Archive for the “Travel Advice” Category

That Time I Lost My Passport

I’m a man of routine. Whenever I fly, I put my boarding pass in my passport, and then put both of those in the magazine pocket in front of my seat. I flip through the bad in-flight magazine. I put it back. I tune out to my music. Grab my passport and exit the plane. Except this time, I missed a step. Stepping out of the restricted area at the airport, I suddenly had an awful realization. “Oh shit!” I […]

How to Overcome Your Fears

Fear. It’s what keeps us from living our lives and achieving our dreams. And it is the most common reason why people don’t travel. Whenever I talk to people about long-term travel, they tell me they wish they could do what I do. They tell me all their travel dreams then they come up with common excuses as to why they can’t realize them: They fear not being able to afford the trip. They fear they have too many responsibilities […]

Maximizing Your Vacation Time

Ask anyone what their favorite things to do are and travel will be somewhere on the top of that list. But most people aren’t taking gap years or long term backpacking trips, they are taking short holidays. My recent reader survey showed that over 50% of my readers take a holiday that is 4 weeks or less. So when you can’t spend months in France, how do you make it feel like you just did? When my friends ask “Matt, […]

Hosteling for Baby Boomers

This is a guest post by Barbara Wiebel of Hole in the Donut Cultural Travel. When I explain to people that I usually stay in hostels during my travels around the world, the initial reaction from most baby boomers is astonishment verging on horror. “Aren’t they filthy?” “Don’t you have to put up with a bunch of drunken twenty-somethings who party all night long?” “Are they really safe?” Due to the number of budget hotels and motels available in the […]

9 Reasons to Volunteer on Your Trip

Moving around all the time is exciting, but after months of changing location several times a week, a traveler can long for a place to unpack their bags for awhile and try something different. Volunteering internationally is the way I choose to step off the backpacker trail, and it’s enriched both my life and my travels. I’m giving my time and energy to people who need help, but I’m getting so much back in return that it almost feels as […]

Why It’s Great to Travel Without a Plan

I’ve become a notorious last minute planner. When I first started traveling, I planned everything out. I knew where I would be on what day, where I was staying, and how I was getting there. Yet over the years, I’ve begun to travel with less of a plan….if any at all. In two weeks, I’m going to Europe and I just booked my flight. I still haven’t booked my hostel. And, while I have a general idea of the route […]

Don’t Have (Travel) Regrets

When I was in university, many of my friends studied abroad. They all came back speaking of life changing stories and experiences. They made it sound like a movie and it was something I always thought of doing. Being in a foreign country, learning a new language, reinventing yourself, meeting girls, and being able to legally drink. For a college student, it sounded like the perfect experience. Except I never went. I was always too afraid. Not afraid of what […]

Now is the Best Time to Travel

Life is stressful. Working, bills, the economy, errands, love, family, commuting- lots of stress. It all adds to the mountain and causes us much anxiety. When people feel stress, it’s important we relieve it and one of the best ways to do that is to travel. Travel can refresh us. It is like a time out from life- just like from grade school but this time it is fun. It slows us down, makes us stop and smell the roses, […]

How to Make Your Money Last

I get a lot of questions about travel in my inbox. Often the questions are simply “what’s the secret to traveling” and “how can I do what you do“. Lately, I’ve been getting some questions about budgeting and making the money last. How is it that I’ve made my money last so long? This a great question and an important thing to discuss so this blog post is long overdue. Telling people I have been traveling for three years usually […]

Staycation

There always seems to be a new term entering the travel lexicon- traveler, tourist, flashpacker, voluntourism, and staycation. Everyone always likes to define something. Then again, I guess giving it a name means you can feel like you know it. The latest word that seems to be catching on is “staycation”. O.K., the word has been around for a while but when friends on Facebook tell me they are taking a staycation, I know the word has gone mainstream. A […]