Everyone, and I mean everyone has their own suggestion of where you should go, what you must see, what needs to be packed, and yadda yadda. Trying to narrow down everything is like finding, for lack of a better phrase, a needle in a haystack. Although, if it were a banana or beer that would be more tempting. While it seems like we have plenty of time, I know time is ticking away. Sometimes it seems like we are on fast forward other times like we are on pause. One makes me feel like I don’t have enough time the other makes me realize how much there is left to do.
Find out where you are going:
We’ve purchased our plane tickets. So we know that we will start off in Lima, Peru arriving Dec. 5th, and we will stay for Christmas and my wife’s 10 year high school reunion. After that we have a connecting flight on Dec. 27th to Rio de Janeiro where we will celebrate New Year’s Eve with friends. Although to be honest my old friends haven’t gotten back to me as frequently as I would have hoped. I’m sure everything will work out fine, but when you are trying to plan everything out you like to double and triple check everything and well you can’t do that to people without being annoying.
After Rio we really have no clue what we are doing. Carnival is only a month away but staying in Rio for a month may push us past our welcome and our budget. I’ve asked around and got a whole heep of places we should visited but once I list them all down…well there is a lot of dots.
View South America Trip Itinerary in a larger map
I don’t even know why we should be visiting some of these locations. This is where I could really use more help with tips and suggestions from you my readers.
Form a Budget
Well, we have been saving up so we have money but what we will be spending, how much will it cost to stay in each location each night and other such financial expenses are a little beyond our scope right now. I have an account with BudgetYourTrip.com but haven’t really figured everything out yet. Plus in certain places it is hard to judge how much we will spend/save. Will we be able to spend less than the average per person rate since we will split everything. Could we find a private room at a hostel for less than the cost of 2 singles? If we are lucky enough to have multiple CouchSurfing hosts can we get by on that? Is it realistic to expect to find a host at least 50% of the time? Also, in Lima we will be living in my parent-in-laws house and in Rio will try to stay with our friends, that should help our budget…right? In addition, I really don’t think staying till Carnival is realistic because even if we somehow didn’t overstay our welcome it still would be a costly adventure. Should we travel for a week or two around Rio and then come back?
Brazil, Argentina and Chile aren’t exactly the cheapest countries to visit in South America either. How dependable are transportation costs and should we be trying to figure out admission costs for touristy things?
Make a To Do List
We still have a lot of things on our to do list. We need to get Visas for Brazil but that won’t be until closer to our departure. We need to close down our bank accounts and transfer them to a more travel friendly account. So far the best we can find in Schwab since I’ve read they refund ATM/transaction fees but we’ve been reading up on other experienced travelers perspective as well. We still need to get all of our vaccinations, close out accounts, use my mother’s address for anything I’ll still have open here – like college loan repayment stuff @(-_-)@
Make a To Sell List
We got to get rid of a lot of things, luckily my car died (both of them) so that is out of the picture but still all these little things that add up. We have to figure out what we will keep at my mother’s home as keepsakes and things that we will bring with us to Lima but just leave it there since we will return and likely look to live/work there for a few months. We also have two boxes of books that we need to sell from college. Will anyone want to buy them who knows but if we can get a few bucks for them why not.
Pack it all up
We have started to created a packing list but we haven’t really seen what we can and can’t fit into our travel bags. I’m a little more realistic than my wife who I’m sure is going to be taking some clothes and shoes to leave in Peru since what we can carry will be limited. We also still need to buy things like like travel insurance, and we are thinking of getting really cheap wedding bands for our travels. We realize getting robbed is a big possibility so we figured getting a cheap ring will save us from any heartbreak when we cross that adventure.
What I’m Trying to Get At
I guess the whole point of this is that I have no idea where we are on the spectrum of preparedness. Are we way over planned, or are we behind what the average traveler does before their RTW adventure. We likely won’t fly anymore in order to save money and because we aren’t really sure how many days we will stay here or there or anywhere for that matter. Yet there is no sense of security because we don’t know how prepared we should be at this point and have nothing to measure it against because we don’t know exactly where we need to be by December 4th either.
Who knew that it would be so exhausting…well except everyone who has ever set on a round the world adventure themselves?