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Monthly Archives: August 2015

5 Travel Tips beyond What to Wear

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How do you pack for one of our Peruvian adventures? Do you make a list weeks ahead, or do you wait until the night before?

Many of us start off our travel packing with a minimalist strategy. We pack just a little bit of this and a little bit of that. We economize for weight, both for the plane and for our backs. Yet, if we have time, no matter what our intentions, we tend to add more than one “just in case” item. Perhaps it’s another shirt or two, or a pair of shoes – the list of add-ons can be endless. Pretty soon you’ve got something to wear for every occasion and a suitcase that’s well over your intended weight.

One strategy to curtail the endless additions is to use a smaller suitcase. The larger your bag, the more items you can fit in it. So even though you may have the option of “one carry on and one checked bag,” unless you’ll be traveling for weeks without a way to wash your clothes, one great strategy is to resist the temptation to buy/bring the biggest suitcase possible.

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Use Packing Cubes

Another strategy is to use packing cubes. We’ve all rolled our eyes at one time or another at the thought of packing cubes. The arguments against them tend towards the suspicious: that they are just another ploy to get us to spend money.

But if you are a regular traveler, you probably know they are really worth their weight. We all have our own systems for using the durable, washable cubes. Here are two ways packing cubes can make your traveling life easier:

  • Use one size/color only for a complete change of clothing (except shoes of course), every time you travel. You always know, then, that you can grab that cube and clean clothes await;
  • Designate another color/size for your dirty clothes. Again, you aren’t wondering which plastic bag or pouch to stuff them in. they are always in the green (or black or blue) pouch of a certain size.

Bring flashlight and/or headlamp

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get a really good, strong, and not-too-hefty flashlight. Buy one that fits into the way you like to travel, but always have one with you. If you will be in an area without electricity for some time, it is a very good idea to bring a headlamp so your hands are free.

Bring Dermatologist-recommended facial wipes

Facial wipes are not “handi-wipes,” although the format is the same. Dermatologist-recommended facial wipes are gentle on your skin, especially your face. They come in very handy for taking the edge off in hot weather, or just to freshen up when a shower isn’t readily available.

We strongly suggest using the wipes on your face before your trip, to rule out allergic reactions. (There are several different brands available in stores. It will be easier to try them out at home.) When in doubt about which brand to bring, ask your dermatologist.

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Bring a small notebook

You will have many exciting experiences when you tour with us – so many that your head may be swimming with unfamiliar information. A small, spiral-bound notebook will come in very handy for taking important notes. You can work on experiencing what’s right in front of you, rather than trying to keep track of critical names or dates or times.

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And finally, a picture-taking tip

This last tip is about process, and not about packing. If you are the picture-taking sort of traveler, get into the habit of taking pictures of the signs in front of whatever attraction you visit. It’s much easier later to remember details if you have those basics, and you’ll already have the pictures in sequence so organizing is a snap.

Our goal is for you to have the best Peruvian adventure possible when you travel with us. We look forward to seeing you on our next tour.

5 Ways to Sweeten Your Peruvian Vacation with Language

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Adventurers who take the time to understand the native language have an advantage from the start. Most of our Peruvian tour guests do tend to know a little Spanish.

They can say “please” (por favor), “thank you” (gracias), and “good morning” (buenos dias). Some know a lot more, and most also know how to ask for where the bathroom is, (¿Dónde está el baño?), whether hiking, riding, or choosing any other type of adventure in Peru, including deep sea fishing in Northern Peru.

The experience is even sweeter if you take a deeper dive into the language. You’ll have opportunity to use Spanish phrases when you go out your own or in small groups, during free moments on the tour. Guests often take unscheduled but rewarding jaunts to local restaurants, shops, or other attractions along the way. Those who do take the time find you don’t have to know many words to truly sweeten your experience of the people of Peru.

1. Learn simple phrases that show respect

Using the phrases of polite society in your hosts’ native language shows respect. Whether in conversation with a man or woman on the street, or ordering food at an out-of-the-way restaurant, you’ll find the experience sweetened if you the time to use easy words that add to the basic “gracias” and “buenos dias” you are likely to already know.

Let’s look at two different ways you can say “Pleased to meet you.” (The second is the more formal greeting.):

”Mucho gusto.”

Pronunciation: Mucho-goosto.

And

“Encantado de conocerte.”

Pronunciation: En-kan-tatho day ko-no-sare-tay

Other words and phrases will be handy, and you’ll pick many up if you engage at all with the people. Here are a few more to work with:

  • Hello…. Hola (oh-la);
  • You’re welcome ….Dé nada.(Day nada);
  • Excuse me…. Con permíso. (Kon per-me-so);
  • Sorry….Perdon (Per-don);
  • Good night…..Buenas noches. (Bwe-nas no-ches).

2.Learn longer phrases to use in conversation

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This is very basic advice when it comes to diving into the language. But since we’ve started, let’s look a bit further into what you might say after “excuse me,” or “hello,” especially if you want to continue the conversation. Although you may feel a bit awkward at first, the effort is likely to make communication easier overall.

Try a longer phrase: “Hello. Pleased to meet you. My name is ____. Can you answer a question?”

Here it is in Spanish:Hola, mucho gusto.Me llamo es (say your name).¿Puedes responder a una pregunta?”

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3. Keep Practicing

The encouraging word is that practice does improve your Spanish. Practice while in conversation, so you have to think on your feet, is the best way of all to learn any language. Use what you know (and what you pick up) in restaurants, when shopping, or when out dancing to a local band.

In the meantime, be prepared for those times when the language fails you. Even when you think you know the right word or phrase, you can get tongue-tied by doubt. When that happens, just go with the flow, and find someone who can speak English well. (Or who can speak it well enough to help guide you to what you need).

Ask if they speak English: “¿Habla inglés?”(A-bla een-gles?)

and

Let them know you don’t speak Spanish: “No hablo Español.”(No a-blo es-pan-yol.)

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4. Bring an extra language guide

No matter how good you get at learning these basic phrases, it’s not enough Spanish to fully sweeten this adventure.

Yes, you will be traveling with a tour and have a well-founded expectation that our guides understand and speak English. They will answer questions about where you are, where you have been, and how you will get to your next Peruvian destination.

Still, your journey may not be complete unless you do some exploring on your own, and meet and talk with the Peruvian people. For that, you’ll need to know or have access to much more of the Spanish language than we’ve addressed here.

If you don’t want to learn conversational Spanish before your trip, you have options:

Purchase a small, pocket guide. Several different publishers have easy-to-pack guides to Latin American Spanish. One example is the “Fast talk Latin American Spanish” pocket guide by Lonely Planet. It is compact, only 95 small pages, and written in large, bold type.

Download an app. Free apps are available for your smartphone, whether you use an IPhone or android system. Just check the store. These apps cleanly translate most phrases you give them through a visual on-screen and verbal response.

5. When in doubt, smile

The last and possibly most important advice is to give the language a try, be patient with yourself, and smile. You’ll feel awkward at times, and simple words you know you know will just vanish from your brain, but that is normal. Be gentle with yourself and brave at the same time. Your efforts at reaching out to the people you come in contact with will truly sweeten your experience traveling to Peru.

Would you like to experience the wonder and language of Peru? Reach out to one of our staff to discuss travel or book a trip!

Ways to Sweeten Your Trip with Language

Adventurers who take the time to understand the native language have an

advantage from the start. Most of our Peruvian tour guests do tend to know a little

Spanish.

They can say “please” (por favor), “thank you” (gracias), and “good morning”

(buenos dias). Some know a lot more, and most also know how to ask for where the

bathroom is, (¿Dónde está el baño?), whether hiking, riding, or choosing any other type

of adventure in Peru, including deep sea fishing in Northern Peru.

The experience is even sweeter if you take a deeper dive into the language.

You’ll have opportunity to use Spanish phrases when you go out your own or in small

groups, during free moments on the tour. Guests often take unscheduled but rewarding

jaunts to local restaurants, shops, or other attractions along the way. Those who do take

the time find you don’t have to know many words to truly sweeten your experience of

the people of Peru.

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