#1 4-13-2017 12:12 PM

Cardiff, Wales
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Help with Itinerary please!

Hi Guys,

Im looking for a little help deciding where to go after a 6 week road trip around California in September..

Long story short is i've left it too late to gain an invitation to apply for a Working Holiday Visa in Canada due to limited spots available.

So as im not an experienced traveler and will be going solo im not too sure where will be best for me to go for around 3 months before re-applying for a Canadian Visa..

Central America, South America, Asia?

Im worried South America may be jumping in at the deep end for a first time solo traveler.

Im also hoping to fly to Canada around December/January time 2017/2018 so price of flights to Canada comes into consideration from the destination that i end up after California.

Any advice on either of those destinations would be massively appreciated.

Thank you and sorry for the long post!


#2 4-16-2017 11:32 PM

Batam, Indonesia
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Re: Help with Itinerary please!

I would not think that South America should be stricken from your list even though you are a self confessed first time solo traveler.  Everyone has to start somewhere and I've met many travelers in South America who were doing it for the first time and/or with zero Spanish ability.  Granted, they both help, but are not mandatory.

I think your first concern is to determine budget.  three months in select country(s) can have very different living expenses.  As example, you can get by travel in Mexico more economical than you can in Panama.  You can travel for next to nothing in Bolivia provided you can find cheap flights.   What would cost days to travel in Brazil could let you travel for weeks in Bolivia.

What kind of budget do you have?  $/day, $/week as a budget?

Last year, I had a similar window and had 3 months to travel.  I opted for a few days visiting friends in Mexico, 3 weeks in Cuba, 3 weeks in Bolivia, 3 weeks in Chili.  And while searching for flights, I saved $800 by routing through Panama, so decided to stay there a few days.  My trip was not purely focused on budget, but as example, I spent three times more money in Chile than I did in Bolivia, I spent nearly as much in Panama per day as I did per week in Bolivia.  Factors like this may affect your decision.


#3 4-17-2017 7:03 AM

Leonardtown, Maryland
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Re: Help with Itinerary please!

I agree that you don't need to cross South America off your list.  I suggest that you might want to get a cheap flight to someplace and then you can get the buses to travel around central america Costa Rica, Belize, Guatemala etc.  You don't have to fly.  (except to Cuba - you'd have to fly there)   

There's another possibility and that is a cruise - Holland American has a cruise out of Tampa for 22 days that goes to Mexico and some of the Caribbean islands which - even with the single supplement is about $170/day and includes all meals, room and transportation.  The only problem with it is the time line - it starts Nov 4 and ends Nov 25.  There is a more expensive one ($230/day) which starts in San Diego on Oct 5 and goes down the coast of Mexico, through the Panama Canal and to Aruba and ends in Ft Lauderdale.  Since this is a re-positioning cruise, I think you could get off in Costa Rica or Panama before the end of the cruise.


#4 4-17-2017 4:38 PM

Vienna, Austria
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Re: Help with Itinerary please!

For 3 months, living costs are more important than air fare costs. Haven't been to Mexico since a long time and don't know prices there, in most of Southeast Asia you can live with $ 100 per week, drinking, diving etc. not included, most of SE Asia is quite safe and easy to travel.


#5 4-20-2017 2:59 PM

Cardiff, Wales
Couch Potato
Posts: 2

Re: Help with Itinerary please!

Thanks for all the information guys. I agree in what you all seem to mention that the cost of living is more important than flights!

Hoping to spend around £1000 per month but willing to stretch that budget smile.

Dave, your 3 months sound great, Bolivia, Peru and Chile are a possibility for me should i decide on the South America trip!

Rosaline thank you for the suggestions, im not sure if a cruise is for me though as id prefer the flexibility of making my own decision on where to go next and for how long.

After researching South America it seems that a lot of the attractions require tour guides which seem to cost a lot for just a few days and i just think id rather not exercise that option (for tour guides)


#6 4-21-2017 4:21 AM

London, England
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Re: Help with Itinerary please!

Hello Ashley and welcome to TravBuddy.

The advice above is very sound and I think £1000 p.m. is ample for Asia (not including flight obviously).  I can only speak of there as I have only visited Ecuador in South America and not yet travelled to Central America although it is high on my wish list.

I would make one observation, however, regarding travel to Canada.  Basically it is ruinously expensive both travelling to the country and within it.  I spend a few months there very year so I know.  If you are looking at December / January then you are hitting the Christmas / New Year period and will be hammered fare wise.  I would seriously look at date options at that time of year as you could take a serious hit.

Also, since the Brexit vote and subsequent crash of the £, Canada is not a cheap place.  When I left Canada to return to UK and play some gigs in August 2015 I was getting almost exactly $2Cn. to the £ and when I returned less than a year later $1:72 was the best I managed.  I know it does not sound like a lot but it mounts up.  I actually find Canada more expensive than UK.

Whatever way you go, have a great trip and do please write here to let us know how you are getting on.


#7 4-21-2017 4:32 AM

Phoenix, Arizona
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Re: Help with Itinerary please!

You can also try workaway.info if you're willing to work for lodging and food.

And if you'd like to couchsurf in Phoenix for a short time before or after California, shoot me a message.

Last edited by CMTinPHX (4-21-2017 4:36 AM)

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