Tips to Save Money While Traveling

1. Travel at night! – Just by traveling at night time we have been able to extend our trips by weeks.  Yes, it is not as glamorous as staying in a nice hotel, but to be honest when traveling most of us have 2 major things going against us – TIME & COST.

We have learned that when you are moving to a new city or new region that traveling at night has helped up save money and time.  If you are traveling at night you no longer need to book expensive hotels or places to save (which most of the time pays for the travel plans).  Also, when you travel at night you can sleep not wasting those precious daylight hours that you can explore and sight-see.

We have traveled at night from Buenos Aires to Patagonia, Saigon to the Coast of Vietnam, Naples Italy to Venice.  In every one of these cases the money we saved by sleeping on buses, airplanes, and trains more than paid for the trip itself!

2.  USE FREE WIFI – Always utilize free wifi to research and develop a plan for your next few days of travel.  We like this because we make it an experience.  We find a local coffee house (Havanna on the lake in Bariloche!)  where we get to experience a local cup of tea or coffee. Plus it allows you to research and find the best prices/options for your next hotel or transportation.


3.  BE FLEXIBLE FOR ACCOMMODATIONS – We have stayed in some of the nicest 5 star resorts and in the not so elegant half way house in Uruguay.  Both have benefits, but I will tell you I remember the half way house.  We met some amazing people and before we left we were invited to a traditional dinner that they cooked for us.

Some sites that really help are,, and many others.  Make sure to always search for discount codes online to save extra money.  We have used many times and just googled discount code and save 25%+.

$15 Per night (2 people private room)
$30 per night in the center of Buenos Aires

4.  EAT CHEAPLY! –  OK, yes we know this seems a little bit like a no brainier, but so many times we have seen other travelers going to the nicest restaurants in town and eating only on the main path.  I am not saying to not splurge every once in awhile, but when I travel somewhere I don’t want to go to a bunch of touristy overpriced restaurants that pretty much serve food we can buy here in the states.  The best way to do this is:

A.  Eat Street Food – We all know and love street food is amazing, but why not eat it for our main meals rather than just snacking?  We have enjoyed 14 cent tacos in Mexico a couple blocks from the restaurants that charge $100 a person to eat.  A quick story about this.  I didn’t communicate very well in Spanish and got 4 tacos and loaded it up with ALL the sauces not realizing that the sauce I just soaked my tacos in was habanero.  It was sooo spicy I had to throw them away.  Which was sad but ok since it only cost me around a buck!


B.  Ask your host for dinner – If you are renting an airbnb or room from a host, they are usually more than happy to spend time with you and show you around.  You can ask them for suggestions or if you can join them for dinner.  If you are staying at a hostel meet people around you and join together buy groceries and cook together.  More than likely you will meet someone from a different area of the world, and even if you are not eating out and eating local food, you are getting a new and unique experience!

C.  Always check menus/reviews online – As boring as it may sound google it.  There are plenty of review sites out there to pull pictures and prices from.  Many of our favorite meals have been found just by asking.  And go farther than just Yelp or Travel sites.  Blogs and vlogs are good resources as well!

Cheap food Argentina
$2 Bottle of Wine Argentina

5.  WALK OR BIKE AROUND – This one is a personal favorite.  When we go to a new city we have a general idea of things we want to see and do, but whenever possible we just walk or rent a bike to get there.  You experience and see things that cannot be planned when you present and open to doing so.  Plus it burns a few more calories so we don’t feel guilty when eating more of the great local food!

Punta Del Esta
Bicycling in the wine country of Mendoza

12 Days in Buenos Aires – Favorite Restaurants

When visiting a new place Anh and I thrash through town eating as much as we possibly can. We try to experience as many restaurants and street vendors serving local cuisines as our stomachs allow us. We become food critics in our own mind. Buenos Aires was no different and it did not disappoint. In our other posts you will see our culinary adventures laid out, but we thought that there were two places TOO GOOD to not write about on their own, Parrilla Pena and Cumano.

Parrilla Dinner (Steakhouse Dinner) – Parrilla Pena

When visiting Argentina, it is a 100% must that you go out for a nice steak dinner. In the states we sit down at a steakhouse and pay $60 per steak…easy, then another $50 for a bottle of wine. Well not in Buenos Aires. Two things that there is an abundance of in Argentina is beef and wine, and you won’t have to pay a premium for it either! Anh will never admit it, but I think this is how I got her to come to South America in the first place.

We set off on our Friday night thinking we could have a nice steak dinner and then head to the clubs.  We went to Parrilla Pena, in the Recolleta district of Buenos Aires. It was nice but not pretentious and was filled with friends ordering wine and sharing big platters of meat. Anh and I ordered a bottle of wine, garlic fries, a Bife de Chorizo (New York Strip), a Ojo de Bife (Rib Eye), and a liter of Stella to wash it all down. What we didn’t realize was that the steaks were each going to be about 16 oz, and the fries were piled a mile high. Of course we sat there for a couple of hours munching on the perfectly cooked medium steaks and enjoying each other’s company! It was one of the best steaks I have had anywhere in the world. The best part was when I got the bill it didn’t feel like I got punched in the gut.  The tab including tip was right around $65 USD. Why so cheap? Simple supply and demand. Argentina is a net exporter of beef and wine, and have a surplus of both. The equivalent of Napa valley is only a few hour drive from the capital city, and most of the rest of Argentina is filled with cattle farms! So, we took advantage, ate and drank until we can hardly breathe anymore – like a true American!

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We went out in search of a traditional Argentinian dinner that wasn’t just steak and all signs pointed to a restaurant called Cumana. It was nestled in the middle of the Recoletta district and with its marigold and red decor, gave a very warm inviting feeling. The menu was in Spanish (no touristy English versions here) so it was the luck of the draw on what we ordered being that we only recognize 1/3 of the words on it. We ended up ordering Cazuela de Mondongo Argentino and Cazuela de Locro, two AMAZING dishes that had such complex yet homey flavor. Cazuela de Locro is a stew-like dish made of pancetta, chorizo, tripe, garbanzo, onions, tomatoes, pepper, white wine, vinegar, and various herbs. Cazuela de Mondong is casserole-like with pancetta, chorizo, steak, pureed pumpkin, onions, eggplant, and a hint of cinnamon. Those dishes along with Roquefort empanadas to start (prob my favorite in South America) and some sodas, all for just $16 USD total! Goes to prove that good food in BA does not have a hefty price tag – bonus for gastronomics on a budget like us!

We basically licked the bowls clean. No shame.


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12 Days in Buenos Aires – A Day at the Horse Track

We were feeling adventurous and wanted to explore different barrios in BA so we took a 30-min subway ride to Palermo which is known as its trendy bars/cafes and party scenes (very much like Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood). As we were walking around Palermo, we stumbled across some large lush green parks, a Polo field, and an amazing horse racing plaza known as the Palermo Hippodrome. Hopeful and curious when the next race was being held, we were excited to find out that the next one was the coming weekend. We expected only what we knew of horse racing but in Buenos Aires, everything was 10x better than planned.

We arrive on Saturday around 2 pm for the race and found it was a much larger event than expected. As you approach the race track you don’t initially know what it is, because the park is lined with 4 very large Parisian style buildings that look like they are mansions from the French countryside. Once you wander past the imposing structures you see a massive equestrian stadium and horse track. This place was immaculate and quite crowded with locals trying to place bets and watch as the next event starts.

In addition to the facilities was a farmers market held in the square where we wandered around and tasted samples of wine, chimichurri, cheeses, olive oils and more. They even had food carts with ASIAN food! This may sound funny but we needed a break from all the chorizos and steak, and Asian food is not easy to come by in South America! After we finished sharing a rice bowl we went and started betting the horses!!!! It was fun and carefree because unlike the US, the bet minimum was only 3 pesos or roughly 35 cents. So being us, we started betting on every event!  No doubt made it better when I picked the winner in 2 out of 3 races while Anh won only 1 out of the 5 she bet! I know it sounds like we killed it, but when you are betting only 35 cents a race you are not going to become rich or broke in that matter. All in al,l it was an awesome way to spend a hot sunny Saturday in Buenos Aires.

Click on to our next article about Buenos Aires’ food scenes where we dined out at an parrilla steak house and a traditional Argentinian restaurant that will make you want to fire up your crock pot. Ciao!

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12 Days In Buenos Aires – The Beginning

One week deep in Uruguay, we decided it’s time to stop messing around and plunge head first into Argentina’s epicenter, Buenos Aires. After all, it was only an hour ferry ride across the bay from Colonia de Sacramento and cost only about $30 USD per person. Even though these two lands are a mere 64 miles apart, they are two completely different worlds. Buenos Aires is very imposing and hectic, full of rich culture, diverse population, and around-the-clock entertainment. There really is TOO much to be said about this bustling city so we will break it down by different highlighted segments.

First of which are the Free Walking Tours! I usually say the best way to cover the span of a city is by renting a bike, but in Buenos Aires the best way to introduce yourself to the city is by taking a free walking tour. Yes, I do mean FREE. In the US, we usually equate free to either a scam or poor quality, and this was neither. There are two companies that run tours twice a day and offer both English and Spanish versions: and The tour guide takes you to the major architectural sites while sharing entertaining stories about its history, politics, and culture. Be it about Evita’s tragic corpse fiasco (it was stolen for years with various intrusions done to it) or that all portenos have a shrink and government subsidized cosmetic surgery, it was a great crash course to both Buenos Aires and Argentina as a whole since they consolidated down days of research into 2 1/2 hours. Another perk about the tour was that we met fellow travelers whom we ended up hanging out with in different occasions later in the week! Definitely a good way to make friends around the globe.

Click on to our next article about Buenos Aires: 12 Days in Buenos Aires – A Day at the Horse Track. Ciao!

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1st subte ride!
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Pretty humid down here, but nothing like NYC’s
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San Martin square – beginning of the tour
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BA’s mini Big Ben
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Tango in the street
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Little Iguazu Falls
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One of the many beautiful cathedrals
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Prob one of the most gorgeous sunsets