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?

Our first couple of years on the road Campbell freelanced as a Scuba instructor and Alya taught some English online, our income from the blog slowly started dripping in, contributing something. Today stingynomads.com is our full time business and main source of income.

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! I was wondering if you have a more general page about how to get started. I have seen almost every state in the USA ( including Alaska once and Hawaii many times), but I have never left the borders of the US. I feel stuck and I need help getting my long-overdue dream of world travel off the ground.

    • Hi, Tom! Thank you for the comment! We don’t have any particular post on how to start traveling. If you want to explore more outside of US for the first trip you could go to Canada it’s not far, the same language, similar infrastructure. Going to a very exotic place for the first trip abroad might be overwhelming. Europe is another option, in one trip you can visit a couple of countries, it’s easy to move around, it’s pretty safe and there are many things to see. If you want something more exotic Cost Rica is a great place, many people speak English, everything is set for tourism. I’m not sure if you like walking or hiking. I met quite a few Americans on my last Camino de Santiago walk in Spain, for many of them it was their first time traveling outside US. Walking the Camino is a great way to meet people, to learn more about Spanish culture and to get out of your comfort zone. You don’t have to be very fit for most people the Camino is their first long-distance walk it’s challenging and inspiring at the same time. I hope it helps!
      Stay safe!

  2. Shane Driscoll

    Hi Nomads. Love your itinerary and am using it as a basis for myt own planning. It seems to run out at Sarria though. Did you do the section from Sarria to Santiago de Compostella?

    • Hello, Shane! Thank you! There is a separate post on the last 100km from Sarria to Santiago. You can find it if you click Camino de Santiago section in the menu.

  3. This is a great and inspiring website! And you seem to live your lifes really well! Reading and enjoying your articles on Annapurna, Elbrus and Patagonia. You have not done Aconcagua? I-m sure you have thought about it. Are you planning to?

    • Hello Daniel, thank for reading, glad you enjoy our blog! We are on our way back to Nepal. We have planned to do Aconcagua in the past, but unfortunately our plans changed for that trip, it is definitely still on our to do list!

  4. Hi! I really loved reading about your trip to Namibia. I’m just planning mine on May 2020. I need information about the Omungunda camp site…I’ve tried to contact them but I haven’t received any answer… Did you go there without booking? Or do you have any contact to give me?
    Thank you very much.

    • Hello, Paola! We didn’t book Omungunda campsite in advance we just arrived there and could get a spot for camping, in fact, we were the only people there, the place is spacious I’m sure they’ll be able to accommodate you.
      Safe travels!

  5. Hi Stingy Nomads. My husband and I have hiked the Camino Frances, the Camino del Norte, the Camino Ingles and the Camino Portugues in the last 4 years. We ski/snowboard in winter. This coming summer he will be riding a motorcycle across India during which time I will be hiking the Camino Primitivo. In researching trip insurance (which we have never used before) I was excited to see you described adventure insurance in conjunction with an established insurance company but then found we could not even get a quote as he is 71 and I will be 70 this summer. What do you suggest?

    • Hello Carol, thanks for your msg. You guys sound like a super active traveling couple! I have contacted the companies we work with, but unfortunately they only offer travel insurance policies up to 69. Allianz is another company I am familiar with and according to their website they offer travel insurance up to 70. Goodtogoinsurance has no age limit, I found them online and have no experience with the company, but it could be worth looking into. I am sure you are going to love the Primitivo, Buen Camino!

  6. Hello guy! Really good work in this guide to Choquequirao! I’m planing next year to do Machu Pichu, but since I’ve found this I’m not quite sure what to do… any way…
    My question is the next, is ok to do it alone? Is not my first time hiking, I’ve got experience and I also do rock climbing, but I’m not sure about doing it on my own. Any recommendations ? Thanks in advance!

    • Hello, Juliana! Thank you for the comment! We’ve never had any issues hiking in Peru but we’re a couple I did hear from somebody (a girl) that she didn’t feel comfortable hiking alone the Choquequirao she got some nasty comments from guides or porters at one of the campsites but it was only once, nobody else complained. If you hike in the peak season there will be other trekkers you won’t be alone. The route is easy to follow, there are designated campsites (next to locals’ houses), there are no dangerous wild animals so I’d say, yes, you can do it alone if you have some hiking experience. As an option, you can hire a porter or join a tour which is more expensive. Or you can try to find someone to hike with when you’re already in Cusco, put announcements in hostels or just ask around, you might be lucky.

  7. Hi Champell & Alya,

    Came across your post on garden route , SA. Does the garden route include visiting national park ? I am thinking of spending 8-10 days in south Africa in December. Might be travelling alone, if i could not manage to find a friend to join me, i prefer to join a good reputable small group tour. Heard it is not quite safe for solo female traveller . Which tour company one would you recommend ? I am checking is there a direct flight from Singapore to Cape town. (Check out the Intrepid route- they start from Durban).
    Would love to hear from you both what would you recommend for 1st time visitor to south africa. Thanks in advance

    • Hello Chin, we have not personally done these tours, but have been to most of the sights on all the tours we recommend in this article. Both Intrepid and G-adventures start in Durban. There are no direct flights to Cape Town, but several airlines have flights with one transfer. You can also buy flights with one transfer from Singapore to Durban, search on skyscanner. Take a look at the other tour we have in the article ‘a 6-day all-inclusive tour’ this is the classic Garden Route Itinerary with a popular local operator starting in Cape Town, it has plenty of reviews, all of them excellent. Look at reviews, accommodation etc to see if it your kind of tour. Renting a car is flexible if you are comfortable doing it this way. The Bazbus is also very good, it is a hop on hop off, minibus system, used mainly by backpackers and stops at several backpacker hostels on route. Safe travel and enjoy SA!

  8. 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

    • 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.

  9. 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.

    • 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!

  10. 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!

    • 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!

      • Thank you so much! Yes I did review the stages you all posted! Truly appreciate your experiences and for sharing them with us.

  11. 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?

    • 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.

  12. 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.

    • 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!

  13. 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?

  14. 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.

  15. 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?

    • 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!

  16. 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.

    • 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!

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Молекулярная биология?! Вау.

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

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

  22. You are very cool and beautiful couple!

  23. Can’t wait to follow this journey!

    • 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!

  24. 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

    • 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!