January Gazette Brazil Spring Break 2017
to Europe and Brazil
Tours for Junior age (U12 - U20) and Adult (21+) Volleyball Players
January Issue 2017
Only a few days to go before our departure to RIO…...
Meeting Place and Times
Before you depart from you hometown....... take a few minutes to double check to make sure you have everything you need. DO NOT — DO NOT PACK YOUR PASSPORT!!!!!! Keep your passport handy KEEP YOUR PASSPORT WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES YOU WILL NEED IT MANY TIMES — AT CHECK IN — AT BOARDING— WHENEVER YOU EXCHANGE MONEY / CASH CHECKS - ENTERING COUNTRIES. Keep your Passport in your money packet, fanny pack, etc. — you will need to show your passport with you ticket when you check your luggage in, and when you board the plane.
Airport Check in…. This is very easy…
1st make sure you have your new passport with you and that you have signed it and that it has you Brazilian VISA inside. Take it to the airline ticket counter for check in for INTERNATIONAL travel. Hand them you passport tell them you are going to RIO… they will give you your domestic and INTERNATIONAL boarding card. Check as much luggage as you can (hopefully it will be there when we arrive (you may want to pack and medicine and other personal items you will need in the event your luggage does not arrive) … this happened to me on a previous trip… I will pack a swim suit in my carry on so that I have something to change into when I arrive.
Going through security… remember for carry on liquids and other gel items are limited to 3.5 oz and must be in a clear zip top plastic bag,… if you need your 24 oz bottle of shampoo .. Pack it in your checked luggage.
We each have our own depart times from our HOME TOWNS….
You will arrive into RIO ... it will take you about 45 minutes to an hour to do immigration, get your luggage and clear customs. (going through customs... you will give them a piece of paper... you will keep the carbon copy... you will need that when you leave the country... do not through it away..)
I will already be in RIO... I will meet you outside of the customs area for me... We should all be together by about 11:45 am.
When you arrive into RIO you will clear Immigration, pick up our luggage and then go through customs. I will meet you as you exit the Customs / Luggage hall, as you exit the hall turn right ... there are some benches to sit on near the Customs exit doors. We will be met by our local tour host for the tour. He will transport us to our hotel on Copacabana… My cell phone number is 206-595-9711 it will work in RIO....
Review of What to Bring
The following may assist you with your final planning, and what to take on the tour.
1. YOU carry what you bring!
2. One backpack, OR Suitcase
3. One carry on / athletic bag.
Please DO NOT BRING 5-6 smaller bags, YOU will STRUGGLE the entire trip.
Use plastic bags. Every bottle that contains liquid should be packed inside a plastic bag. Throw in a few large, lightweight bags to hold dirty shoes, soggy clothes, dirty laundry, or wet bathing suits.
More trips have been ruined by over-packing than by all the terrorists, hurricanes, and all of the surly waiters of the world, combined. A light suitcase or a backpack is the key to an enjoyable vacation, and proper packing ranks with the advance study of history and culture, as the two most important steps of travel preparation for trips to anywhere.
Pack light! Take no more than one medium-sized suitcase per person, partially empty, and you assure the success of your trip. Take more, and you become a fatigued beast of burden, a prisoner of porters and taxicabs, the unhappy bearer of unwashed clothing or of items never used.
Come to peace with yourself. Realize that you will not in all probability be invited to a garden party or to the opera on your trip, or even to meet the President, and that it is not necessary to include an outfit for every conceivable and far-fetched occasion. Nor is it necessary to bring excess pharmaceuticals, Kleenex, band-aids; the entire world has become well-developed, and even Kathmandhu has a 24-hour drugstore.
I’ve seen tourists arriving at Heathrow Airport London with an entire extra suitcase packed with bandages, iodine, toilet paper, lotions, and shampoo. For; London! The birthplace of the pharmacy! Where there are drugstores on every corner--as there are now throughout the world--ready to service your on-the-spot needs.
Don’t bring another thing! If you have taken too little, you can always remedy the deficiency while abroad--namely, by shopping for more--but you will obviously not want to discard excess items that you have unnecessarily brought. Light packing is the key to an enjoyable vacation, and a prime example of the need for careful preparations in advance of your departure.
Don't sneer at this freedom from excess luggage. The travelers whose arms are bursting from their sockets with weight, become prisoners of their own belongings.
A light suitcase means spiritual freedom, too, and an ability to concentrate on the attractions and activities of your destination, in preference to mundane, daily needs. With too many clothes, and too many parcels, you'll spend hours unpacking and arranging your apparel when you check into a hotel. You'll spend hours packing them away again as you prepare to leave. You'll awake on the morning of departure, spend frantic and precious time in packing and wrapping, and finally collapse in sweat on your outgoing plane or train. Moreover, you'll have a disorderly, bursting suitcase--cluttered with dirty and unwashed clothes--in which to search for items on the trip itself.
Remember, too, that these problems increase as the trip continues. However heavy your suitcase may have been as you left home, it'll be twice as heavy as you go along. At every stop of your trip, you'll pick up mementos, gifts, books, papers, tapes, souvenirs. Unless you've had a one-third-empty suitcase to begin with, you'll be festooned with extra parcels and packages near the end. You'll loop them over your shoulder, you'll squeeze them under your arm, you'll carry some with your little finger--and you'll approach each new city and each new hotel search in a mood of desperation. The first hotel you examine will have you at their mercy.
If you make the right decisions when you pack in preparation for travel, you’ll first buy the lightest suitcase available. You'll then fill it with the skimpiest set of clothing your courage will allow. Having done that, you'll then remove half these clothes from the suitcase, and depart on your trip. You won't, for instance, take eight complete changes of underwear. You'll realize that three are enough; that there are few less-than-a-week laundries at your destination, and that you'll have to wash out those t-shirts yourself, in any event. You'll recognize how depressing it is to cart a suitcase of dirty clothes from city to city.
Passport & a Photo Copy of it put in your luggage
Photo copy of your birth certificate
Photo copy of your drivers license
Misc. Insurance paperwork
Toothbrush / paste / floss ...
Hair care products shampoo etc.
(for those who have hair…)
Make up (minimal)
(thank you… in advance)
All PERSONAL toiletry items
Sun Tan Lotion / Block
Eye Ware / Sun Glasses /contacts
Anti Acid Tablets
Prescription Drugs in their original container
Small amount of US currency
Suggested Amount $25 - $35 per day
Travelers Checks in denominations of $20 -$50
Money belt or Neck pouch
Charge cards Visa / MasterCard or Debit Card
Camera Bag (optional)
Books, cards, games, puzzles
Photos of family and friends
Journal to write your daily log
Underwear 5 - 7 days
Sweatshirt / light jacket
Tee Shirts 7 - 10
Jeans or other long pants
Several pair of Walking shorts
1 casual / nicer “outfit” optional
1 small plastic garbage/laundry bag
Sewing kit (optional)
1 suitcase or Backpack
1 athletic type bag (provided)
Laundry Soap (clothes washing in the room)
1 light cord for hanging laundry
Snacks for the long flights and Bus Ride
Gum for the flight (ear pressure)
What NOT to Bring.....
Excessive Flashy Jewelry
Large Sums of CASH
Guns / Drugs
Alcohol / Tobacco
Email While on Tour
Our Hotel has wifi, you will be able to check your email, and to email your friends back home.
What if I get Lost
Let me say first that you will get lost, not lost as in (you will starve to death in the woods lost) but you will MANY times not know for sure if you should go left or right, take the metro up town or down town, or where you are EXACTLY at any point in time. But that is part of the fun of Traveling. Yes it may take you a bit longer to find your way than it does in you home town, but that is because you are in RIO. When you get to RIO take a look at how many tourists have their MAPS out, turning it one direction and then the next, pointing one direction and then the other as they talk to their traveling companion trying to figure out WHERE THE HECK THEY ARE. My guess is that there are 10,000 “lost tourists” in RIO every minute of everyday, and yes you get to be one of them…. But it is fun. Just incase you are tired of having “fun” and just before “panic” sets in…
You will be mailed a plastic laminated address card prior to our departure. This card will have the address and telephone number of each accommodation in each of the cities we will be visiting. I will also include these address’s in this newsletter, for your friends to have in case they want to write you a letter (remember it takes almost 10 days sometimes to get the International mail).
Occasionally these “lost and found” cards come in very handy... in the event you become “seriously lost”. Simply catch a taxi cab, show them the address you are trying to get to, and let them take you home. This does not happen very often, but... if it happens one time you will be very happy to have your accommodation card.
Protecting your Valuables
Pickpockets, purse-snatchers, and petty theft
Most tourist crime involves theft of property. For example:
· Pickpockets frequently work in airports, train stations, subways, and other crowded public places, just as they do in many other countries. Groups of child pickpockets can also be a problem.
· Purse-snatchers may grab handbags, video cameras, laptop cases, etc. and escape on foot or by motor scooter.
How to protect your belongings
Common sense will go a long way toward preventing theft. Here are a few basic tips:
· Watch your wallet. If you're a man, carry your wallet in a side pocket of your trousers or an inside pocket of a zipped jacket. A lump in your hip pocket is an invitation to pickpockets.
· Use strong shoulder straps. A heavy leather strap or, better yet, a strap of ballistic nylon will make it harder for grab-and-run thieves to cut through the strap and make off with your handbag or camera.
· Guard loose belongings. Don't hang cameras or purses on café chairs, and keep your suitcases close at hand when you're at a ticket counter or hotel registration desk.
· Wear a "neck safe" or money belt. Stores that sell luggage and travel accessories offer a wide variety of pouches that hang from the neck, fit around the waist, or wrap around the ankle. Use one of these for your passport and the bulk of your traveler's checks and credit cards. (Also remember to keep photocopies of your passport's main page and the receipts for your traveler's checks in a safe place in case the originals are stolen.)
Although Rio is not known for violent crime, tourists often become victims of petty crime. Most of these crimes occur in crowded areas such as flea markets, buses, subways and tourist sites.
Sometimes a group of men will throw a white substance on a tourist walking down the street, and then immediately come to their aid, helping them to remove their bag or coat so they can clean up the mess. They then run off with the bag. This type of practice is common for gypsies who use a diversion to distract the tourist. Gypsy children will do this by playing games, selling newspapers or begging. Mothers will also use their babies to draw people's attention away from their valuables. Simply looking less like a tourist can help. If you look as if you know what you're doing, you're less likely to be a victim. Walked confidently with a destination in mind. If you're lost or confused, walk purposefully into a shop or bar and check your map inside. Look confident and always be aware of your surroundings and the people around you.
Invest in small padlocks or luggage locks to keep bags safe. It's a good idea to wear a money pouch. Any money or important documents should be kept in a pouch hidden underneath clothing. Visible wallets or purses are an advertisement that you are carrying money. It is common for thieves to walk by or ride by on a motorcycle and snatch a purse or camera from a tourist's shoulder. Always wear these items across your body, making them harder to snatch.
Random Thought - Helpful Hints
The following are some random thoughts.. for you to ponder... and if you are wise will heed the underlying message.....
Each year 95 % of the tour members OVER PACK!!! They bring too much stuff......
Remember you will be carrying your suitcase/ backpack for 2 weeks...... do you really need that extra pair of shoes?
We will be walking / carrying our luggage to and from the motor coach to the hotel. .... not really very far.... but ..... do your really need that extra hair dryer?.......
it may be 80 - 90 degrees there... do you really need that extra bag of makeup?......
it may be very hot and after a long trip do you really want to struggle with that extra suitcase?.....
Just incase the subtle message here has escaped you...... you will be MISERABLE if you OVER-PACK...... Lay everything out on the floor, and think long and hard about what you REALLY need on the trip. We have had some players bring a whole extra bag ..... just for their makeup..... and they were sorry they did!!! In Brazil the “natural look” is more in fashion.
Getting into shape.....
That has been my motto for several years......... BUT that's not what I am talking about here....... I am talking about Walking shape... we will be on our feet, from 8 am - 11 p.m or later for about 2 weeks. Walking mile after mile sightseeing, shopping, playing.... and just goofing around. Walking the streets of RIO is not the same as walking around home or at work.... the streets are HARD, HOT, DIRTY, and unforgiving. I would guess that we will walk 10 miles in any given day. I suggest you start doing a little “walking” around your town prior to the trip. Start to get your feet and legs into walking shape.... you will enjoy the trip much more. (If you really want to see what it will be like carrying your luggage..... pack your bag, and then carry it around town for about 30 minutes.... if you have no problem with it then you have about the right amount stuff packed.
Pack light... wash often..... enjoy your light back pack.....
Pack heavy, carry lots of dirty, smelly clothes, be miserable, and grumpy.....
Choose wisely...... And …… smile.......