How to Travel Safely, Move Abroad, and Get Free Accommodation With Your Blog

by Nora on November 10, 2014

Following are three books that will inform and inspire the budding (and experienced) traveler:

  • A Better Life for Half the Price (about moving abroad to save money),
  • How to Save Money With Complimentary Stays (by using your travel blog to get free accommodation), and
  • Travel Safety (to make sure your travels and life abroad don’t go awry).


A Better Life for Half the Price

Are you thinking about moving abroad to a country where the cost of living is cheaper and the life is better? Then A Better Life for Half the Price is the book for you.

It’s written by Tim Leffel, Practical Travel Gear expert, award-winning writer, and author of Travel Writing 2.0 (click here for a review), The World’s Cheapest Destinations, and other books. He has lived in many countries all over the world and now lives in Mexico with his family.

In the book, he interviews more than 50 expats living a variety of lives abroad in 25 countries. Through these personal experiences, he demonstrates how to live an extravagant life for less than $2000/month (often much less).

It works on the principal of arbitrage, where you leverage a first-world income (either with a retirement pension or income earned location independently in a strong currency). He also touches upon working abroad (such as Teaching English).

In addition to lots of general information and tips for moving abroad, the book features in-depth profiles of 18 different countries where it’s easy to live and you’ll spend half of what you do right now. Most of these countries are in Central/South America and Asia.

Each country profile starts with an overview of the pros and cons of living there, before going into specifics and advice from expats who live there.

Some of the things you’ll read about include:

  • Good logistical information on how to prepare to move abroad (such as arranging your finances), also covering issues of safety, family considerations, and dealing with resistance.
  • Tim doesn’t candy-coat anything; he shows both sides of the equation, including the downsides of living abroad, as well as the downsides of the specific countries profiled in the book.
  • “How do you feel about super-cheap mangoes and super-expensive deodorant?” If you want special comforts or products that you’re used to from home, you’ll have to pay more for it abroad. Adaptability and local lifestyle choices are important if you want to live for half the price (or less).
  • Advantages and disadvantages of living abroad as a family

Although this book is marginally slanted towards Americans with some references and resources that are specific to US citizens, most of the information is applicable to everybody.

For more information:

A Better Life for Half the Price

$22 for a PDF copy and extra reports

$89 for the above + private FB group, insiders newsletter, and access to recorded interviews

$219 for the above + live webinars, conference calls, and 2 private coaching sessions



Next Stop Who Knows: How to Save Money With Complimentary Stays

When I was approached with this book, I simultaneously cringed and smiled. Why? Because it’s about how to develop a travel blog that allows you to travel and stay for free around the world.

I get all kinds of emails from readers asking me how to get free trips and other forms of sponsorship, and this book could be their answer. So I smile.

But. This is the bane of many travel bloggers, who feel having a blog just for free accommodation demotes the whole industry. So I cringe.

However the author, Carlo Cretaro of Next Stop Who Knows, who has been travelling since 2006, assuaged most of my fears by creating a balanced approach to this topic. It focuses on the specifics of how to up your travel blogging game and provide a service to both readers and hotels.

Although there is a chapter on how to set up a travel blog (including notes on choosing your niche and a target audience), I think people who already have travel blogs and are looking for travel perks are best served by this book.

Among other things, Carlo covers

  • What blogs can offer to hotels, and vice versa
  • How to pitch hotels, with copies of successful pitches he’s used
  • What makes for a travel blog that hotels will want to work with
  • The importance of social media
  • Creating your media pack
  • What kind of accommodation to target
  • When and how to pitch
  • How to act during your stay
  • Writing reviews, and what to include
  • Working with tourism boards

He caps the book off with a chapter containing tips and resources from other travel bloggers. Overall it’s a practical resource to navigating your way to getting free accommodation with your travel blog. Just…please….be cool about how you do it.

For more information:

Next Stop Who Knows: How to Save Money With Complimentary Stays

$3.99 on Amazon

Travel Safety

Are you concerned about safety on the road? Then Travel Safety will simultaneously scare the hell out of and assure you. I read about potential travel dangers in this book that I hadn’t considered and even took me aback; then again I’m all the wiser for knowing what to do about them now.

It is co-authored by Craig Bidois (a travel and personal security risk practitioner – hence the scary attention to all the obscure stuff that can go wrong) and Craig Martin of Indie Travel Podcast (who has been traveling with his wife Linda since 2006).

Although it’s comprehensive and covers all the travel safety bases, I found some of the advice a little overcautious. For example, when staying in hotels, readers are advised to request a room on the 2-4th floor on the basis that below the 2nd floor is too easy for unwanted visitors to access, and above the 4th floor is out of easy range for fire departments. I can’t argue the advice per se, but with sprinkler systems, I don’t usually sweat it (so to speak) above the 4th floor of a building; why would I in a hotel?

Overcautiousness aside, here are some of the things you’ll learn in Travel Safety:

  • Tips for being streetwise and respectful of local culture and customs
  • Safely carrying your passport and protecting your ID (such as making copies)
  • The necessity for insurance
  • Safety tips from personal experience; such as always having enough cash in your pocket for at least 48 hours of food and lodging
  • Cool tips like using a luggage tag that has to be opened to be read, so potential no-gooders can’t glance your name and use it to scam you
  • Scams to beware of at land border crossings
  • The benefits of traveling light
  • Recommendations on accommodation (many of which I hadn’t considered)
  • How to avoid taxi scams, and what to do if you are in the middle of one
  • Minimizing your chances of riding on a bus that will crash or a boat that will sink
  • Safety tips for corporate travellers, since they’re at higher risk for problems such as kidnapping
  • What virtual kidnapping is, and how to avoid it
  • Protecting yourself against cyber theft

And remember, traveling in developed countries poses just as many risks to your safety as in developing countries. It always pays to be on guard, and with this book, you’ll be all the wiser.

For more information:

Travel Safety


Note: I received complimentary copies of each book for review, and there are affiliate links in this post. As usual, all opinions are unbiased. I receive oodles of books for review, and I only publish a certain number of reviews. These are three books worthy of your attention.  

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 The Guy November 10, 2014 at 11:45 pm

These all sound like an incredible wealth of information. I wouldn’t know which book to read first! They all have value for me.


2 Nora Dunn November 11, 2014 at 7:23 am

Hi Guy,
Gotta start somewhere! 😉


3 Angela July 6, 2015 at 10:42 am

Very helpful information! I’m planning my year of living abroad and as you know this requires quite the research, but hopefully it will worth it. Thanks for sharing!


4 Nora Dunn July 6, 2015 at 11:44 am

It will totally be worth it, Angela! And don’t get too bogged down with research; you can’t possibly know everything before you get on that plane. I have a friend who is stressing out about needing to know every detail for her upcoming travel lifestyle and wanting a defined “purpose” for her travels, which is difficult, since travel is very experiential, and half the fun is in carving out your own personal travel style.


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