Here are the 5 things you CAN’T visit Rio without… some of them fit in your suitcase, some are a little more intangible, but ALL are extremely important.
An idea of what you want to get out of your time in Rio
Train, vacation, or both? Decide what you want to do in advance, as this will help you pick where you want to stay, where you want to train, and how much to balance the training with the other stuff.
Everyone arrives and wants to get tanned ASAP. Cue a day at the beach with no sunscreen, and then a very painful training session later that night (and the next day) as the gi rubs across your freshly burned red skin. Also, sunscreen is more expensive here in Rio than in some other countries, and generally not as powerful. If you’re pale or burn easily, make sure to stock up on the strong stuff.
At least 2 gis
Even if you’re only training once a day, you’ll need to rotate your gis often and they can be slow to dry in the humid Rio climate. Rolling in a dirty gi is completely unacceptable, and you won’t be allowed to train. You can buy a gi or two while you’re here, but you may find it cheaper to bring your own.
It’s entering ‘autumn’ in Rio, which means it’s slightly cooler than the sweltering summer months. While not exactly cold, the tropical winter in Rio can at times be gray and damp. When the sun comes out (which is often) you’ll wear shorts and sandals during the day, but it gets cold at night. If you’re visiting Rio between May and September, pack a sweater.
An Open Mind
By far the most important thing. Visiting Rio you will meet new people and be exposed to new situations, places and experiences. You will be given many amazing opportunities, but to make the most out of them you will need to keep an open mind and be prepared to go after what you want. Believe it or not, but some people come to Rio and spend their time behaving just like they do back home. This is an opportunity of a lifetime! Take chances, don’t turn something down without a good reason, and be prepared to have your mind blown!