All eyes will be on the Brazilian behemoth in August for the Olympic games, but smart voyagers are planning their visit either earlier or later in the year, when the streets are emptier but the feel-good factor lingers. It’s hard to picture a city more generously endowed with natural beauty, with golden beaches and densely forested mountains surrounding a city that pulses to a samba beat. Yes, the Olympics are a big deal, but in Rio every night is a potential street party. Beautographer and I have arrived in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil this morning.
It felt great to escape the cool weather of London and enjoy the bright sunshine, calming breeze on the beach that Rio is known for, all without having to worry about anything in life because we are here to celebrate our 8th anniversary!
Before I share what’s in our bags this time, first, lets see first what we wore to the airport!
For a long haul flight, I opted for a light weight classic V-neck Cricket jumper (Yes, ICC T20 Cricket World Cup fan game strong, although we’ll be missing 90% of the matches, damn!) paired with a sleek high-waisted stretch trouser. I finished out this comfy long-haul-proof flight look with a pair of stretch sneakers in tangerine to contrast with the otherwise monochromatic outfit.
For Beuatographer, it is a black long sleeved polo shirt teamed up with a pair of red chinos, a little heavy-duty for airport look, but hey I stop being a fashion police when he is ”in the mood”!
Coming back to packing tips and tricks, many of you already know that from Rio, we will head out to Chile as the second and also the last leg of our second South American voyage. Since Brazil and Chile are so near to each other, I thought its best to combine them both for a post on what to pack. So I thought I would share a long list of essentials I would recommend bringing for a trip to Rio de Janeiro, Paraty, Ilha Grande in Brazil, and Santiago and Easter Island in Chile for this time of the year (It’s the beginning of Autumn in that part of the world). I always start off with a color palette and try to bring pieces that will mix and match. Since we are only using one check-in bag (weighed not more than 23 kgs) and one hold-on luggage each, I’ll try to stay simplistic, but if you’re like me, you tend to be organised and keep backup plans in case of any wardrobe malfunction (pun intended). I’ve come up with this idea that helps me organize the looks that we’ll wear throughout the travelling period, while making the most out of each item. I find that planning our outfits ahead of time really helps alleviate the overthinking of what to wear in the morning and thus makes everything that much more relaxing. I list them down on my iphone and also take a print out in case if anything goes wrong with the iPhone or I accidentally delete it from the notes.
Top tip: Have a little notebook (We use iPhone’s Notes) especially for your travels and title each page with a different holiday type. Our Packing Picks series may come handy, check here, here, here and here). For example, this could relate to season, length of stay or style of holiday. You could have pages for ‘weekend break’, ‘beach holiday’ or ‘winter ski holiday’. Spend a little time brainstorming and making a packing list under each page. Always have this little book next to your passport, so when you go away, you will never have any mind blanks and will always remember the correct things to pack.
Tanusree’s List Includes:
- A good number of summer dresses- in Midi and Maxi which can be styled from Coffee-to-Cocktail o’clock.
- Kimono Tops
- Bikinis and Traikinis
- Beach Cover-ups
- A Pair of Jeans
- Couple of Shorts
- Large Floppy Hats and a Fedora
- Long Maxi Skirts with Slits
- A pair of flat sandals, a mid-heel sandal, a high-heel court shoes (for those special dinner looks), a pair of beach flip-flop, 3 pairs of Bohemian gladiator sandals and a pair of court shoes.
- Beach straw bag, a pair of clutch bags and three mini messenger bags to mix n match with day dresses.
- Body art glittery tattoo, coloured bangles, accessories for arm, ankle and neck and tons of sleek rings in rose gold.
- 6 Pairs of Sunglasses including Plain Aviators, Mirrored Aviators, Cat eye and 70’s style large frame.
- A pair of track pants and loose-fit T-shirt for jogging during sunrise.
Shehzaad’s List Includes:
- Half a dozen T-shirts
- Couple of Polo Shirts
- Couple of half sleeved shirts
- Swimwear trunks and briefs
- Couple of vest in neutral colors
- A pair of Moccasin, a Pair of Espadrilles and a Pair of flip-flops
- Couple of Chinos
- A Pair of Jeans (Distressed)
- A Fedora Hat
- A pair of running shoes and gym shorts (Jogging on beach, hell yah!)
- A couple of aviators and mirrored sunnies (We share our Sunglasses often!)
How it works? I plan in advance and breakdown day and event wise of how we would wear each item throughout the trip. There are moments when you go with the flow- meaning how you feel health wise on that particular day or how your mood is, but this advance planning pretty much sticks out for us except any rare occasion.
From liquids leaking to being charged for an overweight suitcase, we’ve all suffered from luggage nightmares that could have easily been avoided. For a stress-free packing experience for a trip to Brazil and Chile, just remember our road-tested top 10 packing tips and tricks below-
1.There is currently an ongoing outbreak of Zika virus infections in South and Central America and the Caribbean. Pack a bottle of insect repellent containing 50% DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide), this will repel mosquitoes for approximately 12 hours. This is serious! It had to be at no. 1. If you are interested to educate yourself more on this, please read here. We also have had vaccination from our local GP but sadly, no treatment for Zika yet, slap on those repellent in every few hours, please!
2. Take spare ziplock bags and use them to separate different groups of items- Phone charger, camera charger, adaptors, headphones – we all have so many wires and gadgets that are easily lost in a suitcase. To prevent this problem, ziplock bags are the answer. Take some extras as well as the ones for your on-flight liquids, and use them to store electrical items, things for the journey home (house keys, parking ticket and car keys), medication and other loose accessories.
3. Pack in cubes or in ziplock bags- Undergarments in one cube, swimwear in another, tops and dresses in one and bottoms in another one. This way you will save time finding your clothes in the morning and your suitcase will stay neatly arranged. Pack your toiletries in a transparent travel pouches, this way, you save time in searching for the right product at the right time in case your hotel bathroom doesn’t have enough space in the basin area.
4. Although most decent hotels provide basic toiletries, but Beutographer and I are fastidious about a few things we use; e.g. we prefer to use our own shampoo and conditioner, hair serum, body lotions etc. so we buy travel size empty toiletries set and pour our own products into it, label them on each bottle and carry in a transparent travel toiletries pouch.
5. Since we are going to enjoy some water sports and adventures, we have packed a snorkelling set and a decent under water camera this time, something that we have done for the first time. Same time last year in Hawai’i, we ended up paying extra for snorkelling and Snuba kits in every beach we went to, it’s not much per hire but when calculated in total, it turned out to be lot more than what we paid for this set, and the best part is its now ours and we can use it in future beach adventures. Also, our very first Snuba experience has pictures shot with a disposable S*** camera provided by our instructor. No wonder you have not seen them ever! We didn’t repeat the mistake this time!
6. Have essentials in your hand luggage- it’s always best to be prepared for the worst and let’s face it, sometimes bags go missing. Make sure all your valuables are in your hand luggage and always pack a spare change of clothes in your hand luggage too, just in case the worst happens and your checked bag is lost/delayed. That way you won’t have to rush to the shops as soon as you arrive to buy replacement clothing. This is the most useful and my favourite tip.
7. Makeup packing tip – to stop powder and eye shadow cracking use a layer of cotton wool. This one is for our fashionista women. To prevent your pressed powder or eyeshadow from cracking during your travels, place a flat cotton wool pad in between the pressed powder and the lid.
8. If you are like us, pack some dry foods e.g. Biscuits, Crisps, Cookies, Cup/ Packet Noodles etc. especially if you are heading out to Easter Island in Chile. There are very few restaurants and other facilities available in the Island, whatever is available, is considered highly expensive.
9. Tag your luggage- getting to the bag carousel and not finding your luggage is a bad feeling. The thought that someone could have taken it by mistake is even worse. Avoid this by writing your name and address on a card and stick to your suitcase making it easy to find among a sea of similar-looking bags. Another good idea is to get a “fragile” sticker at the airport, which helps prioritize your suitcase. One of these stickers can make sure your bags ends up on the top of a luggage pile or be the first ones out on the carousel.
10. This one is not a packing tip but a general travel tip- choose the Asian-vegetarian option on the plane. Because? You get fed before anyone else, you avoid anything too greasy and stodgy (helps the jetlag allegedly) and I’m convinced the more niche meals are much better quality as they’re made in smaller batches. Also, this suits my diet plan perfectly as I don’t eat red meat and most flights from Europe to North America, South America and many other countries serve ham sandwich.
Hope these top tips will make packing and travelling a breeze! It is our 8th anniversary today. Wish us best, and we hope to gain new memories and experience on this trip and return to London with many more stories to tell with photos to support.
Stay tuned, stay stunned!