This month I made my lifelong goal of traveling to Ghana become a reality. After spending time in Europe last year I decided what better way to bring in my 30th birthday than with a trip to Africa.
When it comes to traveling I’m a pretty savvy traveler. I splurged slightly more on my airline ticket costs because I have always wanted to fly Emirates and wanted to make sure I was comfortable in transit. While I expected this to be my largest expense I was not expecting the other expenses to come. These expenses occurred after my ticket purchase but before I even set foot on a plane.
If you are planning a trip abroad factor the following costs (time too) into your vacation budget.
Passport- I renewed my passport back in undergrad but had I not or if my passport was set to expire I would have had to pay the $110 processing fee.
Visa- Our visa cost $60. Add the photos required and that Visa cost us $70. Fortunately I live in NY and we have a consulate here. Unfortunately the consulate was not very close to our apartment so I ended up taking time off of work to go back and forth. Make sure you look into the country you are visiting and check their visa requirements. (I didn’t need one for Paris, London, Dubai, nor Jamaica)
Immunizations- In order to receive my visa I was required to get the yellow fever shot. The CDC also recommend that I get a Typhoid and Hepatitis A shot. Because most insurance companies don’t cover travel immunizations the Yellow fever shot was $125 and I ended up paying $240 for the typhoid and Hep A shots.
Medication- Malaria pills were also strongly recommended and boy are they needed. My friends uncle who lives in Ghana ended up catching Malaria our last few days. I asked him how frequently he catches it and he said every 2-3 years. The one thing my insurance did come through on was my. I paid $10 for my prescription but my boyfriend who doesn’t have insurance paid $108.
Power Converters- Because most of the world does not use the same voltage we had to purchase converters that cost us $15 a piece. Luckily we now have them for future travel, but if you don’t, add them to your list.
Don’t forget to turn off cellular service to your phone. I have an iPhone and enabled wi-fi only so that I could avoid roaming charges and a surprisingly high bill upon my return.
And notify your bank and card companies that you will be traveling abroad. Nothing like trying to find a phone connection abroad to call your bank after your card has been frozen. Also note the credit limit of your cards. Did you know that in some countries you can be arrested for exceeding your limit?
Traveling abroad is amazing and I’m looking to do more of it. I learned valuable lessons that I will recall as I prepare for my next trip which will be either Spain and Morocco of Mexico City.
Did I leave any costs off this list? Sound of in the comments below regarding your upcoming or last international trip and the surprising hidden costs associated.