Traveling the Yucatan and Central America on $20 USD a day


Bor·der Tramp /ˈbôrdər tramp / noun

One who, above all else, values experiences over comforts when traveling. Known for tackling difficult situations while traveling in foreign places with ingenuity and creativity. Tendencies and typical practices include but are not limited to: hand-washing clothes in buckets, drinking 1.5L cervesas on park benches, bringing their own cervesa into restaurants, hanging with locals, cooking fresh-caught fish dinners, walking, hitch-hiking, riding chicken buses, bartering prices at markets/hostels/hotels. Also easily recognized as those who, despite any and all adversities or challenges met, still seem to be having more fun than anyone else around.

Our goal is to offer a comprehensive outline for traveling Central America on a budget. Our style certainly takes some initiative on your part — being able to negotiate rides or rates is sometimes part of the adventure. So is improvising. And being willing to change plans at the drop of a hat. But we feel that it’s worth the effort. Whether you are saving money to extend your travels, or to save up for expenses like scuba diving or studying Spanish, our goal is to make budget travel easier.

On this site you’ll find tips on finding the best village markets for food or textiles, how to buy and prepare a fresh-seafood dinner straight off the boats of the local fishermen, how to pick up a cheap cross-country ride where first or second class isn’t even an option. Because we know as well as you that tramp-traveling is not a vacation, it’s a lifestyle.

 About Budget Travel: $20 a day

When we tell people we meet about our $20/day concept, we generally get one of two responses:

$20! What, are you rich or something?


So, I guess you won’t be having much fun then?

But the answer to either question is “No.” 

In regards to the first question, yes it is easy to tramp by on less than $20 a day, but not when you’re traveling as much as we are. Boats and buses every couple days can be real budget busters for a tramper if you aren’t careful. Staying for 4-7 days in one spot really gives you time to discover the area and goes a long way to save money.

As far as having fun goes, we go by a 3 beer minimum on most days. So while some trampers might have a penchant for more, there are some that abstain too — this aspect is more or less to taste . And if we go over budget on a day, it’s easy to catch up on the difference by staying put in a place for more than 2 nights.

By the end of the trip everything should average out to a $20/day maximum – including our 3 cervesa quota (or substitute for rum).

Have you been? Are you going? Tell us about it!