Actual costs for necessary travel preparations

This post is about the expenses you have to deal with before you even have left your home.

There are some things that is a must, like vaccinations, visa, insurance and the flight tickets. And it costs much more than you think!! I had NOT budgeted this much for vaccinations and insurance!

Vaccination is the most effective method of preventing infectious diseases, and I don’t want to ”challenge” my life because I want to save some money.
I’m taking vaccination to: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Yellow Fever, Rabies, Typhoid, Malaria and Travelers diarrhea. I also took a shot for the flu (I don’t want to get the flu just when I’m about to travel, and it was the cheapest vaccination). The Rabies-vaccination isn’t always recommended, but since I’m going to volunteer with wild animals, I didn’t want to be one of the around 55.000 humans that die of rabies every year.
My vaccination costs will be around 750 USD.

A travel insurance is absolutely a must, it’s intended to cover medical expenses, financial default of travel suppliers, and other losses incurred while traveling. My home insurance covers it up to 45 days, but after that I have to pay extra. I can either take it from my regular insurance company or choose another company, which I did, mainly because it was cheaper, and also because they are specialized in just travel insurances. I took it with Gouda, a swedish company. The cost for my planned trip for 6 months is 630 USD.

A visa generally gives non-citizens clearance to enter a country. Some countries do not require a visa, others have visas available at the border, but many countries require travelers to apply for a visa before leaving home. Luckily, I don’t need any for the countries I’m traveling to since I’m staying under 90 days in all the countries. The Galapagos islands does have an entrance fee of 100 USD though.

Flight tickets. I’m sure you have searched the web for the cheapest flight tickets, and maybe you found one really good. But before you purchase, be aware of the airfares and the conditions! The cheapest ones are usually non refundable and nontransferable. Some airlines let’s you reschedule your ticket for a hefty fee. My flight to Mexico is refundable up to the day I depart, but not on my way home from Brazil. Then I can reschedule for a fee of 285 USD, but at least I can do it, instead of buying a new ticket.

There are also different types of tickets, one-way, round trip, open jaw..
Buying a round trip ticket is usually cheaper than booking two one-way tickets. I’ve read that the airlines don’t particularly want travelers to fly one-way, as it upsets airline travel schedules. But if you like me want to fly to one country and home from another, a round trip-ticket isn’t an option. Then you can choose a open-jaw ticket (also called multi-destination), that means that you are arriving at one country or city and departing from another country or city. And they usually have the same prices as a round trip!

If you’re thinking about one-way ticket, have in mind that if you’re a tourist from ex. Europe or North America, when you go to check in for a one way flight you can be told you cannot board the flight unless you fork out for a return ticket.  But there are no problems with Open Jaw-tickets as long as you can prove that you have a return flight from another country!

I only have open-jaw tickets. :)