So you are going out of the US on a surfing trip. Here are some tips for traveling that you should know before you go. Always be attentive, do not carry your wallet in your back pocket at any time (master pickpockets are waiting for you). Take a photo copy of your passport while hiding the original safely. Be courteous and polite to the locals, (do not act arrogant), smile and say hello (Ola in Spanish).
Tips for traveling is to be aware of your surrounding, thieves see all Americans as money. Lodging should be done in a place with security, day and night (costs a little more but well worth it). Go in groups, never travel at night alone (possible muggers, rapists, thieves). Don’t take all your valuables when you leave the hotel surfing, you will be asking to get robbed. Take only what you need, surfboard, wax, leash. Put your sunscreen on before you go. Park where there is security at the break if possible ( costs usually $1US) Always watch your stuff. Keep your cameras and other valuables guarded all the time, I’ve seen people get ripped while they we away for dinner by local thieves.
Take zip lock bags, so you can surf with your money in your baggies pocket. Leave you rental vehicle unlocked, so they won’t break you window to get in. Use a travel group that will pick you up and transport you to and from the local breaks and keeps an eye on your stuff. Tip the maid and wait staff when you are ready to depart the hotel even though your food ticket does cover some tipping (they work hard to make your stay real nice).
Get to the airport early when going and coming back. Many foreign countries have a departure tax, so get that paid for quickly before getting into line at the ticket counter. You will have to have paid it before you can leave the country. Be nice to the ticket counter people, because they get their fill on knuckleheads that scream and shout about the dumbest stuff. It’s not their fault if the airline doesn’t send your plane on the day you;re leaving.
Make the best of it because the airline’s picking up the tab for dinner, breakfast, and lodging. It’s a minor inconvenience, but shouting and screaming only makes you look stupid. For surfboard safety, wrap your board in a plastic bag, then bubble-pack, wrap the rails, nose, and tail before putting into your board bag. The plastic bag will keep the tape glue off your board. Save you packing for the trip back home, and repack it the way you did on your trip out of the country. Good etiquette goes a long way. Have fun on your surfing trip, and be safe..