I confess I was one of these really organised people who fretted about making sure I had all my visas and vaccinations sorted. However I look back now and realised that this was a slight overkill, the vaccinations and medicine I got in the end worked out perfectly. Now before I continue I want to state that I am not a doctor or health professional so please seek their advice before getting vaccinations!
So here is how you go about vaccinations:
Firstly be aware that vaccinations are needed for countries that are third world or are suffering from a pandemic and require you to have booster shots before arriving in the country. For me I was visting South East Asia (S.E.A), therefore I used my lonely planet guide book to establish what shots I needed for where. Then I headed down to my local GP and discussed what shots were absolutely neccessary. Bare in mind shots are not cheap and if you are going to places like S.E.A the starting rate for all you vaccines would be $100 NZ (us the exchange rate website or app to see your countries rate). So for me my total was $380 worth of vaccine shots and $50 for medication that I would carry with me, it can catch you by surprise.
My shots covered, Hepititas A, Varicella plus a booster shot for Typhoid and something else which I cannot remember. The medicine included a pill for Malaria which I took every single day, electrolytes for a possible chance of severe dehydration and pills for vomitting and diarrhea. You need to consider having a small medicine pack because you might end up in a country that does not have decent health care or that it might cost you an arm or leg in fees. Something else to include is Panadol, a cream or spray for cuts, plasters and antihistamines if you suffer from allergies.
Yes this can seem quite overwhelming, but if you are anything like me you have started reading up months before you leave. Some shot you need to talk a few weeks out because you might suffer from side effects. By doing this you ensure that if you have a minior accident you can patch yourself up no problem, additionally make sure you have health insurance before you leave.
Now that I have covered Vaccinations, it is time to talk about Visas! Again I fretted about border crossings and making sure I had flights in and out of certain countries. But what I found is that as long as you have the first visa sorted for the first country you fly to then you can organise visas for other countries from there.
Let me give you an example: My first stop was Malaysia and I knew from my research that it was visa on arrival, meaning they issue you it to you at the airport when you land. It was the same for my next stop in Thailand, however for my next country Myanmar I needed to have a visa before I landed. So while I was in Thailand I went to a booking office and they organise my visa from there. I could have done it from the Myanmar Embassy in Bangkok, but I kind of got side tracked and did it from Chiang Mai. So since then I have been checking online through google, its so easy to write visa for … and it will bring up the country’s government website and the list of countries for visas on arrival and a list for countries the need to apply internationally.
As long as your organise your visa 4-7 working days before you leave for the country you should not have a problem. But and I mean but! you really need to put aside money for visas they are not always cheap. The cheapest I had was $5 US for Cambodia and the most expensive was $60 US for Vietnam. By having extra cash set aside for visas it saves the heart breaking feeling of handing over money when you wanted to use it for something else!
So now you are prepared my fellow waywards, go forth and conquer!