Preparing to Travel

At this point in our planning process, we are thinking about preparing ourselves for travel. Here are some ideas on what you can do now. Don’t forget to pick up some Spanish as mentioned in earlier posts!


Buy the ticket, take the ride. – Hunter S. Thompson

Be prepared. – Boy Scouts’ Motto


Visit the travel clinic 4-6 weeks before takeoff for recommended vaccinations and medications. Be sure you are current on Hepatitis and Tetanus shots. You may be advised to take an anti-malaria treatment and more. We typically do take the malaria vaccine. Ask about the options.

We require Travel Insurance for each traveler. Research purchase travel insurance (interruption, medical or emergency may be applicable). I’ve been using (offers more than 100 plans from 18 insurance providers, but also publishes useful trips about travel safety) each year.  I get the “Seven Corners Liaison Travel Economy” (under $20) which covers me if I get sick there and need medical help or even emergency medical evacuation. I don’t purchase trip cancellation.

We started requiring this when we leanred about someone on another mission trip who broke a toe hiking in flip flops (don’t hike in flip flops).  It got infected and inflamed. Because the traveler had this insurance, she and a friend were evacuated to Miami for medical treatment.


Reflect on what you would like from the week. What gifts to you have to bring? How will you make the trip more enjoyable for the girls and the other travelers? Are you open to try new activities, new food, new language, new culture?


Make sure you have your passport and it is current. E-mail to your trip leader emergency contact information.


Read fiction or non-fiction about the Dominican Republic, the Caribbean. Some suggestions include In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez (also a movie on DVD with Salma Hayek), Travel books with historical summaries, Sugar (HBO movie available on Netflix. It’s more about DR baseball than the girls, but it’s all related.) and Caribbean by James Michener (book on CD available at Hennepin County libraries).

Take a look at a map of the country.

Do a news search on the web about the Dominican Republic to find out recent events/hot topics.

Learn some Spanish, at least the “Must Know Phrases” later in this booklet. Subscribe to Spanish Word of the Day at, Listen to “Coffee Break Spanish’ on your computer or iPod through iTunes or at, go to a Spanish Langauge Mass at Sagrado Corazon in Minneapolis or Assumption in Richfield, check out language books and audio programs at the library. Attend community ed classes.

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