Really what I am about to mention here can be used for traveling in almost any country in the world. I’ve been lucky enough to experience life in many countries; I’ve walked through some amazing jungles, swam in piranha-infested rivers, climbed amazing mountains, and relaxed on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. So although I’m not claiming to know every travel tip in the world, I like to think I have learned a few little tricks to make life a bit easier as I’ve gone along the way. A lot of these are common sense, but I think for the benefit of everyone, should be mentioned.
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Ok, now to answer the question… What are the best travel tips for Colombia?
1. LOCAL ADVICE:
- If the locals say don’t drink the water, don’t drink the water! This may be obvious to many people, but basically you don’t want to be stuck in bed or on the toilet while on holiday.
- This includes frappes – No matter how hot you get; unfortunately, I learned this one the hard way☹
- If you feel like you’re overheating get some ice and put it on the tip of your head, your wrists, and or ankles. (These are the same places if you’re cold to keep the warmest, with a beanie, bracelets and thick socks). Or simply put your head under a water tap!
- Only eat small salads – because they’ve been washed in the same water you’re not to drink!
- If the locals say it’s not a safe area for you to go, don’t go there!
- There may be places that are fine and no problem at all during the day, but as night falls the dodgy people start to work.
- There may also be places you can go in a group of people, but not by yourself.
- For more on Safety Tips check out our Safety in Colombia blog
2. SIM CARD:
- Get a sim card from the airport or ASAP after you arrive. But make sure it has a lot of data, as this is probably how you’ll be communicating with everyone back home.
3. LONG WEEKENDS
- Are busy in every county, no matter where you go, so if you’re someone who doesn’t like crowds, make sure to check out the local calendar to avoid those busy periods.
4. TRAVEL PANTS:
- There are a variety of styles out there. I have some with hidden pockets and pockets with zips; and others that have zips, velcro pockets and can change into shorts. They’re just great for carrying extra bits and pieces through customs or crowded shopping centers.
5. PLAN YOUR TOURS FIRST:
- This is such an important tip; always book your tours BEFORE your accommodation. Always decide on what you want to see before you arrive at your destination. There is always going to be more to see once your there, so maybe give yourself an extra day if you can. But there is nothing worse than booking your accommodation, only to find out your tour doesn’t start till the day after you leave.
6. ALTITUDE SICKNESS:
- If you’re not used to the altitude you may feel a bit weak, tired, nauseous, dizziness, shortness of breath or a headache. This is completely normal and nothing to worry about. But if your symptoms increase in strength, it would be a good idea to ask for advice from a trained medical professional (I am not a trained medical professional ;-). )
- I have 6 tips for altitude sickness that can be used together or separately.
- Bed rest – I know it’s not what you want to hear, especially when you’re on vacation, but it works. An extra day to acclimatize can do wonders.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine.
- Use anti-inflammatory to treat mild symptoms.
- Coca leaves – No they are not illegal! They are only illegal once petrol, acid and other stuff are added to it, in order to change it into cocaine. These can be found in many natural health stores. Simply chew on the leaves until you feel that you have every bit of goodness out of them, spit what’s left out and repeat or simply make a tea.
- Coca Tea – Available in many supermarkets in tea bags.
7. AVOID CHAFING:
- Anybody that has ever experienced chafing knows it sucks and ruins any time walking or running. So if you plan on doing a bit of walking through the streets or nature, you’ll want to try and avoid this.
- Vaseline – This is a divers tip, simply use it to stop the friction.
- Bicycle shorts – Basically this stops your thighs from rubbing together.
- Washing pants inside out to wash out all the sweat – As chafing isn’t just because your thighs rub together. The sweat generated from the heat between your legs causes it. So it makes sense that the less heat and sweat between your legs the less chafing. This also has the added advantage of the color lasting much longer in your pants.
- Deodorant – Antiperspirant is the best for this, as it is designed to stop perspiration
8. NECK TUBES (Tubos):
- I never travel without at least one of these. They’re awesome protection from:
- Heat – simply put them in water before wearing
- Cold – you lose a lot of heat from your neck.
- Light – need a snooze and it’s too bright? Just wear it over your eyes.
9. VITAMIN TIAMINA:
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