How I’m preparing for my South America trip

Going away for 3 months requires some planning even for the most seasoned of travellers.

In January I’m setting off to explore 3 South American countries as part of a blogging trip and I’m incredibly excited, but it has taken some coordinating with other work commitments in order to go on such a long trip, as well as other things like finding someone to rent my apartment while I’m gone.

Now that I’ve finally got those things out of the way I can focus on the actual trip itself.

  1. Packing – Luckily after so many trips away I’ve got the hang of packing now and usually do a good job of not bringing too much stuff, or forgetting the essentials, however South America is a huge place with varying climates and altitudes which makes it a little trickier. I’ve been stuck before in surprisingly cold weather and have had to layer up with thin tops that don’t keep the wind off, and this can really ruin a day.Whilst I don’t want to morph into an elephant print pant wearing clone 3 days into my trip, local markets do provide some handy and weather appropriate clothing to prevent the need to carry clothes for all possible weathers from  home.
  2. Learning some Spanish – I did a blog post previously about Rosetta Stone and how I’m trying to learn some Spanish before I go. I have never expected to be fluent of course, just for me I feel that I can really immerse myself more in the culture if I’m able to communicate, and thanks to a few months of practice I’m definitely heading in the right direction with it.I’ve been continuing to use the app on my phone which has been incredibly handy for someone on the go as much as myself. I’ve struggled in the past with learning languages where I need to dedicate huge chunks of time in one go, but with the app I can easily dip in and out of lessons allowing me to have a quick session on the train, or whilst waiting for a meeting. It also allows you to select whether you’re able to talk at that time or not…meaning you don’t have any public transport embarrassments as you learn your new language.

    In Peru earlier in the year, knowing such a limited amount of Spanish really made even the slightest order or question rather difficult, but with the repetition Rosetta Stone uses as well as introducing new phrases and words, I already feel like I will be able to make myself understood, without having to gesture wildly and point at things in an exaggerated fashion.

    Try a free demo here ( and get 50% off your new language when using my promo code ALEX50 in the cart.


  3. Planning the itinerary – Are you a planner or someone who just goes with the flow? I get asked this quite a lot and it’s somewhere in between, and honestly I think virtually everybody is, especially for a longer trip. The length of the trip does give me some more flexibility and I don’t feel like I desperately have to cram everything into two weeks, yet in order to catch flights there will be times where I do have to be  in a certain place, and that does require a little planning, especially if you’re somewhere remote. Equally, some of the lodges and places I’m looking to stay at get booked up so many months in advance that the ‘just wing it’ style of travel doesn’t work if I want to stay there.As such, I’ve got a very general route laid out with definite stopping places along the way, with space in between for those times where I know I just have to stay longer. I’ll be posting more about my route planning in an upcoming blog post, so stay tuned.

How do you plan for your longer trips?



2 thoughts on “How I’m preparing for my South America trip

  1. Russell OfEarth says:

    It sounds like you have travel planning and packing down pat, Alex! I couldn’t agree more about the value of learning some local phrases, locals are generally so happy and helpful when they see you make an effort 😊 Looking forward to following along with you South American travels in the new year


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