One of my friends once told me: “You travel so much all the time, why don’t you write your own blog? I would love to read it.” Which made me think it’s actually not such a bad idea. It’s a great way to be sharing what I experience on the way with everyone back home, and at the same time I would love to inspire more people to do what I do. Don’t even know how many times someone told me “I wish I could travel as well but I don’t have the money.” or “…. I don’t have anyone to go with.” Through this blog I am going to show you, you don’t need to have much money nor a travel companion. I am going to travel on my own through the whole of Central America all the way to Colombia, Crossing six different countries in two months, on a very very low budget. Travel smart and let your money to carry you half the world.
Bellow I am going to list all essential websites/mobile apps which are going to make your travel life easier and a lot cheaper!
Booking Flight Tickets
- skyscanner.com – Use when booking short flights. Searches through thousands of booking sites and finds you the cheapest flight.
- kiwi.com – Use when booking longer flights between continents. Czech founded website that finds you the cheapest and most convenient combination of flights to your final destination. If you’re not bothered about the exact city you want to be flying into just type in where you going to fly from and let the interactive kiwi map to show you what is the cheapest option for you. Always consider the time of taking off and landing as if it’s in the middle of the night there may not be any public transport available and you will have to take a taxi which will make your journey a lot more expensive.
- kayak.com, momondo.com, googleflights etc. – Even thought I find Kiwi to be the easiest one to use, it’s always worth checking out other sites as well as each uses different algorithm to create the combinations and you may find the cheapest deal somewhere else. Obviously booking in advance can also lower the price a lot.
- goeuro.com – Use when looking for a bus or train within Europe.
- rome2rio.com – Use when looking for a bus or train all around the world. In less developed countries there are usually no websites for public transport that this app could search throug therefore is showing just journeys using overpriced private transport companies. For the cheapest option is always the best idea just to ask locals what is the best public transport connection for you for the following day.
- blablacar.com – A car sharing app.
- couchsurfing.com – A website/mobile app where amazing people based all around the world offer their couch, bed or even a private room for travellers for FREE! There is a great system of reviews so if the host has several positive references you don’t have to be scared that you won’t be safe in his house. I’ve been using it for quite a while and it has always been just an amazing experience! Just create yourself an account and you are ready to go. Couchsurfing is more about an intercultural exchange and meeting new friends than just getting a free sleepover so when requesting to stay with someone never just send copy/paste messages. Always first check the host’s profile and in your request point out common interests, admire some of his hobbies etc. In other words let him know you have read his profile and are mainly interested in meeting him as a person. There is no point requesting too much in advance. One week ahead is fine. I am always lucky even with next day requests. After arrival in the house it’s very rude just to drop your stuff there and disappear for the rest of the day! Always first have a chat with your host a find out if he wants to hang out and is free to show you around the city and help you organise stuff (local sim card etc.) or is busy and you will have to find things to do yourself. It is also polite to offer some help around the house even though majority of the hosts will refuse.
- airbnb.com – A place where people from all around the world offer a shared or private room, a whole flat, a hut on the beach, a tree house in the middle of a jungle and whatever else you can imagine for travelers to stay. Although this one is paid, the price is always better then a hotel room and the service is most of the time much higher.
- hostelworld.com – The best way to find a hostel for you. Usually the cheapest option and a great way to find friends on the way.
- tripadvisor.com – Use when looking for the best restaurant, tour, hotel, beach etc. arround you.
- numbeo.com – Compares the cost of living in defferent countries.
- duolingo.com – An amazing app for learning foreign languages. There is only English available for Czech speaking people but once you are fluent in English you can learn many others and having fun at the same time!
Before the journey it’s always good to pay some attention to the stuff you are going take with you. These are handy things I packed with me.
- Guidebook – It’s never a good idea trying to save money on those! It will provide you with all the local tips you need and will help you plan the whole journey making sure you won’t miss anything important! I always use the Lonely Planet ones.
- A bumbag – Helps you to keep all the important stuff safe ale looks cool.
- A money belt – A belt with a pocket that you wear under your t-shirt under the bumbag and where you put your credit card any big amount of money you have to carry around. In a case of robbery it’s good to have a little wallet with some cash and an expired nonworking creditcard ready in your bum bag to hand out to the robber which should make him happy. Will let you know how this trick worked when I actually get robbed.
- A passport cover to keep your documents separated from your money
- A luggage lock – to lock your backpack to a bench or whatever when sleeping in the airport or in the train.
- Travelling pillow and a light sleping bag
- Earplugs and eye mask
- Mosquito net and deet
- A little knife and a spoon
- Water filtration bottle – Go green and don’t buy wayer in plastic botles.
- Hot water bottle – Even in places with no electricity and heating you can always make a camp fire to boil some water to fill up this lifesaver that is always my best friend during the night on any mountain hike.
- Pills and medicines – to fight any kind of illness you can get on the way as the local ones may be a bit dodgy. In the vaccination centre they can prescribe you a wide range antibiotics just in case to avoid the doctor appointment abroad. It’s also handy to use some natural immunity booster as all the travelling, time difference etc can make you more vulnerable than normal.
- External charger
- Pocket book
- Needle, thread and little rope
- Two towels – a bigger one for the beach and a small one to have a shower
- Rain jacket
- When choosing the clothes you’re going to take with you choose just the ones which don’t crease! Usually there is no iron available and even if there is you put all your stuff in your backpack and when you take it out it looks like shit again! So if you don’t want to be getting pissed off with your own clothes all the time go for the non-creasing ones.
- Leave any Jewellery/ watch’s home.
- Take some time to choose the backpack you’re going to travel with. It should fit perfectly on your back as you will be carrying it somewhere all the time and not being comfortable can ruin the whole trip. The smaller you can pack the better.
When travelling to Central and South America you need to get some extra vaccinations. Never get all recommended by the vaccination centre and search online which are really necessary. I’ve already got the Hepatitis A and Typhoid when I travelled to India last summer and got the obligatory Yellow fever on top.
For European Union Citizens there is no need for visa to enter most of the Central and South American counties for les than 90 days which makes it super easy to get on a trip like this and allows you to change your plans any time. So just book your flight tickets, get few jabs, pack your backpack and you are ready to go!