South America cradles several wonders of the world. In this continent lie five of the most popular vacation destinations: the Patagonia, Salar de Uyuni, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, and the Galapagos Islands. Travel buffs from all over the world flock to see these South American tourist spots – and they have good reason.
But before you pack your backs and head to this beautiful continent, there are some things you should prepare for.
Plan your itinerary. South America is a very big continent, and it can become pretty overwhelming if you do not know exactly where you want to go. Try to book with a travel agency if you can – they can make your life so much easier by enabling you to visit as much as possible in as little time as possible. If you want to plan your trip on your own, though, then choose your destinations depending on your interests, fitness levels, and even language skills. Do not book trekking adventures if you are not the outdoorsy type, or if your doctor does not think it is safe for you to go. Also be sure to only traverse inner provinces if you at least understand Spanish. Very few people in the inner regions of South America speak English, and you might get lost in translation.
Get your travel documents in order. Each country in South America has different travel or visa requirements, and the deadline for getting those vary as well. You can inquire about these directly from the embassy or consulate of the South American country you intend to visit.
Register with the Department of State, especially if you plan a stay in one place for longer than a few weeks, or in an area where communications are poor. How do you do this? Simply visit https://travelregistration.state.gov and catalog your itinerary. If you forget to do this while you are still in the U.S., then register in the U.S. embassy of the South American country you are visiting as soon as you arrive.
Pack your bags with essentials. Traveling long hours (especially by airplane) to South America can be distressing if you do not have the right tools with you. Bring a lightweight pillow, a sleep mask, a travel blanket, and basic pain relievers such as back gel wraps. These items will make you feel more comfortable during the flight, so you can recharge and use your energy for exploring South America when you land.