what is the broke pathfinder about

and why you should read it



  1. [adj.] without any money.


  1. [n.] a person who goes ahead and discovers or shows others a path or way.

Well, that’s who I’ve been my entire life, trying to find a way to study abroad, to pursue a career as a latina in a male-dominated STEM field, to do things completely separate from physics while I pursue my degrees, and last but not least: to travel whenever I can with very little money. So welcome to my website, I hope it will help you find your own path!

What you will find on tbp

Budget-friendly travel itineraries

This blog is not called The Broke Pathfinder for nothing. I want to help you find your own path to travel places even if you don’t have much money to spend. So I share a bunch of budget-friendly travel itinerary ideas that I’ve used myself and even how I would modify them if I could go back.

tips on how to save when traveling 

From how to find cheap tickets to reasonably priced gear, going through tips on where to stay and what transportation to take where you go: I’ve got you without compromising on minimum comfort!

personal stories and pictures from places I’ve been to all around the globe

So far, I’ve been to about half of all US states, some 10 different countries in 4 different continents, and cities that I lost count of on top of my own home country of Brazil. You can read all about it here and check out my Instagram for inspiration!

loads of nature-exploration travel and some city adventures

I feel more like myself exploring nature than I do in the city (which is funny, because I go to school in NYC, ha!), so expect A LOT of my travel itineraries to include mountains, beaches, parks, and the like, but I’ll also post the eventual city adventure here and there. 


What you will not find here 

paid advertising

As an F1-visa holder, my only legal forms of income in the US are on-campus employment and investing. Since I don’t want to break the law, nothing I endorse or suggest is paid for. You can be sure that you’ll find my sincere opinions and tips in what I write.

things I have not tried myself

Everything that I post here are things that I have tried myself, and if I think that opting for something different from what I have done would be better, I explicitly mention it.



Author: Bárbara Cruvinel Santiago

Physicist, policy geek, brazilian expat, hobby travel blogger

I’m Bárbara, the sole author of this website. I was born and raised in Brazil and moved to the US in 2013 when I started college under a full-ride need-based scholarship. As you might imagine, I have always been on a tight budget traveling, but that has not prevented me from going places. I’ve mostly taken advantage of sponsored travel opportunities and I tend to write about them here. I love being in nature, which is why so much of my traveling revolves around it (though I also have done quite a bit of city sightseeing). 

My first big trips abroad were sponsored by my high school when I got selected to represent Brazil a couple times in an international physics competitions. In college and grad school, I managed to get grants to go to conferences and research field trips, and I try to take advantage of those to travel around where I have to go to for work. 

Beyond that, as I grew up, started saving more money and learning how to find cheap tickets, the best deals on gear I needed to travel, and more, I finally got to travel on my own time and dime. So if you don’t get to travel for work, my itineraries can still help you!

For me, writing travel itineraries is super FUN. Once I find places I want to go to, I try to find opportunities to do so. Then I do A LOT of research on how to get around and see things without breaking the bank but with at least minimum comfort. So I started writing this website once I realized that those budget-friendly travel itineraries that I took so much time working on could actually be helpful to other people. 

If you want to learn about my work in physics, teaching, policy and more beyond just traveling, check out my personal website

Check out my personal website