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5 Great Tips for Maximizing Your Trip to Latin America

Many travelers still forget how incredible it is to travel to Latin America. If you’re trying to decide where to go for your next big travel adventure, it would be hard to go wrong with such a destination. Not only is Latin America home to a wonderful variety of natural wonders and incredible cities to visit, but it brings a wealth of enriching cultural experiences to the table as well. It even made it to my list of Places You should Bring Your Kids Before They Grow Up! From stunning ancient ruins to colorful endangered wildlife, delectable foreign cuisine to incredible artwork, Latin America has it all, and it’s only a plane ticket away. Here’s how to make sure you get the absolute most out of your trip. 


Day of the Dead in Mexico with Kids, travel to Latin America


Things to Know About Travel to Latin America 


1. Pay Attention to Timing on Your Trip to Latin America


After you’ve decided on your destination but before you start planning your travel itinerary, you’ll definitely want to give some thought to the timing of your trip. When are the rainy season and the offseason in your target country? Are there specific times of year that are better for fully enjoying the type of experience you have in mind (e.g. seeing a rainforest at its peak or catching a famous cultural festival)? Many Latin American countries have some positively breathtaking events and festivals to their credit as well, so definitely research local schedules when making your plans.


2. Make Room for Spontaneity Because there is A Lot of Adventure


It doesn’t matter how well you researched your location ahead of time. It’s impossible to plan for every possible opportunity you’ll probably want to take advantage of when you’re exploring Latin America. Definitely plan ahead for must-see events, shows, and location visits you wouldn’t consider your trip complete without, but leave room to be spontaneous as well. Not only do plans sometimes change at a moment’s notice, but you’ll find Latin America has many experiences to offer that need to be seized the minute they present themselves, so leave a little wiggle room in your schedule. You won’t be sorry.


Xcaret Park Shopping,
This is my favorite store at the cemetery at Xcaret. Here there are beautifully handmade skeleton dolls and skulls. You should have cash.


3. Get Familiar With Currencies


Latin America is home to many different currencies, so you’ll want to go prepared for that. Learn which ones you’re likely to encounter while you’re visiting the countries on your itinerary, and become familiar with the various exchange rates. You’ll want to sign up for an easy international money transferring solution you can fall back on as well. ShareMoney is a particularly great option for those looking to visit Latin America. Folks back home can use it to send money to Mexico, send money to Peru, send money to Dominican Republic, or get you the funds you need just about anywhere else in the region you happen to be. 


Day of the Dead in Mexico with Kids, Travel to Latin America
Mexican food for the win!


4. Plan Your Food Strategy, Eat


One of the most delightful things about a trip to any Latin American country is the food, so definitely take advantage of opportunities to try the local cuisine at each of the locations you visit. Food markets are especially wonderful places to visit, as they’re filled with exotic fruits, street food options, and hearty local specialties to try. Just make sure you’re also prepared with plenty of snacks as well. That way you’re covered if you find yourself with the munchies during a long day hike or if anyone in your travel party turns out to have a really sensitive stomach.


5. Study the Local Lingo


You don’t have to be fluent in Spanish (or Portuguese if you’re going to Brazil) to get the most out of a Latin American vacation, but it definitely helps to know a few basic phrases. Master a few before you go, and be sure to bring a travel translation guide with you to fall back on as well. You’ll find knowing a bit of the local language especially helpful if you travel off the beaten trail or visit any big cities.


At the end of the day, travel to Latin America can be enriching in so many ways. Being adequately prepared can help ensure you get the most out of your exciting adventure. 

Christa Thompson

Christa Thompson is the Founder and Chief Editor of The Fairytale Traveler. She started traveling the world in 2003 when she attended a summer abroad study at the University of Cambridge in England. Since then, her wanderlust has been fierce. Her three passions in life are her son, traveling, and being creative. The Fairytale Traveler brand gives Christa the opportunity to do all of these things and to live intentionally every day. "It's never too late to believe in what you love and to pursue your dreams." -Christa Thompson

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