Travel expert Karren E. Henderson shares tips ranging from the cost effectiveness of packing light, traveling alone and of course dispelling myths about not needing vaccinations when traveling.
By Monica Peters
Travel is fun. You can never get enough advice.
Recently rapper and philanthropist Akon unintentionally put the spotlight on travel during a recent interview proclaiming that “Black people don’t need shots to go to Africa. Only White people need shots to go to Africa.” He said that dying from malaria in Africa–“none of that stuff is true.”
While we love Akon, we must shed some light. Any
person, regardless of race, can become ill when traveling to the continent.
And, yes, malaria outbreaks in Africa are a real thing that even claims the
lives of persons that live there.
We checked in with travel expert Karren E. Henderson
for travel tips ranging from the cost effectiveness of packing light, traveling
alone and of course dispelling myths about not needing vaccinations when
SUN: In light of Akon’s recent comments about Black persons not needing vaccinations before going to Africa, briefly share with us vaccinations that are needed.
going on a safari, to South Africa [for example] and that region of the world,
it is important to remember that the Center for Disease Control and World Health
Organization recommend the following vaccinations: hepatitis A, hepatitis B,
typhoid, cholera, yellow fever, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and
rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles,
pneumonia and influenza. It is important
to plan your schedule accordingly so that your shots and vaccinations are
administered as suggested. Please note that yellow fever is a required
vaccination and you must show proof if you are traveling through a yellow fever
SUN NOTE: Vaccination recommendations and requirements vary. Visit cdc.org to obtain information on vaccines needed to travel to a particular country in Africa.
SUN: What are some common mistakes when preparing to travel?
One of the greatest mistakes is packing too much! The experienced traveler
knows that they are not going to pack more than what a carry-on bag can
hold. Dressing in layers and taking
items that can be worn 2-3 times is ideal. An important thing to remember is
that no one will be “checking out” what you are wearing. Also, if your luggage
weighs over the allotted 50 lbs., the airline will charge you $100 for an
overweight fee. If you are unable to
transfer some items from your checked luggage to your carry-on bag, you will
incur the unexpected cost. This can be
an unnecessary bite out of your budget. Also, tugging heavy luggage around
during your travels will leave you exhausted.
In your opinion, what is the most affordable getaway for a person on a budget?
my opinion, the most affordable getaway is to travel somewhere nearby to
eliminate the cost of a plane ride. If
there is a beach that is a drive away, rent a condo. You can bring food and
prepare meals in your beachfront kitchen. For an out of town getaway, all-inclusive
resorts, especially during the off season, offer packages where the price includes
all food. Many of these inexpensive options can be found for Caribbean destinations
or cruise trips. All it takes is some
research. If you have points/rewards on
your credit card, with hotels or other rewards, these can be used to put
towards funding your getaway.
What advice would you give to potential travelers who may feel awkward traveling
people travel alone today and have found it is easier to do when they travel
with a group. There are many groups to choose from and they offer varying
itineraries i.e., an education trip to Ireland with a guide, a safari, or [meetup
groups that offer trips]. People are
usually friendly on these trips and will even invite you to join them at meal
time when they see that you are alone.
You can make life-long friends when you travel alone.
- Prepaying for activities and excursions
will save you money.
- If you are traveling out of the country,
check the currency rate to see if it makes sense to exchange enough currency
before you leave, but don’t exchange at the airports as they usually have the
highest exchange rates.
- Carry an extra credit card and make sure
you contact your credit card company and inform them that you are traveling and
give the dates. This will allow you to
have some sense of security in the event of an emergency, i.e., loss of luggage
Karren E. Henderson is
a Lifestyle Consultant, Travel and Health & Wellness expert. You can visit
Karren at Karrenehenderson.com or follow her on Facebook Karren.e.henderson.33
and Instagram @karren_e_henderson