Traveling doesn’t have to break the bank. Here’s how three experts suggest you approach budget traveling. RAMIT SETHI
Here’s a hot take: People who say that they love to travel … rarely ever do it. Instead, they’ll pepper you with excuses as to why they haven’t traveled but still wish they could. “I don’t have enough vacation days!” “I’m just way too busy with work/school/binge-watching-the-entirety-of-Game-Of-Thrones.” “I’ll finally go backpacking eventually.” However, the most common excuse that gets uttered by people who wish they traveled is this: “Traveling is too expensive.”I’m sure you’ve found yourself saying it. Hell, I’ve used this excuse before too — and there’s a good reason for it. Society tells us that traveling (especially international travel) has to be expensive — that unless you’re dropping thousands of dollars on airplane tickets, hotel rooms, tours, museum passes, and expensive travel gear, or spending hundreds of hours studying the mysterious art of travel rewards hacking, you’re going to break the bank. In reality, you CAN save money without having to do any of those things. Ask the travel experts If you know one thing about IWT it’s this: We’re all about expert advice. That’s why we decided to talk to a few professional travelers to help give you the lowdown on how to travel cheap. You’ll find out exactly how to leverage your money to start traveling without breaking the bank. Because once you remove the barrier of money…what’s your excuse? Matthew Kepnes (aka Nomadic Matt)
Website: NomadicMatt.com Started traveling: July 2006 # of countries traveled to: 80 Matt quit his cubicle job for a life of travel more than a decade ago and hasn’t looked back. He’s since launched his website, NomadicMatt.com, where he’s helped millions of readers get the most out of their travels financially. Oh, and he became the New York Times best-selling author of How to Travel the World on $50 a Day (which puts him in good company with other cool people). Bryce Conway
Website: 10xTravel.com Started traveling: 2011 Favorite travel experience: Living like royalty in Thailand Bryce first caught the travel bug after he was able to essentially score a free spring break trip during college using the rewards on just one new credit card. When his friends kept asking him advice on how to get into travel hacking, he decided to launch his own business to teach readers how to best leverage travel rewards and points. He’s since accumulated millions of travel points that allow him to travel abroad in luxury several times a year. Gary Leff
Website: ViewFromTheWing.com Started traveling: 2002 Number of travel credit cards: Lost count He’s been called the “godfather of the [frequent flyer] hobby” — and with good reason. He started leveraging points while travel reward programs were still in their relative infancy. Gary’s knowledge and acumen in the world of maximizing rewards spans literal decades, and plenty of others have taken notice. He’s been featured on Good Morning America, The Washington Post, and even The Colbert Report. Matthew Karsten (aka Expert Vagabond)
Website: ExpertVagabond.com Started traveling: 2010 First place traveled to outside of US: Guatemala City, Guatemala For the past 7 years, Matt has hitchhiked across America, gotten a magical tattoo by monks in Thailand, and went cage diving with Great White Sharks, all the while providing readers with insights on how to get the most out of traveling on his website, ExpertVagabond.com. No, he isn’t the Most Interesting Man in the World — he’s better. NOTE: We have not one but TWO Matt Ks who are travel pros. (Go figure!) As such, I’ll be referring to Matthew Kepnes as Nomadic Matt and Matthew Karsten as Expert Vagabond. 3 rules on how to travel cheap They all had a lot of a whole lotta great ideas on how to best travel on a budget that easily distilled into three simple rules: Get the best travel credit cardTravel at the right timeBudget consciously At the end of each rule, we’ll provide action steps you can take today to make that trip (and that Rich Life) even more attainable.