Travel Prep – Madagascar

I am trying my hardest to be super prepared for our Madagascar journey in November.  I’m totally in charge of the shopping for outfits, and have already spent some non budgeted $$$$ on my new linens for the trip (it helps that its the end of summer so I’m hitting up some crazy sales on my Madagascar climate friendly outfits).

Here are some things that I am still working on and haven’t quite checked off my list…

Travel Insurance – I know I need it, but I just hate spending that much money on it.  I mean, really, I am trying to be so optimistic about this trip that I’m imagining it will be a waste in the end.  But I know we need it, so we will be purchasing this ASAP.  Like tomorrow.

Adding my camera to my homeowners insurance (if not covered on travel insurance)  At first I planned not to bring an older less expensive SLR instead of my good camera, thinking that I didn’t want to worry about it. But the more I thought about it, it is crazy not to.  I’m a photographer, and when else would I get the chance to shoot one of the most unique places in the whole world?  I’m bringing the damn camera.   I just need it to be insured.

Passports – We both have passports which is great, but sadly both our passports expire about six months and three days after our scheduled return from the trip.  What is so sad is that Madagascar requires that your passport be valid for at least 6-months after your scheduled return home.  What is really sad is that our travel agent said its nothing to mess with and since ours are so close to six months, it might be something that could burn us later on.  So although we thought we were golden with our passports, they need to be renewed.

Vaccines – This is probably the least glamorous of vacation prep.  Especially because of the list of “suggested” vaccines we should get for Madagascar. This list prompted my regular doctor to send me to our local Health Department since its so long.  Here is what is suggested for travel to Madagascar:

  • Routine shots: measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT) vaccine, poliovirus vaccine, etc.
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis B
  • Typhoid
  • Rabies
  • Malaria (this is pill prep, not a shot) – I think I’m going to request Malarone based on the lack of side effects, and the fact that Chloroquine is not effective in Madagascar.
  • Yellow Fever – I haven’t decided if I need this one or not because of this: “Although yellow fever is not a disease risk in Madagascar, the government requires travelers arriving from countries with risk of yellow fever virus transmission to present proof of yellow fever vaccination. If you will be traveling to one of these countries with a risk of yellow fever virus transmission before arriving in Madagascar, this requirement must be taken into consideration.” – we have a short layover in South Africa, so I need to see if that counts.  Let’s hope it doesn’t.
In addition to all of these vaccines, we also need to take precautions on getting bacterial stomach issues with water in Madagascar.  Our doctor prescribed us Ciproflaxin for the trip in case either one of us gets sick while we are there.  But we are hoping we can just avoid the water and get bottled, stay away from milk, stay away from non peeling fruit, and stay away from salads.  (This makes me think of Charolotte in the first SATC movie, which gives me a chuckle, but also makes me slightly concerned).

Packing list –
we are still updating the ever-changing packing list for this trip, so this is probably going to be a standing list until the day we depart, and even still, we will forget something.
  • Soft suitcases that will be easy to travel with on the oober small plane we will fly from Antananarivo to Anjajavy.
Sky Mall Luggage

I saw this one on my last flight in Skymall. I never thought I would actually buy something from there, but hey, seems like a good price. Although I’m sure I will end up buying something like it from Marshalls or TJs for like $5.00.


Or I could go with the way more fun silver LeSportsac.

  • Water shoes for ocean swimming since the beaches can be a bit rough in certain spots.  Luckily I can check this off my list since I purchased these,  I think they are cute (well cute for water shoes) and they were eco friendly and super comfy:
Jambu Women's JBU404 -Water-Ready Flat

Jambu Women’s JBU404 -Water-Ready Flat

  •  Hiking Boots – I have my eye set on these:


  • Long Sleeve/long pants that are light weight for evening time to keep mosquitoes away – aka linen.  Now I just wish I could afford/justify this & this.  But as I said earlier, I am finding plenty of summer linen stuff on sale at a ton of places, so really this is the fun part.  I am trying to stay away from purchasing too many summer outfits for the trip since I already own a ton.  I have to save some money for the trip, right?
  • Good polarized sunglasses – Ive always bought cheap fun stupid sunglasses my whole life, but I decided for this trip that I needed sunglasses that I could actually see in the sun with.  I got these and couldn’t be happier.
  • Some sort of silk money holder thing – can these be worn through security lines and customs?  If, not what’s the point?
This is my list for now, but of course it will keep expanding.  But as I said, I want to be prepared to get the most out of this trip.And oh yeah, our goal was to pack for two weeks in just carry-on’s.  Are we crazy?