Preparing to round the world trip wasn’t so hard for us. We started to think about vaccinations, insurance and travel bank accounts about half a year before the journey – when we bought flight tickets to India.
Vaccinations, medicines…and what about malaria?
Some of the vaccinations are free of charge in UK. Price list of vaccines for 2014 below:
– Hepatitis A and B, price: £0;
– Typhoid, price: £0;
– Tetanus/Diphtheria/Polio, price:£0;
– Rabies, price: 3 doses, £49 each so £147;
– Yellow fever, price: £49 + you will get certificate;
– Cholera, price: 2 doses £56 for both.
We had to think through decision about rabies and finally we decided to have it as we start from India – that is a prevalence area of rabies. There is a lot of stray dogs, monkeys or other animals that may have rabies. Vaccines are expensive but why would you risk your life for a few pounds?! Likelihood of catching rabies when you have vaccination is very low, and even if you had a contact with infected animal then all you need is another 2 doses in a day 0 and 3 days after. People without rabies vaccination would get 5 doses which can be very expensive and very hard to get in rural areas, moreover some of them are very painful.
Malaria… We read a lot about it and about need of taking medicine called Malarone as a protection, but we decided to take Doxycycline instead. Our adventure will take over a year so we are going to take 4 packs of doxycycline just in case and if we have Malaria sympthoms we will take double dose and look for medical attention straight away. We’ll buy more pills in Asia if needed. Taking Malarone is very expensive (£2-3 per pill!) but most of doctors will tell you to take it. We don’t know why they always forget about doxycycline which is much cheaper and good enough.
We are going to take antimalarian drugs only in places with a high risk such as Burma or Laos. We have repelents with Deet 50% to spray on body and another one repelent from US army, which goes on clothes or mosquito net only and never on skin because it is very strong!
Moreover in our First Aid Kit we will have:
– Active carbon;
– plasters and bandages;
– deoxydized water.
There is no point to take too much medicines that won’t survive in tropical weather and most of them can be found in pharmacies in Asia.
Travel insurance is one of those things wise to have it! We are going to travel around the globe and risk of injuries will be higher than we would stay at home sitting on the couch. We want to travel safe but sometimes it’s hard to avoid accidents and we want to be sure that we will be back in one piece.
First step was searching internet and looking for companies that were offering cover for over a year for a backpacker. Our choice was based on opinions from other travelers and we picked one of the British companies hoping it was the best one.
We had choice of insurers from both, Great Britain or Poland, but we decided to have insurance from UK as it is offering more for less money. Insurer has good customer opinions, clear terms and conditions, high cover for emergency medical expenses, legal cover and activity pack that suits our needs. Cover is available for UK residents only.
We have looked for a perfect bank account for over a year.
We wanted to find currency account which:
– is for free;
– goes with free debit cards Visa/Mastercard;
– has no fees for currency transfers;
– has no fees for using cash machines around the world;
– has no fees for paying by card in the shops;
– with online access;
– with posibility of changing limits on debit cards;
– with possibility of fast transfers to online exchange offices.
So basically, flexible account for travelers with no fees. Unfortunately, perfect account doesn’t exist. Banks have to make money somehow.
Finally we opened two currency accounts in UK and in Poland and they are combined with two cards Visa and Mastercard to make sure that we won’t end up without money somewhere on the other side of the world. Two different banks, just in case if one fails then the other one is a back up.
Visa or Mastercard?
You’ll find more ATMs accepting Visa than Mastercard in India, they both work good elsewhere.
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