Though every Latino household is different, there are many similarities that tie in the Latino community. One of those similarities is the way we travel.
It’s not uncommon to share some laughs with other Latino cultures when we realize how seriously we take traveling. I, for one, travel with the equivalent of a travel-sized pharmacy in my luggage at all times because uno nunca sabe. TSA always gives me weird looks when they open my bags, but I tell them it’s part of who I am. Usually, they understand.
The thing is that as travel restrictions dwindle down, more people are making their way to their dream destinations.
This means many Latinos are back to overly preparing for their next trip! It sounds comical, but it’s a reality.
Let’s take a look at the unique – and often funny – things Latino families do while traveling.
The early bird gets the worm
Usually, most people abide by the rules given by the airline. For example, for international flights, you must arrive at least three hours before, and for domestic flights, at least two hours before. Oh, but for some Latino families, that’s cutting it too close. Instead, arriving at the airport exaggeratedly early is the way to go. Flight boards at 3 p.m.? Best to arrive at 9 a.m. because one can never be too sure. Finding the gate in a timely manner is another story.
Fitting ‘encargos’ into your luggage should be a sport
Whether you’re leaving or coming back, someone is bound to have an “encargo” or little order request for you. Chances are you remember about the encargo on the last day of the trip and your luggage is filled up to the top. However, not showing up with what was requested may be worse than an overweight baggage charge. Besides, making room in your bag is as easy as wearing three shirts and two pairs of pants to the airport, right? Fun times.
Can’t forget the cheese
Bringing back snacks from the country we visited is a must. After all, we might not find it online or in a nearby store when we get back to the states. What an unsettling thought. Now, if we are traveling to our home countries, there is an unwritten rule that we must bring back cheese to share with our friends and family who weren’t able to travel with us. Why cheese specifically? Well, the way the cheese in Latin America is cultivated is more pure and organic – or so that’s what we tell ourselves to justify stuffing cheese packages into our luggage. Sadly, sometimes it gets confiscated at the airport, but that’s a chance we are willing to take.
One person is usually in charge of everything
Travel decisions can be a mess in a Latino family, which is why there’s usually someone who takes charge – for the entire familia. This person is the one booking flights, taking care of the lodging arrangements, and reminding everyone of any minor thing pertaining to the travel plans. In my family, that’s me. Thankfully, there are many options to help out the travel guardian angel of the family. Trafalgar, for instance, provides guided tours for couples, families, solo travelers, girl trips, and small or large groups, among other things.
Their trips are commended for being special and giving lifelong memories to everyone involved. They offer that ease and attention to detail one could look for, so that people can travel confidently – even in the age of COVID-19. In a recent BELatina TV episode, Karent and James went to Calle Ocho with them as they explained how they’ve helped so many families have the best times of their lives.
Imagine this: the travel leader in the family can now book guided experiences with no risk deposit, flexible changes, and a travel director on every trip. I guess now I won’t mind being that person anymore!
How about a round of applause?
For the most part, once the plane lands, everyone is relieved and excited to tackle their itinerary. However, many Latinos will let people know how happy they are by clapping when the plane lands. It’s as though we are congratulating the pilot and flight crew for a job well done. There have been moments where singing takes place, but those are for special occasions only. Some might find this behavior over-the-top, but Latinos can’t hide their emotions well – and that’s a beautiful thing in itself.
The way Latinos get ready to travel should be recorded in the Guinness Book of Records. If you’re from the Latino community, you understand just what I mean.