The tickets are booked; you’re finally going to Colombia! Who knows what lies in wait, but make sure you’ve done all those niggling preparations before you leave. Avoid that sinking feeling at the start of your vacation and use this useful checklist with tips to make sure you’ve got everything covered.
Vaccinations ( )
Colombia vaccination requirements may vary from person to person depending on age, allergies and other medical conditions so contact your doctor or travel clinic for the most up to date advice. If visiting the Colombian jungle you will also need a course of medication for malaria prophylaxis.
Visas ( )
Colombia visa requirements can, and do, change at short notice, so check with your National Government’s website after booking and then a couple of weeks before travelling to make sure nothing has changed.
Travel Insurance ( )
This should be included with your Colombia tour operator, but if you are travelling independently your best option is to visit an insurance comparison website to find the best deal that covers your destination and holiday requirements. Check the small print thoroughly to make sure you’ll be covered for all aspects of your holiday for the duration.
Local currency in cash ( )
It is a good idea to carry as many US dollars cash as your insurance limit will allow – it is easier to change into Colombian pesos than travelers checks and you will receive better rates of exchange. Small denominations are easier to change. Don’t get caught out by money changers, and write down or memorize a couple of simple conversions to make sure your transactions are in the right ball park and you aren’t getting ripped off.
Country safety ( )
Colombia is, contrary to popular myth, a very safe country. However, just as for anywhere in the world problems can happen, so stay informed up until your departure date by checking the US State Department or UK Foreign office websites.
Language preparation ( )
A few choice phrases will go a long way in Colombia to providing you with a unique travelling experience, so purchase a phrasebook and memorise a couple of phrases, attend a few weeks of language Spanish courses or search the Internet for a few suggestions.
Confirming your flights ( )
You’re almost ready to leave home, but don’t turn up to the airport without checking the flight to Colombia that you booked months ago! Changes happen all the time, and you can’t expect your airline to notify you. Make sure you call them 48 hours before departure to avoid a disappointed trip to the airport. If you’re travelling on various connecting flights, make sure you get confirmations for all flights to avoid being stranded mid-passage.
Done? Excellent! Pick up those suitcases and head out of the door, confident that you are prepared; next stop Colombia!