The COVID-19 pandemic has proven a lot of businesses can operate with a majority of their workforce completing their tasks out of office. With more and more Americans working from home, not only are companies saving a lot of overhead, but that means folks can relocate to different areas with more affordable costs of living.
It's why there are "mass exoduses" of people fleeing states with high income and property taxes, like California, and setting up shop in different parts of the country and even the world.
But even if you aren't seeking out cheaper, greener pastures elsewhere and just want to get away for a vacation without breaking the bank, then there are tons of places you can have a grand old time for pennies on the dollar.
Social media is full of folks who have made globe-trotting a personality trait, and while hopping on a plane and going to a foreign land may seem like an unattainable dream, thanks to currency exchange rates, that's really not the case, depending on where you go.
There are tons of people who are more than willing to share their travel "hacks" like TikTok user @adamboro who document a trip to Peru.
In a now-viral clip he says, "So I heard that if you take a $120, five-hour flight to Peru, walk out of the airport, take a $4 Uber for half an hour, give a dude $15 in cash for a ride, and go on a four-hour road trip with him across a Peruvian desert, you can get dropped off at this one sand dune then run up to the top and experience one of the most beautiful sunsets ever over an actual desert oasis mirage."
He continues, "And even fireworks, too. There’s so much more. Get a workout in on the sand dunes, ride dune buggies with your brother, make some new friends and the hostel I’m staying at is only $18 a night."
Sounds like an amazing deal, right? For $157 you can do all of that in a day, add in a few extra bucks for food every day, and then $18 for every additional night at the hostel and you've got yourself a pretty sweet deal.
However, there were a lot of TikTok users who took issue with the fact that he only gave the driver $15 for the four-hour drive to the desert. Especially because the cost of said Uber driver maintaining their vehicle and paying for gas, which is priced at around $4 a gallon in the country, means that they're probably not left with much profit for what is a whole day's worth of work, especially if they're driving you back.
Another TikTok user, @notwildin says in a response to his clip, "So I don't know if that dude just said that for the video but I need y'all to stop going to other countries with this bang for your back scam artist mentality and then encouraging other people on the internet to do it. You're f------ sick. Coming from the US you know the value of that time, you know the value of that labor you know the value of that resource in gas alone."
A lot of people agreed with @notwildin's stitch video.
"It's disrespectful honestly."
"They act like the rest of the world is their playground."
"Decolonize your vacation plans."
"Reminds me of that guy who went to Lebanon so he could exploit the ppl/economy for a cheap vaca, then ended up getting mugged."
Others commented on Adam's original post too, writing:
"People from rich countries always talking about scams in places for travel, when all the while, they are the scams exploiting locals when they can."
"Exploitation but make it a vacation."
There were other commenters who thanked Adam for his cheap travel tips, however, with some saying "You're living the way I want to live."
Adam clarified in the comments that the car ride was $15 per person and there were four people in the car, so the Uber driver made $60 for the trip. He also mentioned that taking a public bus was probably the better option for getting to the desert oasis, however.
Many women commented that they wouldn't feel safe leaving the country and doing this in a foreign land and traveling alone, however. The New York Times in 2019 reported a rise in attacks against solo female travelers, and there are lists posted for the safest countries for solo female travel.
What do you think of Adam's money saving tips? Do you think that he was being "exploitative" or is there no problem because he was paying what was being charged in the country he traveled to?