Do your homework before hopping around

One of the things that I love to do is visit neighboring islands/countries when I go to various caribbean destinations, if possible and if time permits.  Typically it is much cheaper for me to take a flight or ferry from a neighboring island than to return home and buy a separate round trip ticket to visit said location.  Typically, I am able to accomplish this with no issues or additional entry requirements other than to have the passport in hand.  Rarely have I ever been asked to confirm my return ticket.  Well, now I realize that I need to take a little more time when planning my island and country hopping.  Why?  Keep reading.

Even though Costa Rica is not on my list of countries to visit, I decided to do some reach about the entry requirements after seeing that a possible vaccination may be required.  Again, visiting various destinations in and around the caribbean, I have NEVER been required to show proof of a vaccination, so this would be totally foreign to me.  If you are a resident of or are traversing through any of the following countries prior to visiting Costa Rica, you need to make sure that you have received the yellow fever vaccination: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leon, Sudan, Bolivia, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador and Guyana.  That’s a pretty exhaustive list!

The good thing is that I do not have plans to visit Costa Rica; however, I do have plans to visit Guyana and Venezuela, so now I need to make sure that research the entry requirements for those two countries to make sure that the same restrictions are not imposed.  I typically travel internationally every three months, so if there are vaccination requirements for any of my other remaining trips, I definitely need to sort this out PDQ (pretty darn quick), especially since I HATE needles and it takes an army for me to get any type of shot.

What’s the moral of the story, definitely do your homework before you go.  The last thing you wan to do is to purchase a plane, bus, or ferry ticket from one destination to another only to be denied entry before your vaccinations are not up-to-date or you have no proof of proper immunization.  Backpackers and wanderlusts beware!

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