Carrying around a copy of your passport (the page with your photo and other important information) is a must when traveling abroad, just in case your passport is damaged or lost. Same for tickets.
Don’t do drugs!
The possession of drugs is a serious offense in most countries in South America. Even small amounts might get you into serious trouble. It’s not worth the risk.
Put everything in clouds/online storage
Use a cloud or external storage to save your photos, copy them daily.
Don’t wear jewelry
You don’t really need it and it would be a shame if you lose anything that is of great value to you.
Keep all your batteries charged. You don’t want to miss that perfect shot because your camera isn’t charged.
Nothing is worse than returning home to see a cellphone bill that is astronomical. Be sure to either contact your provider for an overseas plan or only use it via WiFi.
Remember we are not all the same and if you travel abroad you will encounter different customs and traditions from yours. Respect the locals and please, always ask before taking their photo.
Don’t throw toilet paper on the toilet
There will be a bin for that.
Wear a hat
Anything to protect you from the sun. The radiation gets stronger the closer you go to the Equator line.
Don’t drink tap water
There are cities that will be safe to do so, where the quality standards are high enough but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Carry enough change
Carry coins separately and easy for you to access.
Don’t expect punctuality
It’s common and even expected to arrive a few minutes late to a gathering.
In the Andes, take several days to acclimatize before serious hikes or climbing volcanoes. You will feel the altitude even when walking around the cities.
Don’t travel at night
Whether in your own car or on public transport, it’s not a good idea. Just take a taxi or an Uber and avoid walking through dark-empty areas.
Always use sunscreen! (SPF50 or higher) and make sure is eco-friendly.
Don’t talk about politics
Not every country is the same, and not every society is tolerant of free speech. Have fun but keep politics out of your discussions while you travel.
Drink enough water
Carry bottled water with you, if possible in a reusable bottle and fill it up at water coolers.
Don’t accept drinks from strangers
If you go to a bar to drink, don’t accept drinks from someone you do not know. Only take drinks you bought for yourself and if you leave your drink unattended, better get a new one. Luckily drinks are usually cheap in Latin America.
Peel it, boil it, cook it or forget it! (main rule for fruits and veggies).
Don’t go near wild animals
Keep some distance, don’t touch or stress them. Of course, you can still take pictures from a safe distance.
Know your way
Always know the way back to your lodging place.
Don't be disrespectful
Make fun with the culture and people around you. You are a guest and should remember to “treat people the way you want to be treated.”
Use offline maps
Download offline maps (preferably google maps for the vast additional info on shops, ATMs, restaurants, opening hours, etc…).
Don’t be reckless
Don’t Walk with a purse or bag loosely over one shoulder. Instead, carry it diagonally facing the inside of the group or friend next to you. If you have a backpack, the safest place for it is on your chest when in a large crowd.
Use only official taxis
Only take registered taxis with a number, also Uber and Cabify are great and safe options.
Don’t succumb to jet-lag
Try to normalize your sleep schedule as soon as you arrive at your destination – don’t waste your trip by going to bed at 7 pm every night- you could miss out on valuable nightlife and vacation time. Even if it means walking around like a zombie for a few hours, it’ll be worth it!
Carry a lock
Carry a lock with you. Either to fixate your bag in the overhead compartment on a bus or to secure your bag’s main compartment during traveling.
Packing light abroad will help you travel much more easily. You can take your luggage up a flight of stairs more easily, and the process of getting on and off transport will be WAY less difficult. As you’re packing, determine the number of days you’ll be staying, and adjust accordingly.
Seek new experiences. Try new foods. Go places. Meet people!
Don’t leave valuable unattended
Don’t leave valuable items in public view; that includes your passport as much as your cellphone.