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Tips for Budget Travelers

Argentina remains one of the more expensive countries to travel in South America, though it still remains slightly cheaper than Chile and Brazil. And the further south one travels into Patagonia, the more costly the trip will generally become due to inflated prices as a result of hoards of tourists. The best way to stretch a dollar is to adhere to a strict budget. Cut down, or cut out completely, frivolous spending habits. A frugal backpacker can make it on less than $150 per week.

Obviously, the easiest way to save funds is to sleep in shared dorm rooms always offered by hostels. While there is a lack of privacy or sometimes a bit too much noise from the bunk manned by a liquored up Australian, most of the time dorm beds offer a safe, cheap sleeping option for as little as $10 per night. Discounts are given to members of Hosteling International, minihostels and Ho.La hostels.

However, camping is the only real budget traveler's option in some parts of the country, as hostels are non-existent (e.g. along Ruta Nacional 3, between Trelew and Río Grande). In summer, many municipalities open their own sites, as do unions and ACA (which are also open to non-members).

Another excellent way to cut down on wasting money is to cook for oneself. Most hostels offer a kitchen; so do not be afraid to use them. Eggs, bread and fruit can be bought for less than two dollars for breakfast, while pasta is always an affordable dinner. Fantastic cuts of Argentine beef can be purchased in butcher shops for a few dollars extra for those with access to a grill. The best time to eat out is at lunch when customers can purchase a set meal for less than $4. Most include rice, chicken or beef and a hearty vegetable soup.

Excellent Argentine wine is readily available with bottles priced at a fraction of the cost found in the United States and Europe. However, too much of a good time can still hurt the pocketbook. Travelers that can have fun without alcohol tend to save the most money. Or if you need the booze but do not have the funds, the old strategy of finding a rich companion that will spring for the bill at the club is another option.

For travelers often on the move, purchase semi-camas on long-distance buses. This option is considerably cheaper and almost as comfortable as the first-class option. Due to the long distances that need to be covered in Argentina, be sure to check into domestic flights that sometimes cost less than a long bus ride from Mendoza to the Cataratas.

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to Argentina: Juan Peron, Argentina Mail, Services, The Economy of Argentina: Today, Disabled Travelers, Insurance, El Calafate Hotels, Safety, Tips for Luxury Travelers and When to Go.

By Chris Hughes
Traveling South America to give Viva readers the most up-to-date information...
23 Dec 2010

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