August 2019

ICYMI: Here’s Some New Articles and Interviews!

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10 Years a Nomad by Matt Kepnes
Posted: 8/12/2019 | August 12th, 2019

As you know, after eighteen months of writing and editing, my new book, Ten Years a Nomad: A Traveler’s Journey Home, came out last month.

Unlike my previous books, this is not a “how to guide” but a collection of tips, advice, and stories from the road. It a memoir of my ten years backpacking the world and the lessons I learned along the way.

This book gets to the heart of wanderlust and what extended travel around the world can teach us about life, ourselves, and our place in the world. (Or at least tries to.)

It’s meant to show people that if I, a sheltered nerdy kid from a small town, could muster the courage to do this and survive, you can too!

Cheryl Strayed called it inspiring. The Los Angeles Times said, “This book isn’t just for travelers; it’s for anyone who has wanted more and has taken off to find it.” Tony Wheeler, the founder of Lonely Planet, loved it. So did Rolf Potts.

And, more importantly, thousands of readers who keep sending me messages that they couldn’t put it down and it renewed their wanderlust. (For a writer, that’s the best thing we can hear.)

Over the last month, I’ve done a lot of interviews, videos, podcasts, and guest posts talking not only about my book but how you can travel more often – and be a better traveler when you do.

So I wanted to share some of what I’ve been up to so you can learn more about the book and get some travel tips at the same time:
 

Recent Interviews

Here are some interviews that I’ve done on the book, my travels, and my thoughts on being a better traveler:

Go BackpackingTravel Q&A with Matthew Kepnes, Author of Ten Years a Nomad

Expert Vagabond10 Years A Nomad: An Interview With Nomadic Matt

The Broke BackpackerAn Interview With Nomadic Matt

The Daily StoicTen Years A Nomad: An Interview With Matt Kepnes on travel and philosophy

Indie Traveller10 Years A Nomad: A Q&A With Nomadic Matt

NBC NewsHow “Deep Travel” Can Help You Get More Out of Your Next Trip

 

Podcasts

Love podcasts? I did a lot! Here are some you can download and enjoy on your next plane, commute, or walk:

LandlopersETW #24 Interview with Legendary Traveler Nomadic Matt

The Offbeat LifeHow to travel smarter and create a blogging empire with Matthew Kepnes

Afford AnythingSlow Travel is Cheap Travel With Nomadic Matt

Not a Ballerina Ten Years a Nomad with Nomadic Matt Kepnes – Episode 147 of The Thoughtful Travel Podcast

Zero to TravelTen Years A Nomad With “Nomadic” Matt Kepnes

 

YouTube Videos

I did two videos with two of my favorite Youtubers:

Hey Nadine10 Lessons learned from 10 Years a Nomad

Kristen and SiyaLife Changing Travel Experiences ft. Nomadic Matt

 

Book Reviews

On the fence about if you should buy the book? Well, why? It’s great! I poured my heart into it. Come support me! But, more seriously, here’s a bunch of reviews on what people thought:

View from the WingOut Today: Nomadic Matt’s Ten Years on the Road

Women on the Road What Can I Learn From A Travel Blogger Young Enough To Be My Son?

Travel CodexBook Review: “Ten Years a Nomad” by Nomadic Matt

Travel Writers ExchangeBook Review: Ten Years a Nomad

Go Girl GuidesBook Review: 10 Years a Nomad by Matthew Kepnes

Travel LemmingWant a Long Term Relationship With Travel? Read This First

National Geographic12 Travel Books You Won’t Be Able to Put Down This Summer

BooktribOffice Worker Turned Travel Junkie in “Ten Years a Nomad”

Publishers WeeklyTen Years a Nomad: A Traveler’s Journey Home

 

New Guest Posts

And, finally, I wrote a bunch of articles about how to be a better traveler – and do it for less money! Check them out here:

One Mile at a Time5 Ways to Get the Most Out of a Destination

Free CandieYou can only “run away” for so long

Helen in Wonderlust12 Travel Tips from Ten Years of Traveling the World

Medium9 Reasons Why Travel Is the Quickest Way to Become a Better Person

Thought Catalog Why ‘Influencers’ Are Bullshit

Newsweek9 Life Lessons I Learned From Being a Nomad For Ten Years

Traveling CanucksMy 10 Favorite Countries from 10 Years as a Nomad

The Travel Women10 Honest Lessons from 10 Years of Solo Travel

TravelFreakWhat I Learned From 10 Years of Travel

Entrepreneur.comHow to Start (and Run) a 7-Figure Business While Traveling the World

The Daily BeastWhy Backpackers are Good at Saying Goodbye

Medium.comThe Challenges of Writing A Memoir

 

The “Ten Years a Nomad” Book Tour

I’m finishing up my book tour and there are still a few more destinations left. Come join me, talk travel, get a signed book, and hang out!

August 14 Portland, OR: Powell’s Books at Cedar Hills Crossing @ 7:00pm EVENT DETAILS
August 15 San Francisco, CA: Book Passage at Corte Madera @ 7pm EVENT DETAILS
August 16 Seattle, WA: Third Place Books @ 6pm EVENT DETAILS
August 19 Vancouver, BC: Indigo (Robson) @ 7:00pm EVENT DETAILS
August 26 Toronto, ON: Indigo (Bay-Bloor)@ 7:00pm EVENT DETAILS
August 31 Montreal, QC: Indigo (Place Montreal) @ 1:00pm EVENT DETAILS

****

Thank you so much for your support and love over the years. I really hope you love this book. I wanted to write something that would appeal to a wider range of readers. Please help spread the word, get a copy, and I hope to see you on the book tour.

– Nomadic Matt

Here are links to buy the new book:

An amazon blue purchase button A blue Barnes and Noble purchase button 

Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favorite search engines because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the largest inventory. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels. I use them all the time.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. I’ve been using World Nomads for ten years. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the best companies to save money with?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! I list all the ones I use to save money when I travel – and that will save you time and money too!

The post ICYMI: Here’s Some New Articles and Interviews! appeared first on Nomadic Matt's Travel Site.





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What Does Travel Mean to You?

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A solo hiker in a yellow jacket sitting in the mountains looking at the scenery around him
Updated: 8/5/2019 | August 5th, 2019

A few years ago, I went around the world and asked people what travel meant to them. As I travel the country on my current book tour and hear everyone’s reasons for travel, I’m reminded of that experience.

Travel means something different to every single person in the world.

There are a million and one reasons to travel. Many people travel the world to get the bug out of their system, or to check things off a list to say they’ve been there and done that. Some run to escape their problems. Some people travel simply to get drunk around the world.

For me, travel means many things. Travel is freedom. It’s about being able to do what I want and fill my day with excitement. Travel was an escape. Travel was “elsewhere”. That place where exciting things and people resided. It was escaping the Matrix to learn about the world, why people do what they do, and how they act. It’s about pushing myself to the limit and getting more comfortable in my own skin.

But I wondered what motivates other people to do the same.

I have my theories of course.

But I wanted to hear it from people directly.

So, during an extended trip, I asked people I met on the road one question:

“What does travel mean to you?”

And here is what they said:

***

I loved hearing everyone’s answers because it so accurately describes all the various reasons that push us to travel the world, learn about the people in it, and ourselves.

Now, tell me in the comments below:

What does travel mean to you?

Share what drives you.

 
P.S. – I just released a new book! It’s called “Ten Years a Nomad” and it’s about my ten years backpacking the world and the lessons I learned from it. It features tons of stories I’ve never told on this blog and is a book that delves into the why of travel! Click here to learn more, grab your copy today, and meet me on my book tour! This week I’ll be in Austin, Houston, Denver, and San Diego

Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favorite search engines because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the largest inventory. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels. I use them all the time.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. I’ve been using World Nomads for ten years. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the best companies to save money with?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! I list all the ones I use to save money when I travel – and that will save you time and money too!

The post What Does Travel Mean to You? appeared first on Nomadic Matt's Travel Site.





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My 12 Favorite Cities in the World

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A long-exposure shot of the hectic streets of Bangkok, Thailand at night
Updated: 8/4/2019 | August 4th, 2019 (Orignally posted in 2011)

When you travel for a living, you get asked a lot of questions as you bounce from one hostel to another. The top one: what’s your favorite country?

The second most asked question: what’s your favorite city?

I’ve spent a long time traveling the world and have been to hundreds upon hundreds of cities in the world. There are so many that I love for many different reasons – some for art, some for history, some for the food, most for the people.

But, to me, the ones that stand out the most are the ones where I feel most at home. They are places I visit and feel connected too. Their energy and my energy match. I move around them with ease, I feel at one with the culture, and tempo of the city.

I think to myself “Yeah, I could live here.” Not just visit but live.

And, when I think that, then I know I’ve found a special place.

So what are my favorite cities in the world? Where are the places I feel that way? They are here:

 

1. Amsterdam

The historic buildings of Amsterdam that line the narrow canal
I can’t say exactly how many times I’ve been to Amsterdam, but it’s in the double digits. And, for a brief time at the end of 2006, I lived there as a professional poker player (Seriously. It’s one of the more interesting random facts about me!).

The fast-paced life, friendly locals, easy access to the rest of Europe, picturesque canals, and great architecture keep me coming back. Plus, it being Amsterdam and all, there are tons of weird and quirky things to see and do there too!

In some ways, Amsterdam reminds me of my hometown of Boston, which might be why I love it so much. The brick buildings, fast-moving people, austere vibe. It feels like home.

Favorite activity: Boating through the canals with friends.

Visiting Amsterdam? Check out my complete budget travel guide to Amsterdam! It’s hundreds of pages long and will help you plan the best trip there!
 

2. Paris

A Eiffel Tower on a bright, sunny day in Paris, France
Ever since I stepped out on the Champs Elysées, I knew Paris was it. It was everything I dreamed it would be I was in love from the first moment. Sure, Paris is large and expensive and bursting with tourists. But what big city isn’t like that?

Paris is beautiful, vibrant, and filled with great food and history. Being here is like being in a real-life romantic comedy. I love the city so much I even moved there for a good chunk of 2019. It really does live up to all the hype, especially when you move away from the tourist areas and into the local places more.

Favorite activity: Picking up some good food at the market and having a picnic.

Get my complete budget travel guide to Paris and plan the perfect trip! It’s hundreds of pages long and will help you plan the best trip there!
 

3. Bangkok

An up-close shot of the tuk-tuks in Bangkok, surrounded by bright neon lights at night
I hated Bangkok the first few times I traveled there. It was simply a dirty, polluted city with no redeeming qualities. It wasn’t until I moved there that I fell in love with it.

Bangkok, it turns out, is an easy city to live in — there’s lots to do, plenty of events, great bars, wonderful food (nothing beats Thai street food), and even more wonderful people. It’s just a bad tourist city. There’s just not a lot to do there for a tourist. It’s a city you live in.

Living in Bangkok showed me that looks can be deceiving and that there is more to a city than what you see on the surface. You just need to be willing to look a little deeper.

And, when you do, you always find something special.

Favorite activity: Live music at Brick Bar or eating noodles at a street stall.

If you’re visiting Bangkok, check out my complete budget travel guide to Bangkok! It has everything I know about the city in one easy place.
 

4. Stockholm

A beautiful picture of the Stockholm skyline and waters at sunset in Sweden
I have a strong affinity for all things Scandinavian, and Stockholm is no exception. I’ve been there a handful of times over the years, and I even tried to move there years ago (it didn’t work out).

I think this city is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. The reds and greens of the buildings have an Old World charm that rivals cities like Prague, and during the fall, the changing leaves only highlight that beauty.

Stockholm is also very historic, with a high quality of life, and the Swedes in the city are super friendly and welcoming. It’s not a cheap city to visit, but it’s worth every penny!

Favorite activity: Getting lost in the maze of historic streets in Gamla Stan.

Check out my budget travel guidebook to Stockholm and plan your trip today!
 

5. New York City

The busy skyline of New York City on a sunny summer day
New York City is a place where dreams are made into reality and there is always something to do, something to see, or a new place to eat. The city is so multicultural that when I feel like I need to travel but I can’t, there’s an ethnic area of the city that will give me my fix.

I love NYC. It is the heart of the world to me. It is a non-stop place where you come to make it in the world. You can always find something to do, world-class food, people from all walks of life, and just a hustler vibe.

I spent close to five years living there and visit at least once a month (when I can).

It is the city you see in the movies.

Favorite activity: Walking the High Line and cooling off with drinks at the Grey Mare. (Tell Marcos I say hi!)

Since I spent so much time there, I wrote a budget travel guidebook to New York City! Pick it up for all the insider info you need!
 

6. Chicago

Tourists and locals looking at the famous art and architecture of Chicago, USA
After NYC, Chicago is probably my favorite US city, especially in the summer time.

While the winter months here can be brutal, this lakeside city seems to come to life after it emerges from its long and cold winter. Along with its lively atmosphere, the food here is delicious and the architecture is second to none. There’s a vibrant energy during the summertime as everyone is out in the parks, cafes, rooftop bars, on the lake, and watching the Cubs.

Chicago is just awesome.

Favorite activity: Going to a Cubs game!

For more, read our destination guide to Chicago and start planning your trip today.
 

7. Vancouver

The stunning skyline of Vancouver, Canada and its reflection in the water
I think this must be one of the most livable cities in the world. I’d certainly live in it, which is my benchmark for whether or not I really like a place. In Vancouver, you can go from the city into the mountains in minutes. I think that is really the highlight of the city for me — the fact that I don’t have to go far to be with nature.

Not only is there incredible nature nearby but there’s a park so big in the middle of the city, I often feel like I am in the center of a forest. Add in a vibrant food and art scene, and Vancouver is definitely a world-class city. It’s not a cheap city to live in, but that’s the price for all the amazing things Vancouver has to offer!

Favorite activity: Hanging out on Granville Island or walking around Stanley Park.

Read our desintation guide to Vancouver and start planning your trip today.
 

8. Queenstown

The rolling and rugged mountains of Queenstown, New Zealand
Perched on a lake in the stunning South Island mountains of New Zealand, Queenstown is a high-energy resort town for adventurers. This isn’t your typical city, as travelers come here because they want to be outside. There’s bungy jumping, hiking, rafting, zip-lining, boating, and tons more. It’s a paradise for the outdoorsy type and the perfect city for people who don’t like big, crowded cities.

The city and surrounding area are postcard-perfect (much like the rest of the country! I would jump on a plane and head back there right now if I could.

Favorite activity: Hiking the surrounding mountains.

Read our guide to Queenstown to plan your next adventure there.
 

9. Perth

The skyline of Perth, Australia lit up at night
Perth, Australia, is more like a big town than a city — and I think that’s what I like about it. It’s big enough to have a lot to do but small enough to feel cozy. I love Perth because of that small-town, big-city feel and for the fact that it’s on the water and has a great nightlife.

Not only that, but Perth is a great jumping-off spot to see the western Australian parks and natural sites, and it’s also close to hip Freemantle, which is home to my favorite Australian brewery: Little Creatures. I find it much more personal than other towns in Australia.

Favorite activity: Relaxing at the beach

Read our budget travel guide to Perth for more information!
 

10. Hong Kong

The skyline of the busy and bustling city of Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of the best cities in the world for foodies. I always stop in when I’m in Asia and stuff my face with some of the best dumplings in the world. The city is busy and dense (it’s one of the most densely populated places on the planet) but it has a fun nightlife and tons of activities to keep you entertained, from markets to temples to nearby hikes outside the city.

While the city offers an interesting mix between eastern and western cultures, what really sets Hong Kong apart from other massive, dense cities is just how clean and well-organized it is. Getting around is a breeze, making it an easy and fun place to explore for a few days — or more!

Favorite activity: Eating dumplings!

Get my comprhensive budget travel guide to Hong Kong and know all the best local spots to visit!
 

11. Reykjavik

A birds-eye view of the Icelandic capital of Reykjavik as seen from the city's large church
Iceland is one of the most expensive countries in the world. As a budget traveler, you’d think that would keep me away but let me tell you something: it’s absolutely worth the price.

Reykjavik has tons of cozy cafes, wild clubs, cute architecture, and friendly pubs. It’s tiny, yet you can easily spend a few days here and not get bored (especially if you’re a night owl. Icelanders love to party).

Fortunately, as the tourism industry grows, there are more and more free (or cheap) things to do in the city. And with Icelandair offering free stopovers on flights between North America and Europe, it’s never been easier to visit this charming Scandinavia capital.

Favorite activity: Cozying up in a cafe to read and people watch.

Get my comprehensive budget travel guide to Iceland here!
 

12. London

The view overlooking the city of London and the river, including many of its famous attractions
As a history nerd, I’ve always loved visiting London. Some of the best museums in the world are there — and they are all free (there are tons of other free things to see and do as well).

But it wasn’t until last year when I spent a month in the city that I really “got” it. I understood why people loved it. There was a charming sophistication to the place.

Strolling the streets of the city, enjoying the markets, taking in the history of the place, laying in the park, and having a pint outside a pub? Heaven.

Paris will always have my heart but London comes close.

Favorite activity: Visiting as many museums as I can and then drinking at a pub.

Check out our travel guide to London to plan your trip.

***

There are you have it! My favorite cities in the world. Leave a comment on this post and let me know what your favorites are – and why!

 
 
P.S. – I just released a new book! It’s called “Ten Years a Nomad” and it’s about my ten years backpacking the world and the lessons I learned from it. It features tons of stories I’ve never told on this blog and is a book that delves into the why of travel! Click here to learn more, grab your copy today, and meet me on my book tour!

Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favorite search engines because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the largest inventory. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels. I use them all the time.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. I’ve been using World Nomads for ten years. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the best companies to save money with?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! I list all the ones I use to save money when I travel – and that will save you time and money too!

The post My 12 Favorite Cities in the World appeared first on Nomadic Matt's Travel Site.





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How to Visit the Seychelles on a Budget

Posted By : webmaster/ 8 0


a tropical beach scene in the Seychelles
Posted: 8/1/2019 | August 1st, 2019

In this guest post, Ellie Hopgood from Endlessly Restless offers some handy tips on how you can visit the Seychelles on a budget! This is a destination I’ve always dreamed of visiting so I was excited to have her write some tips for the country! It’s always viewed as one of the most expensive in the world but, as this post shows, it’s possible to visit on a budget!

The Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands off the east coast of Africa, are known for being extremely beautiful — and extremely expensive. The pristine turquoise water and white-sand beaches come with a hefty price tag.

If you want to drop serious money on a holiday, the Seychelles definitely have plenty of places perfect for an eye-wateringly expensive trip, with high-end rooms at the Madame Zabre Spa Resort on Desroches Island going for almost $15,000 USD per night, as well as a plethora of rooms available in the $500-$1,000-per-night range. There are even whole islands commandeered by one resort, such as Cerf Island, which consists solely of the 24 villas that make up the aptly named Cerf Island Resort.

But even though fancy resorts like that were way out of my budget, I was determined to visit these islands — and do so frugally, with a backpacker’s budget in mind.

After spotting an obscenely cheap and convenient flight deal — and desperate to get out there and explore these beautiful islands — I booked round-trip flights from London without much research (though I don’t necessarily recommend this approach to travel planning).

I typically travel in Europe (often in Eastern Europe), so my idea of what constitutes a cheap trip might be distorted. Paying over $15 for my share of a night’s accommodation pains me. So my eyes widened when I saw the average cost in the Seychelles. But the flights were booked, so I had no choice but to figure out how to see the islands on a budget. I set to work, reading blogs and forums furiously, but there was very limited information available.

After securing some affordable accommodation, I braced myself for a painfully expensive trip — but in the end, to my surprise, it was so much easier to be budget-conscious than I imagined.

Were the Seychelles the cheapest destination? No.

But, I learned, they don’t have to be prohibitively expensive either.

So, how do you save money in the Seychelles?

Here’s how you can take an affordable trip to paradise:

1. Find cheap flights (they do exist!)

We found round-trip flights from London with British Airways for just over $600, a deal so good that it sparked the whole trip. I always use Skyscanner, as that’s where I reliably find the best flight deals. As always, you’ll typically find cheaper flights if you travel in shoulder season; are flexible with exact dates, times, and layovers; and avoid school vacation periods. Some tips on how to save on your flight:

  1. Look at deal websites – Deal websites like Holiday Pirates, Scott’s Cheap Flights, and The Flight Deal often have great last minute fares and package deals to the islands.
  2. Search the main cheap flight websitesSkyscanner and Momondo let you compare prices and see if there are any budget carriers flying the route.
  3. Be flexible with your dates – Airline ticket prices vary depending on the day of the week, time of year, and upcoming holidays. Moreover, it’s always cheaper to fly during the middle of the week than on a weekend, because most people travel on the weekends and airlines hike their prices then. If you zig when others zag, you are going to find better deals.
  4. Travel hack – This is the best way to get cheap flights..because it gives you free flights. Airline rewards programs are a great way to get free flights, free upgrades, and free companion tickets. Points = free flights. Through credit card sign up bonuses, everyday spending, contests, online promotions, bonus points, and so much more, you can easily gain hundreds of thousands of points per year without ever spending extra money! To learn how to do this, check out this post!

For more tips on how to find a cheap flight, check out this post!

2. Stick to cheap guesthouses (that serve breakfast)

people walking down the street in the Seychelles

The Seychelles don’t yet have a lot of budget accommodations, but I was able to find affordable rooms using Airbnb, though similar rooms are also available through Booking.com. There are also a number of small guesthouses and hotels that offer rooms for $60–100 USD per night. While some of these places have their own websites, like our La Digue guesthouse Liane de Mai, others can only be booked through platforms like Airbnb and Booking.com, like our self-catered accommodation on Mahé via CAMEC apartments.

The best thing to do is to go onto your favorite budget accommodation site and put in the island you plan to stay on. That should show you a selection of accommodations so you can choose something in your price range.

To keep costs even lower, try to stay somewhere that offers self-catering facilities or that serves breakfast. Self-catering allows you to save by preparing your own meals, while an included breakfast takes care of a third of your meals and lets you fill up on delicious fruit, toast, yogurt, and eggs that will keep you going for hours. You can also take a few snacks from breakfast, like rolls or bananas, for later in the day when you need a boost of energy. All the places we stayed made clear in their Airbnb profile whether a kitchen was available or if breakfast was included, though you could also email and ask.

There is also a small Couchsurfing community in the Seychelles, with most of the hosts based on Mahé. Nothing is cheaper than free — so if you are fond of couch surfing and happy to stay on the main island, this might be a good option.

Check out our comprehensive resource section for more tips on finding cheap accommodation!

3. Eat take-out

Eating out in restaurants in the Seychelles is painfully pricey for fairly average food. A simple bowl of tomato pasta can easily run you $20 USD, while a three-course meal with alcohol will set you back $70–80 USD per person.

However, the Seychelles is also full of places to get take-out, small establishments, and mobile food vans all over the islands, directly alongside main roads or signposted clearly, serving up local dishes for incredibly low prices. These are where many of the locals eat dinner, along with visitors who are looking for delicious and cheap eats.

For only $3–5 USD, you can buy two main courses with a generous serving of rice and salad. These meals tend to be fresh, Seychellois dishes that change every day, typically curries made with fish, chicken, beef, or vegetables, served with rice and salad. There are also often Chinese-takeout-type dishes like fried noodles and rice.

My favorite find was Mi Mum’s on La Digue, which served the most delicious chicken “zye zye” curry with rice and salad for the unbeatable price of $4 USD.

4. Take the bus

Seychelles scenery

Taxis are insanely expensive — think $20 USD for a trip of only a couple of kilometers — and are not a viable option for anyone trying to travel on a budget. You can rent a car for around $40 USD per day, which may be manageable if you are traveling in a group or splitting the cost with someone, but still expensive compared to the cheapest option: the bus. (As a bonus, the bus is as much an activity as it is a convenient transport option, as the bus bounces up and down hills on a road bordering the ocean!)

On both Praslin and Mahé, you buy a flat-rate ticket as you get on and travel as far as you need to, whether that is one stop or ten. On Praslin, a bus ticket costs 7 SCR (50 US cents) while tickets are 6 SCR (45 US cents) on Mahé. The buses come infrequently, so it is worth consulting the timetable. I was given a Praslin timetable at my accommodation (though you can also find it online), and you can download Mahé’s extensive schedule here.

La Digue has very few cars and no buses, so walking and biking are the best options, which is also true for all of the smaller islands.

5. Stick to beach-hopping

a small pristine beach in Seychelles

While a small minority of beaches are only accessible if you are a guest of a specific resort, for the most part, the most glorious part of visiting the Seychelles (going to the beach) is completely free.

You can enjoy the pristine white sand and blue water; watch the birds, bats, and tortoises move around the island; and explore the amazing undersea wildlife straight from the beach — and it won’t cost you a dime.

My favorite free beaches are Anse Coco on La Digue, Anse Lazio on Praslin, and Beau Vallon on Mahé.

One big exception to the free beaches rule is that Anse Source d’Argent on La Digue, which is one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, charges you for entry. The cost is 100 SCR ($7 USD) for a single entry, so go when you have time to spend the whole afternoon (or day!) enjoying the beach and its unusual rock formations. If you want to avoid the charge, then you can swim or walk through the ocean from just outside the entrance to the park and enter the beach that way. However, you’ll have to swim back out, as park rangers often check your ticket as you leave!

6. Bring enough sunscreen!

An easy way to save a few bucks is to bring more sunscreen than you think you’ll need. Sunscreen is very expensive ($15 USD for a small bottle) but also very necessary, given the blazing equatorial sun that can burn skin in minutes. I was woefully underprepared for the amount of sunscreen I would need, so much so that within two days I had to shell out a small fortune for a big enough bottle to get me through the rest of the trip. If you can avoid buying this necessary item on the islands, then do.

7. Move slowly

To get between the islands, you can fly or take a ferry. Neither way is particularly cheap. A return flight from Mahé to Praslin (which only takes about 15 minutes!) will likely cost $150–200 USD. Ferries are marginally cheaper: about $60 USD each way between Mahé and Praslin and around $20 USD each way between Praslin and La Digue.

There is only one ferry provider serving each of the main routes between the three major islands, making you a captive audience for their high prices. So unless you’re Michael Phelps, you’re stuck paying whatever Cat Cocos (between Mahé and Praslin) and Cat Rose (between Praslin and La Digue) charge for the tickets. The less you travel between the islands, the cheaper your total transport bill will stay.

8. Minimize cash withdrawals (and use the right ATMs)

sunset in the Seychelles

As in many other places, there are heavy charges levied on withdrawals at cash machines, to the tune of 100 SCR ($7 USD) per withdrawal. These withdrawal fees are fixed by the ATM and are different than foreign exchange fees. Charles Schwab and Fidelity offer cards that refund these ATM fees, though Fidelity does charge a 1% foreign exchange fee.

However, a simpler solution than opening a new checking account is to be vigilant about which ATM you use. Barclays ATMs levy the withdrawal charge, while MCB ATMs tend to have no fee. A full list of MCB ATMs can be found by clicking here.

ATMs will only give you rupees, though most prices are quoted in euros. You can bring euros with you or change them at the airport and banks for no charge. The Seychelles are largely cash-only, so figuring out how to get cash without incurring charges is important.

For more tips on avoiding ATM fees, check out our comprehensive article on how to avoid fees when traveling!

9. Drink the tap water (or at least bring a bottle with a filter)

While most online information says that the water in the Seychelles is not safe to drink, I quickly started drinking the tap water and was completely fine. Given the extreme heat and humidity, you will need to drink a lot of water, which adds up fast if you have to keep buying plastic bottles (not to mention the environmental impact of that much disposable plastic).

If you don’t feel comfortable drinking the tap water, then I’d recommend bringing a bottle with a built-in filter or buying a SteriPEN or Lifestraw. Not constantly buying bottled water will help keep both your costs low and the environment clean.

10. Bring your own mask and snorkel

a beach in the Seychelles
Unlike many beach paradises, you don’t need to go out on a boat to get to prime snorkeling territory. You can swim straight off the beach onto a reef and see rays, sharks, eels, fish, and more. I swam out from Anse Source d’Argent and was greeted by a friendly ray who let me follow him for half an hour in perfect peace. It was magical. However, renting a snorkel and mask often can get expensive. Snorkel rentals go for $10 USD a day or more. Bring your own to save money!

***

By following the above advice, it should be possible to take a trip to the Seychelles that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg (maybe just a hand). If you stay in small guesthouses that serve breakfast, eat takeout for most of your meals, spend most of your time exploring the beaches, and hunt for a good flight deal, you’ll spend between $120–140 USD per day (less if you are traveling with someone and can split accommodation costs), though it’s also good to leave some wiggle room for putting money in the hands of any Seychellois guides or vendors who really make a difference to your trip.

If you are willing to shell out more, then the sky’s the limit, but if splurging, I would recommend a guided tour through the jungle (it’s typically not safe to venture out alone) or diving, as the Seychelles are home to some world-famous dive sites. A whole day’s guided hike, including lunch and entrance to world-famous beach Anse Source d’Argent, costs about $70 USD, and each dive with Octopus Dive Centre was around $60 USD (less if you have your own equipment). I did both of these activities and they were completely worth it.

I firmly believe that the Seychelles is one of the world’s most beautiful places and should be on the bucket list of any avid traveler. And, hopefully, these budget tips will allow you to visit the Seychelles without breaking the bank!

Ellie Hopgood is an investment writer in London, covering topics in economics, politics and global finance. She writes about travel, politics and photography on her blog Endlessly Restless. She spends a borderline unhealthy amount of time editing photos and checking the cost of flights to places she has no immediate intention to visit. You can find her on Twitter (@elliemhopgood).
 
 
P.S. – Did you know I wrote a new book? It’s called “Ten Years a Nomad” and it’s all about the lessons I’ve learned from a life of travel. It features tons of stories and misadventures I’ve never told on this blog as well! Click here to learn more and grab your copy today! (I’m doing a book tour too! I’ll be in Austin, Houston, Denver, and San Diego next week!)

Book Your Trip to the Seychelles: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. They are my two favorite search engines because they search websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and cheap hotels. I use them all the time.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. I’ve been using World Nomads for ten years. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:

Looking for the best companies to save money with?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel! I list all the ones I use to save money when I travel – and I think will help you too!

Looking for more information on visiting the Seychelles?
Check out my in-depth destination guide to the Seychelles with more tips on what to see, do, costs, ways to save, and much, much more!

The post How to Visit the Seychelles on a Budget appeared first on Nomadic Matt's Travel Site.





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