Travel vaccinations are invariably the most boring and often a costly part of any holiday or backpacking adventure. They sit hand in hand with insurance as the most arduous pre-travel necessities.
We’ve had vaccinations on our to-do list for well over a year. It’s made its way further and further down our various lists as we’ve favoured the more inviting tasks such as “buy a backpack” or “learn some simple Spanish”.
The magnitude of our trip made the thought of getting vaccinations somewhat daunting. We knew we could potentially pass through 34 countries throughout our 20,000 mile trip, and due to our footloose and fancy-free approach to route planning we’re still not sure in which order nor direction we’ll be passing through. This as I’m sure you can imagine makes knowing which vaccinations and medicines to organise a minefield.
So where to begin:
1. Find out which countries require which vaccinations.
2. Make a checklist
If like us you are passing through a fair few countries, you might find it useful to whip up a quick checklist as this makes a really handy aid when visiting the doctor or travel clinic. For any of you planning on setting off to any of the countries on our list, we’ve prepared a cheat sheet which details which vaccinations you need for which country as well as which you can get on the NHS and which you will need to pay for.
3. Take a trip to your GP
Your GP will be able to tell you which of the vaccinations from your checklist they can give you for free and which you will need to pay for. If you do require Hepatitis B it’s worth asking whether your GP can offer it for free as it varies according to which area in the UK you live in.
4. Price compare
Vaccinations can be very costly especially, if, like us, you require certain vaccines to permit entry into the country you’re visiting. Allocate some time to researching your local travel clinics as well as Boots and Superdrug who also offer a travel vaccination service.
We’ve pulled together a quick price comparison for the most common vaccinations below.
Vaccination price comparison
5. Keep mosquitoes at bay
If like us you are planning to pass in and out of high-risk Malaria countries on a weekly basis, it is important to make sure you have the correct protection. We found the Nomad travel clinic extremely useful in recommending the most cost efficient and appropriate course of medication, even offering a trial of some options ahead of our departure to ensure we didn’t experience any adverse effects.
6. Keep a vaccination record
Ask your GP or travel clinic to print off an immunisation record after receiving your vaccinations. This can then be taken with you alongside your first aid kit and given to a doctor overseas should you require any medical attention.