I have only been back from Brazil for a week and I already miss being a nomad. These 2 weeks traveling across Rio de Janeiro – Ilha Grande – Salvador and Iguazu have been intense. I am recovering from a flue (probably due to the fact that I had to travel for work as soon as I got back from Brazil and that I haven’t took enough time to just rest and do nothing.) I am working on it. In fact, I am now under my blanket, loading some episodes of 2 broke girls (If you don’t watch it you should) and digesting a steak wrap and a mango smoothie. I am pretty much having a lazy sunday and I will probably call in sick tomorrow so I can fully recover from this bad flue.
I have also been going through my pictures and I have so much to share with all of you. I want to take the time to write posts on different topics so you know exactly what to read if you are looking for some advice before flying to Brazil, and not put everything in one place and make it a hot mess.There are a few things to be aware of before flying to Brazil. And even though, you will never be 100% prepared as life holds many surprises, there are things that you need to know in order to have a pleasant trip:
1- Brazilians DO NOT speak english
It is a common mistake to assume that everybody speaks basic english. We think that we will fly somewhere and always find at least 3 or 4 people who can understand english and put a few words together. Well… this is not true. The more I travel, the more I realize that it is very important to learn a few words of the local’s language before flying. In Brazil, even my broken spanish did not do the trick. Most people only speak Portuguese. Even at airports! And in order to function without any trouble, you will need to learn a few words. Before flying to Brazil, I was so busy taking care of things like my pilot tour and other stuff, that I had no time to even learn 1 word of Portuguese. Honestly, it got very irritating sometimes. Thank God we were 4 and 1 of us spoke spanish fluently enough to get us through most of the difficult situations. So, please take a class or buy a book before your trip. After all, isn’t it a bit arrogant of us to expect the locals to do all of the effort?
2- You will need an adapter
No, your American cables won’t work. You will need an adapter for Brazil. It is probably better (and by better I mean cheaper) to try to find it at home but if you can’t, you can always get it at the airport.
3- You probably need a visa to get there
My sister and I have US and Canadian passports. We had to apply for the visa here in Haiti. It only took us 2 days to get our visas. Make sure you check the visa requirements before flying so you don’t get any bad surprises.
4- You can wear your thong bikini!
Brazilians are very open about showing their butt cheeks on the beach. I’ve had a red thong bikini for more than a year now and I was dying to wear it. I have worn it once at a small beach here in Haiti and even though there were only few people on the beach, having them stare is not very amusing so I had decided to wait for Brazil to wear it again. I am a bikini type of girl and I personally don’t think there is a problem with wearing a bikini that reveals a little more. There are specific places to cover up more but I don’t think the beach should necessarily be one of them. In Brazil, wearing thong bikinis is what is seen as ‘normal’ so no one will stare at you because of it. I absolutely loved wearing my red bikini! If you like thong bikinis, pack one before flying.It is the perfect place to wear it at peace 🙂
5- It is better to book everything in advance
I never really plan things in advance. I am more of a “Let’s figure it out once we get there type of girl” and it has always worked for me. However, it is different in Brazil! Everything is more complicated (mostly because of language barriers) and trying to book domestic flights for example hasn’t been a piece of cake. When there is an issue, it is very difficult to find an english speaking agent at the customer service and it can make you lose several hours. We wasted precious hours trying to figure out why one of us couldn’t book a flight and that has been the worst part of the trip.
6- Don’t count too much on Wi-Fi
If you expect to just walk in somewhere and have wi-fi, you will be disappointed. If wi-fi is an essential part of your needs, it is better to buy a cheap phone and a sim card once you get there. But keep in mind that foreigners have limited access to some services. For example, my friend could only use a certain amount a MB a day because she was not a Brazilian citizen.
7- Summer begins around December
Yes. Now you know where to travel to escape the snow. We traveled to Brazil mid November and were able to enjoy the sun. However, the sea water was not warm yet, particularly in Rio. If you really want to experience the Brazilian summer, go In January.
Hope this helps in your planning. Have you ever visited Brazil? Any tips? Comment in the box below
A travel lover