How To Choose The Best Travel Camera (Plus Win A Free GoPro!)

Best Travel Camera Guide

How to Choose a Travel Camera

Travel Photography

After 7 years as a professional travel photographer & blogger, I keep getting asked what’s the best travel camera. There are so many to choose from! Here’s what I would pick, and why.

If you’re into photography, traveling the world with a good camera can help you bring back images that will stand the test of time — memories to share with family and friends for years to come.

Amazing travel photos are some of my most treasured souvenirs!

But what’s the best travel camera for capturing these special moments on your journey? There’s no easy answer to this question. Different people will have different requirements and budgets.

My goal with this digital camera buyers guide is to help you narrow down the overwhelming choices that are out there — and pick the perfect travel camera for your next trip.

Travel Photos from Norway

Norway’s Lofoten Islands

Travel Camera Features

  • Size & Weight: Gone are the days when a bigger camera means a better camera. If you want to travel with your camera, you’ll want something small & lightweight.
  • Manual Settings: Photography professionals want the ability to fully control the settings of their camera so they can dial in the perfect shot in all kinds of different situations.
  • Megapixels: Many people assume that more megapixels is better. This isn’t always true if the pixels themselves are small. However more megapixels on a large sensor will give you higher detail, and allow you to “crop” your image without reducing quality.
  • Fast Lens: Lens aperture is measured in f/numbers, like f/1.4, f/2.8, f/4, etc. The lower the number, the better it will perform in low-light situations.
  • Zoom Range: A zoom lens lets you get closer to the action, especially for wildlife or people. But the bigger the zoom the bulkier a camera gets. How much zoom you want is a personal preference.
  • HD/4K Video: Most quality travel cameras will shoot video in HD 1080p. Some even have 4K capabilities — which honestly most people won’t need unless you’re doing professional work.
  • WiFi/Bluetooth Enabled: Some cameras have their own wifi network, allowing you to upload your photos instantly to your computer or smartphone.
  • Interchangeable Lenses: High-end mirrorless and DSLR cameras have interchangeable lenses, allowing you to pick the perfect lens for different situations.
  • Weatherproofing: Will your travel camera hold up against the elements? Some cameras are better protected from moisture and dust than others.
Travel Camera Sensor Size

Understanding Camera Sensors

Camera Sensor Size

When choosing the perfect camera for traveling, you need to understand different camera sensors, and how they affect image quality and camera size.

In general, a camera with a large sensor is going to perform better in low light because that large sensor can capture more of it.

With a large sensor you’ll also get more detail, allowing you to print your images large, or crop them smaller, and not loose any quality.

However a large camera sensor means the camera itself will be larger as well.

Travel Photos from Hawaii

Ridge Hiking in Hawaii

What Do You Want To Capture?

When choosing the best travel camera for your needs, you must define what those needs are. Different cameras have strengths and weaknesses depending on what you’re using them for.

Are you looking for portability? Weatherproofing & ruggedness? Professional high-end image quality? Something reasonably priced? Are you going to be shooting more landscapes, wildlife, adventure activities, or people?

You often can’t have it all when it comes to travel cameras.

Keep reading below to learn the pros & cons for each type of camera, and which types of travel photography they work best for.

Point & Shoot Cameras

Point & shoot cameras have come a long way. As technology has improved, companies have managed to pack these pocket-sized cameras with tons of features. Some shoot 4k video and have manual settings, just like the more expensive ones in this list.

The big difference is the camera sensor is a bit smaller, and they don’t have interchangeable lenses.

In my opinion, a mid-range to high-end point & shoot is the best option for 75% of amature travel photographers. They combine the perfect mix of portability, power, and budget-friendliness.

Sony RX100 Series ($700 – $1000)

Sony RX100 Travel Camera

Sony RX100 V

The Sony RX100 V is my favorite point & shoot travel camera. It’s what I’d call a “professional” point & shoot. While it fits in my pocket, it has many of the same features as my larger primary mirrorless camera.

It’s a bit pricey at $1000, but you can also pick up older models like the RX100 III ($700) and RX100 IV ($850) for less. They also make reasonably priced underwater dive-housings for this line.

Highlights

  • 4k Video
  • Ultra-Fast Focusing
  • Flip-screen for Vlogging
  • Built-In Flash

Issues:

  • 1″ Sensor
  • Fixed Lens
  • Crappy Microphone

Check Price For Sony RX100 V Here

Canon PowerShot G7 X ($650)

Canon G7X II Travel Camera

Canon G7X II

The Canon G7 X is another fantastic point & shoot that’s great for travel photography. A bit less expensive than the Sony, it has fewer high-end features, but shoots great video with better on-board audio than the Sony. It’s a favorite for many YouTubers and Vloggers.

Highlights

  • Flip-screen for Vlogging
  • Built-In Flash
  • Decent Microphone

Issues:

  • 1″ Sensor
  • Fixed Lens
  • Slow Focusing

Check Price For Canon G7X Here

Travel Photos from a GoPro

Best Action Travel Cameras

Action Cameras

Action cameras have really transformed the travel photography & video world over the years. These tiny, waterproof, indestructible cameras can go anywhere & record anything!

If you plan on hiking, mountain biking, surfing, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, or even swimming under waterfalls during your travels, an action camera can create epic video & photos of the experience.

GoPro Hero 6 ($500)

GoPro Hero 6 Travel Camera

GoPro Hero 6

The GoPro Hero 6 is GoPro’s best camera yet, with improved video stabilization, color, and 60p slow-motion 4k footage. It’s waterproof case and touch-screen will handle any adventures you dream up. A must-have for adventure addicts like me!

Check Price For GoPro 6 Here

GoPro Hero Session ($200)

GoPro Session Travel Camera

GoPro Session

The GoPro Session is GoPro’s smaller & cheaper model. Without a screen, this tiny cube can fit just about anywhere — you’ll barely notice it. If you aren’t an action sports junkie, this will do for most people. Connect to the GoPro App on your smartphone to frame your shots.

Check Price For GoPro Session Here

Travel Photos from Hawaii

Best Mirrorless Travel Cameras

Mirrorless Cameras

Larger than a point & shoot, but smaller than a DSLR, mirrorless digital cameras are all the rage right now. Even professional photographers are starting to switch over due to their small size and ability to produce high-quality images.

I use a mirrorless camera as my main travel camera. They offer more features than a point & shoot, like the ability to use interchangeable lenses, and a larger sensor with better low-light capability and detail.

Sony A7 Series ($1300 – $3200)

Sony A7 Travel Camera

Sony A7ii

The Sony A7 II is one of the best travel cameras money can buy. Sony is on the cutting edge of camera technology lately, and other brands are having trouble keeping up. There are a few different models available.

The Sony A7S II is geared towards videographers, with extremely good low-light capabilities and 4k video. The Sony A7R III is geared for professional photographers who want super-fast focusing and a giant full-frame sensor.

Highlights

  • Full Frame Sensor
  • Internal Stabilization
  • 4k Video (A7S & A7R only)
  • High Dynamic Range
  • Weather-sealed Body

Issues:

  • Lacks swivel screen for vlogging
  • No built-in flash

Check Price For Sony A7ii Here

Fujifilm X‑T2 ($1500)

Fujifilm X‑T2 Travel Camera

Fujifilm X‑T2

The Fuji X-T2 is a popular competitor to the Sony A7 mirrorless camera. I’ve used it before, and the Fuji is very well-made! My favorite part about it is the rugged all-metal dials that control this camera’s settings. However it has a smaller APS-C crop sensor rather than being Full Frame.

Highlights

  • APS-C Sensor
  • 4k Video
  • Weather-sealed Body

Issues:

  • Lacks swivel screen for vlogging
  • No built-in flash

Check Price For Fuji X-T2 Here

Sony A6500 ($1200)

Sony A6500 Travel Camera

Sony A6500

The Sony A6500 is an even smaller version of Sony’s awesome A7 mirrorless camera. The big difference is a slightly smaller APS-C cropped sensor, and less weatherproofing to protect against rain.

The A6500 also shoots 4k video, shoots faster photos than the A7, and has a touch-screen. For a more budget friendly version, the older Sony A6000 is almost just as capable, for almost $700 hundred dollars less!

Check Price For Sony A6500 Here

DSLR Cameras

Digital SLR Cameras (DSLR) wouldn’t be my first choice for a travel camera. Because these cameras use a physical mirror instead of an electronic viewfinder, the body is larger than on a mirrorless camera.

Personally I think most people would be better off with a mirrorless camera system these days. Especially if you’re trying to minimize the weight and size of your travel gear.

Nikon D3400 ($400)

Nikon D3400 Travel Camera

Nikon D3400

Check Price For Nikon D3400 Here

Canon 80D ($1000)

Canon 80D Travel Camera

Canon 80D

Check Price For Canon 80D Here

Using Your Smartphone

Can you use your smartphone for travel photography? Of course you can! You’ll sacrifice a bit of quality due to the super small camera sensor in phones, but if you’re only publishing to the web, most people won’t notice.

Another downside is lack of a physical zoom feature (digital zooming doesn’t produce great results).

Some smartphones can even shoot in RAW format these days though. I travel with an iPhone 7+, but the Galaxy S8 and Google Pixel 2 also take amazing photos & video. Smartphones are also great backup cameras too.

What About Camera Lenses?

You honestly don’t need a million different camera lenses. When I first started, I only used a single general-purpose lens while I was learning.

If you have money to burn, then get two: a wide angle zoom and a telephoto zoom.

These two lenses will allow you to capture a mix of landscapes, portraits, and wildlife from a distance. However lugging around multiple lenses and changing them back & forth can be annoying if you’re new to photography.

To keep things easy, I’d recommend only one lens at first. Something with a decent focal range, around 18mm – 55mm or 28mm – 70mm.

When looking at a lens aperture, the lower the number, the better it will be in low light. F2.8 or F4 should cover you for most situations. If you want to shoot star photography, go with F2.8 or lower.

Hawaii from the Air

Flying my DJI Mavic Over Hawaii

Drones For Travel Photography

Drones are incredible tools for capturing images & video in a totally different perspective. But this probably isn’t the most important travel camera for the average person.

Many places have restrictions on flying personal drones, for example US National Parks, and even entire countries. So you need to do your research to avoid heavy fines or confiscation.

If you REALLY want a drone, I’d recommend the DJI Spark for beginners. It’s tiny, pretty affordable, and very easy to use.

If you eventually want to make money from your drone photography, and have a larger budget, than you’ll completely fall in love with the more professional DJI Mavic Pro. You can see my review video here.

Travel Photography Camera Gear

All My Camera Gear

What Travel Cameras Do I Use?

I actually travel with 4-5 different cameras on my adventures around the world. This is a bit overkill for most people.

However travel photography is how I make my living, so I invest in gear to help me accomplish my job. When I first started 7 years ago, all I used was a Canon 7D and a GoPro Hero.

  • Sony A7Rii – My main travel camera.
  • Sony RX100 V – This is my backup camera.
  • GoPro Hero 6 – Action camera for extreme sports.
  • GoPro Session – Backup action camera & B-roll footage.
  • DJI Mavic Pro – Drone for aerial photography & video.

The camera backpack I use is called a LowePro Whistler 350. It’s got room for a 15″ laptop, jacket, and incredibly fits all 5 travel cameras, lenses & some accessories if I need it to — great as an airplane carry-on.

Travel Photography Tips

I want to let you in on a little travel photography secret. Even if you have a top-of-the-line $10,000 camera, your photos aren’t going to be spectacular if you don’t know how to use it.

And I don’t mean pressing the shutter — I mean:

  • Learning how to shoot in manual mode
  • How to expose images properly
  • Adjusting your white balance
  • Framing shots for maximum impact
  • Paying attention to light
  • Post-processing your images with software

You don’t become a good photographer because you have a nice camera, your photography improves over time through practice, patience, and skills you learn from others.

So sure, invest in a new travel camera if you think you need it, but remember to invest money & time into learning new photography skills if you really want to create those jealousy-inducing images for your Instagram feed!

Here are some of my favorite beginner travel photography tips.

Travel Camera Giveaway

Who Wants to Win a GoPro?

Free GoPro Session Giveaway!

If you don’t have a GoPro action camera yet, but want one, here’s your chance to win a GoPro to use on your next travel adventure!

I’m giving one lucky reader their very own GoPro Hero Session 5 (along with some accessories).

I love my GoPro, and travel with it everywhere. It’s great for capturing water sports, hiking trips, epic selfies, and hands-free video from my travel adventures around the world.

I’ve been traveling with a GoPro of some kind for the last 7 years!

Here’s an article I wrote about my favorite GoPro accessories for travel, along with examples of how you can use it to capture amazing footage.

OFFICIAL RULES

ELIGIBILITY: Ages 18+
Promotion is open and offered to residents of any country. However the winner will be responsible for their own country’s customs fees.

CHOOSING A WINNER:
A winner will be selected at random from the list of entries, and notified by email on December 3rd. If the winner does not respond within one week, an alternate winner will be chosen at random.

PRIZE:
The winner will receive (1) GoPro Hero Session, (1) GoPro Backpack, and (1) GoPro Selfie Stick. Prize value worth $450. Prizes are shipped to winner’s chosen address. Local customs fees are not included in the prize.

TERMS & CONDITIONS: Click Here For Details

How To Enter Contest

Enter your name and email address below and follow the instructions.

You’ll have the option to earn extra contest entries (and more chances to win!) by completing certain tasks.

Good luck, and I look forward to congratulating the winner! ★

Pin This!

How To Choose The Best Travel Camera. More at ExpertVagabond.com

READ MORE TRAVEL TIPS

Ultimate Adventure Travel Gear Guide
How To Start A Travel Blog
The Best GoPro Accessories For Travel
DJI Mavic Pro Drone Review

Have any questions about travel cameras? What about other suggestions? Drop me a message in the comments below!

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.

This is a post from The Expert Vagabond adventure blog.

Buckle And Seam Bag: Perfect For Business Travel

Buckle And Seam Bag: Perfect For Business Travel

Buckle and Seam has a new range of premium quality business bags in the UK. By going directly to the manufacturers and selling online, they cut out the middleman, which means that they can offer amazing leather and craftsmanship at an affordable price. The most recent addition to their range is the luxury, vegetable tanned … Continue reading Buckle And Seam Bag: Perfect For Business Travel

The post Buckle And Seam Bag: Perfect For Business Travel first appeared on Luxury Travel Diary.

Travel Vaccination Guide: Which Shots Do You Need?

Travel Shots

What Travel Vaccinations Do You Need?

Travel Tips

Planning to travel overseas in the next few months? You may want to think about travel vaccinations. Learn which shots you may need for which countries, and how to save money on them.

When I first began traveling on a regular basis 7 years ago, the topic of travel vaccinations and immunizations came up. Like many people, I was confused about which shots I needed. Where do I get them? How much do they cost?

Honestly, it doesn’t matter whether you’re staying at a fancy resort or a backpacker hostel – if you’re in a foreign country, you’re putting yourself at risk for the diseases and infections that reside there.

Why do we wear seat belts? Because they save more lives than they take.

The same is true with vaccinations. The diseases they prevent kill millions around the world (or used to before vaccinations).

Once you’ve taken the proper precautions, you’ll feel much better about being adventurous and saying yes to any opportunities that present themselves while traveling. It’s preventative insurance for your health.

Travel Vaccinations & Shots

I know, I know – no one likes getting shots or even going to the doctor. But a twenty-minute appointment could prevent you from contracting really bad diseases, and maybe even save your life.

A number of factors go into determining whether or not you need a vaccination – some of them personal (depending on your health, or where you are from) many of them are more general.

As a result, necessary vaccinations can vary depending on your planned destinations. Let’s take a look at these factors and which vaccinations are recommended (or required) for your next trip.

Things To Consider

There are a few things to consider regarding your own health and situation. First, how is your immune system? If you have a disease or condition that weakens the immune system, speak with a doctor before getting a vaccine.

It’s important to make sure you’ve got your body up to par for the trip!

Next, if you are pregnant or traveling with children, be sure that both you and they have any medical procedures and/or vaccines needed, and that the vaccines are safe for their age.

Check your personal vaccine history by talking to your doctor or health insurance provider (you may have had some of them when you were younger, like Hepatitis A). Just to avoid any confusion, this is often referred to in official medical circles as your Immunization Records.

Finally, I’ve shared some general guidelines below, but for more detailed information, please visit the official CDC Traveler’s Health Site to learn exactly which travel vaccinations are recommended for each country.

Bathrooms around the World

Bathroom in Afghanistan

Basic Routine Vaccinations

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a liver disease spread through food and water contaminated by the feces of an infected person. Some sources include fruits & vegetables that were improperly handled, bad ice, and shellfish pulled from contaminated water. It can also be spread through sex. Symptoms are similar to the flu. There is no cure.

TYPE: 2 injections over 6 months
PROTECTION: Lifetime
COST: $75 – $100 (often covered by health insurance)
RECOMMENDED FOR: All Countries

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a liver disease spread through blood and bodily fluids of an infected person. Sources include unprotected sex, using contaminated needles, and sharing a razor/toothbrush with an infected person. Symptoms are often mild, so you may not realize you have it. Left untreated it can damage your liver.

TYPE: Multiple injections over a few months.
PROTECTION: Lifetime
COST: $60 – $90 (often covered by health insurance)
RECOMMENDED FOR: All Countries

TDaP (Tetanus, Diptheria, and Pertussis)

Tetanus is bacteria found in the soil and animal excrement. If it enters a wound, it creates a deadly toxin called tetanospasmin. Symptoms include nerve spasms and contractions that spread from the face to the arms and legs, and can affect the ability to breathe. Untreated, tetanus is often fatal. The vaccine is sometimes mixed with vaccines for Diptheria & Pertussis, two more bacterial diseases.

TYPE: Single injection
PROTECTION: 10 years
COST: $60 (often covered by health insurance)
RECOMMENDED FOR: All Countries

Flu Vaccine

The Influenza virus, aka “the flu” spreads from infected persons to the nose or throat of others. It often only lasts a few days, but can still ruin a trip. Symptoms include high fever, sore throat, chills, fatigue, headache, and coughing.

TYPE: Single injection
PROTECTION: 1 year
COST: $50 (often covered by health insurance)
RECOMMENDED FOR: All Countries

Recommended For Many Countries

Typhoid Fever

Typhoid fever, or typhoid, is a bacterial infection that spreads through feces contaminated food or water. It affects 21.5 million people worldwide, with a 10% fatality rate. Most common symptoms include fever, anorexia, abdominal discomfort and headaches.

TYPE: Single injection or Pills
PROTECTION: 2 years (injection), 5 years (pills)
COST: $85 – $300
RECOMMENDED FOR: South America, Central America, Asia, Africa, Pacific Islands

Protecting Against Tropical Disease

Jungle Trekking in Panama

Recommended For Some Countries

Malaria

There are four different strains of Malaria. All are transmitted by the bite of an infected female mosquito. Malaria is characterized by fever and flu-like symptoms, including chills, headache, body aches and fatigue. Malaria can cause kidney failure, coma and death.

TYPE: Multiple types of medication: Atovone/Proguanil (Malarone), Mefloqine (Lariam), Chloroquine (Aralen), or Doxycycline.
PROTECTION: For as long as you’re on the medication
COST: $25 – $200 for 2 weeks of prevention depending on drug
RECOMMENDED FOR: Africa, South America, parts of Asia (see full map here)

Rabies

Rabies is a viral disease contracted by the bite of an animal, usually raccoons, bats, dogs, skunks, or foxes. It affects the central nervous system and brain, leading to death if untreated. It starts with flu-like symptoms, progressing to insomnia, confusion, partial paralysis, and hallucinations. The vaccine does not prevent contracting rabies, it just makes treating it far easier.

TYPE: 3 injections over 2 months
PROTECTION: 5-8 years (does not prevent, only helps with treatment)
COST: $500 – $1000
RECOMMENDED FOR: South America, Middle East, Africa

Cholera

Cholera is a diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. It kills over 100,000 people every year. Cholera is spread by consuming water or food contaminated by the feces of an infected person. Symptoms can be mild, but severe cases include watery diarrhea, vomiting, and leg cramps.

TYPE: Single injection
PROTECTION: 1-2 years
COST: $30 – $50
RECOMMENDED FOR: Some African countries like D.R. Congo, Egypt, and Morocco (see full map here)

Polio

Polio is a viral disease transmitted by fecal matter or saliva from an infected person. It can cause paralysis, respiratory failure, and death. Before a vaccine was available, infection was common worldwide. In the United States, most people receive the initial vaccine as children. However an additional booster shot is recommended for adult travelers going to certain countries.

TYPE: Single injection (booster)
PROTECTION: Lifetime
COST: $50
RECOMMENDED FOR: Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East (more details here)

Meningitis

There are a few different forms of Meningitis. Basically, it’s a bacterial infection that affects the brain and spinal cord. It spreads from person to person via coughing, kissing, or eating contaminated food. Symptoms include sudden fever, headache, and stiff neck. Some countries in Africa & the Middle East have regular outbreaks.

TYPE: Single injection
PROTECTION: 3-5 years
COST: $80 – $200
RECOMMENDED FOR: Africa & the Middle East

Japanese Encephalitis

Japanese Encephalitis disease is spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It is most common in rural farming areas of Asia. Risk is generally low for most travelers, unless you are spending a lot of time in rural areas during the monsoon season. Some cases can lead to inflammation of the brain and other symptoms which can be fatal.

TYPE: 2 injections over one month
PROTECTION: 1-2 years
COST: $150 – $800
RECOMMENDED FOR: Asia & Southeast Asia

Required For Some Countries

Yellow Fever

Yellow fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease with a high mortality rate, which is why some countries require vaccination if you recently traveled to parts of South American or Africa. Symptoms of yellow fever include: fever, nausea, vomiting, headache, and abdominal pain. Severe cases include hepatitis, hemorrhagic fever, and possible death.

TYPE: Single injection
PROTECTION: Lifetime
COST: $150 – $300
RECOMMENDED FOR: South America & Africa (see full map here)

When Should You Get Vaccinated?

Obviously you need any shots that are REQUIRED for entry taken care of before you leave. That said, the earlier the better, especially if follow-up rounds may be needed.

Because some vaccines require a few shots spread out over a few months.

Some travel shots can take about a week to fully protect your system, so generally it’s recommended to have your travel vaccines completed a few weeks before your trip. Ask your doctor if you have any concerns on timing.

Your Yellow Immunization Card

Once you receive your travel vaccinations, ask the doctor for a yellow immunization card, which lists all your vaccination details.

Keep this with your passport, and update it with any new shots you get, because immigration officials in some countries will want to see it. Especially as proof of Yellow Fever vaccination.

Travel Shots and Vaccinations

Walgreens Provides Travel Vaccinations

Where To Get Travel Vaccinations

Before Leaving Home

The first step in figuring out where to go to get your vaccines is to contact your health insurance provider or doctor. They should be able to tell you exactly where you need to go, and maybe even help you make the appointment.

Many county health departments, hospitals, and private health clinics offer vaccines on site. In some cases, an appointment will be required, at others a walk-in will be fine too.

If you live in the United States, Walgreens Pharmacy also offers many travel vaccinations.

It’s best to call ahead to learn which travel shots they offer, and what you need as far as identification or additional paperwork.

If there isn’t one available, or if you are already on the road, check the International Society for Travel Medicine. There you’ll find a directory of travel vaccination providers, doctors, and other travel health resources based on location.

Save Money Overseas!

If you’re like me, the prices for some of these vaccines can be a bit intimidating. Of course depending on your insurance, or national health care system, some vaccinations might be covered.

In other cases, if an expensive travel shot is just recommended, it might be possible to have it performed in a foreign country after you arrive to save some money.

Here are some recommendations though:

  • Do your own research back home first.
  • Find a clean, preferably large hospital in a major urban area.
  • Double check that the doctors are certified.
  • Find out if you need an appointment.
  • Read up on what other travelers are saying.
  • Be prepared to pay with local currency.

The following foreign medical centers are frequented by travelers looking for cheap travel vaccinations:

Southeast Asia

Thailand: Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute
Malaysia: Twin Towers Medical Center
Vietnam: Family Medical Practice

South America

Argentina: Hospital Aleman
Brazil: Hospital das Clinicas

Africa

South Africa: Netcare Travel Clinic

Dengue Fever Blood Test

Getting a Blood Test for Dengue

What About Zika & Dengue Fever?

In addition to the diseases and infections above, there are a whole lot more that don’t get as much coverage called Neglected Tropical Diseases.

I want to talk briefly about two of the more common ones that people should be aware of when they travel overseas, Zika and Dengue Fever.

Both are caused by mosquitos, and neither has a vaccine, so you have to protect yourself in other ways.

Dengue Fever

Dengue Fever is a disease caused by any one of four closely related viruses. They are transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. According to the CDC, Dengue is a risk in many South & Central American countries. Symptoms are similar to severe flu, and can include a red rash on the hands and feet. Dengue can sometimes cause long-term health problems, and even result in death. I actually contracted Dengue Fever in Mexico a few years ago — it isn’t pleasant.

Zika Virus

Zika Virus is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitos. Many people won’t have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms. However Zika can cause horrible damage to unborn babies through a birth defect of the brain called microcephaly. According to the CDC, there is risk of the virus in all South and Central American countries except for Chile and Uruguay.

Use Mosquito Netting

Hammock Camping in Costa Rica

Mosquito Protection Tips

Try to avoid mosquito bites, particularly in remote, jungle, and rural areas. If you have one and begin to feel ill, see a doctor immediately. Protect yourself against mosquitos by taking the following precautions:

  • Cover up arms and legs – wear long loose fitting clothing.
  • Apply insect repellents containing DEET to exposed skins and re-apply frequently – always apply over sunscreen
  • Treat your clothing with permethrin – it will kill any mosquitoes that land on your clothes.
  • Use air conditioning, seal windows and mosquito coils to kill any mosquitoes that might get into your room.
  • Sleep under mosquito nets in basic accommodation or when requiring extra protection

More Travel Vaccination Tips

Ok, real-talk here. Despite all the diseases mentioned above, I don’t want to scare you into never traveling! The chance of you catching something is low.

It’s probably not the end of the world if you don’t have ALL the recommended travel vaccinations for EVERY country you visit.

I’ve been traveling for the last 7 years, visiting over 50 countries. In addition to the basic routine vaccinations recommended for all countries, I also have my Yellow Fever and Typhoid shots.

Personally I’m not too worried about Rabies, Cholera, or the others. Except maybe for Malaria in some very specific countries that I haven’t visited yet, because it can be pretty common.

I’m not a doctor, and can’t tell you which travel vaccinations you’ll need.

Check the CDC Travel Site, gather as much information as you can based on where you’re going, what you plan to be doing there, and then weigh the risks yourself.

For example, I know others who have come down with Malaria, Cholera, and who needed Rabies shots. Yet I still don’t have the Cholera vaccine, Rabies vaccine, and have never used Malaria medication. It’s a personal choice, and a risk you have to live with.

Many private travel clinics in the United States like to use “scare tactics” to convince you to get a shot for absolutely everything, while padding their profits with your ignorance and fear of the unknown.

Please do your own research, talk to your regular doctor, and then decide how much risk you’re willing to take. ★

Traveling Internationally Soon?

Don’t forget travel insurance! I’m a big fan of World Nomads for short-term trips. Protect yourself from possible injury & theft abroad. Read more about why you should always carry travel insurance here.

Pin This!

Ultimate Travel Vaccination Guide. More at ExpertVagabond.com

READ MORE TRAVEL TIPS

How To Forward Packages While Traveling
15 Common Travel Scams To Avoid
How To Start A Travel Blog: Step By Step

Have any questions about travel vaccinations? What’s your experience with them? Drop me a message in the comments below!

This is a post from The Expert Vagabond adventure blog.

The Best Hotels In Indochina

The Best Hotels In Indochina

Indochina’s medley of French-colonial architecture, exquisite temples and hill tribes, scattered across some staggering scenery, has been attracting visitors for decades. The lure is abetted by a range of hotels that can help you explore in style, whether you seek the grandeur of a Vietnamese neo-classical hotel or a modern eco-retreat on a private island. … Continue reading The Best Hotels In Indochina

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Emirates Vs Etihad First Class Suite: Which Is Best?

Emirates Vs Etihad First Class Suite: Which Is Best?

Emirates has just launched a new Business Class Suite on it’s B777. Etihad already has one of the best First Class Suites in the World. Both airlines offer a much better First Class than most other airlines, but which should you choose for your next First Class flight? I have published several trip reports about … Continue reading Emirates Vs Etihad First Class Suite: Which Is Best?

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Flight Review: Saudia Airlines B777 Business Class Seats

Saudi Arabian Airlines or Saudia Airlines have recently introduced a new lie-flat Business Class seat on their B777 planes. In this trip report, I detail their new seat which I experienced, not on a flight to or from Jeddah, but at the World Travel Market in London last week. While at the show I also … Continue reading Flight Review: Saudia Airlines B777 Business Class Seats

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Flight Review: Cathay Pacific A350 Business Class HKG to ICN

Flight Review: Cathay Pacific A350 Business Class HKG to ICN

At the end of September, I finally got the chance to take the business class in the Cathay Pacific A350 planes for my trip from Hong Kong to Seoul. I have previously sat in the Premium Economy seats on the Cathay A350 plane, which I also reviewed. Now, I can pen my thoughts on the … Continue reading Flight Review: Cathay Pacific A350 Business Class HKG to ICN

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Flight Review: Emirates New First Class Suite On B777

Flight Review: Emirates New First Class Suite On B777

Emirates brand new first class suite on the Boeing 777 will launch in December and the layout will change from a 1-2-1 configuration down to 2 rows in a 1-1-1 configuration. I reviewed the current Emirates First Class Suite and have compared the Emirates Vs Etihad First Class Suites. The existing Emirates suite is very … Continue reading Flight Review: Emirates New First Class Suite On B777

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Top 5 Best Romantic and Intimate Hotels in Bali

Top 5 Best Romantic and Intimate Hotels in Bali

Bali is one of those places which just begs to be escaped to; with its’ forested volcanic mountains, achingly beautiful beaches, tropical coral reefs and a wonderful spiritual essence, this Indonesian island will seduce you at first glance. It’s the perfect place for romance, just make sure that your accommodation delivers in this regard too; … Continue reading Top 5 Best Romantic and Intimate Hotels in Bali

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Five Star Hotels For $50 On Las Vegas Strip In Million Dollar Sale

Five Star Hotels For $50 On Las Vegas Strip In Million Dollar Sale

If you are looking to try a stunning 5-star hotel on the Las Vegas Strip for $50, look no further! Hotwire has launched a Million Dollar Sale which Hotwire’s President, Neha Parikh, details in this video: In a nutshell, Hotwire is spending $1 Million to discount their rates down to $50 per room, per night, … Continue reading Five Star Hotels For $50 On Las Vegas Strip In Million Dollar Sale

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