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Planning Your Trip

Planning your backpacking trip starts simply - where do you want to go and what do you want to experience. If you're going away from the West then you will heading for adventures in strange and often bewildering cultures. There are two things are essential to consider as part of your planning process - visas and vaccinations.

Check the entry requirements for each of the countries you plan on visiting. For many destinations you will be able to get a basic visa on arrival - but this may be limited in time. You can usually apply in advance for extended entry permits and for some countries, eg Vietnam, this is the only way to get a visa at all. Your passport can be stamped with a different visa when arriving overland compared with by plane. You also may only be able to cross borders at certain points. Getting things worked out at this stage can save a lot of hassle later on!

Travel vaccinations can take some time to arrange - some have to be delivered over a period of weeks so don't leave them until the last minute! If you are heading to certain areas you will also need to consider antimalarial drugs. These are usually taken as a preventative measure but can have some quite alarming side affects. Some strains of malaria have become resistant to these drugs - and the drugs can supress the symptoms of the disease too so check with your doctor on what is currently recommended for the specific areas you are travelling to.

Next: Round the World Trips