If you’ve ever met me, you know I like to be prepared and ready before a trip. For this trip, I want to be extra prepped. I am lucky enough to have travelled lots before, so it shouldn’t be too hard getting myself together. That said, there’s a lot you need to consider before going on a trip like this to South America.
1. Travel Vaccines
Woohoo! Who doesn’t like being stabbed in the arm repeatedly until your immunity thinks you’re seriously ill. Just kidding, they’re not so bad. But there are a few you need to take and they’re all VERY NECESSARY. This website lets you search by country, what vaccines you need and prevention methods [It’s a travellers must-have site!]: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/
Here are the ones I need for Peru:
- Hepatitis A and B
- Yellow Fever
- Rabies – Complete three courses.
Most travellers know these can get a little [OK, very!] expensive. Check first which ones you can do at your GP for free!
Ok so, I’m not actually packet yet but a rough plan has been made. Luckily, EcoSwell were very helpful and sent a check list which can guide me on what I’ll need. It’s not surprising that factor 50+ Sun cream and light clothing are top of the list! Lobitos is part of the North Peruvian desert that has virtually no rainfall. It won’t be too hot, around 25˚ on average, but it definitely will be dry.
Because the work I’ll be doing is very hands on and physical, I’ll mostly be packing shorts, t-shirts and things I don’t mind getting a little dirty. It does get a bit cold at night, so a jacket might do me well too.
Other than that, there’s not much clothing I need as I’ll be living a minimalist lifestyle. That said, the swimming costume is definitely making its way into my bag as I’ll be making use of the beach in the evenings after work.
3. Pills and Potions
Staying happy and healthy is a top priority for me. I definitely don’t want anything interfering with the hard work we’ll be doing. That’s why it’s super important to preempt that you WILL get ill and there’s a few things you can do to prevent it or make it easier to handle. Here are my top must-haves:
- Anadin: It’s pretty much a super-paracetamol that has a cheeky bit of caffeine to help you keep going.
- Dextro: Caffeine tablets. This is not a necessity but can be quite helpful when you’re cut off from resources. Great for taking on hikes too!
- Jungle Spray: One thing I’m not looking forward to is the insects [I have a bit of a phobia!] But it’s something I’ll have to face. That said, nothing is stopping me from dousing myself in bug spray. Make sure you get one that is at least 50% Deet.
- After Bite: When the spray isn’t enough, I’m hoping this bite treatment will help keep the itching at bay.
- Loperamide: It’s probably too much information but it’s probably the most important one. These types of pills help you out when you inevitably get an upset stomach[to put it delicately]. These, paired with re-hydration tablets are very important and are easier to find in the UK so it’s best to take it from home!
- Travel Wash: Again, little gross, but can really help a traveller out if cut off from resources. Travel wash is a helpful little quick solution to keeping clean and hygienic along the way.
- Anti-bac Hand Gell: I already have about 10 of these in my hand bag but It’s great to take on travel, especially when getting on multiple planes and public transport. (Got the moisturising one for a little TLC].
- Sun Cream: Now, it’s important to have one for your body and one for your face. For my body, I’ll probably take a factor 50 for max protection. I can’t imagine how much harder it will be to work if I’m burnt or have heat stroke so I’ll definitely keep topping up on cream.
Of course, there’s a lot more travel bits and bobs I’ll be picking up, including a full first aid kit, but for now, these are my top necessities.
Although I don’t know the exact project I’ll be working on when I’m there, I’ve done my research. Research on the charity and what they do, the town history and travel information. Before going anywhere it’s nice to know a bit of the background culture and maybe check up on what is and isn’t appropriate in their community. The main thing I gathered is be respectful of the locals. Wherever you go, it’s someone’s home and It’s important to maintain their standards on their land. This website gives you advice by country; https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
Travel Tip: Have all emergency contacts already saved on your phone e.g local police, embassy etc.
Of course, there are so many little bits that go into preparation that I still need to do, but this is a start.