Squeezing the most out of life | An Aussie and a Colombian living life with a wandering spirit. Eight years together & over 60 countries up our sleeves, we're sharing the love |

Dodgy Planet – a scabs guide

With the global economy as low as the morals of local Argentine politicians, we thought it a priority to share some personal experience about living on the cheap. Useful tips for those who might be adverse to working for long periods of time; serious travelers stretching the dosh, or maybe you’re volunteering and looking for a job. Perhaps hints for people who appreciate the joy of being a vagrant.

We have a wealth of combined experience. Our aim is to cover some concepts about Buenos Aires and Argentina in particular, and as we move through the continent see how far we can stretch things in other countries.

We aim to cover important information about moving around on next to nothing, saving money on food, entertaining yourself with free stuff and how to have a cultural experience and get an education while looking for work. Basically how to connect with your inner vagabond and still appear acceptable to the general community.

Thousands of ‘travelers’ have been doing it for years in India and the great South East of Asia, we would like to rip the scab off Latin America!

Somewhere to live
First things first, dealing with the climate. And by climate we’re talking about Argentina in Winter. Buenos Aires is cold. The city is next to a windy port side swamp. So the usual options for camping, bus shelters, train stations and outside kips in parks are currently unavailable. You will need to get a place long term to save the most and plan on not moving around much; this also backs up the ‘easy does it’ philosophy of shifting only when necessary and saving money on transport.

You will read about all the cool Hostels to stay at, the down town areas and the trendy places to live. You will not save money there. What ever you do stay away from the Palermo light! There are too many hipsters sashaying around the North side where your frugal approach may not be appreciated.

Ideally you can connect with a local and get in on an apartment rental deal. La Boca and San Telmo are a couple of rough diamonds – blue collar areas perfect for our kind. If you like peeling paint, untouched original states of architecture and minimal choice in restaurants then you have found the right location. Head further out from the city centre for more bargains, but remember the transport philosophy: if you can walk, why pay to ride? An environmental concept you can be proud of at the same time.

Heating and amenities can blow the dosh, but if you arrive in Winter when tourism is low you can get greatly reduced rent with amenties thrown in and still come out in front. Hopefully by the time Spring arrives with the hoards of tourists you will have a chummy relationship with your landlord and the price will be set.

For comparison: a single room in a hostel is between 90-120 AP per night. A dorm bed is up to 50 AP a night. Averaging 1500 (dorm) to 3300 (single room) AP per month. A one bedroom apartment shared with a ‘buddy’ is between 1400 (if you want your sink next to your stove) to 3000 AP per month for something private and self contained. A good option at 1500 AP per month, maximum per person. And like all cities there are plenty of options way above these prices.

We also looked at some dubious share houses where all your worldy posessions could easily take their own hike. For 400 AP per month, per person for a room, that’s about as scabby as we could find but not stomach. Other cheery and cheap options are couch surfing or home stays found online.

We cannot recommend a real estate agent to help you hunt for a place, as that would feel like a dirty paid link. Walk around, ask people, it’s easy.

Kris

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