Of course, I have to preface this article by saying that I love Vietnam. I am enjoying living here and I am excited about what’s to come. Everyday I see something new, and everyday I feel a stronger connection to the country. That being said, it’s sometimes an extremely frustrating place to live. It’s difficult to stay positive when something goes wrong. In Vietnam, when it rains it pours — both literally and metaphorically. So here goes a bit of a rant. Let this be a warning to someone who is considering a move to Vietnam, but mostly let this be a therapeutic exercise for me — cause there’s a history of people losing their shit in ‘nam.
I’m not a medical professional. I’m just a person who’s travelled a lot. Don’t blame me if my advice leads to you getting sick or crapping yourself.
Packing light is an art form that’s been studied by many a travel-guru. Even though it has the potential for amazing sounds, you probably don’t want raging diarrhea to ruin your trip. At the same time, loading up your bathroom travel kit with everything behind the mirror seems a little much. Instead, while you’re abroad you could head to a local pharmacy to get what you need, and a little adventure while you’re there.
There’s a ton of entertaining books and movies about Vietnam. Before you pack your bags, why not watch a few films and read a few books. You’ll not only learn something about the country, but you’ll also get yourself psyched for your travel adventures. Here’s some recommendations from me. Full disclosure: the links will take you to Amazon where you can buy the product. If you do happen to buy it through our link, we make a little bit of money at no cost to you.
If you are planning a trip through central Europe, you might be tempted to put a quick stopover in Bratislava, Slovakia’s capital. This seems like the logical place to visit, since there isn’t much information out there about the hidden gems that the country has to offer. We lived in Slovakia for a year, so we’ve explored the country in depth, and we’ve discovered a lot of great places. Here are some of Itchy Feet’s suggestions for where to go in Slovakia.
Vietnam is a fantastic place for budget travelers. It offers beaches, bustling cities, small mountains, limestone karsts, fantastic food, possibly the best coffee in the world, and much much more. We managed to budget travel Vietnam for under $20/day. That includes hotels, buses, food, everything. Click on a city to read more about our adventures there, or scroll down to see a breakdown of the costs. We enjoyed Vietnam so much that we moved there. We hope you enjoy it too.
In an effort to make this blog useful, what follows is a spending summary to give fellow travelers an idea of how much it cost us to travel through Peru, Chile, and Argentina. We are frugal travelers which means we don’t spend a lot of money on things like souvenirs, fancy meals, fabulous hotels, or first-class tickets. We do, however, like to maximize the bang for our buck; this requires planning and research on our part. We are a couple, and this gives us an advantage when traveling as we can split everything 50/50. In fact, a shared double room often tends to work out cheaper than the cost of a dorm bed.
“Day Trips” includes admission fees, taxis, public transit fares, etc.
“Transport” is the cost of transportation between cities: buses, trains, boats, etc.
“Spending money” includes things like beer money, gifts, laundry, and sundries.
Backpacking South America: 2 Months, $2000
Welcome to the origin of Itchy Feet on the Cheap. This blog originally started as a way to share all the planning we did to make our first backpacking trip as a couple as budget friendly as possible. In this post, you will find the videos and links to the guides that outline the specifics of our journey.
If you are planning a trip to South America, you’ll find the guides helpful with your planning, and the videos will give you a preview of what’s to come.
Disclaimer: some of the following photos contain large piles of garbage; yet, despite the ongoing garbage strike that occurred the week that we visited Buenos Aires, it still managed to be beautiful (albeit a little stinky at times).
There are several possible buses that make the daily run from Valparaiso, Chile (originating in Vina del Mar) to Mendoza and they cost about CLP9000/$19 for the 15 hour bus ride. I suggest either Tas-Choapa or El Rapido as they both offer good service, reasonable price, and safe buses.
Crossing the Chile-Argentina border was a breeze; just make sure to eat all your fruit before you get there.
The buses leave from Santiago for Valparaiso every 10-15 minutes from Terminal Alameda. TurBus seems to be the cheapest option at CLP3200/$6.60. The trip only took about an hour and a half. In Valparaiso, we stayed at Casa Valparaiso Hostel, which cost us CLP9000/$18.60 for a private double with shared bathroom, kitchen, internet, cable TV, and extras!
We took TurBus from La Serena to Santiago. The trip was about five hours and cost CLP8000/$17. It was amazing how similar Santiago seemed to Toronto on the drive in on the highway through the outskirts. We had read some negative things about Santiago, particularly about the pollution problem. Unfortunately, in the winter months a thick layer of smog drapes the city creating scenes like this.