About Stingy Nomads

Hi! We are Campbell and Alya a full time travel couple that have been exploring the world together for 4 years. Welcome to our travel blog!

Our Story

In January 2014 we were both traveling in South East Asia, meeting in this little surf hostel on Luzon Island. We stayed in the same dormitory and ended up exploring the Philippines together, 4 years later, married and still traveling.

Who Are We

Campbell Louw is  South African and used to worked as a research scientist with a PhD in biotechnology. He is a Padi Scuba Instructor, loves free diving, surfing, running, hiking and exploring the world with a backpack.

Alya Akhmetgareeva is  Russian and used to work as a linguist teaching English, Russian and Spanish, she has a Masters degree in Linguistics and loves art, classical music, diving, hiking, running and is an incurable travel addict.

Chile Louw is a Borador, her father is a Border Collie and Mother a Labrador. Chile still lives with her other mother Maryna Louw, but travels with us in South Africa. Chile loves swimming, traveling and camping!

Our Mission

  • Showing the world travel does not have to be expensive or out of your reach.
  • Motivating others to go for it!
  • To be a valuable travel resource, if we have written on what you are looking for you would not need to search any further.
  • We want to be a resource you can trust, only writing on places and activities we have experienced.

How do we still travel?

The blog is our project and contributes something. Campbell freelances as a Scuba Instructor. Alya teaches English online.

Countries we have traveled.

64 Countries on 6 continents, most of the countries we traveled together

Why Stingy Nomads…

Stingy with a tongue in the cheek because we try to spend little money travelling on a tight budget. We would rather spend money on doing amazing things than on transport and accommodation. Nomads because we have been on the road for a couple of years, constantly moving.

More about Stingy Nomads

We have been published in several publications, both digital and print, these interviews can tell you a little more about us.

Want to work with us?

How did Stingy Nomads happen?





We would love to hear from you, so don’t be shy to comment give suggestions or ask questions!


  1. Hi Alya and Campbell, first of all thanks for putting all the hard works to create this website. The info here is very helpful. I am planning a hike for next year. I have two options to chose from, O Circuit Chile and the other one is Mont Blanc. I found detailed information on O circuit but couldn’t find out the Mount Blanc. Just thought to ask you, whether you have any info on trekking Mont Blanc? Apologies if I have missed that on your website.
    Thanks, San

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, San! Thank you for the comment! We haven’t done Mont Blanc so I’ve no idea where you can find information on it.

  2. Hi guys, Love your blog. I am travelling to South America in October 2019 and will be going to Iguazu Falls for two days/nights. Thanks to your info I will also travel to the Brazil side to get up close to the falls. I am also going to Cuzco for two days prior to the planned trip to Machu Picchu with Intrepid to climatise. Any ideas what to do for the two days in Cuzco? Keep up the good work! Cheers, Jenni.

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Jennifer! Thank you for the comment! If you’re going to do the Inca Trail or any other hike to Machu Picchu the best thing you can do to acclimatize in Cusco is to rest and take it easy many people feel quite tired for the first day or two in Cusco due to altitude, it’s about 3000m above the sea level. If you feel good just walk around the town, the historical part of it is very beautiful, there are many free walking tours that you can join. There are a couple of ruins in Cusco e.g. Saqsaywaman, Qenco you can visit them and go up to The Christo Blanco viewpoint. Don’t forget to drink a lot of water, coca tea and rest, these are the best you can do to acclimatize better.
      Safe travels! Enjoy South America!

  3. Hi,
    Really have appreciated reading all of your blogs about the Camino de Santiago. I’m planning to walk the Camino Primitivo in September. Your guide and pack list have been superbly helpful in planning.

    And I have a question for you both since you’ve walked this path before. I will be walking full time the first week, and breaking up the rest into 2 additional weeks – I work remotely and will be back online for 8 hrs. a day US time during that. Is it realistic, considering provisions and accommodations, to shorten the walks in days 8-14? I am wondering if it would effectively leave me in the middle of nature with no real places to stop. Thank you in advance!

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Eama! Thank you for the comment! In the Camino Primitivo post, there is a downloadable PDF file (after the second paragraph, before the route map) with stages, distances, and accommodation on the route, you can use it to plan your walk. There are places in between just remember that in public albergues you have to be out by 8-9am and check-in is only after 1-2pm sometimes you might have to wait for a couple of hours to check-in but there is usually a bar or a restaurant where you can wait. Private albergues and hotels are more flexible with their check-in and check-out times.
      Good luck!

  4. Hi guys,
    I’m currently living in Grahamstown, South Africa. Planning on taking a year off to travel and surf/dive South America. Plan is to fly in to Manaus in January 2020, travel up the Amazon to Leticia, fly across to Santa Marta on the Caribbean coast of Colombia. Then make my way across to Pacific side and travel along coast (mostly) to Chile.
    It is a pain to travel with a surfboard… costs and weight. And, will probably only get waves once I reach the Pacific coast (i.e. after about 3 months’ travel). Struggling to find any info on buying secondhand surfboards is Colombia. Any info/advice?

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Carl! We don’t have any info regarding buying a surfboard in Colombia, in fact, we didn’t even go to the Pacific coast there.

  5. Hello from the Yukon!
    I found your blog while researching our trip to Nepal. My wife and I were married in Germany, had our honeymoon in Nepal, and will be going back for our tenth anniversary. Thank you for all the great information about the Annapurna Circuit and I wish you both healthy and happy travels together.

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Charles! Thank you very much for the comment! What an amazing way to celebrate the anniversary! Congratulations on your 10 years together! We’re sure you’ll have an amazing time in Nepal though in the last 10 year it changed quite a bit)
      Best wishes!

  6. My daughter spent 3 months in Namibia last summer and did not get a single photo with high enough resolution to enlarge to 16″ x 20″. Is it possible for me to purchase a few of your lovely pictures for her – specifically, the dunes?

  7. Hi Both,

    Love your travel blog and was particularly interested in your blogs on Indonesia. Myself and my fiance are wishing to go to Indonesia for our Honeymoon next year, we are not the type of couple to sit around by a pool or at the beach all day and love the variety Indonesia has to offer. We’re avid outdoor mountain hikers, rock climbers, campers etc. We’re not particularly fussed in staying in luxury 5* resorts either.

    I’ve been wondering how the best way to visit Indonesia is. We want to pack in as much adventure as possible, with the odd day to recharge in-between obvs (so i’m not completely against having a couple of days at the beach or the pool). Would it be better to book through an agent and have all our accommodation and tours / trips pre-arranged? Is it easy to just book flights out to Indonesia and arrange our own accommodation and make our own travel arrangements to places we want to go and things to do? Is it easy to book tours out there? I’ve never backpacked (although always wanted to) It seems a little scary and risky not having anything booked and arranged. We’re looking at visiting between 2 and 3 weeks. What is the best time of year to visit? My finace is also a dive master and will definitely want to get in some diving, i’m not qualified but did a shallow dive out in Cuba with him after he’d done a deep dive (an instructor was with me the whole time and never let go.. checking all my equipment etc), i’m assuming there would be similar options like that in Indonesia.

    Any advice and tips would be greatly appreciated.

    Kind Regards.

  8. Goeie more julle

    Quick question. Heading to Peru for two weeks. Planning on Salkantay to MP. Up in arms about what to do for the remaining 9 days. Thinking either to just hang out the full two weeks in Cusco, do Sacred Valley and Ausangate. Or travel to Huaraz for a few treks. Or go do the Culco Canyon, the little desert town and poor mans Galapagos etc.

    What do you suggest in short for 2 weeks in Peru for a mix of nature and culture?

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hi, Flip! We spent one month hiking in Cusco and really enjoyed it! If you like hiking we’d definitely recommend to do Ausangate, it’s quite different from Salkantay, more remote less ruins more scenery. For more of a cultural experience you can hike to Choquequirao ruins, it takes only 4 days and unlike Machu Picchu these ruins are not crowded at all. Basically you can spend all two weeks hiking. Just remember that you’ll need a couple of day in Cusco to acclimatize before you start hiking. You can do a 2-day hike in Colca canyon as well, plus see condors, it’s a beautiful area, not that far from Cusco. Little desert town do you mean Huacachina? I’ve been there, it’s nice you can do sand boarding and drive a buggy in the dunes, nothing you can’t do in South Africa or Namibia. You can go to Huaraz there are some great hikes, but it’s 1500km from Cusco you’ll spend a couple of days to get there and back. As I know there are no direct flights there from Cusco. We’d say do Salkantay and Ausangate in Cusco or visit other ruins in the area and go for a couple of days to Arequipa and Colca canyon. This way you spend more time doing things and less time commuting in between. You can read our guides on these hikes, the hikes end up taking about a week each with preparation and transport. Please let us know if you have anymore questions
      Good luck!

  9. Peter Grunow

    Hi guys.

    My fiancé, a group of mates and myself are looking to do the Outeniqua Trail this December and stumbled upon your blog from a fortuitous Google search. Your review of the trail was really helpful. Are you two still exploring? Keep up the good work.

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hi Peter, thanks for reading glad you found our blog helpful. We are currently exploring South Africa, planning to head to Europe soon. Have a great day, safe travels!

  10. Hi Alya and Campbell,

    This is Saul at GPSmyCity, a publisher of travel apps on iTunes App Store and Google Play. I want to ask if you would be interested in turning some of your blog posts into mobile apps and sell them on iTunes App Store and Google Play. GPSmyCity has developed a technology for making it possible. There is no cost to you – we work with blogger on a revenue share basis.

    If you wish to learn more about this opportunity, please reply to my email so I will send you additional information.

    Saul Tarasoff

    • stingynomads@gmail.com

      Hi Saul, thank you for contacting us. We are not currently interested, but we will contact you if we consider this option in future.

  11. Rina Wynjeterp

    I live in Holland, Campbell. So if you and your girl needs a place to stay, your welkom. Alles vir ‘n ou Swartlander! Keep safe and enjoy! Greetings from holland

    • stingynomads@gmail.com

      Dankie Rina, hoop dit gaan goed en jy woon lekker in Nederland, die mense daar is almal so nice en hulpvaardig! Geseende Kersfees en Voorspoedige Nuwe Jaar!

  12. Молекулярная биология?! Вау.

  13. Kobie Boonzaaier

    Is baie bly jul het hiermee begin. Nou kan ons lekker op hoogte bly van waar in die wereld jul is. Geniet dit! Liefde

  14. Would’ve loved to also travel the world, have fun!

  15. borodamari@gmail.com

    You are very cool and beautiful couple!

    • stingynomads@gmail.com

      Thanks for the comment, Beauty and the Beast, Alya won’t be very happy to see I call her a beast. Merry Xmas and Happy New Year!

  16. Can’t wait to follow this journey!

    • stingynomads@gmail.com

      Thanks Marga, we are currently hitchhiking, camping and couchsurfing our way south in Chile towards Patagonia. Amazing country with super friendly and helpful people. Hope you enjoyed the festive season! Merry Xmas and Happy New Year!

  17. Reneé Palvie

    Hi guys. I absolutely love following your adventure and just love the photos. I will definitely enjoy reading your blog. Lots of Love from SA. Reneé (ps: Everyone at Celtic sends their love and regards Campbell!!!) XxxxX

    • stingynomads@gmail.com

      Hi Renee! great to hear from you, we are currently hitchhiking, couchsurfing and camping through Chile towards Patagonia. It is an amazing country with super friendly and helpful people.
      Please give my regards to the Celtic team, (please buy them a round of coffees on me)
      Hope you enjoyed the festive season! Merryl Xmas and Happy New Year!

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