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How to Spend Your Time in Tokyo: A Suggested Itinerary for 2019

Posted: 4/25/2019 | April 15th, 2019 Tokyo is one of the most amazing cities in the world. It’s fast-paced, futuristic, and bursting with weird and wonderful activities to keep you busy, including gorgeous shrines, palaces, and temples; hip clubs and bars; and fashionable people and shopping, not to mention cherry blossoms. Tokyo lives up to all the hype you’ve heard about it. You never know what you’ll find here. One second you’ll run into a group of women dressed in pig masks and ’80s dress...
Tags: Travel, Asia, Japan, New York, Disney, Paris, Gwen Stefani, Tokyo, Shinjuku, Eiffel Tower, Google Maps, Miyazaki, Hayao Miyazaki, Kyoto, Mario Bros, Hostelworld


What Kind of Backpacker Are You?

Updated: 4/8/2019 | Originally Posted: 07/29/2009 Note: So much has changed since I originally wrote this post 10 years ago (also, isn’t it crazy that I’ve been blogging for so long?) that I thought that this funny little article needed an update. The Flashpacker is long gone. The Digital Nomad has risen. Others have remained the same. I redid this entire post on the curious species that is the backpacker after having embedded myself in their culture and learned their curious ways. *** You ...
Tags: Travel, Asia, Hollywood, Bali, Australia, Southeast Asia, India, Macbook, Prague, South America, Laos, Costa Rica, Queenstown, Hostelworld, Backpackers, Digital Nomad


The Atlas of Happiness: Discovering the World’s Secret to Happiness with Helen Russell

Posted: 4/4/2019 | April 4th, 2019 A few years ago, I read the book The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell. I think it originally came up as a suggested book on Amazon. I can’t fully remember. But, I stuck it in my queue, ordered it, and it sat on my bookshelf until it was time to read it. I couldn’t put it down. It was funny, well written, interesting, and an insightful look into Danish culture. It was one of my favorite books I read that year. Last year, I somehow convinced Helen to sp...
Tags: Travel, Amazon, UK, London, Greece, Happiness, Lego, Italy, Brazil, Finland, Un, Denmark, Norway, Vikings, Travel Books, Hostelworld


My 8 Favorite Hostels in Medellín in 2019

Posted: 3/19/2019 | March 19th, 2019 There are a lot of hostels in Medellín. As “gringo central” for Colombia, you can’t walk five feet without coming across one, with majority located in El Pablado (Gringoland) and Laureles (up-and-coming Gringoland). In fact, if you look on Hostelworld, you’ll find 93 hostels in this city. That’s a lot of hostels. I spent close to three weeks in Medellín: first for an extended time over the holidays and then again as I made my way from north to south. Like I...
Tags: Travel, Colombia, South America, Medellin, Hostelworld, Monet, Don, SELINA, Sugar Cane, Laureles, Forget Travel Insurance Travel, Poblado, El Pablado Gringoland, Los Patios, Hostel Rango Boutique Hostel Rango, Hostel Rango Boutique


How to Get Around Southeast Asia on the Cheap

Posted: 2/28/2019 | February 28th, 2019 Southeast Asia may be a huge region — but it’s super easy to get around. It’s well-traveled (backpackers have been following “the banana pancake trail” since the late ’60s), and there’s an extensive network designed to ensure that you can easily get from A to B. In Hanoi and need to get to Bangkok? In Vientiane and want to go Malaysia? Or Ko Samui? No problem. Someone can arrange that. But what’s the best way to get around Southeast Asia on a budget? Ho...
Tags: Travel, Asia, Europe, Bali, Indonesia, Southeast Asia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Ryanair, Myanmar, Easyjet, Vietnam, Laos


How to Get Around Thailand on the Cheap in 2019

Posted: 2/25/2019 | February 25, 2019 Thailand is one of the most popular backpacker destinations in Southeast Asia. It’s also my favorite. Of course, I’m biased. Thailand was where I decided to quit my job and travel the world. I lived there for two years. I ran tours there. I speak the language. I feel at home there. But that aside, Thailand remains popular some thirty years after the first hippies arrived on the “banana pancake trail” for a simple reason: it’s awesome. The succulent food,...
Tags: Travel, Asia, Southeast Asia, Thailand, Bangkok, Hostelworld, Koh Tao, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Koh Samui, Chiang Rai, Krabi, Koh Lanta, Don, Hua Hin, State Railway of Thailand


What Does Globalization Really Destroy?

Posted: 2/25/2019 | February 25th, 2019 While walking down the streets of Medellín, I came across a Dunkin’ Donuts, a donut chain from my hometown of Boston. (It’s the best. Locals are quite attached to Dunkin. Don’t mess with a Massachusetts resident and Dunkin.) As I looked at the store, a pit formed in my stomach and I got quiet and melancholy. For days, I had been coming across Starbucks, McDonald’s, KFC, Papa John’s, and now, Dunkin’ Donuts! Medellín had been overrun by the chains. Anot...
Tags: Travel, Taylor Swift, Boston, Massachusetts, Colombia, West, Egypt, Globalization, Starbucks, Morgan Freeman, Michelin, John, Scandinavia, Disneyland, Medellin, Kfc


The Top 5 Lesbian Travel Destinations in 2019

Posted: 2/21/2019 | February 21st, 2019 We want to speak to a wide range of voices on this website so have added an LGBTQ column to talk about travel issues that are important some of our community members. This month, Dani, one of our LGBT columnists, shares the top five lesbian travel destinations in 2019. I have told you everything you need to know about traveling as a lesbian and how to plan the perfect lesbian-friendly trip, but what about lesbian-friendly destinations? What are the great...
Tags: Travel, New York, Germany, New York City, US, Los Angeles, Canada, United States, House, New York Times, Broadway, Madonna, Montreal, Madrid, East Coast, Mallorca


Why You Shouldn’t Overlook the American South

Posted: 2/18/2019 | February 18th, 2019 I love the South. Before I went traveling, I always had this perception that the southern states in the US were backward. They were filled with racists, yokels, and obese, gun-loving, Jesus freaks. It was a perception born out of a quarter-century of living in New England and consuming mass media and stereotypes about a people and place I really didn’t know anything about. Then, at the start of my grand trip in 2006, I drove across the United States. As ...
Tags: Travel, Florida, New York, Mississippi, Interviews, Australia, Kentucky, Virginia, India, US, Alabama, America, Atlanta, Georgia, Syria, United States


32 Random Facts About Me

Updated: 02/13/2019 | February 13th, 2019 A few weeks ago I mentioned that this year I wanted to make the website more personal. Back in 2011, I wrote this post featuring some personal facts about my life. It was a window into non-travel me. Well, that was a loooooong time ago. Life changes. People change. So I thought one way to make this website more personal was to resurrect this long forgotten post and share a window into the current non-travel me. So let’s kick off 2011 2019 with some r...
Tags: Random Musings, Backpacking, New York, Nomadic Matt


Best hostels for solo travelers

Anecdotally, it seems like solo travel is the new “it” way to see the world. But even if your Instagram feed isn’t filled with pictures of people climbing mountains by themselves, numbers don’t lie. Hostelworld — the worldwide mavens and aggregators of everything hostel-related — found a 42 percent increase in solo bookings over the past two years. A remarkable number given how popular hostels were for solo travelers to begin with. Each year, Hostelworld filters through over 1.2 million hoste...
Tags: Travel, Europe, Florida, Russia, Southeast Asia, Netflix, Prague, House, Croatia, Mario Kart, Taipei, Hostels, Porto, St Petersburg, Queenstown, Lisbon


How to Get Around Japan on a Budget

Posted: 2/11/2019 | February 11th, 2019 I have a confession to make: I put off traveling to Japan until 2011 because I always thought it was too expensive. Everyone always told me Japan was one of the most expensive countries in the world. That was the collective wisdom. But, when I got there, I realized two things: First, I love Japan! It’s one of the most amazing, beautiful, and friendliest countries in the world. It lives up to all the hype. Second, while Japan is expensive, it’s not out o...
Tags: Travel, Transportation, Asia, Japan, Tokyo, Kyoto, Nagasaki, Hiroshima, Chris, Hostelworld, Osaka, Don, Kyushu, Kanazawa, JAL, Tokyo Kyoto


Why I Still Stay in Hostels When I Travel

Posted: 1/31/2019 | January 31st, 2019 People are always shocked when they find out I that I still stay in hostels. “Aren’t you too old for that?” “Why would you still want to do that?” “Don’t you actually make money? Are you still too broke for an Airbnb?” “How do you even sleep?” And what’s even more shocking to people is that while I often stay in a hostel private room, I also still stay in dorms! (If anyone has followed on Twitter while I’ve been in Colombia, you’ll know my dorm room pains...
Tags: Travel, Colombia, Switzerland, Airbnb, Travel Tips, Hostels, Travel Advice, Hostelworld, Don, Forget Travel Insurance Travel


This Blog Will Suck Less (Or How I Got My Motivation Back)

ofPosted: 1/28/2019 | January 28th, 2019 Let me say what most of you are (probably) thinking: this blog kind of sucked in 2018. It actually might have started sucking a bit toward the end of 2017. Maybe even 2016. What do I mean by that? Well, while we continue to produce “how-to” content that I am very proud of and think is better and more detailed than what else you’ll find on the web (’cause we’re the best!), those kinds of articles — while I like writing them because, to me, budget travel...
Tags: Travel, Google, Blog, Netflix, Paris, Hostelworld, Random Musings, Don, Forget Travel Insurance Travel


Hoscars winners: the world’s best hostels 2019

Prague hostel wins trio of titles in annual hostel awards, which has introduced new solo travel categories to reflect rise in independent travellersA hostel in Prague has been named the best in Europe, best small hostel and best in the world for solo travellers in Hostelworld’s Hoscars awards. The RoadHouse (from £25.82pp pn), in the city’s old town, was described as the ideal place for sociable backpackers in the awards, which this year includes a new solo category, reflecting a 42% rise in boo...
Tags: Travel, Europe, World news, Prague, Hostels, Budget Travel, Travelling Solo, Europe Holidays, Hostelworld, Backpacking Holidays


How Hostelworld Screws Hostel Owners

Posted: 01/21/2019 | January 21st, 2019 I’ve wanted to own a hostel since I first started traveling. During my month on Ko Lipe in 2006, I spent my lazy days on the beach dreaming of opening one in New Zealand with some friends. It was going to be eco-friendly and called “The Greenhouse.” A few years ago, my hostel dream came true when a friend and I opened one called HK Austin in Austin, Texas. Since then, a lot of new hostels have opened in the city, and the competition for guests has heate...
Tags: Travel, London, Berlin, Austin, Paris, Sydney, New Zealand, Hostels, Travel Advice, Hostelworld, Austin Texas, Ko Lipe, HK Austin, Hostelz, Hostelworld Screws Hostel Owners, Hostelworld Elevate


Why You Should Get Travel Insurance When You Travel

Posted: 1/17/2019 | January 17th, 2019 I’ve written about buying travel insurance a lot. I’ve talked about how to find the right policy, discussed why , and answered a few of the most common questions on the subject. But while I’ve talked about the practical “how-to” part of getting insurance, I’ve never really focused on the why of travel insurance. So let’s talk about that today. Why should you buy travel insurance? Why is it important? What’s in it for you? Peace of mind. And the potent...
Tags: Travel, Mexico, Russia, Superman, Middle East, South America, Travel Insurance, Travel Advice, Hostelworld, Travelers, Asia Australia, Germany France, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Tricks Don t Forget Travel Insurance Travel


My Top 11 Hostels in Budapest in 2019

Updated: 1/9/2019 | January 9th, 2019 Budapest has become one of the premier backpacker destinations in Europe. Over the last five years, Budapest has gone from popular to uber-popular spot with hundreds of accommodations popping up and ever increasing crowds. Over 3 million people visited the city last year! For backpackers, the combination of a party scene, ruin bars (which are awesome), lots of sights, and cheap prices makes it irresistible to visit. For a small city, all the crowds (don’t...
Tags: Travel, Europe, Netflix, Budapest, Hungary, Hostelworld, Peter, Don, St Stephen, Basilica, Cecilia, NomadicMatt, Forget Travel Insurance Travel, Vitae Hostel, Retox Party Hostel Retox, Retox Party Hostel


My Top 11 Hostels in Berlin in 2019

Posted: 1/9/2019 | January 9th, 2019 Berlin is a gigantic city. It stretches over 883 square kilometers and is home to over 3.6 million people. I hated the city when I first visited it. I just couldn’t vibe with the city. But the more I came back, the more I grew to love it. Berlin is cheap (always a plus for me), it’s home to some of the best art, culture, music, festivals, and tech companies on the continent. The food scene has also really blown up in recent years and you’ll find some of th...
Tags: Travel, Europe, Berlin, Hostelworld, Kreuzberg, Don, Brandenburg Gate, Tiergarten, Mitte, East Side Gallery, St Christopher, Sachsenhausen, Prenzlauer Berg, Alexanderplatz, Neukölln, Friedrichshain


UPDATES: New and EXPANDED Editions of Our Guidebooks!

Posted: 1/9/2019 | January 9th, 2019 Happy 2019, my fellow travelers! This is going to be a big year at Nomadic Matt HQ. I have some big personal news I’ll be sharing next week (no, I’m not getting married. Yet.) and big news about the direction of this website (I used the holidays to map out my vision for 2019) that I’ll also be sharing soon (hint: we’re going back to basics). But, right now, I want to talk about our books. As you all know, we offer detailed how-to guides to destinations arou...
Tags: Travel, Asia, Europe, Travel Gear, Hostelworld, Don, Forget Travel Insurance Travel


How I Research My Solo Travel Destinations

Posted: 1/2/2019 | January 2nd, 2019 Kristin Addis from Be My Travel Muse writes our regular column on solo female travel. It’s an important topic I can’t adequately cover, so I brought in an expert to share her advice for other women travelers to help cover the topics important and specific to them! In this month’s article, she shows you how she researches and plans her trips! What’s the best way to go about researching your next trip when all of the decisions will fall to you as a solo travel...
Tags: Travel, Google, Facebook, Europe, Japan, Pinterest, Instagram, Bali, Indonesia, California, China, India, SIM, Thailand, South Africa, Antarctica


14 Major Travel Scams to Avoid

Updated: 12/28/2018 | December 28th, 2018 Travel scams are real. When I started traveling, I fell for them too. On my first big non-tour trip, I got scammed twice on the same day. My friend Scott and I had just arrived in Thailand. We were in Bangkok trying to find a boat cruise to take us up and down the Chao Phraya River. A taxi driver suggested this one company; we went there, and found out that an hour-long tour was only $30 USD. Not even thinking about whether that was a deal or not, we ...
Tags: Travel, Europe, Southeast Asia, Insurance, Thailand, Morocco, Paris, Travel Tips, Bangkok, Hostelworld, Travel Safety, Don, Scott, Chao Phraya River, Travel Scams, SHHLR


9 Ways to Become a Successful Travel Blogger

Updated: 12/27/18 | December 27th, 2018 I don’t write articles about how to be successful at blogging often because this is a consumer travel website not a blogging website, but I’ve seen a lot of articles on travel blogging lately, which have many points I disagree with and I think offer a lot bad advice. As someone who has been blogging for over ten years, I want to offer a counterbalance to some of the prevailing (and wrong) wisdom out there on how to succeed. (Especially in light of that ...
Tags: Travel, Google, Stephen King, Blogging, Rome, Paris, Maldives, Lonely Planet, Expedia, Travel Advice, Hostelworld, Simon Sinek, Tim Ferriss, Don George, Don, Cal


How to Become a House Sitter and Never Pay for Accommodation

Updated: 12/24/2018 | December 24th, 2018 A lot of readers were interested in learning more about house-sitting (watching people’s houses while they’re away in exchange for free accommodation). I’ve never done it, but Dalene and Pete from Hecktic Travels do it all the time, so I brought them in to talk more about the subject. Enjoy! As I write this, I’m sitting in a comfortable leather recliner in front of three large bay windows. In my view are tall pines covered in healthy green moss, as wel...
Tags: Travel, Europe, UK, London, Australia, Accommodation, Ireland, House, House Sitter, Manhattan, Honduras, North America, Travel Tips, Skype, Caribbean, Harlem


My Top 11 Hostels in Berlin

Posted: 12/24/2018 | December 24th, 2018 Berlin is a gigantic city. It stretches over 883 square kilometers and is home to over 3.6 million people. I hated the city when I first visited it. I just couldn’t vibe with the city. But the more I came back, the more I grew to love it. Berlin is cheap (always a plus for me), it’s home to some of the best art, culture, music, festivals, and tech companies on the continent. The food scene has also really blown up in recent years and you’ll find some o...
Tags: Travel, Europe, Berlin, Wombats, Hostelworld, Kreuzberg, Don, Tiergarten, Mitte, East Side Gallery, St Christopher, Sachsenhausen, Prenzlauer Berg, Alexanderplatz, Neukölln, Friedrichshain


My Top 11 Hostels in Budapest

Posted: 12/24/2018 | December 24th, 2018 Budapest has become one of the premier backpacker destinations in Europe. Over the last five years, Budapest has gone from popular to uber-popular spot with hundreds of accommodations popping up and ever increasing crowds. Over 3 million people visited the city last year! For backpackers, the combination of a party scene, ruin bars (which are awesome), lots of sights, and cheap prices makes it irresistible to visit. For a small city, all the crowds (do...
Tags: Travel, Europe, Netflix, Budapest, Hungary, Hostelworld, Peter, Don, St Stephen, Basilica, Cecilia, NomadicMatt, Forget Travel Insurance Travel, Vitae Hostel, Retox Party Hostel Retox, Retox Party Hostel


The Best Places to Visit in Costa Rica

Updated: 12/20/2018 | December 20th, 2018 Costa Rica is one of the most visited countries in Central America. American tourists have been flocking to the country for years, and it’s become a hot spot for retirees and expats due to its cheap living, great weather, amazing beaches, and friendly locals. I love Costa Rica. It was the first place that inspired me to travel. It holds a special place in my heart. I’ve been back to visit Costa Rica many times since then, falling in love with it over an...
Tags: Travel, Amazon, Best Of, Pacific, Costa Rica, Central America, Caribbean, Hostelworld, La Fortuna, Arenal, Manuel Antonio, Puerto Viejo, Osa peninsula, Santa Teresa, Monteverde, Cahuita


Why the Capital One Venture Card Doesn’t Suck Anymore

Posted: 12/16/2018 | December 16th, 2018 They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. I don’t have a dog, so I don’t know if that’s true. But I do know that an old travel writer can change his mind. Years ago, I wrote about why I hated the Capital One Venture Card. While it had a simple points structure and no overseas fees, it wasn’t really good for travel hacking because you couldn’t transfer points anywhere and it didn’t have a great catagory spend bonus structure. You simply got two po...
Tags: Travel, Credit Cards, Chase, American Express, Alitalia, Travel Advice, Hostelworld, Travel Hacking, Don, Capital One Venture, Forget Travel Insurance Travel, Hainan Air, Aeroplan Flying Blue Krisflyer


My Top 11 Hostels in Hong Kong

Posted: 12/16/2018 | December 16th, 2018 What’s not to love about Hong Kong? The bright lights, the amazing markets, shopping, temples, hiking, food, the view from Victoria Peak. I could go on and on. Hong Kong is one of my favorite cities in the world. It has everything you could ever want and more. (Be sure to check out my guide to the city!) Hong Kong, a city of 7.3 million people, has a ton of accommodation options. There are literally thousands of places to stay. And hundreds of cheap ho...
Tags: Travel, Asia, Hong Kong, Hostelworld, Hostel, Wi Fi, Sham Shui Po, Victoria Peak, Carnarvon, Victoria Harbor, Mount Davis, Nintendo Wii, YHA, NomadicMatt, Hong Kong Want, Mody


My Top 14 Hostels in Prague

Posted: 11/7/2018 | November 7th, 2018 Prague is a beautiful, historic city in central Europe and one of my favorite cities on the continent. The city and I have a long history. It was my first stop on my first trip around the world (all the way back in 2006). Since that oriignal, I’ve visited Pargaue dozens of times, even leading tour groups through the city. I’ve watched the city become increasingly popular with travelers and expats. It becomes more cosmopolitan with each passing year. No...
Tags: Travel, Europe, Czech Republic, Prague, Hostels, Charles Bridge, Hostelworld, Hostel, Don, Sophie, Toby, Old Town Square, Prague Castle, Žižkov, NomadicMatt, Miru