Me-go: Around-the-World

All I Want is Some Typhoid!


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With my departure date (June 8th) coming fast, I have started getting nervous about getting things in order. I have a two page list of things to do before I leave, but one thing I need to schedule is a vaccination appointment. Many of you may know that I’ve traveled extensively before phase 1 of my around-the-world trip. In 2001 I spent three weeks in Peru hiking to Inca Trail, exploring Lake Titticaca, flying over the Nazca Lines and rummaging through the Amazon Rainforest. As you can imagine, I needed a lot of vaccinations for the trip, including the rare Yellow Fever vaccination.

Because I got the major shots taken care of back then I usually don’t need much more than a prescription for anti-malarials and a few courses of Cipro. However, the Typhoid vaccine is only good for two years and I’m past due for what will be my third round of Typhoid vaccinations. Internists don’t carry the vaccinations commonly needed for travel, so I go to a special travel vaccination clinic appropriately named “Germbusters.” I chose Germbusters over the hospital’s clinic only partly because it reminds me of the Ghostbusters franchise. More important than the name is the price–which is the cheapest around.

Before I left for Phase 1 I went in for a consultation in which a nurse sits down with you and a packet of information generated about the countries you’re traveling to. In my case, the stack was about two inches high and the nurse needed a lot of time to figure out just what malaria was resistant to what drugs in each country. Because I was consuled in 2004 on all of the places I will be going (aside from Central Asia) I don’t feel another consultation is necessary. All I want is my Typhoid shot! Germbusters told me that I still need to come in for the hour consultation ($35) to be told what I already know from my previous visit. They get their information from the same source as I do–The CDC.

Being the comparison shopper that I am I called around and discovered that not only will no one give me the Typhoid shot without a consultation, but most other centers charge $10-20 more for the same vaccination. Now I have to swallow my pride, pay the extra consultation fee, the injection fee and the vaccination fee and stop my complaining. Time is running out.

4 responses to “All I Want is Some Typhoid!”

  1. Claudia Cavazos Avatar
    Claudia Cavazos

    Hello there,
    Your webpage is just AMAZING! I’m glad I bumped into it bc you share a wealth of information that will be useful to me at some point. A quick question though: What type of medical/travel insurance do you have? Could you please give me their website name?
    Pura Vida,

  2. Megan Avatar

    Thanks Claudia!

    Check back soon because most of the information isn’t even up right now. I’m finalizing the code for all the other pages (besides my blog). In particular, the ‘details’ section will have the kind of information you’re looking for.

    As for insurance, there are many options. You don’t say what country you are a citizen of, and if you are not American you may have more options. My last trip I used World Nomads, a company located in Australia. I did not have any claims, but when I had to cancel 6 months of my insurance because I came home early I was not refunded. Some people love them and some people have trouble getting claims processed because of the time involved sending post to Australia.

    STA also offers insurance but I’m not sure if they only cover students of not. They have the sort of policy most RTWers are looking for–one year, health + sports coverage + personal items. It’s similar in that was to World Nomads.

    I am currently looking at IMG as well. Of course, if you are only traveling for a short time, a few months or less there are other policies for that. I usually look for a policy that covers medical up to a few million USD, medical evacuation etc. If you are not from the USA and are traveling here definately get a high coverage policy (at least 2 Million USD) because if you are seriously hurt costs can be that high.

    I usually take out a rider for my camera and computer on my parents’ home owner’s insurance. It’s the cheapest option I’ve found to cover theft of expensive things. Most of the policies above only cover $250 per item, if at all. When you have $5,000 worth of equipment that could be stolen it’s just not enough.

    Lastly, here is a very lengthy post about insurnace plans on Lonenly Planet’s forums. There’s a lot of back and forth as well as some personal accounts of claims processing. Make sure you read all of it–it’s been added to for 3 years.

  3. Claudia Cavazos Avatar
    Claudia Cavazos

    Thanks for the fast response. I’m so overwhelmed by all this insurance stuff but it’s something I think everyone should have when travelling abroad. I live in the states (Texas to be exact) and have been working for a cancer center who provides us with excellent insurance but in order for me to go travel I will have to quit my job. Now here I am on my quest for good travel/medical insurance (for 6mths).

  4. Megan Avatar

    If you’re only leaving for 6 months is there any way your job can give you an unpaid sabbatical? When thinking about insurance keep in mind that you may no longer be covered by pre-existing conditions if you quit your current policy. Usually, people go on COBRA, but that’s expensive and also most likely won’t cover you for more than 90 days outside the USA. Actually, I think that as long as you don’t have a gap in coverage for more than 40 days or something (don’t quote me on that!) you still qualify for being covered for PE conditions.

    I was in a difficult situation, coming home and knowing that I needed insurance but working freelance, where I had no access to a group medical policy.

    Check out the policies above, they should give you an idea of what you want. Read the fine print–most policies don’t cover scuba diving, etc. without a special rider. Ther are actually links in the reply above, I jsut don’t have the comment link style set up yet so you can’t see them. If you roll your mouse over “World Nomads” “STA” “IMG” and “here” you’ll get the links.