Welcome to a great adventure! Let’s prepare!
If you’re involved in an international mission, the things you will need may vary by location, time of year, etc. Your project leaders will provide you with a list specific to your trip. The following is a general list of “to dos” and information you will need to get ready. Please let us know if you have any questions!
1. Obtain an application and release form from your trip team leader.
2. Update your Passport if needed.
3. Send in application, release form, copy of passport picture page and deposit.
4. Purchase airline tickets and send itinerary to trip team leader.
5. Send in remainder of registration fee by deadline stated on registration form. Please write checks out to “ABLE”.
6. Make appointment with your doctor for immunizations.
7. Apply for a visa if required in the country you are traveling. For information visit the embassy’s website.
8. Set aside cash for Departure Tax to leave the country,, if required.
9. ABLE purchases medical evacuation insurance for every traveler. If you would like additional medical as well as security insurance, visit http://www.globalrescue.com or another similar service.
10. Start collecting gently used shoes, soccer equipment, small toys (marbles, super balls, bubbles, tops), school supplies (notepads, pencils, sharperners), gently used clothes, medical supplies. Ask your neighbors, friends, church, school to help. A “packing party” will often be held close to the date of departure to pack these donations in bags.
11. Airline baggage allowances vary. Make sure you check your airline’s rules to maximize what you can take with minimal expense. If you have extra baggage space, we can usually use one of these bags for donations that you can supply or ABLE can supply for you.
12. PACKING LIST
(NEVER PACK YOUR MEDICATION IN YOUR CHECKED BAGS!)
Passport/extra copies of picture page in each bag.
Camera and extra batteries or charger; if using a cell phone as a camera, make sure you have the ability to re-charge it
Electric adapter for two prongs to hook up one with a ground (may vary by country)
Sun Screen and Lip Balm
Insect Repellent (more details below)
Detergent to wash clothes
Clothes pins or hangers to hang clothes to dry
Travel packs of Clorox wipes
Toilet paper/wet wipes
Wide-brimmed sun hat
Extra camera cards (change out every 2 days so you won’t lose all of your photos if camera is stolen. Leave other film cards behind in hotel.)
Antibiotics for travelers diarrhea
Bug Repellent: A mosquito spray with 40% or higher DEET should be used regularly as mosquitoes carry several severe diseases (see the CDC) other than malaria. Mosquitoes are most active early in the morning and as the sun is setting in the evening.
Personal Meds: Make sure you have enough prescription meds to cover the time you are away. We recommend taking enough for at least one extra day in case of travel delays. Carry these meds in your carry-on bag. Checked bags get lost at times and can be difficult to retrieve. CDC suggests you also bring a copy of your prescriptions so meds can be replaced if they are lost. Because of the very real risk of travelers’ diarrhea have your doctor give you a prescription for Cipro or Levoquin. It is also advisable to have a prescription for a sleep aid like Ambien. (Please discuss with your physician and check for drug interactions with other meds you are taking).
Over the counter medications: Everyone should bring any meds they regularly use that are available over the counter. In addition bring Imodium, a mild laxative, bug spray (bed bugs and mosquito spray), an antacid (Pepcid, Gaviscon, Zantac, Prilosec,etc.) , an NSAID (Aspirin, Aleve, Advil, etc.), an antihistamine (Benadryl, Allegra, or Claritin), 1%hydrocortisone cream, bandaids, sun screen, antibiotic ointment (Neosporin or triple antibiotic ointment), an antifungal for feet (Lotrimin AF), Peptobismol, probiotic, ear and eye drops, preparation H, water bottle to be refilled with distilled or securely treated water.
Be sure to visit your personal doctor or a travel clinic and make sure you are covered for CDC Travel advised vaccinations. Some countries will not let you travel if you do not have proof of vaccinations. Yellow Fever, Hepatitis, typhoid, Tetanus, and others are a must for your own safety. Be sure to take your medications for malaria prophylaxis. Most will find Melarone easiest to tolerate.