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Welcome to the award-winning Cheapest Destinations Blog, up since the dawn of the blogosphere and written by a noted destinations expert and travel book author who can tell you where and how to find travel bargains.

That would be me, Tim Leffel. I help people figure out how to travel well for less and show them where they’ll get the most bang for their budget. I write about the best travel values in the world as well as the cheapest places to live abroad that are attractive. Sometimes I’ll even cover my favorite travel gear brands

author and destinations expert Tim Leffel

I am a travel writer first and foremost, also an author and editor. I have circled the globe multiple times and dispatched articles from five continents. I am the author of the book The World’s Cheapest Destinations — currently in its fifth edition. I am also the author of Travel Writing 2.0, now in its third edition. As a freelance writer, I have contributed to CNN, Outside, Lonely Planet, Global Traveler, USA Today, and more than 50 more publications. 

My best-selling book is A Better Life for Half the Price—a guide to how to cut your expenses in half by living abroad. That is currently in its second edition, available as an e-book, paperback, or audiobook. 

If you really want to know more you can read an interview with me in Nomadic Matt,, or Writers Weekly. I’ve been on a slew of podcasts, including Amateur Traveler, Zero to Travel Extra Pack of Peanuts, and The Expat Money Show.

Tim Leffel media appearances

I get interviewed a lot in major media outlets like The Street, USA Today, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, dozens of newspaper sites, and Travel + Leisure. Search “Tim Leffel” online and you’ll find at least 20 pages more. If you’re a journalist looking for a quote or more insight, click the “contact Tim” link in the right sidebar.

I am editor of the narrative web publication Perceptive Travel, which is known for publishing the best travel stories on the web, and founded the leading travel gear review blog Practical Travel Gear. (Which I sold in mid-2015 to free up some time.) I also run this travel writing blog connected to the Travel Writing 2.0 book.

With legendary author and Wired co-founder Kevin Kelly, I launched the Nomadico newsletter in 2022, a weekly round-up of tidbits for working travelers and location-independent expats. It reaches a lot of working travelers who frequently follow our recommendations on what to buy and what services to use. 

This Cheapest Destinations Blog has been running since 2003. As a younger man I worked a few corporate gigs, hung out with celebrities while being a marketing maven at RCA Records, lived in Turkey and Korea teaching English, and have a house in Mexico that is now my permanent base. When I say I’m an expert on moving abroad, I mean it. After all, I wrote the best-selling book on Amazon on the subject. 

Although I did fairly well in the corporate world and got promoted a lot, if I had a bad boss who wasn’t open to doing things better, it never worked out well. I even got fired once after being a rising star in the company for 7 years and had to pack up my office. Soon after that, I went traveling around the world for a year, which definitely cleared my head. Running my own show as a travel publisher has been a better match. 

If you pop by here regularly, you’ll probably go to amazing places and experience amazing things for less than you thought it had to cost you. I’m not some recent college grad out for my first trip around the world, so instead of naive wonder (not that there’s anything wrong with that…) you’ll get three decades of travel perspective from a book author who has been covering this subject since the 1990s. 

Tim Leffel award-winning travel writerI have won a whole slew of “best travel writing” awards for work in a variety of print and web publications and have been quoted as a budget travel expert in more major media outlets than I can count. This blog is an award-winner too:  it has scored a Gold, Silver, and Bronze over several years in the annual writing awards from the North American Travel Journalists Association. It has also won “best travel blog” awards from Forbes, Tripbase, USA Today’s 10Best, and others. Individual stories I wrote have won Solas Awards and my Perceptive Travel Blog won a Lowell Thomas writing award from the Society of American Travel Writers. 

Wanderlust magazine picked this blog as “One of the top travel blogs you must read” and it has pulled in a slew of awards. It also gets mentioned regularly in major media outlets. 

To learn more about me, get contact info, and see clippings, see the Tim Leffel portfolio site at

Tim Leffel Peru

I have a nice house in an inexpensive country, so I’m not on the road non-stop like some other bloggers, but I do travel internationally a half-dozen times each year at least and will often spend a month or more in one area. This blog has been up since 2003 (more than 2.500 posts before I started weeding the garden) and I’ve purposely lost count of how many countries I’ve visited. It’s not a contest; it’s a journey. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

You can follow me on Twitter (@timleffel), on Facebook, or reach me by e-mail: tim (at) If you’re a journalist on deadline or a partner trying to connect on a sponsorship deal, call me at 813-203-5595. I live in Guanajuato, Mexico, but the Al Centro Media publishing business is legally based in Tampa Bay, Florida. Sometimes I hang out there for a month still, or other spots around the globe will serve as my office. 

Tim LeffelWould you like to receive an e-mail when a new post comes out? Get on the list here and you’ll be all set. 

If you want to work with me, let’s talk. I reach lots of real travelers and those working on a move abroad, not just dreamers. I have also been invited to speak at events arranged by a long list of acronyms, on multiple continents. These include NATJA, TBEX, PATA, and ATMEX. I’ve been on the advisory board for years at the first one and was North America Conference Director for six years at the second. 

I average 25K to 60K unique visitors per month on this site alone and these readers stick around for a while–an average of three and a half minutes. I reach that many or more people again on the other sites I publish. 

Keep in touch! You can get the posts by e-mail or RSS, there are social follow buttons (I am on Threads too), or you can get on my Cheap Living Abroad list and get a free report on where you can stay more than three months on a tourist visa.

Leave a question on any individual post and I’ll get back to you with a reply. Thanks for tuning in! 

Work with Tim Leffel