” Travel makes a wise man better but a fool worse.” – Thomas Fuller
I will start this by letting you all know to PLEASE get you vaccinations before traveling. I will also start this with the disclaimer that I am not a doctor…by any means and everything I have written here is strictly my view on vaccinations and our own personal experience along with some tips from World Nomads insurance.
Now, I am about to tell you a sad story which actually happened to us and will really push you into getting those vaccinations. Two years ago we traveled to Brazil and on top of that planned a 10 day trip to the Galapagos. As we were traveling from NZ which is a safe country we didn’t need any vaccinations for Ecuador or Galapagos – SWEET. Upon arriving in Brazil however, there had been an outbreak of yellow fever in - THE STATE WE WERE IN! and a lot of people were dying from it. So, upon checking in for our flight to Ecuador we were informed that we, because we had been in an infected area, could not board the plane without our certificates of Yellow fever and proof of vaccination. WTF?? What the actual F**K?
…we lost that full 10 day trip, and travel insurance will not cover that just an FYI.
On top of that, we were actually not allowed to then leave Brazil if we were flying to any other worldwide country that was a yellow fever risk, even Australia! Safe to say, I freaked out and cried a lot, but after many tearful phone calls we were informed that NZ was safe. (It really is the best country to live in) So, with this said, DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU! Please get your Yellow Fever vaccination, it is a little expensive usually about $180-250NZD but 100% worth it. **We have ours now and get them at the start of the year.
Some other vaccines that are definitely advisable are:
Backtracking, over New Year 18/19 we traveled to Thailand for a week to spend time with my brothers as they both still live in the UK so we hardly ever get to see them. It was truly awesome, in fact one of the coolest holidays we have had, BUT this is where my tip #1 comes in handy as I got poisoned on the second last day.
Yes, it's pretty normal, I have had food poisoning in the past and to be honest usually get it in S.E.Asia but after being there 9 times – it doesn’t stop me from returning. I just love the food, culture and people! Anyone who has been will 100% agree. However, this time I ended up being hospitalized as my condition became more severe to the point I couldn't lick an ice cube without projectile vomiting out pretty much every orifice in the head - how's that for a mental image? The doctors couldn’t pin point the source of the poisoning, only that it was most probably water born.
1. Do not drink the water
I would recommend that you assume that all water is contaminated, it may be extra cautious but well worth it. Drink and brush your teeth with bottled or treated water only and keep your mouth closed while taking a shower – I AM A SHOWER SINGER AND AS DIFFICULT AS IT IS DON’T DO IT! World Nomads have written this article which really helps if you need more info - water safety while traveling.)
2. Be that annoying compulsive Hand Washer
Not just because it’s the right thing to do but when traveling it’s the safe thing to do. Always carry a bottle of hand sanitized in your handbag/day pack and especially if you go on any treks. Prevent yourself from being hospitalized like me or catching some god-awful disease which will not just ruin your holiday…but could potentially ruin your life and use sanitizer before each meal, after handling paper bills and coins and always try and not touch your face or mouth!
3. Avoid Mozzie Bites
Ok, so mozzie bites are gross, they are not only super annoying but they are ugly, itchy, if you are anything like my mum, can make your face swell up and look like Quasimodo (her words not mine) So as much as each day you will be having so much fun and feel you don’t have time for a quick spray of repellent, stop what you are doing and do it! I continuously tell any of my travel clients to use DEET and permethrin, wear long sleeves and pants when you can, and mozzie nets in bed to prevent insect bites.
“Life is a journey. Make the best of it.”
Are you a seasoned traveler and have some must do tips and tricks for staying safe? Let us know so we can add these to our list!
Hey! I'm Ally. I left the UK in 2011 to move overseas and ended up in New Zealand - my new home. This year we are taking a gap year to loop the world stopping in some AMAZING destinations - and I'm passionate about sharing these adventures with you!