|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – March 2009
Don't suffer through a poorly planned trip: Use our tips to choose a destination and create a to-do list to begin your adventure.
Tuesdays and Wednesdays are usually the cheapest days to fly.
10 months out:
Buy plane tickets & book hotels for high-season trips
6 months out:
Start foreign language lessons
Apply for a new passport
Begin hepatitis A vaccinations (for travel to developing countries)
3 months out:
Apply for visas (check travel.state.gov/travel for visa requirements)
Renew passport (if it expires within the next six months)
6 weeks out:
Schedule all other vaccinations (cdc.gov/travel lists required and recommended shots)
Do I need travel insurance?
If you can't afford to lose the investment you've made in the trip, then yes. Here's how four popular adventure travel policies stack up, plus one option for backcountry rescue service. Compare details at insuremytrip.com or squaremouth.com. (Prices vary depending on your age and trip cost; estimates are for a 40-year-old traveler on a $5,000 trip.)
|Travelex Travel Select + Adventure Pak||$246||T, M, E, B||Covers mountaineering and other adventure-sports injuries, plus gear rental if your bags are lost; travelex-insurance.com|
|Travel Guard Adventure Travel Protection||$212||T, M, E, B||Includes hotline for travel or medical emergencies, gear shop/outfitter locations, directions to trailhead, and weather updates; travelguard.com|
|International Medical Group Patriot Extreme International||$100||M, E, B||Covers injuries from mountaineering/rock climbing (but only below 4,500 meters), kayaking, rafting, and mountain biking; imglobal.com|
|USI Travel Insurance Services Plus||$250||T, M, E, B||Doesn't cover mountain-climbing injuries; travelinsure.com|
|American Alpine Club
Global Rescue Service
|Comes w/$75 membership||N/A||Covers the first $5,000 of any rescue bill (but not in countries on the State Department's Travel Warning list); americanalpineclub.org|