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Today, I want to share a story from reader Josh, who had to buy expensive last-minute airfare after forgetting to check vaccination requirements for his destination. Here’s what he had to say:
Josh’s takeaway advice is sound: you should always check visa and vaccination requirements for any border you plan to cross on an international trip. That applies even when you’re just transiting through an airport, since you may still have to clear customs and immigration upon landing. If you’re uncertain about the rules, contact the local consulate for clarification. I also recommend checking local laws surrounding controlled substances, as even items that seem harmless (like prescription medication or fresh produce) can create a hassle.
Another consideration is that visas and vaccinations can be expensive — for example, Bhutan infamously charges tourists as much as $250 daily in high season. Make sure you budget for those expenses when planning your trip so the costs don’t eat into your other activities. Finally, don’t wait until the last minute to get vaccinated, as some vaccines take days or weeks to work effectively.
I appreciate this story, and I hope it can help other readers avoid making the same mistake. To thank Josh for sharing his experience (and for allowing me to post it online), I’m sending him a $200 airline gift card to enjoy on future travels, and I’d like to do the same for you. Please email your own travel mistake stories to firstname.lastname@example.org, and put “Reader Mistake Story” in the subject line. Tell us how things went wrong, and (where applicable) how you made them right. Offer any wisdom you gained from the experience, and explain what the rest of us can do to avoid the same pitfalls.
Feel free to also submit your best travel success stories. If your story is published in either case, I’ll send you a gift to jump-start your next adventure. I look forward to hearing from you, and until then, I wish you a safe and mistake-free journey!
Featured Image courtesy of P. Lubas via Getty Images.
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