In our previous post we have covered some of the important aspects of planning a trip to South America. Today, we will uncover some of the remaining aspects to a stress free and fun filled expedition through this giant continent.
One of the biggest fears of first time travelers to South America is related to safety. Although crime rates in the continent might be relevantly higher than in your local neighborhood, it can still be avoided with a good dose of common sense and knowledge about dodgy areas.
It is always a nice idea to ask your concierge to circle dodgy areas in your map before you start sightseeing. Sometimes it is also important to ask about transportation tips, as in some cities buses may stop running quite early.
It is also possible to make a Visa Travel Card which is largely accepted in most establishments and will come handy as you do not have to carry a large amount of money everywhere or pay extra fees on your credit card purchases. It is also smart to invest in money belts as well as travel packs in order to avoid pickpockets.
Learn Basic Sentences in Spanish and Portuguese
Nobody expects tourists to master the local language when they come to visit, but learning a few basic sentences will take you a long way down south. Although the number of English speakers has had a considerable increase in the past years, the large majority of merchants and residents of smaller cities still cannot speak the language.
Ecuador is one of the best places to learn Spanish for a very cheap price. If you plan on starting your trip in the country, make sure to check some of the many one-on-one Spanish schools as well as home stay with local families.
Bring Extra Layers
Even though you may go to South America during summer time, it is handy to bring at least one thick coat or sweater in your suitcase. The weather in the continent is quite unpredictable and interstate buses and flights tend to be quite cold, as most of them do not operate with a heating system.
Once again make sure to check the local weather before visiting a city, and note that the southern you get the lower temperatures get, depending on the season.
Check Advised Vaccination
Make sure to check the vaccines available for the locations you are visiting. Some of the vaccines recommended for South America by the Travel Clinics of America are: Hepatitis A, Yellow Fever, Typhoid Fever, Hepatitis B and Rabies.
We also recommend the use of repellents as some diseases may be caused by infected mosquitoes. Make sure to contact your local clinic for advise on the specific vaccines you need to take before embarking on your trip.
Have a Loose Schedule
There is nothing worse than having to rush through an amazing location or being stranded in a boring one. Make sure not force yourself to follow your itinerary to the letter. Leave some room on your scheduling in case you want to extend that visit to a city which was surprisingly good or rush through one that did not live up to your expectations. After all you are on vacation!
After all don’t forget to have fun! This will certainly be an unforgettable experience!