Traveling to South America

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DementedDigital
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Traveling to South America

Post by DementedDigital » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:17 pm

I'm traveling to South America later this year, and I was wondering if there is anything special that I need to be concerned about. I've been to Europe, but never to South America. Is there anything that is a "must have" when traveling there? Is there anything that I should leave at home?

For example, I'm considering a small, shortwave receiver to get US news in case I can't get internet for some reason.
Also, I've carried a pocket knife for the last 30 years, and I feel naked without it. Is this generally OK in South America?

Any pearls of wisdom?

Thanks in advance!

DD

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aus.templar
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Re: Traveling to South America

Post by aus.templar » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:21 pm

Take USD, clean crisp $100 notes. You'll get very good "non-official" exchange rates in most countries.
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Re: Traveling to South America

Post by DementedDigital » Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:38 pm

aus.templar wrote:Take USD, clean crisp $100 notes. You'll get very good "non-official" exchange rates in most countries.
USD still gets respect internationally? I'm actually surprised about that. I guess that cash is always king.

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Re: Traveling to South America

Post by bc99 » Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:37 am

Actually also bring $100 in change, meaning $1 and 5, maybe a $10. Not many people will have change for a hundred once you get out of cities and usd does work well.

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Re: Traveling to South America

Post by the_alias » Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:37 am

DementedDigital wrote:
aus.templar wrote:Take USD, clean crisp $100 notes. You'll get very good "non-official" exchange rates in most countries.
USD still gets respect internationally? I'm actually surprised about that. I guess that cash is always king.
It's still the defacto currency in most third world countries...including large parts of Africa, parts of South East Asia.

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Re: Traveling to South America

Post by Murphman » Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:41 pm

I have been to a few Central American countries, not South American, so maybe not 100% accurate, but when using US dollars, know their worth when haggling. I always start at 10-20% of asking price after doing the exchange rate in my head or on my phone.
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Re: Traveling to South America

Post by Evan the Diplomat » Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:22 pm

Don't take $100s and don't take $1s.

$100s are tough for them to make change and the locals don't get as good an exchange rate on single bills from the whole sale money changer up the food chain.

Take $10s and $20s.

Pocket kives are fine. The usual travel advice about meds, personal data applies. Buy a used Motorola RAZR Quad band phone. You can buy SIM cards in each country.


I see this is an older thread, have you gone yet?
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Re: Traveling to South America

Post by gundogs » Thu Dec 12, 2013 5:36 pm

Don't carry a knife in your pocket when flying or it will be confiscated

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Re: Traveling to South America

Post by DementedDigital » Thu Dec 12, 2013 10:20 pm

Evan the Diplomat wrote:Don't take $100s and don't take $1s.

$100s are tough for them to make change and the locals don't get as good an exchange rate on single bills from the whole sale money changer up the food chain.

Take $10s and $20s.

Pocket kives are fine. The usual travel advice about meds, personal data applies. Buy a used Motorola RAZR Quad band phone. You can buy SIM cards in each country.


I see this is an older thread, have you gone yet?
All great advice! Yes, I've gone and am back, but I'm going again over the holidays. I had a great time!

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Evan the Diplomat
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Re: Traveling to South America

Post by Evan the Diplomat » Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:29 pm

Great! What countries did you visit? What is your next destination?
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Re: Traveling to South America

Post by DementedDigital » Fri Dec 13, 2013 9:38 am

Evan the Diplomat wrote:Great! What countries did you visit? What is your next destination?
I only went to Peru, and that's where I'm headed again. (I met a girl...)

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Re: Traveling to South America

Post by Mikeyboy » Fri Dec 13, 2013 11:14 am

Congrats. I have a good friend who is one of these single professional guys with money and a taste for world travel. His top 5 is Spain, Peru, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand.

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Evan the Diplomat
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Re: Traveling to South America

Post by Evan the Diplomat » Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:36 pm

DementedDigital wrote:I only went to Peru, and that's where I'm headed again. (I met a girl...)
A good place for that. As is Colombia, Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. Enjoy, don't rush into things. Travel with her to see the Nazca lines.
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Re: Traveling to South America

Post by DementedDigital » Fri Dec 13, 2013 11:36 pm

Evan the Diplomat wrote:
DementedDigital wrote:I only went to Peru, and that's where I'm headed again. (I met a girl...)
A good place for that. As is Colombia, Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. Enjoy, don't rush into things. Travel with her to see the Nazca lines.
Ha! You sound like several of my friends and family. I sincerely appreciate it! She's a good girl.

Yes, the Nazca lines would be a great thing to do. I've seen them a bunch of times on TV, but I really want to see them in person. We thought about doing that last time, but it didn't work out. I also really want to visit Cusco. Flights from Lima to Cusco were almost as expensive as the flight from FL to Peru! At any rate, I appreciate the advice. It sounds like you've spent some time there. It's always good to hear from folks who have been there and done that.

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Re: Traveling to South America

Post by Evan the Diplomat » Sat Dec 14, 2013 9:41 am

Don't fly, take a long distance bus. That's how the locals to it.
Priests and cannibals, prehistoric animals
Everybody happy as the dead come home

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