Friday, February 4, 2011

Need to Know Before You Go

Passports - most of us know that a valid passport is required to enter and leave most countries. But, before you go, make sure that your passport: 
  • is valid for at least six months beyond the last date of the trip;
  • contains at least one remaining visa page per country to be visited (amendment, endorsement, or modification pages do not count) additionally, requesting and obtaining additional pages, on a non-expedited basis, can take as long as 4-6 weeks;
  • carry it, do not pack it.
Visas -many countries issue visas (commonly in the form of a stamp) to those holding normal passports upon arrival; however some countries require that a visa be obtained  from its Embassy or Consulate before entry. Careful review of country-by-country requirements is essential. Requesting and obtaining a visa, on non-expedited basis, can take as long as 6-8 weeks.
Immunizations  - are recommended for health protection for all travelers when visiting high risk countries and my be required for entry into certain countries. The following vaccinations were recommended, but none required, for this trip:  hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, seasonal influenza, H1N1 flu, malaria, polio, and tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis. Have your health professional fill out an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis for each traveler; carry it, do not pack it.

Medical Insurance - for most health insurance plans in the U.S. no benefits are provided for or incident to out-of-country services. The risk of medical emergency costs incurred while travelling, including the cost of air evacuation, should be insured against.

Medication - speak to your health professional about medications including, but not necessarily limited to, azithromycin (upper half of body) and ciprofloxacin (lower half of body).

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