The time has finally come. After nearly 6 months of living at home, working in a restaurant (NO MORE, “MORE WATER!”) and suffering the cockles of crappy Ottawa night-life I am heading to South America on Monday for at least 4 months. Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Brazil are on deck and I have never done anything close to this before in terms of travel.
I have spent much of the past summer daydreaming and wishing I had left already… To make the time go faster I did a lot of research in preparation for my trip. Now that it has arrived this is the final packing list I have compiled. Refer to this for a trip of your own or send to a friend who is going.
Here it is:
Passport – Make sure your passport is renewed and not going to expire before your trip. Renewing my Canadian passport cost me $85.
Blue cross insurance – I did my research and Blue Cross was the cheapest, most reliable and with the best coverage. It cost me $366.
Immunizations – Another major expense of my trip. Just the consulting fee for the travel doctor was $50, plus the cost of Yellow Fever, Measles and Hep. A shots made the cost of shots $300 alone.
Air tickets – I got a round-trip flight to avoid hastle from airport security. With the use of credit card points my flight from Toronto – Lima, then Sao Paulo to Toronto was $859.
Drivers license – legal identification is key and much more preferable to bring out than my passport.
Credit card – Make sure to call and let your company know you are going abroad.
Printout copies – Copies of everything put into different places in my luggage.
Cash – I will start out with $200 American cash, displaced throughout my stuff then refill as I go. Unfortunately, it costs $5.50 every time I withdraw from an ATM so limiting my withdrawals will be key.
Laptop – The $$. I brought my MacBook Pro, because I can’t live without it. In order to do multimedia journalism I absolutely need it. I predict that it will get stolen, but I’ll cross that bridge when it comes, plus I got it insured.
iPod touch – I have an old iPod Touch from 2007 that I don’t really care about. It’s a major step down from my speedy iPhone 4, but I’m not worried about it and that alone gives me peace of mind.
iPod usb charger
iPod wall charger
1 TB External Hard drive – I bought a WD 1 terabyte hard drive to backup my stuff. Yet, I am still worried that things will be lost. If all of my stuff is stolen, clearly the hard drive would go to. That is why I plan on paying the $9.99 a month for DropBox
Canon Rebel T3i DSLR Camera – My big purchase of the summer. This baby is compact, light and I did not break the bank buying it. I did my research and this camera body was perfect for this trip. Of course I got it insured and under warranty. With lens, lens cover and warranty it set me back $1000. So far, it has been worth it.
16 GB SD Card – For camera (May pick up a smaller one on the way to be safe).
Camera cover – this fallic-looking faux-camera case cost me $5 on eBay and is perfect for putting in my day bag.
G-Shock waterproof watch – Without my iPhone and potentially without a cell I thought it would be good to have the time and keep an alarm. My friend actually gave me this snazzy watch for free. Thanks!
Olympus Recorder – For recording interviews and even using as a microphone instead of the weak on-board mic from my DSLR.
Tripod – Ok, I know its crappy, but it only cost me $19.99 and we’ll see where it takes me. If it breaks who cares.
Head Lamp – For dark walks to the bathroom.
3 T-shirts – All plain. The goal here is to look as little as a gringo as possible. I also expect to pick up some stuff when I’m there.
1 Button up shirt – For dressy occasions.
1 Long sleeve
1 Jeans + belt
1 Travel pants
1 Base layer – Basically like loose long johns for sleeping in when its cold. Apparently, due to the altitude of about 3800m in La Paz, Bolivia, it gets very cold at night.
2 Shorts – 1 athletic, 1 cargo
1 Bathing suit
Flip Flops – For hostel showers.
Toms – For lounging in hostels/couch surfing homes etc.
NorthFace Goretex Waterproof Hikers – Not just water resistent, these shoes are GORETEX waterproof so they should hold up for those wet hikes in the Amazon and in rainy season. Only $77 on sale at Bushtakah cause they were “last year’s colour.”
Waterproof bag cover – To cover my day pack in the rain.
Rain jacket – Another big investment. This Goretex Arc’Teryx shell cost me $280 (on clearance), but I’m sold to believe that it was worth it. This jacket is essentially guaranteed for life even if it rips. Last thing I want is to be soaked when waiting for a bus somewhere or walking to my hostel. It’s also not the flashiest jacket so I won’t look like as much of a silly gringo (foreigner), hopefully.
Caccoon – An extra layer to sleep inside of for nasty hostels. It packs up small and it was also a free gift from a friend. Thanks!
3 locks – 1 combination, 1 key, 1 snowboard with a chord to attach my bag to my bed when I sleep.
Notebook + pens
Hat – Can’t find one I like at home, time to get one when I get there. Sombrero?
Ziplock bags – Waterproofing on the cheap.
Travel towel – Silky smooth and packs extremely small.
Canada patch – So I don’t look like an American.
Aluminum Water bottle – For filtered water instead of allowing the weak plastic to degrade into my water.
Lighter – I don’t smoke, but I won’t wanna seem like a jerk when people ask me for a light. I heard that it is a good way to make new friends.
2 mini bottles of hand sanitizer
Condoms – “Don’t get sick, wrap your stick.”
Moisturizer – Due to the high altitude, La Paz gets very dry.
All-purpose soap – As body wash, but also for cleaning my clothes int he sink.
Tide to go
Earplugs – For those obnoxious Americans in hostels.
First Aid kit
Oil of Oregano – Kills any throat cold.
Ok, so that’s it. I’m ready to fly out on Monday, November 12th and feel confident in what I am bringing. Now I can walk through South America with the same bounce in my step as this guy!: