Before You Go - panamericanrider

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Planning & Tips

Before You Go
Shots, paperwork and more.
Passport - Make sure your passport is valid for more than 6 months after your return date.  Your passport isn't really a 5 year document, it is more like a 4 1/2 year.  Countries will not let you enter them if your passport expires within 6 months of your entry stamp!

International Drivers Permit - These tend to only cost about $30-$40 and translate your licence into many different languages.   Some countries require them, so just not a bad idea to have along.   Don't forget your actual licence as well.  In British Columbia you can get an IDP at BCAA.

Access to Money (Credit Cards) - It is always a good idea to have at least 2 different credit cards available.  One mastercard and one visa.   Unlike North America, not everywhere accepts both.  Some bank machines wont give you money on one but will on another.   As a Canadian in South America, I like Scotia bank for my visa card, as they have a decent prescence there and fees can be less.

Travel Insurance - We are using World Nomads.  It is very important to make sure whomever you use actually covers motorcycle riding or you could end up royally screwed.   World Nomads covers quite a bit and was reasonable.  $300 cdn for 4 months of travel.

Imunizations and Shots - Check with a doctor or travel clinic for what is needed depending on your travel location.  Since we are doing the entire Panamerican Highway, we ended up with a fair few needed.   We got shots for Hepatitis (A & B), as well as Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Tetanus and measles/mumps/rubella.  Also could have gotten rabies, but if exposed one still must go for more treatment anyways, and rabies was quite an expensive one.

Medical Kit / Prescriptions - Make sure any required prescriptions are filled with enough for the duration of your trip.  You wont be able to get refills on the fly.  I got additional prescriptions for travellers diarrhea and altitude sickness.   I passed on anti-malarial pills as the price was too high or they had psychotic side effects.  I do have some high quality repellent with me though.   I also have a small first aid kit packed with all the typical essentials.
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