Things we’ve done before departure

The final weeks before departure we've done several things needed for this roadtrip across South America. With no particular order, we did a list with the 9 things we have done before flying to Rio de Janeiro on the 12th January.

#1: Website/Blog - Creating this website was one of the first things we did after deciding to go ahead with this trip. It took us a considerable amount of hours learning, researching and building and now we know it was a good idea to start it early! It will be useful to share our travels with everyone and for us to remember the places we've visited.

#2: CPF (Brazil) - Since our idea is to buy a car while staying in Brazil we discovered we will need the CPF ("Cadastro de Pessoas Fisicas"). In our last days in Ireland we went to the Brazilian Embassy and requested this document which was relatively easy. We did all the process through internet and then we just went to the Embassy to get the document with the number.

#3: Vaccination & Medicines - We scheduled a traveler health appointment ("consulta do viajante") in the month before departure. And we had the appointment and the correspondent vaccination around 2 weeks before the trip. Both of us took 4 vaccines: yellow fever, hepatitis A, hepatitis B and typhoid. We were also advised to take some medicines with us.

#4: Travel Insurance - We booked our travel insurance through World Nomads, covering medical treatment, theft or accidental damage and unforeseeable events outside our control. We paid in total around €900 for a worldwide (excluding USA & our country of residence) Explorer Couple Type travel insurance. This travel insurance is recommended by most independent travelers and well-known travel companies like Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, National Geographic e HostelWorld.

#5: International Driving Permit - Since we are planning to do a roadtrip across several countries outside Europe we needed an International Driving Permit ("Licença Internacional de Condução" in Portuguese). We went to one of the ACP stores in Portugal and we just required one permit for each of us. It was the urgent type and we got it in the same day (40€/person).

#6: Bank and credit cards - Before the trip we went to the bank to order extra debit/credit cards (in case the ones we have are stolen or hacked). We also got some advice in relation to the cards, currencies and exchanges rates.

#7: Shopping - We didn't bought a lot of things but we needed new coats, hiking boots and backpacks appropriate to this journey. Fortunately we are used to live with few things so this was something relatively easy.

#8: Packing our things - Imagine the following scenario: we will travel for several months and countries from summer to winter, from 40ºC degrees to less than 0ºC. So we had to pack clothes for all possible temperatures and activities (city walks, country hikes, beach, having dinner in a nice restaurant, etc). And we've included clothes for around 2/3 weeks. Not an easy task!

#9: Family/Friends goodbye - This was the hardest part of our time in Portugal. We were lucky enough to have around 3 weeks to enjoy our family and friends. But it's never enough... and we miss all of them already!


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