I thought I'd post some travel tips/dos/don'ts based on my international travel experience. Feel free to take or leave any of this advice as you see fit.
- Don't forget your passport!!!
- If you are going to leave your car on the NEC campus during our absence, you must complete a form with Campus Security that authorizes them to move your car in case of emergency or snow plowing. Plan to park your car in the Larter Lot (across from the Science Building).
- If anyone is not meeting us at NEC on Friday for the ride down to Logan, please let Prof. Simon know immediately. As far as I know, we are all traveling down together on Friday.
- I don't expect there will be much opportunity to use your cell phone while in Peru other than in the Lima and Iquitos airports. If you wish to use your cell phone there, you may need to call your provided to ensure that international roaming is turned on for your phone. If you have a smart phone, you should go into Options and turn off "Data Roaming" else you might get hit with some huge charges. Cell phone text/call rates vary by carrier. For Verizon, calls to/from your phone cost $2.89/minute, and text messages cost $0.50 to send and $0.05 to receive. There are no packages for Peru that reduce the price. To call the U.S. from Peru, dial "+1" and the U.S. 10 digit number. To call within Peru, dial "+51" and the local Peru number.
- The exchange rate today is $1 U.S. dollar = 2.5 Peruvian Neuvo Sol (abbreviated as PEN). That means that something marked as 10 PEN is $4. We can exchange money in the airport. I don't expect you'll need much money, as there will be few opportunities to use it in Peru, other than buying some crafts at a local village and buying optional beverages in the lodges.
- I never bring my wallet on an international trip. Take out the things you really need: cash, one or two credit cards, your health inusrance cards. Put them in a special carrier along with your passport. I use a passport/money belt.
- Remember that there are several things that you may wish to bring on the trip that you cannot bring as carry-on: liquids over 3 ounces (shampoo, insect repellant, sunscreen, etc.), and knives (as in a Swiss army knife or multi-tools) are two obvious ones. Check these in your luggage! You cannot bring water with you, so bring a water bottle and fill it once you pass through security.
- There won't be a lot of opportunities to use credit cards or debit/ATM cards beyond the airpots (Miami, Lima, Iquitos). You may wish to use them there to buy meals, get cash, etc. It's not a bad idea to call your credit card company and tell them that you'll be using your card overseas. If you don't, they may reject the transaction as suspicious.
And finally, here is a photo of me treating my jungle clothes with insecticide! Yipee!