Can you save money with Matt Kepnes’ ‘Ultimate Guide To Travel Hacking’?


Any time I hear about possible savings I can make on my travels I’m always interested to hear about it, as I suppose anyone would be really. Saving a lot of money on services I would have bought anyway is always going to be something that I want to hear about! So when Matt Kepnes, a.k.a. Nomadic Matt, mentioned his new book had been released offering The Ultimate Guide To Travel Hacking, it naturally peeked my interest. I was intrigued to find out if this book was indeed ‘The Ultimate Guide’, but more importantly I wanted to know if it could save me (and you) some money on the road. The question is – does it? Does Matt’s tips, advice, and insider knowledge contained within his new ebook have the potential to save us all a lot of money on our travels?

Yes! 100% – if you’re American!

Matt has gone to great lengths to give very specific advice and tips in The Ultimate Guide to Travel Hacking on how you can seriously save hundreds (and in many cases thousands) of dollars on most of your main travel expenses, e.g. flights, accommodation, airport lounges etc. He is also completely open about the fact that most of the best ‘travel hacks’ are only available to Americans. Particularly where credit cards are concerned and using them to gain a lot of frequent flyer miles (and therefore free flights), the USA simply has better deals available for its people than any other country in the world. If you’re American and you’re planning on going travelling at some point in the future then I highly recommend this book. The information and advice that Matt gives you in The Ultimate Guide to Travel Hacking will save you a lot more money on your travels than the cost of buying the book.

But what if you’re not American? Will the book still save you money?

So here’s the thing, whilst there is no doubt that Americans reading this book will have the opportunity to save more money than others, there is still a lot of advice – particularly pertaining to loyalty programmes and leveraging freebies with newsletters/surveys/promotions – that is applicable to everyone no matter what your nationality is. There is also an entire chapter dedicated to travel hacking for non-Americans. In the case of the latter, if you’re British, Australian, or Canadian you will find this chapter to be quite useful.

Whilst Americans will no doubt find this book more useful than non-Americans, as a British person (myself) reading Matt’s book I still found a lot of genuinely useful advice that has the potential to save me a lot more money on the road. I would therefore say it’s still definitely worth the read even if you’re not American, but at the same time I have to be honest and say there is much more value in this book for American people who buy it.

What was the best part of the book?

For me the charts that Matt added at the end of the book make ‘travel hacking’ extremely easy for anyone who uses them. He has essentially done all of the work for you. For example, in the first set of charts he compares all of the major airline status programmes in the US. Within each one he details everything from how many miles you need to qualify for each level, what is included, whether there is preferred seating, elite status check-in, free checked bags, free drinks in economy, international upgrades etc. The charts are very in-depth and make it very easy to find pretty much any information you would ever need to know on each programme. He also does the same for the hotel elite programmes such as Hilton HHonors, Marriott Rewards etc. You can tell he’s really spent a huge amount of time finding all this information for you, collating it, and then also giving you his advice on all of it based on several years of travel (and travel hacking) himself.

What there anything I didn’t like about Matt’s book?

There’s was nothing particularly stand-out that I didn’t like about The Ultimate Guide to Travel Hacking, however, if I had to pick something I’d say the design wasn’t anything exceptional. That said though, there was nothing particularly wrong with it, it was just very simplistic. I suppose as long as a book provides genuinely useful information (especially information that can save you a lot of money) I don’t really think the design matters all that that much compared to the content. If I’m saving money with the info Matt provides then I don’t really care if there’s a pretty picture to accompany it – if you know what I mean?

So how much does it cost?

Matt’s book is retailing at $49 (although for the next 48 hours it is on sale for $37.) If you made just 1 free flight or got 1 free hotel night as a result of Matt’s book (which I’m certain you will if you follow his advice correctly) then you’ll have more than made your money back! For this reason I think it’s a very fair price. For more information on The Ultimate Guide to Travel Hacking or indeed to buy the book you can click here. Alternatively, if you just want to check out Matt’s site first and/or browse his selection of travel ebooks you can click here.

6 Responses to “Can you save money with Matt Kepnes’ ‘Ultimate Guide To Travel Hacking’?”

  1. Katy says:

    Nice review Jane. It may be something I buy before I go on my trip next year around Europe. Especially if I can get a free flight out of it!

  2. Sammi says:

    Thanks for reviewing this Jane, I am glad particularly that it was you reviewing it. As a fellow Brit- and a reader of Matt’s blog- I always wondered whether or not it would be worth me buying either this eBook or the book he recently published. Mind you, $49 for an eBook is a lot of money for a chapter that might help me. Great review Xxx

    • Jane says:

      Hi Sammi, yeh I must admit it is a lot of money for an ebook, but then again most ebooks are not aimed at helping people save money, e.g. a fiction book would provide nothing back but the enjoyment from reading the book of course, but Matt’s has the potential to return on the investment. I think for someone from the States it would definitely be worth it as the potential savings are a lot more the cost of the book, but for other nationalities (such as the UK for example) it is more of a risk. Still, it was an interesting read from my perspective.

  3. John says:

    Very interesting review. I agree that the price would be worth it if it ends up saving me money. I am intrigued by the charts at the back. All of that information is difficult to find at the best of times.

  4. rob says:

    Personal pet peeve:It’s “Americans” not “American’s”. Which is particularly odd, since you got non-Americans right.


  5. Jane says:

    Sorry Rob ha ha! I’ve changed it now! This is what happens when you write a blog post too fast when you know the electricity is about to be turned off in your town in Bolivia LOL!


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