Latin America is an amazing region, like a party of contrasting worlds all sewn together into a tapestry of customs, heritage, rituals, and natural and human-made disasters, and all of which have molded the place into what it is today. Traveling to Latin America will be one of the most exciting and enriching travel experiences of your life. That being said, before packing your bags, consider these six tips to travel smart in Latin American countries.
Learn the local language
Most countries in Latin America are Spanish-speaking. You’ll meet a few locals who speak English, but if you plan on visiting rural Latin American areas, it may be worthwhile learning basic Spanish before embarking on your journey. Learning the language will help you interact with the locals who might even share a few secrets about the place. Nobody knows a place better than the locals, so you can ask them for recommendations for where to eat, which places to visit and more!
Have fun, but be mindful
Immerse yourself in the culture of the country you are visiting. Enjoy the beaches, the music, and the experience of something different. However, as much as possible, avoid anything that could lead into an unpleasant experience. Like any place in the world, Latin American countries are not 100% safe. A bit of common sense will prevent you from a nasty surprise. Whenever possible, avoid wearing or bringing expensive jewelry, laptops or anything valuable that could be robbed. Leave valuables in a safe in your hotel if available, and avoid walking down dark streets at night.
Save on exorbitant ATM withdrawal fees
Withdrawing cash from an ATM becomes unavoidable especially when you’re traveling for an extended period of time. But with each withdrawal comes the withdrawal fees which can take a toll on your travel budget. To avoid these charges, consider sending money to yourself through Ria Money Transfer, and get it collected at a Ria partner agent. Ria has thousands of agents and partners in Latin America, so it’s very likely there’s one within a couple miles from where you are staying. This way, you don’t pay exorbitant fees, and your money remains safe with Ria till the time it is handed over to you. This is certainly the best way to save a lot of money and travel smart in Latin America.
Check out visas
Always check out visas before you enter a Latin American country. You may have to pay extra charges for the visa depending on the type of passport you hold. This is why it’s worthwhile to research the costs before deciding your travel paths through Latin America. You may also be charged additional accommodation taxes based on your visa. For instance, if you’ve been staying in Chile and Peru for more than fifty-nine days, you may have to pay 20% extra on accommodation prices. However, these charges can be avoided if you pay in US dollars. Having said that, not all accommodations will charge you these taxes, but it’s still wise to expect the unexpected.
Pack light but smart
Traveling is a lot easier, quicker, and more fun when you pack light. Look up what weather you can expect when you get there and plan your outfit accordingly. If you plan to buy items on your trip, make sure you have enough space on your luggage for your return trip.
With all that said, enjoy your trip and share your experiences in the comments!