With Rio 2016 almost upon us, it’s just about time to prepare for your arrival in Brazil. There are people from all over the world who funnel into this South American country to experience the food, the people and the incredible landscape. This year, Brazil is on many lists of top destinations for those heading to the olympics, taking advantage of the chance to explore a rich history and amazing shopping as well. Brazil just might need to be moved to the top of your vacation list.
Just as anywhere else in the world, however, it is important to be vigilant when preparing and embarking on such a trip. There are always going to be stories about travelers who have made that one mistake that cost them their possessions or even their trip. While the people of Brazil are among some of the friendliest in the world, there are still those few who would take advantage of a foreign traveler. The following are some tips that should help any world traveler, new or seasoned, to get the most out of their trip to Brazil.
Always keep your most valuable possessions in sight. When traveling to Brazil your carry-on luggage is your best friend. You should utilize your carry on for the essentials: cash, credit cards, passport, brasilian visa, jewelry, tablet, camera, phone, medication. Put these items in a smaller bag inside your carry-on so it can be removed if need be. There are circumstances where the flight attendant may ask you to relinquish your carry on because there is no place to store it; just pull out the smaller bag and keep it with you on the plane.
Don’t be afraid to explore. Heed US State Department Travel Alerts or Travel Warnings but do your own research as well. Sometimes those warnings are for specific circumstances that have nothing to do with the average tourist. Get involved in the local culture while in Brazil and ask locals where they go to eat or explore. Many know places off the beaten path and some are happy to share a few insider tips if you ask properly. Get outside the tourist traps and into the real heart of the country.
Blend in with the local culture. Nothing makes you a clearer mark for dishonest people than to look like a tourist. We have all seen visitors with cameras around their necks, staring up at Christ the Redeemer. Although tourists will be swarming across Rio during the Olympics, try and be a professional, though you may be on vacation: obey the rules, don’t flash cash, and keep your valuables close. There are always going to be world travelers out there who make themselves easy pickings for thieves.
Brazil is a beautiful destination and one that everyone should take the time to explore and enjoy. However, be mindful of how you travel so that you can take home the best experience possible.