How to prepare for Guatemala
May 16, 2018

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Hey, con­grats, wel­come on board! You are now part of the most won­der­ful pro­ject in the world and, soon enough, with the hap­pi­est smile on your face, you'll be on your way to Latin Amer­ica. But first, take a look at these must-do's be­fore your trip and make sure you're fully pre­pared for the ex­pe­ri­ence of a life­time:

  1. Pay your fines and debts.
  2. Pro­tect your card from get­ting blocked by in­form­ing your bank you are trav­el­ling.
  3. Pre­pare some cash to use wher­ever cards are not ac­cepted.
  4. En­sure you al­ways have an ID on you by tak­ing copies of your doc­u­ments and keep­ing them sep­a­rately. It al­ways makes sense to save a copy to the cloud.
  5. Make sure your lug­gage com­plies with the bag­gage pol­icy of your air­line com­pany.
  6. En­sure you have a ride to the air­port; don’t for­get about the tim­ing.
  7. Ask your fam­ily or friends to look af­ter your apart­ment/​​house/​​car/​​pet. Pro­vide your neigh­bors with your con­tact in­for­ma­tion and any other emer­gency con­tacts they might need when you are gone.
  8. Pre­pare your­self for In­ter­net short­age by hav­ing of­fline ac­cess to key in­for­ma­tion, e.g. tick­ets, pass­port, visas, in­sur­ance in­for­ma­tion. It makes sense to have emer­gency con­tacts, e.g. your coun­try’s Em­bassy, Health&Help, bank and in­sur­ance com­pany, in your head or on pa­per.
  9. Be ready for flight de­lays by pack­ing some snacks.
  10. Make sure your kin­dle, phone, and/​​or tablet is fully charged to keep you en­ter­tained dur­ing your trip. En­sure you have a sim­pler backup phone in case your smart­phone dies.
  11. Pre­vent your bag­gage from be­ing dam­aged by mak­ing cer­tain your bag is easy to carry. It also makes sense to put a tag with your name and con­tact in­for­ma­tion on it. It also helps to take a photo of it in case it is lost.
  12. To avoid your bag­gage be­ing mis­placed, make sure it does­n’t have old tags from pre­vi­ous trips.
  13. Check to see if you have all the es­sen­tials you need in the hand lug­gage.
  14. Pre­pare your­self for the trip by down­load­ing maps and Google.Trans­late (Span­ish-Eng­lish-Span­ish) to be used use of­fline; mes­sen­gers, such as What­sApp and Skype; Tri­pAd­vi­sor, Book­ing and Couch­surf­ing, Uber, and your bank’s mo­bile apps.
  15. Take all the nec­es­sary He­pati­tis A, B and ra­bies vac­ci­na­tion shots in ad­vance. A sim­ple check up and fol­low up with your doc­tor won’t do you any harm (and might save your life).
  16. Work hard to en­sure you have a func­tional Span­ish flu­ency level by the time you leave for your trip to Guatemala. It will pay off as you feel more in con­trol in a coun­try that speaks lit­tle Eng­lish and can be dif­fi­cult to nav­i­gate.