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South America is such a diverse set of nations, cultures, languages and geographies that it hardly seems possible to generalize about traveling experiences. From the remains of lost civilizations like Peru’s Machu Picchu to sophisticated cities like Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro and Columbia’s Cartagena to the ecological diversity of Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands and Bolivia’s Parque Nacional Madrid, South America offers one of the most diverse set of tourism attractions anywhere. The three most useful travel tips for visiting South America: Invest in the best travel insurance package, carry international calling cards and safeguard essential documents.

Travel Insurance

it’s always wise for travelers to protect themselves as much as possible from the unexpected. An unforeseen mishap in travel arrangements can end up being very expensive, while a health emergency may leave a traveler with few if any viable options for treatment.

Trip insurance offers compensation in the event of a missed flight connection, lost luggage or a travel delay. Some trip insurance policies will even reimburse travelers for the cost of their plane tickets should something untoward happen before they leave that forces them to cancel a trip.

Most health insurance policies do not provide coverage outside the country of the policy’s origin. Medical trip insurance will pay for the cost of emergency medical treatment while the policyholder is in a foreign country, including emergency transportation home should the treating physician deem this necessary. Medical trip insurance generally has many exclusionary clauses, including one for preexisting conditions. Prospective policyholders are advised to read the fine print carefully.

International Calling Cards

Many travelers agonize over whether or not to bring their mobile phone when they go to South America. But those phones can be a nuisance in airport security lines, and they’re easily lost or stolen. Instead, bring prepaid international calling cards to call home with. Calling from most countries in South America to the United States can cost as little as 1.5 ¢, and can be done from any hotel room.

Safeguard Essential Travel Documents

Travelers should carry their passports, visas and other important travel documents with them at all times, preferably in a pouch that is hidden underneath their clothing to deter theft. it’s a good idea to keep an email record of passport, visa and itinerary information so that in the event of a loss or theft, the information at least can be recovered by accessing one’s own email.

Comparing travel insurance to find a plan best suited to a traveler’s needs, carry calling cards and safeguarding valuable documents are the best travel tips for South American tourists.

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