Five essentials to pack for travel to South America

31 October 16


While South America is home to some of the most beautiful sights in the world, it also has its own unique challenges when it comes to packing. With the 50-pound weight limit that most domestic airlines implement, it is important to pack wisely and efficiently. Whether you are going to trek Machu Picchu or relax on the sandy beaches of Rio de Janeiro, you will need to keep in mind these five essentials when packing for your trip.

1. Moisture-wicking clothing


One word describes the overall climate of the majority of South America: humid. Don’t bring your nicest fabrics while traveling to this continent. Stick to comfortable and easy clothing. Nike’s Dri-FIT is a great example of the type of clothes to take when traveling in South America. The water resistant fabric will save you from the stickiness of the Amazon rainforests and the mugginess of Machu Picchu. Whether you are going to hike, climb, or just enjoy the outdoors, Dri-FIT will prevent waiting for clothes to dry and wringing out the fabric.

2. Layers

You will experience a variety of temperatures and climates in South America, and the best way to combat against the change is by layering clothing. If you are traveling near the Andes Mountains, you will be especially thankful for that sweatshirt you packed in your backpack. The days are hot and sunny, but the nights in the mountains will bring cooler temperatures and chilly winds. It is best to be prepared for all temperatures wherever you go.

3. Sturdy shoes

A vacation to South America is not the place for that pair of stilettos that give you blisters (unless you plan a night of dancing the tango in Buenos Aires). Make sure you pack extra comfortable shoes on your trip, because South America promises to give you lots of opportunities to hike to beautiful sights. Even if you are not trekking across the mountains, you still will need some foot support to get you through the long days of walking and taking in the continent’s beauty.

4. Adapter

This accessory is a must no matter where you are traveling. It is a small detail that many people forget about until they blow a fuse in an international hotel. While it is an investment, a universal adapter is the best option if you are traveling around. Most countries in South America have different outlet shapes and voltages than we have in the United States, so it is important to be prepared. If you are also planning on bringing hair appliances, such as a flat iron or a blow dryer, make sure you check the voltage on those appliances, as well, because you may need a separate transformer to use those.

5. Camera

This may seem obvious, but make sure you have a way to capture the beauty that you are about to experience. South America has unexpected sights around every corner, and you need to be prepared to capture every bit of it. There is so much culture and tradition across each country, and you will experience situations that you could never imagine. Every person and speck of landscape has a story to tell, and it is important that you are able to soak it all in.

We would love to help you plan your next South American adventure! Give us a call or request a consultation online.

Want to hear more about South America? Listen in as we interview Ashley with Trafalgar Tours about the company’s South America offerings.

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