Show of HandsShow of Hands

jalapeno June 2nd, 2014 12:10am

I'm heading to Colombia in South America in a week, and have never left the country or flown on a plane prior to this. If anyone has any shreds of advice or personal experience pertaining to international travel, or Colombia specifically, plz share!

23 Liked

Comments: Add Comment

hoosierwisdom inner voice
06/04/14 9:18 am

Keep important stuff in your front pocket...and don't carry much important stuff

Reply
chinito Florida
06/03/14 4:18 pm

Where in Colombia are you going?

I was there last year. Beautiful places, amazing women and the people are very nice.

chinito Florida
06/03/14 4:21 pm

BTW, you can ignore most of the postings below. You don't need a knife, you don't need to get nervous in immigration, you don't need to be afraid. Unless you are going to the jungle where the FARC is you won't have a problem.

jalapeno verdadero
06/03/14 5:01 pm

Ibague, 7 weeks. I'm ignoring quite a few, but still listening to mainly airline tips to help me through all that process. I'll be fine in the culture, and wouldn't bring a knife even if I knew I'd be attacked just as a matter of personal beliefs.

chinito Florida
06/03/14 5:06 pm

Get to the airport at least 2 hrs before the flight, don't forget your passport, relax and enjoy the flight.

chinito Florida
06/03/14 5:07 pm

BTW, if you buy a jersey from the "Selección Colombiana de Fútbol" you would be immediately be part of the culture.
Really, try to get into the World Cup hype. It is really something...

Br@ndon Your Soul
06/03/14 12:35 pm

1. Bring gum. Ears gonna pop.
2. Get ready for sexual pat downs that aren't even effective.
3. If a whistleblower is on the plane, it might "disappear into the ocean".
4. Airline food sucks.
5. Views are gonna rock.
6. Enjoy your flight and trip.

Reply
suppressedID I cant breathe
06/03/14 10:21 am

When you see graft - and you will - don't stare, or even acknowledge it. That's somebody's income you're messing with and they get real cranky if they miss a payoff.

AussieGirl Oz the Land of Wonder
06/03/14 7:25 am

On the plane drink tons of water to maintain hydration. Don't overpack. On the ground keep $, passport & impt papers in a money pouch inside your clothes. Dress normally. Don't act weird or dorky. Pack nuts of some kind for quick energy. Have fun!

Reply
Statek Im from the Internet
06/03/14 7:07 am

Don't look like a tourist, don't keep the windows of the vehicle open if you have anything valuable on your arms, keep your eyes open, hide valuables, etc

revp01
06/03/14 5:38 am

Hopefully you are going with someone who's traveled there before.

rons on top of the world MA
06/03/14 4:59 am

Do light exercise on the plane. Do walk around in certain area or by yourself. Danger lurks everywhere.

marie333
06/03/14 4:36 am

I always pack a few empty plastic grocery bags. Throughout my trip I put my dirty clothes in them so that in my suitcase my clean clothes don't touch the dirty ones.

Reply
kspells TheOtherOtherside
06/03/14 4:09 am

Use the bathroom before getting off the plane. Getting thru customs can take a long time. Trying to get out of line to go to a bathroom is a major red flag.if your not allergic to it & don't hate it pack peanut butter.

Reply
kspells TheOtherOtherside
06/03/14 4:12 am

Know exactly how your trip is being paid for why and who funded it. It is almost always asked.

kspells TheOtherOtherside
06/03/14 4:15 am

If you are female traveling alone this tends to look suspicious to other countries.

jalapeno verdadero
06/03/14 5:02 pm

I'll keep that in mind, and appreciate the advice!

polster2 US
06/03/14 3:35 am

Don't drink the tap water.

Reply
jalapeno verdadero
06/03/14 5:03 pm

Got a UV purifier. Don't wanna offend my host family, but don't wanna get dick either. Thanks for reminding me about it, though!

PartyFree Nowhere in Particular
06/03/14 12:31 am

If you know any Spanish, use it! Even if you speak horribly, people will respect you for making an attempt; they will usually switch to English for you if they know it.
Ask locals for restaurant recommendations, and waiters for food recommendations.

Reply
PartyFree Nowhere in Particular
06/03/14 12:37 am

For the plane ride, drink lots of water and wear comfortable shoes that you can slip off and on easily.
Take a photocopy of your passport with you as well, and carry them separately. Also, write the addy of the nearest consulate somewhere on the copy

jalapeno verdadero
06/03/14 5:04 pm

I do speak fluently, so thanks for letting me know. Also, thanks for the consulate info, hadn't thought bout that!

pinkyusuck The Carribean. I wish.
06/03/14 12:18 am

Keep your mouth shut in the airport/customs areas unless asked a specific question. If you're asked a specific question, answer with the bare minimum of information.

Reply
pinkyusuck The Carribean. I wish.
06/03/14 12:21 am

Don't fall asleep until you're at cruising altitude, and wake up before you descend for a landing. Waiting 'til you land to adjust your ear pressure is quite painful. Best to adjust on the way up and the way down.

jalapeno verdadero
06/03/14 5:06 pm

Okay thanks, I appreciate it! The while customs thing is fairly anxiety provoking, so this helps!

sensible SF Bay Area
06/02/14 11:06 pm

Carry small sums of money in small denominations. Drink bottled water. If you're nervous about flying take some Tylenol PM about 30 minutes before your flight.

Reply
meaning Red Stick
06/02/14 9:56 pm

Research the soccer situation in the country and dress appropriately.

Reply
chinito Florida
06/03/14 4:16 pm

World cup starts in a few days. Colombia has a very good team. The people is very excited.

meaning Red Stick
06/03/14 5:00 pm

I believe their best player, falcao(?) is ruled out due to an acl tear.

raywygo Pittsburgh
06/02/14 9:13 pm

Pop your ears while on the plane or you will get a headache and it's hard to hear.

Reply
GrandmaALiCE
06/02/14 9:26 pm

I chew gum, which forces me to swallow. Even so, my ears are always a but congested for a while, after the plane lands.

nicolebliss31
06/02/14 9:03 pm

Don't drink the water!

Reply
Injectable Mojave Mo Problems
06/02/14 8:59 pm

Don't worry about the plane crashing. You're screwed if your already on it so why fret.

Reply
Injectable Mojave Mo Problems
06/02/14 9:00 pm

I bring this up because of an 8 hour trip to London where the lady next to me had a breakdown at the slightest turbulence.

jayfreeman
06/02/14 8:40 pm

If you have never travelled out of the US and really need advice? Get your act together, man up, figure it out. People like you should NOT travel any further than your own city limits

Reply
jayfreeman
06/02/14 10:07 pm

@Pompous, yes indeed you are a douche, idiot, ignoramus, and mancunt. Man up....oh wait, you can't because you are a total buttfucker who feels your opinion is better than another's, and therefore must resort to petty, girly name calling

jayfreeman
06/02/14 10:08 pm

Check. Mate. Bitch boy (or mor likely girl)

BrittneyBunny Maryland
06/03/14 12:30 am

WOW. That's like telling everyone not to fly out of their country. Everyone's going to want advice when traveling to a new country. Rude.

jalapeno verdadero
06/03/14 9:11 am

I prefer to learn from other peoples experience when I can jay. It requires a lot more humility to ask for help when I know I lack knowledge in an area than to "man up and figure it out." Maybe you'll realize that you don't have all the answers, too.

mikeey1962 on SOH where else
06/02/14 8:39 pm

During the flight chew gum, don't drink the water, and above all this never ever swallow the worm in the bottle of tequila,

Reply
yorkie62
06/02/14 8:35 pm

Pepto bismol.

Reply
CTYankee!!! Connecticut
06/02/14 8:34 pm

Yeah, don't go to Columbia

Reply
Zod Above Pugetropolis
06/02/14 8:31 pm

Relax and enjoy it! Packing in Ziploc bags helps, and one of those neckband pouches for carrying your passport inside your shirt is very handy.

Reply
imanag My heaven on Earth
06/02/14 9:02 pm

The neckband passport holder is invaluable.

jalapeno verdadero
06/03/14 5:09 pm

Okay thank you, I appreciate it!

Spartacus AUSTIN
06/02/14 8:11 pm

Don't accept any packages to bring back to the US.

Reply
Torfin Never Behind
06/01/14 10:46 pm

Of you are not too very tall on your first flight request a window seat. After that ask for an isle of volunteer for the emergency exit row. Go online to find out what all the TSA Nazis will not let you take with you on the plane. Plainly mark your

Reply
Torfin Never Behind
06/01/14 10:46 pm

your luggage so you cam spot it at a distance and in a pile.

GrandmaALiCE
06/02/14 9:29 pm

Put some kind of colorful yarn or the like on the handle. We use an old colorful sock. Can't miss our luggage!

stefanie22 Cincinnati
06/01/14 9:06 pm

Pack light, you can always send out laundry.

Fill out the customs forms on the plan as soon as they pass them out.

Melatonin is a great way to get some sleep on the plane without the grogginess of sleeping pills

Reply
stefanie22 Cincinnati
06/01/14 9:07 pm

Learn at least a little Spanish & grab a pocket dictionary to take with you.

And gum to hew during take off & landing to keep your ears from popping.

stefanie22 Cincinnati
06/01/14 9:07 pm

Oh & take a pen in your carry on, for the customs forms

stefanie22 Cincinnati
06/01/14 9:11 pm

Know the name of the hotel where you will be staying (at least the first one) it will ask on the customs form.

Turn off data roaming on your phone, it's like $20/MB international.

stefanie22 Cincinnati
06/01/14 9:12 pm

AT&T has 50 texts for $10, but you have to sign up before you use it.

stefanie22 Cincinnati
06/01/14 9:12 pm

Check with your phone provider about international calling & texting plans

stefanie22 Cincinnati
06/01/14 9:13 pm

Electrical adapters!!

I travel international a lot, so I'm basically running through my mental check list. Good luck & have fun!!

stefanie22 Cincinnati
06/01/14 9:13 pm

Exchange money here at your home bank. DO NOT exchange money at an airport, they have the worst rates

jalapeno verdadero
06/01/14 10:34 pm

THANKS! :D

stefanie22 Cincinnati
06/02/14 8:38 pm

Know the PIN number for your credit card. Some international kiosks require it for purchase (like train tickets) stores can usually bypass it with an ID.

GrandmaALiCE
06/02/14 9:32 pm

Speaking of credit cards, call your credit card company and tell them you will be out of the country. Otherwise, their computer may flag your purchases abroad, as an "unusual pattern" and potential fraud ... and you will be rejected!

jalapeno verdadero
06/03/14 5:11 pm

Okay thank you both very much! All of that is helpful!

Whichendisup uniquely unoriginal
06/01/14 5:48 pm

ha! what timing, Mr.Which has been to Colombia for business and is going back week after next! Lemme ask him and will be back with any pearls of wisdom he may have. :-)

Reply
usernamehere Raise a little hell
06/01/14 5:35 pm

Be early, learn a tiny bit about local customs so you don't offend anyone (I had to do this so my grandpa wouldn't offend anyone in Ireland or Britain), and most of all, have fun!

Reply
Redacted
06/01/14 5:30 pm

Be early for your flight, departure time is wheels up not boarding.

Reply
OhTheIrony Learning from you
06/01/14 5:12 pm

I don't know about Colombia specifically, but you should probably bring toilet paper, flip flops and a pocket knife.

The flip-flops can be extremely versatile in hot weather and you can wear them in the shower if it is communal.

Reply
usernamehere Raise a little hell
06/01/14 5:34 pm

US Customs doesn't allow knives in or out of the country.

OhTheIrony Learning from you
06/01/14 5:45 pm

Even in baggage that is checked in?

BillieJoeCobain Earth turns from sanity
06/01/14 6:59 pm

Definitely the knife. Some terrorist hijacker asshat tries to take down the plane and-Hahahahaha-I got a knife bitches!

stefanie22 Cincinnati
06/01/14 9:09 pm

You should be able to pack a pocket knife or utility knife in your checked bag, I took one with me to Peru.

firefly5 the verse
06/01/14 10:26 pm

recent changes in regulations now allow pocket knives. more than a couple of ounces of shampoo, no, but a pocket knife is fine. makes sense, right?

handshown The Midwest West Coast
06/02/14 9:24 pm

pack the pocketknife in your luggage. I got stopped last week and had to check it.
Watch the locals closely. Get a haircut while you are there. If you can manage that, you can do almost anything.
Have fun.