Tips For Traveling: Central America

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Know Before You Go:
– If you’re on a budget, travel by chicken bus or local bus.
– Be quick when traveling by chicken buses, they don’t wait long.
– If you travel on an overnight bus be sure to wear warm clothes. They are freezing!
– Most of Central America does not have running hot water so get used to cold showers.
– If you decide to hitchhike, be prepared to pay a normal fare. It’s a kind gesture.
– Visit the visitor/travel centers because they have a lot of valuable information.
– Carry small change to pay for the bathrooms, otherwise you will not get to use the toilet.
– Some transit terminals require bathroom tickets in order to use the toilet.
– Bring wet wipes! You never know when you might need them.
– Prepare a travel sized first aid kit with the basic essentials and medications.
– If you plan on diving in Roatan, most dive shops have dorms you can stay in for cheap!
– Eat at local vendors! They have the best and most cost effective food choices.
– Daily specials at vendors and local restaurants are usually the most cost effective.
– Carry small bills! You might have a hard time breaking larger bills when shopping.
– Learn to haggle! It’s a great way to get items at half the cost.
– Be respectful when haggling and don’t be too cheap, you don’t want to come off as rude.
– Always ask how much the fare will be before traveling by taxi or tuk-tuk.
– Most Mayans do not like their photo taken so always get permission first, it’s polite.
– Most of the water in Central America is drinkable, but always ask first.
– Purchase a water filter, reusable water bottle and bamboo utensils made specifically for traveling. Not only will it keep costs down but it reduces excessive waste of plastic during your trip.
– Use Eco-friendly hygiene products that will not harm the environment. Some hostels and farms recycle the water to sustain their plants/crops.
– Headlamps are miracles sent from the lamp gods. They come in handy whether you’re reading a book in your bunk or trying to find your way through the Costa Rican jungle.
– This can be difficult, but do not purchase items from children or give to beggars on the street. It supports poverty in the area and keeps children out of school and prevents them from getting the education they deserve.

Basic Spanish Phrases:
“Hello!” – “¡ Hola!”
“Good morning!”- “¡Buenos días!”
“Good afternoon” – “¡Buenas tardes!”
“Good evening!” – “¡Buenas noches!”
“How much?” – “¿Cuánto cuestra?”
“Where is the bus station?” – “¿Dónde está la estación de autobuses?”
“Where is the local market?” – “¿Dónde está el mercado local?”
“How do you get there?” – “¿Cómo llegar allí?”
“What time is it?” – “¿Qué horas es?”
“What is your name?” – “¿Cómo te llamas?”
“My name is ____” – “Mi nombre es ____”
“Where are you from?” – “¿De dónde eres?”
“Pleased to meet you!” – “¡Mucho gusto!”
“Have a nice day” – “¡Que tengas un buen día!”
“I don’t understand” – “No entiendo”
“Please speak more slowly” – “Por favor hable más despacio”
“Please write it down” – “Por favor escriba”
“How do you say ____ in Spanish?” – “¿Cómo se dice ____ en Español?”
“I don’t speak Spanish very well” – “No hablo a español muy bien”
“Repeat, please” – “Repita por favor”
“Is the tip included?” – “¿Es la propina incluida?”
“Can you help me, please?” – “¿Usted me puede ayudar por favor?”
“I’m sorry!” – “¡Lo siento!”
“Pardon me!” -“¡ Perdón!”

*Disclaimer: The Spanish phrases are to the best of my knowledge and some may be worded incorrectly, I apologize in advanced!

I hope these help you during your travels as they’ve helped me. If you have any tips or phrases that you’d like to share, please leave a comment below!

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