What to Pack for the Rio Olympics
“A list of items to pack for the 2016 Rio Olympics – What to Pack for the Rio Olympics”
If you have not been to South America then you will need to consider packing a few extra items that perhaps you would not usually travel with. I recently went to Rio de Janerio for a summer holiday, it was my first time to South America and I was under prepared, to say the least.
Here are the items that I suggest you take with you. Some of these items I did have and they proved very valuable, others I did not have and suffered because of it. Packing these items will ensure you a well prepared for your stay in the Rio; don’t let your suitcase determine your experience.
1. City Travel Guide
I have to admit, on arrival in Rio de Janeiro I was pretty lost; luckily my mother had bought me this city guide book prior to departing, the amount of help this book gave me was incredible. This book has everything, reviews on where to eat, stay and visit as well as helpful insider tips to save time, money and keep yourself safe. I carried this book everywhere I went and the filtered recommendations definitely made my trip more enjoyable. I know, a city guide is typical to have at the top of the list but purchasing this book will prove really helpful.
2. Zika Repellent Band
You will hear a lot of different opinions on how serious of a threat Zika virus actually is in Rio de Janerio. To be honest, well being there I was not too stressed about; however, I did get bitten by a lot of sandflies over the course of being in the city. Whether you see Zika as a serious threat or not, I would recommend purchasing a Zika repellent band. These bands contain oil of lemon eucalyptus which will prevent mosquito bites that may cause Zika virus. Although I have not used this product it has very high ratings and positive reviews, the product also has a 100% money-back guarantee if the customer is not satisfied. Again, I would recommend taking the precaution and purchasing a pack of these repellant bands.
3. RDIF Secure Wallet
Arriving in Rio, I was aware of the need to be careful with my cards. I made sure that I only ever withdrew small amounts of cash to use at registered bank ATM’s; yet, not once but twice my card was cloned and all my money was withdrawn from my account. I could not believe it, especially twice within two weeks of arriving in the city. So, what was I doing wrong? I was being subject to ‘RFID skimming’. There were people around me using a RFID reader to steal the information on my cards and duplicate them. Trying to contact a foreign bank from Rio de Janerio is almost impossible and being stranded with no money is a nightmare. However, on return home, I found out that this RDIF theft was very affordable through a secure RDIF wallet. Take my advice and invest in one of these! the amount of time and grief this little wallet would have saved me is priceless.
So, what was I doing wrong? I was being subject to ‘RFID skimming’. There were people around me using a RFID reader to steal the information on my cards and duplicate them. Trying to contact a foreign bank from Rio de Janerio is almost impossible and being stranded with no money is a nightmare. However, on return home, I found out that this RDIF theft was very affordable through a secure RDIF wallet. Take my advice and invest in one of these! the amount of time and grief this little wallet would have saved me is priceless.
4. Power Strip
Throughout Rio de Janeiro hostels and even hotels that I stayed at, I noticed a constant lack of power sockets. Charging electronic devices was a bit of a nightmare, particularly at hostels when there was a line to use a power socket. What would have been super helpful would have been a Brazil Power Strip; his would have allowed me to charge my many devices at once. Having only one power socket adapter was a big mistake partially staying at a hostel. My devices were constantly flat. I highly recommend purchasing one of these power strips to bring with you.
5. Money Belt
I am sure you have heard it before but Rio de Janeiro is not the safest city in the World. Unfortunately, many of my friends from the hostel I was in were subject to pickpocketers. I was shocked at how common this type of theft was; I had heard that it happens a lot but I never expected it to happen to my friends. As a foreigner, you will be seen as easy prey as foreigners will often carry a wallet in their pocket or bag.
I was warned prior to arriving in the city and spend my time with my money rolled up inside my jocks.. it was not only very uncomfortable but also very inconvenient, however, it did work and I was never pickpocketed. If you are not willing to save money by inappropriately stashing your money then purchasing a travel belt would be a great alternative. These travel belts ensure your money is hidden and unable to be snatched whilst in crowds. Purchasing a money belt is such a small and easy precaution to take that can potentially save you a lot of grief, I highly recommend investing in one.
6. Portuguese Phrasebook
Prior to departing for Rio de Janeiro, I considered my Portuguese to be pretty good; however, on arrival, my ego was ruined. It is hard to prepare yourself for the speed that the Carioca’s talk with. If like me your Portuguese is still coming along or more realistically you do not speak any Portuguese, then purchase this little book.
I was shocked at the amount of people that didn’t speak English, it differed from what I had read on many blogs and I spoke in Portuguese 80% of the time. Thankfully, my Mum had also given me this little gem. I carried this around with me wherever I went. It is the perfect size to put in your pocket or money belt, and it is a real lifesaver. I referred to this book a lot, sometimes just to ensure my pronunciation was correct as that was something that let me down a lot. Great little book, highly recommended to any traveller that does not speak fluent Portuguese.
I recommend purchasing locks not only for your baggage but also for your hostel or hotel lockers. Brazil is not the safest place and it is not advised to travel around with unlocked baggage. I recommend purchasing locks that are triggered by a code rather than keys. I had key locks and lost both sets which proved very annoying. For such a small cheap item to buy, locks can prove very valuable. Get yourself a good set prior to your departure.
Although expensive a GoPro is the perfect device to capture your Rio de Janeiro experience. The whole time I was wishing that I had have bought a GoPro before arriving. Buy your GoPro before you arrive because electronics in Brazil are very expensive. It was hard trying to explain to my friends and family how truly amazing the city was. Next time I go back, I am definitely going to make sure that I purchase and bring a GoPro with me. Although expensive, you will not regret investing the money.
9. Rain Jacket
One thing that I did not know when going to Brazil is when it rains, it pours. I have never seen such heavy rain and rapidly changing weather anywhere in the World. I did not bring a rain jacket to Brazil and I suffered the consequences. It is horrible getting soaked there because drying your clothes in the humidity is impossible. Bring a good raincoat with you! Sudden downpours are very common.
10. Selfie Stick
Admittedly the least essential item on this list, however, Rio de Janeiro is the most beautiful city in the World and a selfie stick provides the perfect tool to help capture all of your magical moments. I personally did not take a selfie stick to Brazil, as I viewed it as non-manly. However, when you go and visit landmarks such as Christs the Redeemer and Sugar Loaf Mountain, the lack of room makes it is almost impossible to snap a shot. Due to not having a selfie stick, I did not get those magical shots you expect when visiting Rio. Buy a selfie stick! If there is ever a place in the World that you need one it is in Rio de Janeiro.
Learn from my mistakes and ensure you are well prepared for your Rio de Janerio experience. Is there anything else that I have missed and you would bring to Rio? comment below.
Brazil My Country is an Amazon Affiliate, meaning we earn a small commission through any purchases that are made through this page.