Note: This post was originally published in October 2nd, 2016 in Brazogo.com as a mutual collaboration between “My dear Lola” and the new Brazilian company.
How to pack for a trip to Rio de Janeiro?
Traveling to Brazil without a swimsuit? Planning an adventure holiday without trainers in your luggage?
Whether it is your first trip or you have already been traveling the world, make sure your holiday doesn’t turn into a nightmare by creating your own packing checklist.
Check the weather
Let’s face it… It’s always hot in Rio, which should help you pack lighter and leave some space for extra souvenirs.
Rio’s average temperature is between 20 and 30ºC (70-80ºF), February being the hottest month and July the “coldest”. This is what makes it a perfect city to travel to any time of the year.
So in general checking the weather forecast will give you an idea of what you need to pack. And when talking about Rio de Janeiro clothing will of course mean summer clothes unless you get some rain, which can easily be solved by packing a raincoat.
Choose the right bag and weight – Size matters
Nowadays there are tons of airlines flying to Brazil, and some of them include an overpriced fee for overweight baggage that might end up doubling up your flight cost. Check it out in advance and pack accordingly.
Another element that needs to be checked is whether you will only be going to Rio or you are also planning to escape the city and discover the neighbouring Paratty, Ilha Grande or any of the other paradisiac landscapes. In this case, a backpack is highly recommended in order to comfortably move around airports, and train and bus stations.
Of course, a backpack will make your luggage even lighter than carrying a 23kg suitcase with you.
Tip: When choosing a backpack, remember it should weigh less than 10% of your body weight. Doctor’s advice!
Plan your activities and pack accordingly
Planning your trip in advance will help you when packing essentials, and JUST YOUR ESSENTIALS.
Thinking about hiking up to Cristo Redentor or Morro Dois Irmãos? Then it is advisable to carry a little bag with plenty of water, extra mosquito repellent and basic personal items such as camera, phone, copy of your passport and some cash. You should also dress comfortable with breathable workout gear and proper trainers or walking shoes.
If you are up for a bit of sunbathing in Ipanema, no need to say that swimwear is not to be forgotten. However one swimsuit is enough! There’s no reason to take all your fashionable swimwear collection with you all the way to Brazil. Simply pick the one you like the most and enjoy the endless summer.
Partying in the fanciest clubs in Copacabana? OK, we are going to let you take one nice outfit to use it every single night… Yes, that is it. Every night the same outfit without falling into a fashion-drama!
Wandering around Santa Teresa neighbourhood? Wear something comfortable and fresh, a pair of sandals at your feet and cotton clothes on your body.
Find out more on: 4 best trails to hike in Rio de Janeiro
Limit your liquids and beauty/cosmetic products
This rule is applicable to any destination in the world (unless you are traveling to some expensive country, let’s say… Scandinavia?). Packing liquids will use up so much space in your luggage, and you know what? They also sell shampoo, sun cream, toothpaste and body lotion in Rio. And probably even much cheaper than in the country you are traveling from.
Skip the liquids as well as all cosmetics and make up products; you are not going to need them when suntanned!
Leave extra space for “last minute souvenirs”
Handmade necklaces? A pair of Havaianas flip-flips? A bottle of Cachaça spirit? A Brazilian Hammock for the most ambitious ones? Leave some space for your last minute shopping gifts.
Be careful with your shoes
As said before, you only need a pair of sandals and flip-flops to travel to Rio de Janeiro. However, if planning to do some hiking to discover off-tourists places, confortable trainers are recommended.
Don’t forget electricity adapters
The electricity in Rio de Janeiro, as in most of Brazil, is 110V/60Hz. The most common electrical outlets allow for plugs with two round pins, as well as American style plugs that have two flat prongs.
Many hotels also offer 220V outlets to accommodate European travelers.
Towels and sleeping bags?
As with the weather forecast, make sure you know what your booked accommodation in Rio provides. Some have sheets and towels, but not all of them.
Tip: Forget about the traditional towel – it takes up so much space and becomes really heavy when wet. Get yourself a “Hammamas”, a light beach towel which you can also buy in Rio and taken back home as a souvenir.
Security: Organize your travel information, cash and credit cards and always carry them with you
Brazil is not known for being the safest place on earth, so you’d better organize your travel information and send copies to your own email or to a relative as a back-up.
Cash and credit cards always have to be carried in small amounts. Limit your credit card payments just in case you lose it, so no one can spend a huge amount of money with it. Also take some change with you for daily expenses. And what to do with the rest? Leave it where you are staying and make sure it’s kept in a safe and locked space.
Tip: Travel money belts were created for and by travelers, so you can carry money and personal documentation safely. It works as a belt pouch but it’s hidden under your clothes, making it more difficult to be stolen.
Are you ready to leave for Rio?
Find out more on: 20 things you need to know before traveling to Rio de Janeiro