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Vaccines and Visas

Posted in: Planning information

So, you’ve chosen your location, planned the routes, and picked the sites to see.

All ready to go, right? 

Well almost. What do you pack? Do you need visas? The planning stage doesn’t end when you’ve booked your flights.

First of all, I set out a budget for the trip, I usually aim for a round figure but it is always upwards of £5,000 - more than enough for a trip anywhere in the world for four to six weeks. 

Don’t think you can load up the credit card and a way you go either. 

Remember, travelling to rural, remote locations cash is king! 

Money talks anywhere in the world, from bribes to transport costs to all in between.

And always have a backup fund. I always have around £2,000 as my emergency fund which is separate from my budgeted funds and ensure that the family have access to my emergency fund.

Aside from money, insurance is much more important and needs to be region specific. 

Each area presents its own risk and you need to ensure that there is a means of contact for family back in the UK to provide insurers with your last known details.

Following on from money and insurance is the matter of visas. These are usually easy to get and so far I have had no issues in this area. A lot of countries respect the British passport and a lot of visas are available on arrival.

That said, there are some regions that can be an actual nightmare to obtain the right visas!

So, I have money, insurance and visas. Next, I look at what vaccines I may need before travelling.

You can, of course, look these up online. But, I typically go to my GP or Nomad clinics, which are private travel advisories. I always follow the advice and guidance of the experts.

I think I am almost sorted now as I have had all vaccines. From Rabies (which made me ill!) to Yellow Fever and all Hepatitis.

For diseases such as Malaria, Dengue and many more, it is a case of prevention methods as vaccines don’t exist.

Think, long sleeves and specific sleeping gear to prevent insects from biting or the eggs getting on you which is how the dreaded botfly larvae get onto their victims!

Luggage-wise, I travel light. My set of clothes for long expeditions is literally two changes of clothes.  

Yep, that’s it. 

Two pairs of trousers, two long sleeve T-shirts - typically Craghoppers or Thrudark gear as both are made for the outdoors. Keep it simple nothing unique or complex or even waterproof as with torrential rain for 3 weeks in a row nothing is waterproof, no matter what the label says.

So I suck it up and keep on going.  

I have three sets of socks as for me dry socks and feet are paramount.  

One pair of boots. my go-to boots are Lowa, they are solid and last for years.

And finally, I never leave home without two things. 

A small jar of Tiger Balm because it is perfect for insect bites and ideal for after an expedition for the recovery phase.

My other item is a bench-made carbon fibre lock knife. It has many uses and, well, when SAS troopers set attack dogs on you and all you have is that knife…but that is a story for another day. 

I’ve had that knife for nine years now and I wouldn’t go anywhere without it.

I’ll leave you to ponder on that story.

Until, next time.