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A man who's been traveling for 10 years explains how to take luxury vacations on a shoestring budget


Nomadic Matt Kepnes Paris

After quitting his job during a trip to Thailand in 2005 and continuing on to travel the world for over 10 years, Matt Kepnes — better known as Nomadic Matt — has learned how to travel on a budget while still taking advantage of the unique places he visits.

For Kepnes, making the most of a small budget comes down to a simple mantra: be frugal, not cheap.

"Pick and choose your battles," Kepnes told Farnoosh Torabi on an episode of her "So Money" podcast. "You’re probably not coming back to Australia anytime soon, so if you really have always wanted to dive the Great Barrier Reef, dive the Great Barrier Reef."

The key is prioritization. You're not going to be able to afford every fancy dinner or extravagant activity, but you can afford a few, so splurge on those and cut back elsewhere. Stay in a hostel, dial back on drinks, cook a few extra meals at home.

Kepnes, who chronicles his travels on his blog "Nomadic Matt" and in his best-selling book, "How to Travel the World on $50 a Day," also starts making room in his budget well before he's set foot in the airport.

"When I coach people on this, I always say, 'Cut everything. Live like a monk or a nun or a hermit because when you’re over in Brazil and you’re sailing down the Amazon, you will not care that you spent two weeks inside your house cooking pasta and watching Netflix,'" he explains.

Bottom line: Pick a few luxuries and splurge on what's most important to you — the tradeoff is worth it.

SEE ALSO: A man who's been traveling for 10 years shares his best trick to find cheap plane tickets

DON'T MISS: A man who's been traveling for 10 years says this is the biggest budgeting mistake people make when planning a vacation

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