There are about three weeks left before I leave and so I’m amassing quite a pre-trip list of to-do’s. Unfortunately, most of these tasks are boring, tedious, painful and expensive. Take a look for yourself at a random sampler.
1) Getting a travel visa. Rating: Very tedious and very expensive
Steps for a visa were well outlined on the Embassy’s website. What was lacking: the fees. Contacting the Embassy was stupid. They didn’t return The Boyfriend’s calls. When I sent an e-mail inquiring about the fees, they sent generic reply e-mails, with no fee information. Fortunately, other people had ranted about this on a travel forum and I found my answer. The total process was very costly: $133 (for multiple entries) + $6.50 for the bank draft + $18.99 (for passport pictures, don’t get me started!) + FedEx shipping (the Embassy’s preferred choice, I’ll find out the cost tomorrow)
2) Getting immunization. Rating: Painful (not physical pain, rather boredom) and very expensive
I’m a big procrastinator and so doing this 3 weeks beforehand is not recommended. So far, I’ve gotten Twinrix for $182.15 and Dukoral for $74.88. (Actually, I could have avoided the Twinrix had I gotten my booster shot 7 years ago. Yes, I’m definitely a procrastinator…) I’m going to a travel clinic for $30 and who knows what else they’ll recommend. Not sure how much will be covered by my insurance.
3) Getting insurance. Rating: just expensive
The travel agent quoted over $700 which blew my mind. I’m still mulling over it.
4) Getting sleeping bag and backpack. Rating: I’m sure it’ll be ok since it does involve shopping. I’ll do it this weekend.
5) Meeting with the bank. Rating: painful, especially having to think about the future
Ok, this is not a pre-trip to-do, but rather a leaving-your-job to-do. But it still has to be done pre-trip.