Budget for traveling in South America by car
What budget do I need for backpacking in South America? Is transportation very expensive? Is it possible to camp? How do I travel so cheaply? These and many other questions are the most frequently asked when planning a trip for the first time.
There are as many answers as there are travelers. In this kind of guide I will try to share the keys that made Juan and me be able to travel for 18 months with U$D 7 per day between the two of us. The more gas-guzzling/scratchy/broken version of me (and not for that reason unhappy, much less dirty) is about to be revealed.
So if you’re thinking of taking a trip and don’t have a lot of money, put the water for tea (I don’t drink mate), bring your notebook, and stay put. Coming soon is a guide on how to put together a backpacking budget for traveling in South America.
Normally, and regardless of the type of trip, the budget is divided into three basic elements: transportation, food and lodging. The first part (except within the cities) is solved by hitchhiking. Even in countries like Bolivia, where buses are very cheap, we choose to extend the thumb: we do not do it only for economic reasons.
There are no excuses for NOT TRAVELING and even less for lack of money, we met on the road from European retirees with pensions in Euros that can travel quietly and also backpacker travelers who rely on their crafts or street art to raise a few coins and continue the journey. Everything makes the traveler, every experience is different but… WE, how do we finance it?
Simple, because it seems that people like to imagine instead of asking, luckily a family that was about to travel with their children through America and came to visit us at our house being this their first stop on the trip asked us directly while we were getting to know each other. How much did they spend? How did you travel? When they heard the answer they confessed to us in a moment of greater confidence… “We had already found your blog some time ago while you were traveling but we didn’t follow you and we discarded it as a source of information because we thought you were millionaires…” (laughs). Those who know us personally know that we are far from being upper class, let alone millionaires.
Tips for traveling to the U.S. for the first time
The reason why it is one of our favorite and most repeated destinations is that we are lucky enough to have family in Indiana, and they treat us so well every time we go, that they always make us look for an excuse to come back (a wedding, a graduation, a new cousin…). As soon as they get careless they have us squatting for a few days.
Besides having a valid passport, the most important requirement I need to travel to the USA (whether it is the first time or not), is to apply for an authorization to enter the country, known as ESTA.
Any foreign citizen traveling to the United States for tourism needs a visitor’s visa (B2), except if he/she belongs to the countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program (ESTA).
Tourist travel is defined as a short visit for vacation, visiting family and friends, medical treatment, participation in social events, participation as an amateur in a musical, sporting or similar event or contest, enrollment in a short recreational course of study (e.g. a two-day cooking class during a vacation).
How much money do latin americans need to travel to the united states?
FoodEating in Bolivia is very cheap. For me, the best option is to eat at the market stalls or at the “family lunch” places, where they will serve you a starter + main course + soup + dessert for USD 3 or less. Depending on where you come from, maybe the first few days you will find that they are not the cleanest places, but there is no doubt that the food is very fresh since most of the people eat there and there is a large rotation. ExcursionsThe most important thing that can make your budget skyrocket in Bolivia are the tours you take, since there are some places you will surely want to visit and you cannot go alone, such as the Uyuni Salt Flat, for example, a classic 3 days / 2 nights tour to the Uyuni Salt Flat will cost you between USD 80 – 120, plus the entrance fee to the Eduardo Avaroa Andean Reserve, which costs another USD 22. This can be reduced by bargaining (as I said before, it is essential in Bolivia), getting a price if you travel with someone else and not entering the Reserve, but to give you an idea, the excursions are what can add the most to your budget.Discover 16 things to do in Bolivia, the cheapest country in South America and be sure to read these tips to combat altitude sickness.2- Paraguay