Planning and Packing: Preparation or Paranoia?

One of the first things about traveling is preparation, even if its just an overnight stay at mom's house. In the case of Vietnam, we require both a visa for entry and vaccinations at our travel clinic. We also needed to pick up malaria prophylaxis for our stay. Our doctors' also gave us antibiotics for traveller's diarrhea and strong admonishments about drinking the tap water or even brushing our teeth with it. Also being careful to avoid uncooked or undercooked meats and produce. In order to insure a continuous supply of clean water without having to rely on bottled water, we purchased a Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter, we'll see how well it holds up during our explorations. In order to combat petty crime we obtained a Pacsafe Stashsafe 100 Anti-Theft Hip Pack, which is basically a steel cable reinforced fanny pack with a lock.

Aside from these preparations we also bought sundry over-the-counter medical supplies such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, diphenhydramine oral and topical, loratadine, hydrocortisone topical and suppository, loperamide, docusate, neosporin topical, and bandages. Hopefully we won't need any of it, but it's always better to be prepared.

Of course all these supplies need to be packed in with two weeks of clothing. The trick being packing in the middle winter for a tropical climate in the middle of summer.

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