‘We travelled South America on £1 a day – it’s easy to do if you’re prepared’

A couple who backpacked around 13 Latin American countries for a year spending a tiny £1 a day have shared their advice for Brits wanting to do the same.

Tobias and Andrea, in their early 30s, who live in London, explored the region while trying to work with a "zero budget".

To do this, they volunteered, worked odd jobs and hitchhiked over 600 times – all while only spending what they could make on the road.

READ MORE: 'We ditched the UK to travel – we spent £1 a day and hitchhiked 650 times'

The pair spent just £500 between them on their once in a lifetime trip through Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Mexico, Ecuador and Colombia.

Andrea and Tobias share their story and tips on social media and you can follow them on Instagram @EuropeansOnTheGo, @andreameszaross and @tobiassvenssonmusic.

Now, Tobias and Andrea have shared their top tips with Daily Star – check them out below…

Plan your meals – but you can be creative

While Andrea and Tobias spent a year in South America they did sample the local food – and particularly enjoyed this in Mexico.

However, it wasn’t always tacos and empanadas that they ate due to their tiny budget.

They even lost around 10kg each due to their diet and walking 2,609miles on average each month.

Andrea told the Daily Star: "We managed to purchase three meals and cook for ourselves three meals a day, which was quite impressive. We ate potatoes and bananas.

"We had to we had to be creative with how we would survive in terms of cooking from the potato, or whatever we could come up with."

Tobias added: "We also had out little camping kit so we had a base of mainly rice and tuna that we carried everywhere. That was an interesting mix – I can’t look at tuna anymore.”

Volunteer or find work

The couple said that they found a lot of their volunteering and work opportunities through the app WorkAway.

They were hired to teach English, music lessons, work in fields, teach Photoshop as well as volunteering opportunities.

Andrea noted: "We helped out in restaurants, bars, hotels or bakeries, did digital marketing for smaller hostels and even worked in a hospital for a week. Tobias was bartending."

Camp where possible

"We had a tent and sleeping bags and we camped wherever we could," Andrea explained. "Often we would go to a gas station and they would show us a place where we could put down the tent and they would look after us for a night.

"In every small town at the fire stations you can stay for free."

But, they chose to find somewhere inside to stay when in bigger cities.

Andrea added: "We tried to avoid bigger cities because they were a lot less safe – you wouldn’t camp in a bigger city like London.

"We used an application called CouchSurfing which means you can find a couch around the world and ask people on the app if they can offer it to you. It’s free as it’s a cultural exchange.”

Hitchhiking and travel

Tobias and Andrea snapped up free lifts from people during their travels – from lorry drivers to families.

Some of the pals they made along the way even let them stay at their homes overnight.

The pair claim they felt safe 99% of the time because hitchhiking is common in South America due to a lack of public transport.

Thankfully Andrea speaks Spanish which will definitely help them to be good company on the road.

However, the duo did have some hard and fast rules they recommend for staying safe.

Andrea commented: "We had rules. There were certain things that we always adhered to – for example, we would never go separately so there was always two of us.

"We only went during sunlight and would never hitchhike during the night. We also asked a few questions and had small talk with the drivers before we sat in the car to see if they seemed OK. All of them were very kind."

Check rules before you travel

When travelling to a range of different countries it’s important to keep your health and safety in mind.

Some nations may come with a risk of different diseases – especially tropical countries. Yellow Fever, Malaria, Cholera and rabies are all risks.

Andrea noted: “Preparation is really important. So we researched the COVID requirements, which hopefully will not be an issue later.

“We also have millions of vaccinations before we started. This helped us a lot in feeling comfortable on the way.”

Before travelling you should always check the health risks of your destination on gov.uk and find out what vaccinations you need on travelhealthpro.org.uk.

Your GP can give you the vaccines – combined polio/diptheria/tetanus jabs as well as typhoid, hepatitis A and cholera jabs are all free on the NHS.

Any other vaccines will cost extra such as rabies, meningitis, TB, yellow fever, hepatitis B and encephalitis.


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