Traveling around can be exhausting and weary. Following the below tips will help you get an even better backpacking experience.
1. If you arrive in a city where you do not have a map of the city and you are unable to obtain one you can photograph the large orientation maps with your digital camera and use the display for navigation (provided you have a reasonably large display)- use the highest resolution and quality setting on your camera. Not the most practical solution, but it works.
2. When you arrive at the (bus/train) station it may be a good idea to check the departure times for your next destination. Write down the departure time or just take a picture of the departure times using your digital camera. If you already know when you will be leaving it may be a good idea to buy the ticket straight away so that you know that you can leave the time you want to (in case the bus gets full).
3. There may be several bus- and train stations and airports in a city. Make sure you know from which one your transport leaves. Some of them may be very far from the city centre. Your bus company may include a transfer between the city center and the bus station, ask.
4. Bring food and drinks along, the 2 hour journey can turn into a 12 hour journey if the bus breaks down in the middle of nowhere. Buses in some parts of Chile carry one bus driver and two mechanics, signalling it will be a looong bus drive.
5. As a foreigner you will often pay significantly higher prices for transport than local people. If you suspect you are being overcharged ask at your accommodations or some locals on the street what the market price for transport is. Some countries even have separate official rates for foreigners and locals for airfares, etc, not much you can do unless you can come up with a residence permit or have a local buy it for you.
6. If you are traveling through beautiful scenery try to travel during the day if possible.
7. Hitch- and boat hiking (yes, you can actually boat hike) is a way to keep costs down, but it has to be done at your own risk and can be dangerous. Check which gesture is used to indicate that you would like a ride. The thumb up in the air may be considered an insult and result in you getting ygetting into a fight instead of getting a ride.