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Important Tips When Flying In Brazil With Kids

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Last Updated on June 5, 2024 by Leslie Stroud

Is Brazil beckoning to your travel spirit? Are you are wondering if you can head there with the kids?  Our family of seven went to Brazil for six weeks and flew several times within Brazil.  We rented a car, took many taxis and Ubers, and walked around.  Read about our experience with Ubers and Taxis in Brazil

Brazil offers incredible experiences, landscapes, cultures, and more for tourists.  From the sand dunes in Natal, sprawling beaches in Florianopolis, and the Amazon Rainforest outside of Manaus to the massive metropolis of São Paulo and the Christ statue in Rio, you’ll have no shortage of things to do in Brazil.  This country is the fifth largest in the world and nearly as big as the United States.

A lot of entertainment, even in the streets!

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Is It Safe To Travel In Brazil With Kids?

I’m going to be straight with you: Brazil is very dangerous.  However, I wanted to go for many years, and after traveling the world for over three years, I figured we could take on Brazil.

We had some fantastic experiences and some horrible ones in Brazil.  I don’t regret going, but I also have a healthy appreciation for the danger that exists there.

That being said families travel successfully to Brazil every day!  I wouldn’t recommend Brazil for brand-new travelers, and I would encourage some standard tips, such as:

  • Don’t be out after dark.  
  • Stay in touristy areas only.
  • Be aware of those around you, and don’t be distracted by your phone.  Our daughter was attacked for her phone while trying to read a map.  Thankfully, others stepped in, and she walked away unharmed and with her phone, although very shaken up.
  • Do not flash valuables like jewelry, electronics, etc.
  • Do not leave valuables unattended on the beach.  
  • In the most extreme cases, some Brazilians carry two wallets: the one they can give away and the one they want to keep.

I don’t mean to scare you, but after over 40 countries, I was surprised by how cautious we needed to be in Brazil.

The Amazon Theater

Traveling Around Brazil With Kids

Driving in Brazil

We rented two cars (big family problems!) to drive into Chapada Diamantina.  This incredible national park was worth the hassle.

Something to know when driving a rental car in Brazil:

  • Pay for the insurance.  Not only will you reduce the deposit you need to pay, but you might also need it.  I was actually rear-ended in Brazil, and we had to pay for the damages out of pocket.  Major bummer!
  • Getting gas in Brazil is full service.  You won’t be filling your car with gas, which can be difficult if you don’t speak Portuguese.  (We live in Portugal now, but I spoke no Portuguese when we visited Brazil!)
  • Outside of the cities, driving is a bit free-range.  Don’t be surprised to be passed, honked at, or more.  
  • When approaching a small city, you’ll need to slow down for several large speed bumps. There often is no traffic lights in the small towns, only speed bumps.
  • In case you have a big family like us, you may not be able to find a single car for more than five passengers in the city of Natal, hence why we rented two!
Cruising in the Amazon Rainforest

Flying In Brazil With Kids

We took over ten flights in Brazil with kids during our extended stay.  We found it to be pleasant and easy to do.

However, there are several differences between flying in Brazil and other countries. Here are a few:

  1. Airports: Brazil has many airports, but many are small and poorly equipped. This can make travel to certain parts of the country more challenging. In contrast, airports in other countries may be more extensive and better equipped, making travel more convenient.
  2. Airlines: Brazil has a few major airlines, such as LATAM and GOL, but several smaller regional airlines operate in the country. In other countries, there may be more competition among airlines, leading to lower prices and better service.
  3. Safety: Safety is a significant concern for air travel in Brazil, as the country has had several high-profile aviation accidents in recent years. However, the Brazilian government has taken steps to improve safety, and flying in Brazil is generally considered safe. Safety may also be a concern in other countries, but different regulations and standards may exist.
  4. Language: Portuguese is the official language of Brazil, and while many people speak English, it is not as widely spoken as in some other countries. This can make communication with airline staff and other travelers more challenging for those who do not speak Portuguese.
  5. Culture: The air travel culture in Brazil may differ from that in other countries. For example, flights may be delayed or canceled more frequently in Brazil, and there may be more focus on socializing and conversation among passengers. In other countries, air travel may be more focused on efficiency and getting to one’s destination quickly.
Riding the Sand Dunes in Natal

Differences Between Flying In Brazil Versus Other Countries

  • Security is more relaxed.  You do not need to remove anything but computers.
  • Liquids are not restricted!  We took liter water bottles through with no problem.
  • On the planes, there is no snack or drink service.  Come prepared with your own drinks and snacks.
  • At least during Covid, only small children could eat on planes.  I imagine it’s a bit different now, but maybe eat your snack on the way to your seat 🙂
  • Masks were going strong when we visited, and 100% required on planes for adults, but not for children under 12.
  • Not all planes have TVs, similar to domestic flights in the USA.
  • First-class tickets can be affordable!  We splurged on some really late flights (once we left at 2 am!) and loved it.  We even got lay-flat seats on one flight.
  • Flights do not have Wifi.
  • Getting off the plane was very strict.  It might be for Covid or routine, but the flight attendants told which rows could stand up to get their bags when the flight landed.  If you stood up as soon as the flight landed, you were firmly told to sit back down.
  • Passports are checked at the gates, not at security.
  • Finding a lot of food in the airports outside São Paulo or Rio can be difficult.

Fun pro tip: Sometimes, you can get a massage in the airport while waiting for your flight!  This can do miracles after flying for a long time!

The amazing Iguazu Falls

Top Things To See In Brazil

  • São Paulo has a rich cultural scene, with many museums, art galleries, theaters, and music venues. Some of the most popular cultural attractions in the city include the São Paulo Museum of Art, the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, and the Municipal Theatre. The city is particularly famous for its pizza, which is considered one of the best in the world.
  • Rio de Janeiro is famous for its beautiful beaches, including Copacabana and Ipanema, which are popular with tourists and locals. The iconic statue of Christ the Redeemer is also located in Rio de Janeiro and is one of the most famous landmarks in Brazil.
  • Natal is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Brazil, including Ponta Negra, Genipabu, and Pipa. These beaches offer crystal-clear waters, white sand, and stunning natural scenery.
  • Salvador is located in the state of Bahia. Pelourinho is Salvador’s historic center and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can wander through the colorful colonial buildings, churches, and museums. Another top thing to see in Salvador is the Lacerda Elevator, a historic elevator that connects the upper and lower parts of Salvador. Visitors can take a ride to enjoy the panoramic views of the city and the bay.
  • Iguazu Falls is located on the border of Brazil and Argentina. Visitors can take a guided tour to see the falls from the Brazilian and Argentine sides or explore independently.
  • The Meeting of Waters in the Amazon is a natural phenomenon where the black waters of the Rio Negro meet the sandy-colored waters of the Solimões River, creating a striking visual contrast. The Meeting of Waters is located near the city of Manaus, in the state of Amazonas, and is a popular tourist attraction. The two rivers have different temperatures, densities, and speeds, which also contributes to their non-mixing. It is best seen from a boat or ferry, where visitors can witness the clear line between the two rivers.
  • Genipabu Beach is a popular tourist destination near Natal in Rio Grande do Norte. It is famous for its stunning dunes and beautiful beaches. The region around Genipabu is rich in culture, influenced by Portuguese, African, and indigenous traditions.
You didn’t visit Brazil if you have no picture of this statue: Christ the Redeemer

Other Things To Do In Brazil With Kids

Brazil is gifted with beautiful scenery – falls, rainforests, statues, and many more! Here are some tour options you can try if you’re still filling up your Brazil itinerary:

  • Fall in love with Rio de Janeiro by taking the Sugarloaf Cable Car ride, which will give you fantastic panoramic views and bring you to Morro da Urca and Sugarloaf Mountain.
Colorful avenues are common in Brazil

Where To Stay In Brazil With Kids

Here are some hotel options for your stay in Brazil:

  • Hotel Fasano Rio de Janeiro is located in Ipanema, a neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro. Copacabana Fort and Parque Henrique Lage are local landmarks.
  • Emiliano Rio is located in Copacabana. Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden and AquaRio are also worth visiting. It’s in a central location which the guests love. Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden and AquaRio are also worth visiting.
Kids trying to escape from the giant waves of the Copacabana Beach

Enjoy your travels in Brazil!

Xoxo,

Leslie

✈️ Plan your trip to Brazil and get some budget-friendly tickets from Booking.com, Skyscanner, Kiwi.com, or Expedia

Find a family-friendly hotel in Brazil from Booking.com, Expedia, or Vrbo, (we also love Tripadvisor and Hotels.com)

Discover more of Brazil through exciting activities from GetYourGuide, Airbnb Experiences, or Viator

Need to rent a car? Visit Rentalcars.com.

✅ Get insured while traveling with World Nomads.

Capture your best travel memories in Brazil as we do with a GroPro, Sony camera, or our favorite drones: DJI FPV, Air, and Mini

Check out your travel necessities from a comprehensive list of all the 7Wayfinders Travel Must-Haves. Click Here!

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