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General Advice for travelling solo in South America

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean General Advice for travelling solo in South America

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21. Posted by Will1991 (Budding Member 18 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Terry I totally understand. The real reason I'd teach English is I feel like it could give me a chance to experience the culture, meet people and gives me a grounding for a short while. Money is the last thing I'm worried about, but of course it'd be nice to save a little whilst teaching. A website called has been recommended if anyone has heard of it?

Sounds like good advice Berner. I love meeting new people and this is one of the reasons I want to travel, meet all types of people from all warps of life. I love your last line. If I ever get doubts at whether this is the right decision for me I will read that:

'Travel is a voyage of discovery, about yourself, about others. It's amazing.'

So really all I need to do now is:

- Book an open flight to Colombia (flexi return or whatever you call them)
- Find a good Spanish immersion course in Colombia
- Book Machu Pichu trek
- Book the Inca Trails trek
- Look into a visa so I can work out there if I decide to
- Find a possible English teaching job somewhere

Am I missing anything?

22. Posted by CheersT (Inactive 2578 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Have fun.


23. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 858 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Since you're a UK citizen, check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Web site for entry requirements for the countries you plan to visit. Here's the link:

The requirements for a work visa usually are stiffer than for a tourist visa; and may require sponsorship from an employer and other documentation. I'd advise against getting a work visa.

There are lots of language schools. Identify some potential schools online; then visit them while you're there to get a better idea of the quality of instruction. Speak to some of the students, as well as the instructors. Some schools can arrange for accommodations, usually home stays where you can practice your Spanish. Ecuador might be cheaper than Colombia.

If you plan to fly to any of the countries that require a visa, the airline may not allow you to board the flight if you can't show transportation out of the country. They don't want to be stuck with you if the immigration officer refuses you entry because you don't have a confirmed way out. Some countries are very strict about that. You probably should be thinking of when and where you want to end your trip. Then consider buying an "open jaw" ticket, where you fly into one city; and out of another. A "Flexi" ticket usually is a full-fare ticket; and it will cost you. Business travelers pay for the privilege of flexibility in their flights.

Now, if you were traveling indefinitely and didn't know where you want to go (truly a vagabond!), then you could buy a series of one-way tickets as you travelled. I've done that. Even so , you should do some basic planning and think one-step ahead as you exit one country and enter another. As I've said before, you don't want to be clueless and get into trouble.

One more thing, I find it helpful to make the best impression whenever I go through immigration and customs. I always greet the immigration officer by saying "hello" or "good morning" or whatever, usually in the language of the country I'm visiting. A smile helps. I'm respectful, I'm confident. I try to look my best.

[ Edit: Edited on 24-Jan-2015, at 10:25 by berner256 ]

24. Posted by CheersT (Inactive 2578 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Bottom line, it's a moot point because based on his present qualifications none of the countries Will mentioned will issue him a Work Visa, period.


25. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 744 posts) 2y Star this if you like it!

Although you don't yet have a TESL (or TESOL or TEFL) qualification, you should be able to work to get one before June (some institutions suggest you can get it in five days!). There are plenty of courses offered in the UK where you can get a TESL qualification at night-school and London will have loads of opportunities there. From Google just now I got this .

Similarly, you could start to learn basic Spanish at a night-school too and by June you should be able to get by with general introductions and the like.

This could be a start. :)