Are you planning on traveling to Brazil and wondering what to take with you? Depending of course on your final destinations in the vast country, you might need a few different things, but the basic things are the same, no matter which part of the country you visit. Below, we have listed some mandatory items, and also what you should just buy in Brazil, and an interesting project for the travelers who’d like to make a small, but significant difference!
At the end of this article, you can find a printable/downloadable checklist of Brazil essentials!
Pack some essentials
Repellent + Sunblock
2016 has been a year where it’s been especially important to emphasize packing certain items before traveling to Brazil. One of these, is bug repellent, to stay away from the zika virus! The CDC provided a really great guide + this infographic below on brands that offer high percentages of active ingredients, to prevent mosquito bites on your trip! Another thing we have plenty of in most parts of Brazil, is SUN! Some skin tones are more sensitive to the sun here than others – and even those who are darker skinned and can bear the sun in your home countries, should bring at least an SPF 30 sunblock.
Passport + Visa
Make sure you double check to see if you don’t need a visa to Brazil, and if you do, make that a priority, so you won’t have any problems at the airport upon arrival! Here’s the list of countries whose citizens don’t need visas to Brazil, and Brazil’s overall visa policy.
Unlike many other Latin American countries, Brazil does not accept US dollars or any other currencies for transactions – anywhere. Make sure you purchase the national currency, reais, before getting to Brazil (or at the airport), and then once you’re here, you can find local currency exchange agencies throughout major cities, at better rates than you’d get at airports. Note that most places accept credit cards in the country, but if you’re going to more remote places (Amazon, Pantanal, small islands), you should have cash on you – in reais! We like using xe.com for exchange rate estimates!
Clothing + Accessories
If you’re here for leisure, Brazil can be a very laid back place, and there are no set rules as to what’s appropriate or isn’t when visiting different parts of the country. Some clothing essentials to pack should be:
- Comfortable shoes for walking – most times it’s easier or more interesting to walk than take a cab or publich transport. A lot of tourist attractions also require a bit of walking, so make sure you have your favorite comfy shoes on you!
- Pants and Long Sleeve shirts – Many people will only pack for warm weather, assuming Brazil is warm all year long. Depending on where you’re going, temperatures can get down to 0º C in the winter, and even the warmest places can be breezy in the evenings, so make sure you bring something to cover up for the eventual ‘storm’!
- Zip-up bags/purses – Unfortunately, Brazil’s not the safest place on earth, when it comes to your valuables. Make sure you bring a bag or purse that you can hold close to your side, and that you can zip up, protecting your personal items from pick-pocketers. Also, try not to leave anything lying around unattended once you’re in Brazil! That being said, there’s no need to be paranoid – if you’re conscious of your belongings and surroundings, you should be just fine
- Prescription Glasses – They’re just as expensive here, and if you’re around in high season, or in a small town, it might be difficult to get a pair made quickly!
In Brazil, we use a new, 3 prong outlet, and this is relatively new, but has also replaced what used to be almost universal outlets. Make sure you have an adaptor (universal adaptors usually work), before getting here, because not all hotels will have these on hand for your particular country’s outlets as well.
Buy in Brazil
There are also a few things we recommend leaving to buy here – because it’s cheaper or readily available and you won’t need to carry around so much luggage!
Hellooooo Havaianas! You’re Welcome. The money tip here is – find a large super/’hiper’-market in a large city in Brazil, and look for them here. They’re usually cheaper than at the official store, and the larger markets have tons of options.
Things like soap, shampoos, and lotions are usually quite international, and not expensive in Brazil. If you don’t want to worry about carrying all sorts of liquids in your luggage, then just pick some up at a local pharmacy once you’re in Brazil. You’ll recognize the brands you’re used to (unless they’re high end and boutique), so shopping for this is easy!
We always encourage keeping an open mind whilst traveling, and trying new things. But if you’re going to be in a city like Rio de Janeiro, or São Paulo, you’ll most likely find everything you need and are used to in our supermarkets and some restaurants (this includes keeping kosher, halal, vegan, + gluten-free folk).
Pack for a Purpose
If you have a little bit of space left in your luggage (where you were going to put all your toiletries, for example!), then check out Pack For a Purpose! They connect with local entities that need supplies, clothing, and more, by having travelers donate to these NGOs during their travels.
You can then use this space for the wonderful souvenirs you will buy in Brazil!
Print the checklist here, by filling out the form below
And don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.