In our Q & A interview with Matt, he lays out practical travel advice, his one can't-live-without splurge, and where he'll be travelling next.
What does travelling “on a budget” mean to you, and how did you become a “budget traveller”?
A traveller who spends his money wisely, no matter how much he spends, is a budget traveller. It’s not about being cheap, it’s about being frugal and looking for value when you travel. I don’t think there’s a process to become a budget traveller. If you travel on the low end, you’re a budget traveller.
How should someone evaluate whether high-cost items, such as a round-the-world plane ticket, are worth the cost?
You can’t get around the price of the ticket - it is what it is. That being said, you can take an alternative method of travel. Go overland as much as possible, use budget airlines, use travel reward credit cards to gain points for cheap flights. It’s less convenient but it’s cheaper. Is that expensive plane ticket worth it? Only you can decide that.
How much money should travellers expect to have in savings before embarking on a long-term trip?
That depends on where you are going. As I talk about in my book, the typical year long round-the-world trip costs about US $18,250 ($50 per day). But, if you are just going to Asia, you’ll need less. If you are going to Europe for a year, you’ll need more. Same with Australia. It really depends on where you are going.
What’s worth splurging on when travelling?
Anything that you’re passionate about. For me that’s sushi, for others it’s wine tours. For one of my friends, it’s golf. Whatever excites you is worth spending money on. After all, the purpose of money is to spend it, right? Spend it on what you love.
How do you discover where locals dine and drink?
Ask. I usually ask the hostel or hotel staff where they like to eat. Same with taxi drivers. Yelp! [an app] is also good for discovering which places are popular where you are.