If you are a frequent business traveller, you will know how to pack to almost every destination. Here I share with you five things that might not be so obvious, but that could come in handy when packing for Latin America…
1- Photo ID
And I don’t mean just your passport. If you have a national ID card, driving licence or any other photographic ID, bring it along. You will be asked for it for example to access office buildings, and you might not want to carry your passport around (although carrying a photocopy of your passport could be useful). Bear in mind that in some particular institutions (this happened to me at an energy company in Colombia), they will ask you for your original passport and a stamp from the immigration officer at the airport that shows you are there on business and not as a tourist.
2- Something warm
Even if you are planning on travelling to hot countries or in summer, there are two reasons to carry something warm (jacket/blazer/pashmina) all the way along. Firstly, altitude can have a considerable impact on climate and you will find yourself suddenly a bit cooler than you thought (tiredness doesn’t help either). Secondly, air conditioning can be pretty vicious. On a recent trip to Panama, I spotted people wearing woollen jumpers inside a shopping centre, with 30 degrees outside!
3- WhatsApp installed on your phone
I wrote about WhatsApp on LinkedIn recently. It will be the main way in which many of your contacts will communicate last-minute schedule changes (and those do happen often!), so you don’t want to miss out…
4- Gifts for your hosts/contacts
It doesn’t need to be something expensive, but since your visit should be all about building relationships, a box of Cadbury’s chocolates or a nice tin of Twinning’s tea (if coming from the UK, that is), will be appreciated.
5- Lots of adaptors
Or a universal one, if you trust it. Every country in Latin America seems to have a different type of plug. Mind-blowing, I know, but check before you travel!
A waterproof jacket/umbrella, mosquito repellent, and a refillable water bottle (if you are unsure about the quality of the water, try LifeSaver ones) could be some good additions, too.
PS Recognise the name on the suitcase? Luis Fonsi is better known for megahit “Despacito”, but you can check out his upbeat and rather funny song about carrying his heart in a suitcase on YouTube.
Have you travelled across Latin America on business? What other, not-so-obvious items/apps would you recommend? Leave us your comments below or join our conversation on Twitter!
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