You’ve decided that you want to travel Latin America, the countries that somewhat get overlooked when it comes to exploring, but you don’t know where to start or how to go about preparing for such a cultural difference. There are so many little things to think about when making plans to travel so far across the world, but only a few that will really enrich your experience. These are the things that I’m doing in preparation for heading to Latin America on my travels next year.

Learn the Language

Learning the language of the country you are visiting is such a crucial part of your experience. I’m not saying become fluent in it (especially if you’re not staying there long term), but at least learn a few phrases that will help you go about your travels in a smoother way. For many people in Latin America, English is not a refined skill and therefore learning their language will really help you communicate with locals and get a feel of real Latin America.

There are so many resources online to learn a different language, apps such as Duolingo or Babbel can really give you an idea of how to speak Spanish or Portuguese. As well as these there are phrases and grammar books and even parallel texts for those who have a love of reading.

Whatever way you choose to learn, I know it will really help you on your travels.

Explore the cuisine

One of my absolute favorite things to do, before I head off on my travels anywhere, is explore the cuisine, and Latin America is no different. The food is absolutely what makes my journeys to different places in the world so exciting, so I always read up on the best foods to eat before I go. There are so many different online resources where you can find out what dishes are best to eat and where, as well as what the locals love to eat too! There is nothing worse than eating touristy food while you’re exploring!

Save a bit of money

Although Latin America may be cheap in comparison to many places in Europe, it is always an idea to have a bit of spare money in case anything goes wrong. Realistically, if you live like a local while you’re there then you should be fine. However, it is always beneficial to have an emergency fund that is hidden away somewhere that you do not touch unless you really need too. It may seem common sense but I bet there are so many people who end up in tricky situations because they don’t do this one thing.

Look at travel options

Before you go, why not take a quick look at the different ways that you can get around, the costs of these and how long they will take. Although it is great to be spontaneous, having a brief idea of where you are going and how you are going to get there will be beneficial. Often when traveling places that are a bit more ‘off the beaten track’ requires a little bit more planning and aren’t as simple as they may seem. Doing this one thing can help you save so much money in the long run, potentially making your trip last longer!

Don’t Stress, Enjoy!

Planning a trip anywhere shouldn’t be stressful, even Latin America. I’m having so much fun looking at different places we can go, different sights we can visit and of course all of the types of foods that we are likely to eat. This is made even more exciting with the prospect of being able to speak their language and try and fully emerge ourselves in the culture, that is what traveling is all about!