I’m going to Peru in May! I’m so excited, and I thought I would take my readers along with me- through the different parts of planning and the trip itself. Once a month through June, I’ll post about how trip planning and preparation is going, the trip itself, and lessons learned.
My sister and I have been thinking and talking about going to Peru since May. She has a big birthday this year, and what better way to celebrate than with a trip?!? We agreed to it in May, spent Labor Day weekend reading travel books and coming up with a general plan.
Important Tip 1: To travel to Peru from the US, you need a passport valid for at least 6 months after your trip. You can get a visa when you enter the country, but to buy airplane tickets, make some reservations, etc, you need a valid passport. My sister’s was going to expire 3 months after our trip, so the first step was for her to renew her passport this fall.
The next big step we took was to ask friends for recommendations and make some initial inquiries. We had decided that our top priority was to do the 4-day hike of the Inca Trail to Macchu Picchu. We contacted one company to ask some general questions, and we were told that 2017 permits would not be released until late December/January 1, 2017.
Important Tip 2: Research, but don’t fall into the well. We use analogies like this in my family- do your research, but don’t fall into the well/down the rabbit hole. There will always be more research to do, more blogs to read, more comparison sites and reviews to visit. At some point, you need to take the top few recommendations and limit your choices to those. Do the deep dive comparison of pros/cons, prices, extras, safety ratings, and availability of those top 2-4 options.
Important Tip 3: Decide your priorities and then start to commit to plans. For Peru, if you really want to hike the Inca Trail, that means that reserving your trail permit through a trekking company will likely be the very first thing you have to do, commit to and put down a reservation payment. We picked our trek company, made our reservation and put down our deposit. Within a day, we received a confirmation email, and within 3 weeks we received a confirmation that our company had our trek permits on-hand and we were set to go!
Next steps: Block tentative number of days for the rest of the Peru trip; request vacation days, buy round-trip airfare from US/Peru. I’ll be back in February to let you all know how it’s going.
What are you tips for traveling to Peru? Was anything not worth it? Was there something you would recommend to anyone who is going?