As I learned more about international travel, I found important information on vaccinations required, safety, and other travel resources. I have gathered this information together on this page.

Vaccinations

Depending on your destination you may be required – or strongly recommended – to have certain vaccinations prior to travel. The Passport Health web site lists requirements, by country.

Today’s children receive vaccinations for up to 14 to 17 diseases. But those of us who are older may have received almost no vaccinations, although we may have immunity to some diseases because we actually had the disease. But we have no way of knowing unless we get a blood test today (no one tested us in the past if we were sick with symptoms).

Do not assume you have been vaccinated. In 2021, I discovered I had no vaccination records, and that I had been immunized only to polio and smallpox (the latter now eradicated and vaccines no longer given.)

No one asked me about MMR – and I never received a vaccination! Over 60, I became my pharmacist’s oldest patient to receive an MMR shot!

A Hepatitis A and/or B vaccination is recommended for travelers to many countries. This is a 3-shot sequence that takes up to six months – be sure to schedule this well in advance of travel. Some countries may require specialized vaccinations – such as typhoid or yellow fever. Depending on where you live, these may not be stocked locally and will require they be ordered in advance. Again, plan ahead to ensure you have plenty of time to get caught up on vaccines (if, like me, you have never traveled).

While all children are vaccinated today against viral pneumonia, most of us adults were not vaccinated. You may want to get this one too.

And of course, a Covid vaccination is de facto required, and influenza, Shingles and others may be recommended. Consult web sites such as Passport Health, and then talk to your doctor about your vaccine questions.

Travel News

MSN Travel and Tourism page is an automatically created selection of news stories having to do with the travel topic.

The Points Guys has a page of travel related news. Their main web page has information on credit cards for travel, including which ones earn benefits like airline miles or hotel stays. Some cards offer insurance protection for some products and services purchased using their cards, too.

Youtube

There are numerous travel channels on Youtube. Most are young couples (usually very cute) engaged in magical global travel and perfect lives – sort of the Instagram model of the world where everything is perfect. These channels may be useful for a glimpse of a travel destination but mostly they are “Hey look at us having fun!” content, which gets old pretty quick.

Then there are channels that really inform prospective future travelers.

I recommend these channels:

Mark Wolter’s Wolter’s World

Mark is a professor of business at a well known U.S. public research university and has extensive travel experience. His channel content is super friendly and informative, including his many “Don’ts” of visiting various places. I understand Mark did a foreign exchange student program to Finland, when in high school, and did his graduate work in Italy. Since then, he and his family travel extensively and produce lots of travel related content intended to help other travelers.

Kristin Wilson’s Traveling with Kristin

Kristin is from the U.S., but studied abroad, and lived and worked abroad in Costa Rica in a property development business. She now runs a global relocation consulting service (both business and personal relocations) and is a highly experienced global traveler and digital nomad expert. She also has a business background (MBA).

Michelle Frolla’s The Intrepid Guide

Per her page, Michelle is from Australia, but of Italian heritage. She made her first international trip to Italy, and eventually moved there for several years, and became a fluent speaker of Italian. She now lives in the UK, where she had been a software user experience designer until recently but now does her own travel and language business, full time. In addition to travel, she has an interest in languages and says that learning a language – even if only a bit – for your travel destination can open up a new level of cultural understanding, and opportunities to know those who live there. Through her web site, she offers a number of language training guides.

Honest Guide – Czech Republic

This channel (in excellent English) is all about visiting Prague and the Czech Republic. The two people who run it have journalism backgrounds – and they also uncover and report on the many scams played on tourists. While their videos are Czech specific, these scams likely occur in many countries.

Some of the scams are amazing. Visitors need to purchase a highway use permit at entry – and third party scammers set up permit dispensing machines with prominent signs, just a short distance ahead of the official permit sites. But they over charge for the permit, sometimes by giving you an unfair exchange rate.

Street side food vendors prey on tourists with tricks to over charge for food without the visitor realizing they’ve been cheated.

ATM machines are everywhere in Prague – and they play a trick on the unsuspecting. With a confusingly worded user interface to complete your transaction, the ATMs trick you in to letting the ATM company – rather than your own bank – do the currency conversion and as you might guess, the ATM company may end up charging you 15% for that conversion.

Language Learning

I have a separate post on the Language learning resources that I am using. These include Duolingo, Fluenz, Short Stories by Olly Richards, The Mystery of Nils, Youtube videos, even some Netflix and Disney program. Check out that post for more information.