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travelling virgin!!!!

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean travelling virgin!!!!

1. Posted by snakehips8 (Budding Member 9 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

hello all,

I have never been travelling before but am planning a 6 month trip to South America- peru, bolivia, brazil then buenos aires. after 10 weeks in SA I plan to go to east coast australia for 6 weeks, then finally onto South East Asia.

First of all am I planning too much for first time travelling?

Is the best way to travel working from hostel to hostel in each place i would like to go?

Are you carrying your bag pretty much all the time?

How much and what do you need for a trip like this?

Any suggestions greatly appreciated!!!!


2. Posted by mim (Travel Guru 1276 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!


Welcome to TP

I don't think you've planned too much, you can never do too much! You'll miss comforts probably if you're doing it on the cheap but otherwise...

I've never worked whilst travelling always before and saved up. Not sure how easy it is to get jobs in hostels. Lets face it in S.America jobs like that are short, in economies where there are a massive amount of people living below the poverty line it doesn't seem right somehow to take a menial job...

When you say how much will you need, are we talking money wise? cos it will vary massively depending on your plans and how you want to travel and also what kind of things you want to do.

You don't want to be carrying you're bag around all the time no. You want to really get a day pack you can use!

Good luck and happy travelling


[ Edit: Edited on 28-Feb-2009, at 18:25 by mim ]

3. Posted by aharrold45 (Travel Guru 1281 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

If you want to travel cheaply without working you'd probably need at least $5,500USD after airfares but preferably more for a bit more spending money for some nights out and more bus trips etc. As for if you are carrying your bag all the time it just depends how much you want to see in that amount of time. If you limited it to a couple of countries in each region in that length of time you'd have plenty of days that you could sit around and relax, but if you wanted to see a lot of four of five countries in the regions (or in Australia's case all states and territories) then you'd be on planes regularly and be carrying your bag almost every day or at least every 2nd or 3rd day.

In South America you have included one huge country and two medium size countries (or by European standards large countries). Peru is very mountainous so sometimes it can take a long time to travel short distances not to mention that you should allow a bit of time to get used to the altitude. Brazil has a lot to see and you could spend 10 weeks in Brazil easily and you would not touch the surface. Locals spend all their life there and don't see all areas.

The other sections you have allocated a nice amount of time to see a lot of places.

4. Posted by s.bee (Budding Member 17 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

i didnt find it to be too incredibly common for travelers to work for their stay in hostels other than loki hostels, its hugely popular at those ones.. there are loki's in mancora, lima, la paz, and cusco. but, they dont always have a spot open when you get there so you may have to wait a few days to a week to work. also, the minimum time you have to work at loki hostels is two weeks. i'm sure there are others where people worked for their stay but i really dont remember hearing much other than loki. as far as what to bring, there are a thousand threads about that i'm sure... a few simple things i guess is clothes for every type of many people think south america is always hot, forgetting about the mountains and rainy season... if you can afford them, get waterproof hiking shoes. they are a pretty sweet thing to have. and get your shots of course. keep toilet paper with you all the time in S.A. there are so many things... maybe you should list what you wanna bring and people could tell you whats necessary and whats not...?

oh yeah and every hostel i've ever stayed at will let you store your bag if, say, check out is at 11 but your bus isnt until 5 or something. the most you'll ever carry your bag is finding a hostel or walking to/from hostels and bus stations and stuff. i still tried to pack light because dumb things happen more often than you think where you need to walk somewhere with your pack. i think packing light is the way to go.

5. Posted by s.bee (Budding Member 17 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

one more thing... DO NOT BRING ANYTHING YOU CARE ABOUT DEARLY. you will want to for times when you're homesick and stuff but you will lose sh*t all the time and things will get stolen. its just the nature of travelling, it sucks..

6. Posted by ofthesea (Full Member 46 posts) 8y Star this if you like it!

That's a pretty ambitious trip for a first time traveller! Which is a good thing. :) I remember once meeting a guy on a train who flew to South America when he was 17, after graduating high school, and absolutely fell in love with the continent. I remember him telling me, though, that his first couple of days there, he was terrified... it is a bit of a culture shock (so I hear, I've not been there yet) and your rules of social conduct, street smarts, etc will have to be altered a bit. But he said it was such a great growing experience for him.

I definitely don't think you're planning too much... the way I see it, the closer you are to planning your mega-awesome-super-dream-trip, the better chance you have of actually doing it. Also, I don't know about visas in South America, but it may be a bit difficult to be working at hostels if you don't have a working visa. I mean yes, you can work under the table (or work for room and board), but I don't think you should count on funding your trip that way. You could also try organizations like helpx ( or wwoof (, and couchsurfing is a great way to find cheap places to stay (

Like everyone else said, bring a daypack, definitely. Whether it be a small bag you stuff into your big one, or your bag may have a detachable daypack, its definitely useful, so you don't have to lug around your entire bag all the time.

Anyway, good luck! That sounds like an awesome trip. :D