Putting together a checklist for a three month trip to South America and then a who-knows-how-long trip to the UK and Europe was a bit tough but the good old Lonely Planet was very helpful and so were my friends who have travelled previously – both were full of very handy advice. So here is the second part of my checklist:

Travel money card – DONE. I decided to get the ANZ travel card because I’m an ANZ customer already so I thought it would just be simpler. There wasn’t that much difference bewteen the Travelex and American Express. I’ve loaded US$ on for the South America leg as I thought that would convert the best (not sure if my logic was right there) and I’ve got some some Pounds and some Euro loaded on as well.

Camera – In progress. I’ve decided to get a Canon PowerShot S95 which I’ve got on order at Georges camera shop in Sydney. I did have my eye on a couple of other Canon cameras but when I got in touch with my friend Lexy who writes the camera reviews on Cnet, she suggested the PowerShot S95 (and she would know). Hopefully it will come in soon, I’d like to try it out and get some practice before I leave. I’ll be sure to blog about it when it arrives.

Travel vaccinations – In progress. On Monday I went in to get the first of my vaccinations and I am now protected against Yellow Fever, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid, Measels/Mumps/Rubella, Diphtheria/Pertussis/Tetanus, Influenza, and Polio. I had six shots all up and next week I have to go back for my second Hep B and take a Dukoral drink which protects me against Cholera and E-coli. I also have to take Malaria tablets when I go to the Amazon. I decided not to get the Rabies vaccination, as I think it is highly unlikely that I will get bitten by a rabid animal and also because it involves having three shots that cost $115 each! I know I should be more worried about protecting my health than protecting my back pocket, but geez, that’s a lot of money!

Organise visas for Brazil and UK – DONE. Both processes were very different and both quite confusing. My only advice to others is to read and re-read all instructions and applications forms very carefully as I’ve heard of a lot of people who have had to put back their travel dates as they filled out their visa applications incorrectly.

Bits and Pieces: Sleeping bag (my friend Jo lent me hers that she took to South America, which is very kind of her. I bought a compression bag so that I can squish the bag right down so it takes up less room – very handy!) thermals and duck down jacket (the jacket is really warm but also compresses really small), power adapters (it seems just about each country has a different power plugin), insect repellant (big mozzies in the Amazon and a malaria risk), first aid kit (just in case), torch, universal sink plug, water purifier drink bottle (I thought this was a good idea at the time but now I’m not sure I trust it enough to drink from the water supply, which is said to be full of nasty things).

Still to do: buy earplus (in case of snorers), photocopy my travel documents (very important) and research phone use in South America.

As you can see I’m almost organised and there’s still a month to go before I fly out. I’m sure there will be something that I’ve completely forgotten and I’ll be rushing around like a headless chook the day before I leave though!

I’ll be doing a post about packing soon so you can take a look at all the things I’m taking with me. Hopefully I’ll be able to use my new camera to take photos.

Until then, adios!

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