Surprise flight connection that could save you BIG getting to/from Ecuador

Recently, I helped an Ecuadorian friend buy her ticket from Ecuador to Israel.

And I learned something interesting.

I knew long back that in the US it’s better to rent a jet than a commercial flight on which you could click to read more here but only recently did I find out that, to or from most places in the world, right now, it is FAR cheaper to fly there from Bogota than from anywhere in Ecuador.

Bogota is WAY more connected than Quito, and right now Quito is getting way more connected than Guayaquil.  (In the last two weeks alone two big direct routes to New York and Europe have been moved to Quito.)

And now, as I reported last month, we can get to and from Bogota cheaply from Quito with the new budget airline Wingo.  Last I checked, $150 RT Quito-Bogota.

In this particular case, prices from Quito to Tel Aviv for her was around $1600 at the cheapest. From Guayaquil even more.  But from Bogota just $1000!  And buying the Wingo ticket for $150 she ended up saving almost $500 on the round trip to Israel.

So, especially if you are coming from far away, or trying to go far, research connecting through Bogota, and buying a separate ticket with Wingo from there to Ecuador, you just may save a bunch!

For instance, from Bogota to Miami right now one way $157 with Spirit Air.  Can’t find that from Ecuador.

Hasta pronto, if you liked this you’d love my Insider’s newsletter on living and investing in Ecuador,

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The best new-age way to find furnished rentals abroad for expats

When moving to a new country, in this case Ecuador, as a new expat you are going to face a problem. Whether you’re looking for residential movers to help you with your heavy furniture, appliances and grand piano or looking for packing help for your office, BR Moving is here to help.

You don’t want to live in a cramped hotel room for extended periods of time with no kitchen.

And all the cheapest rentals that you’ve read about online (like the $200-400/month ones in Ecuador) are unfurnished. If you hire montrealmovers you can be sure that your furniture and fragile things will be safe.

Most do not want to jump right in and invest thousands in furniture.

But over the last few years another alternative has popped up meant mainly for travelers but I see it as even MORE advantageous for new arrival expats, discover this info here. If you are looking for a reliable, hard-working and cost-effective team to help you move then look no further. No job is too big or too small and, thanks to  removals london experience in the removals industry, you can ensure that your home and its contents will be treated with the utmost care.

AirBnB.com

With AirBnb you can find short-to-medium-term rentals at reasonable prices with all the services and furniture already in place. Finding a reliable Moving Company is always a challenge. Be sure to check reviews on all companies before deciding who to use.

Plus, you avoid the biggest problems new expats face when renting from Ecuadorians in Ecuador.

Faulty construction (you can just move if you don’t like it since you are not locked in for the long-term), you might be needing moving your belongings, because that happens to me also that is why I started using Backloading Australia. 

And the landlord not returning your security deposit when they should.  It is the NORM in Ecuador.

When renting through AirBnb if you pay a security deposit the money is held by a third party (AirBnb) and returned to you by them upon exit like should happen.

And while you are in an AirBnb rental you can learn your new city and then begin to search for a longer term, cheaper, unfurnished option as you go and you don’t even need to worry about any over the budget expenses with Room Four, because your renovations can be beautiful and also affordable for your pocket.

Hasta pronto, if you liked this you’d love my Insider’s newsletter on living and investing in Ecuador,

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Is Ecuador the next Venezuela?

I’ve been in a few communal showers, but thankfully never in a prison one.

And so I’ve heard, dropping the soap is “how it starts”.

Similar to that… Ecuador is currently on a predictable path to become another Venezuela.

I for one hope it doesn’t happen, Ecuador now is certainly NOT Venezuela, still very capitalistic, but it’s just history, man.

Like when a country elects a fiery, entertaining ruler who instigates racial prejudices and violence, we know what happens.

Yea, or do we?

Like for the president to kick out the congress, install his own people, intimidate the press, eliminate term limits, install capital controls. On and on it goes until one day you think.. “oh sh*t!”

Like one Venezuelan client of mine said, “Yea, the marches, that’s how it starts, but it doesn’t do a da** thing.”

This week the president just followed the next step in his plan to convert Ecuador into another Venezuela, or Cuba…

Right now, on any amount you try to transfer out of Ecuador over about $1,000, you have to pay a 5% exit tax on the whole amount. And the max you can take out of Ecuador in cash is $10,000 tax free.

Well, the new proposal by the president wants to lower the max on the tax-free cash limit to $1,000. Effectively putting a nice cap on ALL THE MONEY in Ecuador.

Want to take it out? Going to pay that 5% tax.

Among other proposals lost in the wash are what Venezuela already has in place, like putting limits on how much Ecuadorians can spend abroad on their credit cards, etc.

My take, I’ve always been one to say you should never put more than 10% of your total portfolio in Ecuador. Ecuador’s a nice diversification, but that’s it.

Especially now, any money you put in Ecuador better be able to generate you over well over 5% return a year or its simply not worth it.

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How to open a PO Box in Ecuador

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Contrary to popular belief, Ecuador does actually have a decent post system (Correos Ecuador).

The problem often is the place where you are living or renting doesn’t have an easily find-able address.

My first house purchase in Ecuador had the legal address… “The white house near the Hospital in Manglaralto.”

Yikes.

So to receive mail in these cases I suggest opening a PO Box… its easier than you think.

Just go to your nearest Correos Ecuador Post Office with a copy of your passport, your real passport and a utility bill from where you live (it doesn’t have to be in your name) and ask for a BUZON.

The rent price is $22 a year and iits about the size of a shoe box… you get the key.

If items larger than that come for you, you’ll get a slip in the box saying to ask the receptionist for your larger package.

Thats it. Foreigners who are not residents of Ecuador can open one as well with just their passport.

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Driving In Ecuador Vs The USA: 21 Major Differences

This week I had the chance to sit down with one guy who knows the roads of Ecuador better than anyone I know, Jack Abercrombie, a guy from Atlanta that works at Barkett law firm who has been living in Ecuador a few years now.

He has a truck he uses to help new arrival expats in Ecuador move large loads of goods and pets within Ecuador.  You can reach him at journeymanjack.com@gmail.com or 770-828-7913(USA) or 098-743-3009(ECUADOR).

We started chatting about the differences between driving in the USA vs Ecuador.

1. No right on red in Ecuador.  Hard one to get used to.

1A. Lane-challenged drivers who just kind of mesh, its even worse on the coast in Guayaquil where the lanes aren’t even painted on the larger roads sometimes.2. Pedestrian laws.  Way different in Ecuador too.  As they should be in my opinion. Like in nature the bigger object has the right of way, hence the car over the walking person. A traffic law expert from Chambers Legal explains that pedestrians must yield to cars in Ecuador, not the other way around. Where as in the USA where cars must stop in the middle of no where so a pedestrian can cross the road.

3. Honking.  Also, Ecuadorians use their horn and flash their headlights A LOT.  I think its because there are a lot of dumb drivers who change lanes or pull out onto highways without looking properly.  Also on curves or at stop signs in country towns.  A flash of the lights is good to let other cars know you are there as they may be planning to zoom past their stop sign.

4. The Roundabouts.  Heard they are starting to get more common in the USA but in if you ever drive to Nice, you will see that they are everywhere and they’re great in the countryside.  No one has to stop, its just a continual moving wheel with one simple rule, the people already in the traffic circle have the right of way.

5. Lots of one way streets.  In Ecuador there are MANY one way streets, and they are often not marked.  So you have to kind of guess like by how the cars are parked and other small factors you learn as you go.

6. Parking in VERY tight spaces.  Literally, in Quito Ive seen cars parked on the road with one inch between them and the other car on either side.  You get used to it.  Often you have to park your car in parking lots that force you to fold back your side mirrors.

7. More likely to get car stolen.  Take extra little precautions like don’t park on the street at night in Ecuador.  Trust me you’ll be glad you did.  A friend of mine in my little town showed me how he can disarm an electronically locked car and the alarm within about 3 minutes.  Its practically common knowledge in Ecuador.

8. Different protocol with accident.  When accidents happen in Ecuador it is generally a shouting match, whoever screams louder wins I guess, no matter if this is a car accident or a dog bite (learn more about experienced defense attorneys in southern California to defend your rights).  The police come, try to let you sort it out among yourselves, if you can’t, then they will impound both cars until guilt is determined.  If you were to learn more about the attorneys handling the cases, the cases of a death or serious injury they will arrest the parties involved until guilt is determined, says the lawyer in Halifax. Refer to the website of Boston car accident lawyer to hire the best accidental attorneys in Boston for personal injury claims.

Criminal law is among the most complex areas of law. It takes a special type of person to become a criminal defense attorney. These type of attorneys must work with clients to prove their innocence of crimes that range from minor to major offenses. For more details about criminal attorney, navigate to this website. Go through www.yountslaw.com for more about the lemoyne criminal defense attorney.

Criminal law is the body of law commonly referred to as penal law. This body of law prosecutes a person or entity by the federal or state government for crimes that are classified as criminal. Criminal justice incorporates the theories of punishment, deterrence, incapacitation and rehabilitation. By imposing sentences for criminal acts the law seeks to serve justice, peace and social order. Criminal law deals with a wide array of crimes. Criminal defense attorneys defend clients who have been charged with crimes that range from minor to major offenses. Such offenses include murder, manslaughter, arson, assault, DUI/DWI, fraud, identity theft, child pornography, sex crimes and a host of other crimes. Lawyer Dana Hogle and his team of the best Mesa DUI attorney are experienced in DUI Defense law and can help keep you out of jail, protect your driving privileges, and make sure you do not have a criminal record when falsely accused. To understand bail bonds, first, there is a need to understand what bail means. A bail is an amount that is decided on by a judge following an arrested person’s first appearance in court. Bail allows the defendant to be released from jail or granted his or her freedom upon the payment of the sum of money agreed upon by the court. The bail term is set just after arrest and before the initial court date. 24Hour Bail Bonds Financing is the leading provider of flexible and affordable bail bond loans and bail bond financing across multiple locations in Connecticut. Criminal defense lawyers, as do all attorneys, must put aside their personal beliefs and opinions of a person in order to properly and fully defend them of criminal charges. This is perhaps one of the most difficult things to do. These attorneys must not pass personal judgment on a client charged with heinous crimes such as murder, rape or even child molestation.

9. All stick shift, no automatic cars.  I had to go back to driving class to learn the stick.  Very few automatic cars in Ecuador.  Its just a preference.

10. Traffic cops out for “lunch money”.  When pulled over in Ecuador, you’ll often see the drivers standing out of their cars pleading with the traffic cops.  Often the louder you plea the better in Ecuador.  Some cops when they see you are a foreigner will try to scare you into giving them a bribe, the best way I’ve seen to handle this is to pretend like you really dont speak one word of Spanish, even if you do, then they will often get frustrated and just let you go. If this doesn’t happen and you find yourself in troubled waters, then your last resort would be to hire Herbert & Lux is Nashville’s Leading Criminal Defense Lawyers. 

11. “The laying down Cops”.  As Ecuadorians call them “chapas acostadas” the laying down policemen or speed bumps are quite common in Ecuador especially in the small towns on the coast.  Be careful for the teeth rattling home-made ones that aren’t marked and blend in with the road at night!

12. Police stops.  The police stops where they may ask you to open your trunk, they are generally looking for drugs or weapons, not something to be worried about if you don’t dabble in that.

13. All the d@mn buses!  As the bigger object rules in nature, so do the bigger objects (the buses) rule on the roads of Ecuador.  They do pretty much anything they want often cutting you off from the far left lane as they drop off a passenger.

Enter Jack…

14….Toddlers playing on side of road unattended along highway in small towns.   I get it that this is a cultural difference, and have no beef w/ the children helping their families, what bothers me is I slow up when I see this off in the distance, and my fellow Ecuadorians speed up and come around and never let up on the gas as they pass by the children & cattle, as well as the school buses & myriads of children just getting off of the school buses, is what gets to me.
 
15… Buses with little regard for human life.  There is little to know regard for human life, city busses in town, running & gunning with elderly on board, Inter provincial busses speeding & passing / racing each other in dangerous blind curves sometimes 3 deep in a 2 lane hwy with oncoming traffic.
16…Hwy’s with mud slides, torrential Rain down pours w/ very extremely thick fog, flooding, freak hail storms up to 30″ – 36″ deep, seismic activity in dry desert mtn. areas causing land slides w/ boulders & debris, Volcanic Activity Ash fall out, incredible Commercial Truck & Bus Crashes,
 

17…Speed trap radar cameras spitting out tix that are applied to you license plate, months later, if you slow up or are maintaining the correct speed limit, and as you pass the camera and another driver is passing your vehicle at the same time, you get a tix also. For rental cars, these are applied to your rental car license plate and put on your debit / charge card.

18. Lax DUI / DWI Laws of 3 days in jail / $360. fine / 10 points off of your license. Many Commercial & Private drivers will have a few beers early in the day hauling heavy loads & passengers, and it does not have to be around the holidays.

19…Branches and logs placed in the road in a curve b4 an accident or broke down vehicle is the ecuadorian way of emergency flares / triangles…..

20…Precarious left turns.  Some will put on left turn signal, and pull over to the right hand side and wait until oncoming traffic clears before making the left turn.

21… Random stopping. Some stop right in the middle of the panam hwy and piss on side of rd. right at a Petro EC 500 meters ahead sign. ..or just stop for any reason at all, oblivious to who or what is behind them? This was such a drastic contrast to what I’m used to back in my hometown of Kent. There the folks are truly pacified, we follow all the rule and do it in slow motion.

There you have it, a few of the major differences, other than that, its pretty much the same.

You can reach Jack at journeymanjack.com@gmail.com or 770-828-7913(USA) or 098-743-3009(ECUADOR). For easy driving lessons at an affordable price, enroll for Cheap Driving Lessons in Edinburgh.

For more updates on everything Ecuador investing and living related from the ground, please sign up for my Ecuador Insiders newsletter, revealing everything you need to know BEFORE you invest in Ecuador. Unsubscribe at any time:

 

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