How we’re visiting South America

Frankly, we’re making it up as we go. Which is terrifying and liberating and not exactly inside my comfort zone. But it makes sense, because this type of travel fits the culture much better than detailed planning, and we are learning to “go with the flow.”

We are primarily using workaway.com and couchsurfing.com to complement our stay.

Workaway is similar to wwoofing, except it has more varied hosts in cities and countryside. We are primarily looking for hostels to volunteer in, and have now completed one month of volunteering at a hostel in Cordoba, Argentina. We get breakfast and free rooming in exchange for working 24 hours a week each. It’s a pretty good deal. When we have free time, we can do whatever we want. In the evenings we hang out with other backpackers or I read a book.

As we move along to other countries, we use couchsurfing as much as possible. While I had heard of this a few years ago, this is our first time to use it. In Buenos Aires we spent one night in a hostel and two with couchsurfing hosts. While traveling to Chile and Patagonia, we stayed with another host in Mendoza, Argentina for two nights. Usually places on couchsurfing is free, and you usually do get a couch or a blow-up air mattress. But conversation is usually good, and it’s great language practice.

Overnight buses are a relatively uncomfortable (for someone with sleeping problems) yet inexpensive way to not pay for a bed/hostel room. You have to travel the distance anyway, right? Might as well go ahead and sleep on the bus.

Finally, when we need to book hostels or even kayaks or tours, we use our free HolaHostel card or our free Get South booklet. HolaHostel gives about 10% off on participating hostels and sometimes tour companies or rentals. Get South offers some advice, advertises some hostels, restaurants, and tours, and gives discounts on them. While 10% isn’t that much, it’s still saving some money!

As of now, we’re still learning and traveling, so this post may be updated at a later time.

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Morgan S Hazelwood

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