It’s often been said that “Travel long enough and one day you wake up to realize, this is no longer a vacation, it’s your life”. Exploring new destinations teaches your life lessons which you won’t be able to gather by reading a book or sitting at home. Even the internet can only highlight certain facts to an extent but nothing comes close to actually visiting the destinations and experiencing different locales first hand. Travelling brings the world closer and opens up new possibilities when you least expect it. The hardest part might be getting out of the door but if you’re looking to fast-track your personal development, get on a plane and get travelling.
If you’re on the lookout for something exotic and offbeat, a trip to South America ticks all the right boxes. Often considered as the ultimate destination for backpackers, South America is a diverse continent replete with natural and urban wonders, indigenous and colonial cultures, adventure sports, tropical rainforests, delectable food, lush islands and beaches, and of course, it’s larger-than-life parties. There’s something about South America that draws you in and once you’re there, you will find it difficult to leave! Maybe it’s the cheap booze and the parties, or maybe it’s the local people, whatever it is, South America will leave you enchanted with a memorable holiday.
Travelling around South America offers so many opportunities for unforgettable experiences. If travelling to South America has been high on your agenda but you weren’t quite sure where to begin, here are a few tips you can follow which will make it easier while travelling through this magnificent continent. Plan your bookings with Musafir.com and avail cheap international packages for South America.
- To start off with, English is not widely spoken in South America. Hence, make sure that you have brushed up on at least some amount of conversational Spanish to comprehend the local dialect and phrases. Simple words such as “Gracias” (Thank you), “Hola” (hello), “Discuple” (Excuse me), etc. will be helpful in your daily conversations with the locals. Try getting hold of a phrase book or a mini dictionary before you travel.
- South America is a huge continent and has several varied countries to visit. Make sure you don’t make the mistake of trying to cram too much in. Try to choose a few countries and build your itinerary around it. If you are planning to cover all countries in South America, it will not be possible as every country has their own favourable time to travel.
- South Americans sure know how to have fun as evidenced by the burst of festivities when celebrating their festivals. With several festivals spread throughout the year, a visit to South America promises fun, excitement and revelry no matter what time of the year you visit. A land of traditional and tribal festivals, South America has successfully combined age-old customs with a modern twist. Make sure to attend at least one festival to experience the true essence of South America.
- Transportation costs in South America can be quite high. Flying to and across South America can be exorbitant and can really pinch your pockets. However, with several inexpensive international holiday packages to choose from, travel costs have become more accessible to budget travellers. Make the best of public transportation, especially buses, for a smoother travel experience.
- You can opt for accommodation ranging from backpacker hostels to five-star properties. There are a few guest houses in every village where you can simply walk-in. However, as they don’t have Wi-Fi reception, it could be hard to book it in advance.
- Understand the visa guidelines clearly. Every country in South America has different visa regulations and they are very strict about it. For instance, certain countries like Argentina don’t generally require visas but still require a certain amount of fee which needs to pay in advance upon arrival. If no visa is required, a tourist card is issued upon arrival. Visa on Arrival is applicable for a couple of countries like Bolivia and Ecuador. Similarly, you will need a separate Visa for entering Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile etc.
- Always make it a point to do adequate research on the local currencies. South America is a continent with multiple nations and does not have a single currency. Additionally, currency exchange rates vary considerably from country to country in South America. Have the complete knowledge about the exchange rate of every currency as well.
- When you are travelling from one country to another in South America, it is a good idea to look up the weather for each area when travelling. For instance, it might be sunny in Sao Paolo while Lima might be experiencing tropical rainfall. Additionally, don’t think because it is a certain season in your destination the weather will match that season in your home country. Summer in Brazil tends to be a lot different than summer in Mumbai.
- Indulge in the good life and mix with people. Do the clichés, jump into the festivities. Eat local food no matter how different it might look. It’s all about experiencing and embracing a new culture after all. Bring your sense of adventure as there’s something new to discover at every nook and corner. Spend mornings drinking coffee at little cafes. Go on a hiking expedition and explore spectacular landscapes and mountains. Take a dip in the many lakes or sprawling rivers. Make sure you open yourself up to adventure when you travel. You may end up surprising yourself!