of which a traveler never would have known existed.

Nomadic Matt’s book can be found directly for Amazon (paperback or Kindle) and you can find Matt on Nomadicmatt.com.


  1. Great review…. and 200K points since January WOW! I hope you know how to maximize those UR points. I know your a OneWorld flyer but turn those into united miles and use them for an international FC RT ticket. Your allowed a stopover and open jaw. 3+ countries. Lufthansa, Thai, Asiana, ANA First class are all are amazing.

  2. good review! i’m about the same as you…i travel with a back up plan because you just never know when you might need that extra support.

  3. Great advice Matt. I’ve used your advice on a Chas. Schwab account and have saved some substantial money in fees from ATM withdrawals. Enjoyed your post.

  4. Great review & interview! I actually met Matt during his book tour in Austin this spring – great guy! Just opened up a Schwab account and am hoping to acquire the 40,000 travel points to put toward my upcoming flight to Ireland. Great deal!

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