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You may as well-igbe sen

sible now, because you’re jacking it all

in to travel the world and how sensible is that? Words: Richard Rees

ome say that preparing for a trip is the

best part. The journey is more important

than the destination. and I‘m sure if I was lying in a hospital bed ruing that last tropical cocktail (the one that gave me amoebic dysentery). I too would be looking back at those days through rose tinted sun-specs . . .

Worst case scenario. of course. But without some preparation before you embark on an adventure off the beaten track it can make your trip-of—a-lifetime just that. One of the first hurdles is that of disease. It‘s very easy to pick tip a travel guide and get no further than the ten pages devoted to sub-tropical maladies alone. You may never have heard of Japanese encephalitis. but you sure as hell don't want to find out what it is the hard way.

You‘ll be pleased to hear that most dreaded lurgies can be kept at bay with a simple course of vaccinations. Think about this at least a month before you go. as some medication is administered in stages or can take some time to act. And try to force yourself to have a dental check-up as treatment can vary from bad to non-existent around the world.

A good place to start is at the Centre for

Disease Control and Prevention. CDC‘s website is at www.cdc.gov/travel/. Here you will find out what's needed for which countries you plan to visit. But no matter what you read or see on the web. contact your GP who will provide the necessary medical preparation at a low cost. and if they don't offer the full range of treatments they will direct you to the nearest travel clinic but check out prices first. In Glasgow. the Hep B vaccine costs £12 at the Brownlee Centre. Gartnavel Hospital. but £20 from some local GPs. Prices vary but whatever the cost. don‘t

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Never heard of Japanese encephafifis? You don’t want to find out the hard way

skimp on the injections needed.

Shopping around is the key. even for flights. Trailfinders. ()l-ll 353 222-1. can offer a round ticket to lndia and south-east Asia from £610. cheaper than many places but an hour on the phone with the Yellow Pages should sort you otit. Another place to try is STA Travel 0870i 606070. Round—the-world tickets are very popular. and the routes (and prices) can vary greatly: the starting price from Trailfinders is £1200 for a ten-stop ticket. Look around for travel insurance too. as prices and cover vary.

An essential for some countries is a visa. Guidebooks will tell you what you need but contacting individual embassies first is best. For convenience. phone Action Visas 020 7388 4498 or Urgent Visas 020 7229 1262/4784 who will tell you what to get and how much they cost.

Also. wherever in the world there is a phone connection. someone has opened an internet cafe so set up an email account to taunt the losers you left behind with tales of your latest scrapes/scams/conquests.

You have your essentials visas. jabs. spare pants but there are other things worth bearing in mind for a smooth trip. There is all the travel gear you've been drooling over for months. Find the latest gear at Tiso Outdoor Centre. Couper Street. Glasgow ()l4l 55‘) 5450 and 123—125 Rose Street. lidinburgh. 0l3l 225 9—186. And of course. travelling keeps gadget freaks in ecstasy. with all the bits and pieces you’re only ever going to use on the road. Universal bathplug'.’ Inflatable neck rest'.’ L'seless mosquito coils'.’ Find them all at wwwoutdoormegastore.co.uk.

()h. and one more thing: don‘t forget to enjoy yourself. . .

Toronto is Canada's most cosmopolitan city and offers something for everybody. With over 40 theatres to choose

from, numerous art galleries and museums and some of the best shopping and culinary choices in the world. Toronto has something to suit everybody’s taste. And if you fancy getting out of the city, you can also take in the wonder of Niagara Falls which is only an hour and a half's drive away.

£20 off flights to 'l'nto

Specialist tour operator Canadian Affair offers flights to Toronto from just £259. Take advantage of our offer and get a discount of £20 per person on all flights from Glasgow to Toronto during May, June. September and October 2002.

To book, call 0141 248 6777 quoting The List Reader Offer.

Canadian Affair also offers a variety of accommodation from motor homes to five star hotels, car hire and insurance.

TERMS 8. CONDITIONS Travellers must hold a valid passport. This offer is only available to those booking flights over the phone.