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Amongst the preparations for your trip, the most important are those related to your health. Nobody likes to fall ill away from home and, whilst there will be inevitable happenings, other problems can be easily prevented with vaccines and medicines. Therefore, here you go a little check list before hitting the road!

IMPORTANT: This is just a small guide to help you organise yourself. We are not doctors and it is important to consult your doctor before traveling for a longer period (especially if you are visiting areas of risk), as we did ourselves.

vaccination for travel

Vaccinations

This is a priority! Particularly, because there are countries that do not let you in if you are not up with your card-vaccination. This is the case in some parts of Asia, Africa and South America with regard to the Yellow Fever vaccine.Before traveling to any country, check what are the prerequisites and the possible outbreak diseases that might be over there. We made a list of countries that we were visiting for sure and looked up on the Internet which were the most common diseases over there.

When we decided to go to Kenya, for example, we talked to our doctor and chose to guard ouserlves against: Diphtheria, Tetanus, Rabies, Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, Polio and some more.“But does everyone who decides to visit Kenya needs to take this pile of vaccines?”No, just use your common sense. We spent five months volunteering in an orphanage in the countryside and thought we would be exposed to some of these diseases. But, if you are either only taking a short trip to urban centers or going to a safari, you will hardly need another vaccine other than the Yellow Fever.

* A great site to find out what you should be prevented from in each country is the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

* The website of the World Health Organization presents the full list of countries that require Yellow Fever Certificate. The content can be accessed in English, Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese or Arabic.

malaria pills

Malaria

We decided not to take the pills but using strong repellent instead whenever we were in hazardous areas.There is no consensus on the effectiveness of malaria pills and what concerns us most are the side effects of some of them, which can be so strong that can lead you to depression. A cool tip for those travelling to malaria infested areas are kits you can buy at local pharmacies. There is one which is a test that you can apply onto yourself and it gives you the result immediately of a possible contraction.There is another kit, which is a cocktail of drugs to help fight malaria in case you found out you have contracted it and find yourself miles away from medical care.

*Find out more about the malaria pills on our article To take or not to take the antimalarial pills

drugs when travelling

Medicines

As we prepared ourselves for a long trip and did not have much idea of what was really ahead of us, we decided to be on guard against any disease that could possibly cross our path (actually, Fernanda did as if it was up to Tiago, he would have started the trip only with the clothes on his body).We bought medicines for pain, fever, infection, diarrhea, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, Band-Aids, gauze, antimalarial pills… well, we took the entire pharmacy!

Was it helpful? Basically, not.

We would be better off having only a basic first aid kit with Band-Aids, gauze, antiseptics, medicines for pain and fever, and that´s all!We have to think that the majority of the places have pharmacies and you don´t need to pack it up for all imagined diseases.After all, taking a huge bag of medicines only served to occupy space in the backpack and increase bureaucracy at the immigration.

For women on contraceptive use: it’s better to take some extra pills for at least 3 months as some countries do not sell these type of medicine without a prescription (i.e: Germany, U.K. and South Korea)

Die Weltuntersuchung

Travel insurance

Does one need it? Well, it is up to you, really, although we do recommend it, big time!

An accident can ruin a trip. Now, imagine you having to go home with a broken leg and a U$ 5k bill to pay?In some countries, hospitals and clinics charge a ridiculous price to treat tourists (see this very cool site to get a price concept with medical expenses in different countries of the world: My Travel Cost). We saw this happen mainly in Southeast Asia, where we met people who crashed their rental scooters and had to pay over $ 5000 for the treatment! Taking us as an example, Fernanda had to spend a night hospitalised and if it was not for the travel insurance, we would have to pay 400 euros.

Are insurances expensive? Yes, though you can bet that the bill of a possible hospital is much higher.We used Insure and Go and had a good experience.

**All images above were taken from the internet!