We’ve just finished 5 months of travel, and in many ways it was every bit as life changing as our 6 months of sailing prior to that. The things they say about travel are true: that you’ll never regret it, that the world is a very big place and if you only see one part of it you’re missing out on a lot.
It’s also true that it’s not as hard to travel as most people think. Most of South and Central America are not dangerous places (as many Americans seem to think). We heard more scary stories when reading our hometown news than the local news. And you can travel on the cheap in many areas of the world, having a far lower cost of living (COL) than high COL U.S. cities.
But it’s been 147 days since we’ve slept in our own bed, and towards the end we started to miss our sailing home. Travel is hard and eventually you crave having a consistent place to sleep each night, and more than what you can fit in a carry-on suitcase + daypack. And there’s nothing we’ve found that quite compares to the beauty and tranquility of sailing the Pacific Northwest.
Our boat on the hard when we left in September
Recently some other Pacific Northwest cruisers have reached out to me asking which cruising guides we used for our passage north last year. It can be tricky choosing cruising guides because the older ones tend to get out of date quickly, and some have spotty coverage or a different cruising style than ours.
Over the last 4 years of cruising we’ve found some good ones that work for us. Finding good educational books on sailing and boat maintenance is also tricky (there are so many!) so I’ve included a few recommendations on those too.
We’re nearing completion of 5 months of travel, and stayed mostly in AirBnBs across six countries: Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Peru, Costa Rica, and Mexico. Prior to this we had used AirBnB only a couple times, and learned a lot through this experience. There are plenty of AirBnB horror stories on the Internet (from dirty cat apartments to scams or no-shows) but we didn’t have any disaster scenarios (only two places had issues – more on that later).
Certainly you can stay in hotels or hostels while traveling, but 90% of the time we stayed in AirBnBs. They’re often more comfortable for long-term travel – more than a month in hotels and hostels can get really tiring! After staying in over a dozen AirBnBs we learned some tips and tricks to make it easier.
If you find our tips useful, and don’t already have an AirBnB account, please use our referral link if you want to signup. It’ll get you a $40 discount upon your first reservation (and $20 for us, which helps keep this blog going).
Our super cute Cusco, Peru AirBnB in a traditional Peruvian home.