Terremoto was the first Spanish word I learned in Santiago de Chile. It means earthquake and could not be more fitting for the city. Santiago has been destroyed by earthquakes multiple times. In the whole city, only one building, a church, has never collapsed in a natural disaster.

And since earthquakes are a part of Chilean history, it fits that the local drink you can find everywhere in Santiago is called terremoto – if you stand up after drinking one, the ground will shake like in an earthquake.

During your visit to Santiago, the strong cocktail is most likely the only terremoto you will encounter. And besides hitting the local bars, there is lots more to do in this interesting city. If you have a few days here, I have a few suggestions for you on what to do and see.

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Located almost 4000km from mainland Chile, Easter Island is not an easy destination to get to. You have to fly, either via Santiago or once weekly from Tahiti. It is not a cheap destination to travel to either. But those who go through the effort of coming all the way out here will be rewarded with stunning archaeological sites, from stone heads to temples and caves, and a glimpse into a unique culture.

Plus, even if you are on a budget, there are plenty of things you can do around the island. But see for yourself:

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“Do you have any suggestions on what to do tomorrow?”

The guy at the tourist information looked at me with wide eyes. “Tomorrow? But tomorrow is Sunday. Everything is closed.”

My last days in Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia, did not sound very promising. I had thought of taking a bus around the island of Tahiti, but as I soon learned, busses didn’t operate on Sunday either. Yet, despite everything being closed, I ended up having a surprisingly good time.

Tahiti can be very expensive. If, like me, you’re conscious about your budget and do not want to rent a car or join an expensive tour, here are some suggestions on what to do.

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To say that I was mildly apprehensive about flying to French Polynesia was a big understatement. When I thought about the Pacific, all that came to my mind were overprized overwater bungalows that I could not afford and cuddling couples on honeymoon. It was less than a week since I had said goodbye to the guy with whom I had spent the last months and I was not in the mood for happy couples. Or cuddling couples. Or even unhappy couples – anything, really, that reminded me of the great relationship that I had just left behind to come here.

It did not help that I could barely find any information about solo travellers or backpackers in Tahiti. Most websites assume that you come here with your significant other, because why else would you travel to the Pacific?

But as I have learned, even as a solo traveller, you can have a lot of fun in French Polynesia. To help you get started, I have put together this guide with a couple of things to do in Moorea that I really enjoyed.

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While Australia is popular with backpackers, it is also one of the most expensive countries that budget travellers go to. Nowhere else have I seen my money vanish so quickly. Especially in a city like Melbourne, the temptation to spend it is great. An ice cream here, a smoothie there and before you know it, your money is gone.

Fortunately, Melbourne also offers a lot of free things for budget travellers, so you can easily spend a couple of days sightseeing without paying for any entrance tickets.

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