Lesson for the day, you cannot just jet off to Southeast Asia on a whim. The amount of preparations needed for our family of five has proven to be quite extensive. First thing to attend to- vaccinations. Do you have your vaccination records handy? It was pretty easy to get them for my children, but my husband and myself took some digging.
A quick visit to our family physician resulted in the following recommendations:
Tetanus/diptheria/acellualr Pertussis (TdaP)
Polio (for my husband and myself as Polio is experiencing a resurgence in that part of the world)
Influenza (thankfully we all had received ours this season)
and prophylactic Malaria pills (we decided on Malarone rather than Doxycycline) because there are fewer possible side effects, and it is taken for a shorter duration once you return home.
Then of course we need to bring a large supply of Immodium, prescriptions for Cipro and other antibiotics (just in case), the topical antibiotic Bactroban,
as well as loads of Deet to keep the mosquitos away.
Needless to say, my husband turned to me and asked why we weren’t just going back to Italy.
Undaunted, I scheduled everyone for shots- some which were quite painful the next day. Three of us were able to receive ours at our Doctor’s office, but two of our son’s had to schedule at Passport Health (passporthealthusa.com). We drove up to a small office in New Haven the day after Thanksgiving and were met by a very friendly Nurse who had loads of information regarding our upcoming travel Scheduling is done through a centralized system (not the most helpful to be honest), but once we arrived for our appointment our nurse was pleasant and accommodating. Because we were already advised what to get by our doctor, it was quite straightforward, but we did have to acknowledge and decline all the other shots we could have gotten. We walked away with a folder filled with lots of scary medical advice.
Next on the to do list was the Visa to enter Cambodia, our first stop after flying in via Singapore. We all had to go get photos taken, AAA is always convenient and friendly (www.aaa.com). My travel agent sent me the link (www.evisa.gov.kh) to access the application for an eVisa so as to speed up the arrival into Siem Reap. Unfortunately every time I attempted to log into the system it either crashed, or there was some problem that caused me to keep having to start again from scratch. As of now I am waiting for a new link to process the 5 Visa fees ($36 each). There is a VIP service that would process us all upon arrival for just a few dollars more ($256 for the 5 of us) which I may end up using if this doesn’t end up working out.
Now to move on to the packing list…