Entertainment

18 Easy Ways To Save Money For Your Trip To Latin America

You’ve got the travel bug and we get it. There’s nothing like exploring Latino cultures where they live–the flavors, la lengua, those warm tropical ocean waters.

First thing’s first: where do you want to go? Do some research on the cost of the trip overall–that means flights, food, on-the-ground transportation and any experiences you want to have while you’re there. Don’t forget to consider the cost of rent back home, loss of income if you don’t have benefits, pet boarding, and whatever else you can think of. Once you have a number, you have a goal. Time to start saving.

Don’t forget. *This* is what it’s all about.

Those casual lunches out and time you would have spent binge-ing “Queer Eye” (highly recommend) are far less memorable than a week on warm, sandy, Spanish-speaking beaches. Here are the best tricks up our sleeves:

Sell your old crap.

@thredup / Instagram

Your tía bought you some bedazzled latest trend thing that is just so not you. Sell it on ThredUp! Just don’t tell your tía, and put that extra money in the bank.

Make Airbnb a side hustle.

@Airbnb / Twitter

It doesn’t matter where you live in the country, you can always put your place up for Airbnb, especially once you have your vacation dates booked. Arranging for someone to essentially housesit for you can pay your rent that month. Be sure to talk it out with the roomies first.

The only side trips you take this year are gratis.

@zpacks / Instagram

Camping is a virtually free way to get out of town and get a new perspective. Borrow gear from friends or head to an REI Garage Sale for major markdowns on a one-time investment in a decade of free vacations.

Pro tip: Put your place on Airbnb year round and when someone bites for the weekend, head to your local mountain/desert/lake.

Get paid to cuddle doggos.

@naftibaby / Twitter

Do not, I repeat, do not adopt a dog if you’re planning a big trip. They’re a lifetime of personal and financial commitment and they deserve all your attention. That said, you can make your side hustle be all about loving on animals. Rover sitters make an average of $40 per night in the Los Angeles area.

Be open and honest with your comadres about what activities you’re up for.

If you have the will power, you can still participate in shopping sprees and playing video games. Just don’t buy any new clothes or video games and think about all the treasures you’ll find this summer.

Cancel your most unused subscriptions.

@fitgurlmel / Instagram

Only get to the gym once a week? Count up the monthly savings and invest in some at-home weights if that’s your thing. Unpopular opinion: canceling your streaming subscriptions will also free up your money and time for that side hustle.

Take up hiking.

@naturechola / Instagram

It’s a free way to get a workout in and you’ll have a chance to meet people who like doing free things as well. If you do some digging, your city might have recreational dodgeball, softball and tag football teams that you can take up for your fitness and social needs. Try something new!

K, if you don’t want to try something new, then pre-game is your new BFF.

@josecuervotequila / Instagram

Going out is a money drain. Once you’re drunk enough, you’re extra spendy and likely don’t even know how much you’re spending per outing. Take a look at your monthly costs, make a Jose Cuervo Costco run for your solo pre-game and plan to take only enough cash for emergencies.

Only drink water.

You heard me. Give up the Diet Coke, the coffee runs and that maca-infused raw cacao coconut drink that’s so tasty. You’ll be shocked to see the savings add up.

While you’re at it, ditch the disposable water bottles and go green.

@nalgene / Instagram

Spend $10 on a reusable water bottle and save mad money. People spend an average of $1095 on pre-bottled tap water. Get it from the source, mi gente.

En serio, hay frijoles en la casa.

@GezindabaZA / Twitter

I hate to say it, but we both already know it’s true. It’s so easy to just wing it for lunch, and grab happy hour after work, but a little meal planning can save you $50 a day.

Buy in bulk.

@thesourcewollongong / Instagram

We’re Latino. We have to talk about saving money on food because food is life. You’ll be surprised to learn that you can save money shopping bulk at a health food store versus at a cheaper chain. And they often have plantain chips. ????

Reuse everything.

We were bred to budget. Don’t even use trash bags, people. Just toss your trash in the bin and then straight to the dumpster. You’re saving plastic and pointless spending.

Check out travel books from the library.

@ExperienceMiles / Instagram

The library has become a magical place for me as a freelancer. If you’re looking for a place to work, bring your café and bagged lunch to the library and receive zero stares.

Also, don’t drop $50 on travel books you’ll end up donating to Goodwill next season of Marie Kondo. Check them out at the library and return them on time.

Yup. I’m about to talk coupons with y’all.

Apple Store

I don’t know about you, but Target was the land of luxury shopping for me growing up. It’s where we all got our swimsuits and school supplies and just overall brings us joy as adults. You know you’re adulting when newfound joy comes in an iOS app stuffed with coupons. It’s automatic savings, for free.

If you have the cushion, invest some money.

Apple Store

Acorn is an app that rounds up your dollar on every purchase made and automatically invests it for you. You can withdraw your investment for free whenever you want, and the investments are so tiny, that you’ll barely notice a difference.

Pavlov yourself.

@StreetTastyfood / Twitter

This experience doesn’t have to be so bleak. If there’s something on this list that you simply cannot imagine your life without, then use it as a treat for good behavior. Por ejemplo, if I can make it two whole weeks without eating out, then I’m taking myself out to Starbucks/SoulCycle/a movie.

Make it fun.

Get into some positive mental thinking.

@NDivhundivhu / Twitter

Planning a trip to Latin America isn’t coded with feelings of scarcity. It’s all about abundance. You’re doing this for yourself. So when your mami or your friend speaks negative thinking into existence that you’re too strict, or are missing out on life, you’ll know in your heart that you’re living your best life.

Final tip: follow some travelers to remind you that this is about to be you in 6 months time.

@aalmodovar_alexis / Instagram

Your feed should be aligned with your goals. If your goal is travel, give yourself the inspo you need to remember that when you’re waiting in line with your work friends at Starbucks and not ordering that $8 drink. It’s just not for you this year, and that’s great. Do you, boo.

READ: Here Are Some Hikers Of Color Who Will Inspire You To Travel The World And Explore Nature

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Imagine Having Machu Picchu All To Yourself – That’s What One Man Got After Being Stuck In Peru For Seven Months

Things That Matter

Imagine Having Machu Picchu All To Yourself – That’s What One Man Got After Being Stuck In Peru For Seven Months

Gustavo Basso / Getty Images

One of the most dreaded side effects of the global Coronavirus pandemic, is that it took with it our travel plans. Whether we were simply set to have weekends at the beach, visit our abuelos in Mexico, or go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip across the world, so many of us have seen our travel plans taken away.

Well, one traveler made it across the world to fulfill his lifelong dream of seeing Machu Picchu but as soon as he arrived, so too did the pandemic. He became stuck in foreign country and couldn’t travel or see the sights he had hoped to visit.

As Peru has slowly reopened, this now world-famous traveler is being known as the first person to see Machu Picchu post-lockdown and he got to do so all by himself.

One lucky traveler got to experience the city of Machu Picchu all by himself.

Peru’s famous Machu Picchu ruins, closed for months due to the coronavirus pandemic, reopened on Monday for one lucky Japanese tourist after he spent months stranded in the country due to global travel restrictions.

In a video first reported by The Guardian, Jesse Takayama shared his immense gratitude for being allowed to visit the ancient Incan city – which had long been one of his dreams. Months ago he had arrived in a small town near the Incan city, where he has remained ever since because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Peru’s Minister of Culture, Alejandro Neyra, said at a press conference that “He [Takayama] had come to Peru with the dream of being able to enter. The Japanese citizen has entered together with our head of the park so that he can do this before returning to his country.” Talk about a once in a lifetime experience.

Neyra went on to add that this really was a rare moment and that Takayama only received access after submitting a special request to the local tourism authority.

In an Instagram post about his special access, Takayama said that “Machu Picchu is so incredible! I thought I couldn’t go but many people asked the government. I’m the first one to visit Machu Picchu after lockdown!”

Takayama had been stuck in Peru since March when the country shut down its borders because of the pandemic.

Takayama arrived to Peru in March and promptly bought his pass to the ancient city but little did he know the world (and his plans) would come to a screeching halt. Peru was hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic (and continues to struggle) and was forced to close its borders and institute a strict lockdown.

Peru was forced to implement drastic COVID-19 restrictions on travel including an end to all incoming international flights earlier this year, which only relaxed this month after the nation’s rate of new COVID-19 cases began declining in August.

The last statement posted on the Machu Picchu website, dated from July, says that “the Ministries of Culture and Foreign Trade and Tourism are coordinating the prompt reopening of Machu Picchu”.

Peru’s Machu Picchu is one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions.

The country’s Minister of Culture, Neyra, stressed that “the reopening of Machu Picchu is important for Peruvians, as a symbol of national pride and also as a budget issue, because it is one of the places that generates the most income for the culture sector.”

The BBC reports that the Inca stronghold, a Unesco world heritage site since 1983, is expected to reopen at reduced capacity next month. 

More than 1.5 million people make the pilgrimage to the Inca city annually. In 2017, Unesco threatened to place the famous ruins on its list of endangered heritage sites because of fears about overcrowding; Peruvian authorities subsequently brought in measures to control the flow of tourists and visitor numbers were capped at around 2,240 per day.

Peru is still experiencing one of the region’s worst outbreaks of Coronavirus.

After beginning a phased reopening, Peru has started to see its contagion rate increase in recent days. The country still faces one of the worst outbreaks in South America, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

“We are still in the middle of a pandemic,” Neyra added. “It will be done with all the necessary care.”

Peru has recorded just over 849,000 total cases of COVID-19, and 33,305 deaths since the pandemic began.

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Mexico Wants American Tourists Despite Ongoing Covid Pandemic

Culture

Mexico Wants American Tourists Despite Ongoing Covid Pandemic

VV Nincic / Flickr

Covid-19 has ended a lot of stuff for a lot of people. The most obvious change has been to international travel, especially for Americans. As the virus has spread widely across the U.S. countries have put a halt to allowing American tourist within their border, but not Mexico.

Covid-19 has severly depreciated the American passport.

Once capable of unlocking so many countries, the U.S. passport is no longer helping Americans travel abroad. Instead, the American passport has now become a hindrance for global travelers. Most countries have placed restrictions on American tourists making the U.S. passport one of the weakest.

The countries banning the U.S. are doing so because of the state of the virus in the country.

There have been more than 7 million cases of Covid-19 and more than 200,000 deaths from the virus. The U.S. remains the worst hit country and the global epicenter of the deadly virus. Many blame the lack of a national strategy to properly close down, test citizens, and contact trace those who have been exposed as the reason the virus has been so devastating in the U.S.

The various travel bans have kept families apart.

Other nations went into mush stricter lockdowns that the U.S. and got a handle of the virus. European countries have gotten the virus under control after months and the U.S. continues to see a large number of new cases daily.

One of the countries allowing Americans to visit is Mexico.

Mexico is heavily reliant on the money made from the tourism industry. According to official statistics, the tourism industry is the third-largest contributor to the country’s GDP. Major tourist destinations like Cabo and Cancún saw dramatic dips in tourism leading to national and local figures to sound the alarm. According to The Washington Post, the questions was posed about when to allow the tourists from the U.S. back, not should they.

Los Cabos is one of the hardest-hit tourist destinations.

The tourist destination saw a severe decline in tourists during one of the busiest times of the year. According to The Washington Post, the resort city has lost 80 percent of its revenue because of Covid-19. The virus has brought financial devastation to people across the world and the cities they live in aren’t immune to failing themselves.

“It’s life or death for us,” Rodrigo Esponda, the head of the Los Cabos tourism board, told The Washington Post. “There’s nothing else here. No industrial production. No farming or commercial fishing. It’s tourism or nothing.”

Yet, Los Cabos should be a warning sign to the rest of Mexico.

Cases in Baja California, the state where Los Cabos is located, saw new Covid case numbers triple from 50 a day to 150. The increase in infections is to be expected as the state rolled out the welcome mat for Americans coming to visit the resort town.

“There are some residents who say, ‘Why put my family’s life in danger by inviting more visitors, restarting more flights?’” Luis Humberto Araiza López, tourism minister of Baja California Sur, told The Washington Post. “It’s a delicate line between trying to support public health and economic growth.”

Despite this, there are some countries that Americans can travel to.

The countries Americans can travel to without Covid restrictions are Albania, Belarus, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Mexico, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, and Zambia. As the world continues to open up, Americans who travel abroad are waiting for the U.S. government to get the virus under control. Until then, the U.S. passport is not the same it used to be.

READ: The U.S. Passport Was Once The World’s Strongest, It’s Fallen To 25th Place Thanks To Failed Leadership Amid Coronavirus

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com