Let's get ready to travel!

Friday, January 23, 2015

There's so much to sort out before our journey - not only is it a long-distance one, but a long one too - we'll be staying in Pakistan for a whole month. 








As I mentioned previously, it's my first trip there, and Hubby hasn't travelled for quite a while, so we needed to work quite a few things out - what we need to sort out before the journey, what about our health, what to take with us... All in relatively short time. So it's pretty much an inexperienced traveller's guide and I'm only writing about what's relevant to me.


  • VISAS
Only Hubby can freely go to Pakistan, but Adam and I need visas to enter the country.

The visa applications need to be submitted in Gerry's Offshore Inc. UK office (with the exception of Glasgow at the moment). They are a company appointed by the High Commission for Pakistan to deal with visa applications, and our nearest one is located in Stratford.

Apart from the filled visa forms and two passport-sized photos each, we needed to support the applications with some documents:

    • for Adam (under 18 Dual National Visa):
      • detailed birth certificate (showing both parents' names) + its copy
      • passport + its copy
      • parents' letter of consent signed by both - we used an online-found template to say that we both agree for Adam to obtain a visa to visit Pakistan
      • parent's Pakistani passport or NICOP/CNIC + its copy
    • for me (Spouse Visa):
      • passport + its copy
      • proof of address
      • marriage certificate + its copy
      • spouse's Pakistani passport + its copy

With both of us having a day off, we left home early on a Saturday morning (cheap train tickets ;)), hoping we can make it within the opening hours. To our surprise, when we arrived shortly after opening time, there was only one person being served and no-one else waiting. Staff were really helpful, and I think we got everything sorted within about half an hour.

Visa fees: £68 for me, as EU national spouse, and £59 for Adam (normally it's £140 for a British citizen, but we were eligible for a discount because Hubby holds Pakistani passport).

Processing time: in our case about 5 working days. For extra £10 we had our passports posted back to us, so we didn't have to make another trip to London.

For more information visit http://visadropbox.com/pakistan/ , where you'll find all the necessary information: visa form, fees information and documents checklists relevant to your circumstances. 

It is worth mentioning that the helpline is very helpful - Hubby emailed them with a few questions (including fee for a spouse visa, which isn't mentioned on the website) and they responded very quickly with all the information we needed.


  • TRAVEL HEALTH
The climate of Pakistan is obviously completely different from the UK. We don't want to take any chances, so we visited the Travel Health advisor in our surgery. 

We were advised on the required immunisations for each of us. Usually advised vaccines are: Diphtheria, Hepatitis A, Polio, Tetanus and Typhoid. As for polio, we are required to carry a proof confirming that we had the vaccination. 


Anyway, we were all in for some jabs:
    • Adam was only getting one - Hep A. He is up to date with the rest of his immunisations, and too small for the Typhoid vaccine which is not available for under-2s.
    • I got two - Hep A and Typhoid, as I've had the rest during pregnancy (I had recommended whooping cough vaccination, given as 4-in-1 vaccine also protecting against polio, diphtheria and tetanus)
    • Hubby was the unlucky one, getting the whole package ;)

As I mentioned above, Adam is too young to receive a typhoid vaccination, so we need to be extra careful. The usual prevention is focused on being careful with the food and drink, as well as good personal hygiene. We already know we need to be careful with drinking water, so the plan is to only have bottled water and avoid ice. We will also be cautious about the food, especially when it comes to street food. And we need to supervise Adam even more, with his passion for touching everything and putting all sort of stuff in his mouth.


We were also advised to buy antimalarial tablets. Although the risk is highest in the rural areas, between July and December, it's always better to be prepared. We're making sure we'll be using insect repellents, cover up with clothing, and we're looking to get a mosquito net to sleep under.


Oh yeah, there's also the travel insurance, but we're still browsing for the best package.



So this is the "boring" stuff to do before travelling. Once we get a bit more organised, I'll try to write  a bit about our packing ;)


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24 comments

  1. It's not cheap getting passports to visit another country is it! once you are there all these hurdles will melt away :)

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  2. This might be all the coring stuff, but how wonderful to have an exciting adventure to be going on.

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  3. It's great to read all this , especially for anyone who is thinking of taking this trip. And yes I definitely think it's better to be safe than sorry with the malaria tablets!

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  4. The preparations before travel are quite intensive. On the positive note - you will have a super holiday where you can have the time of your life.

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  5. What a lot to plan! I hope the trip is fabulous.

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  6. Wow so much to think about! I bet you will be glad to finally start traveling!

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  7. ooh what an exciting trip though. I would love to travel more - maybe when my three are older.

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  8. There's certainly a lot of planning to do for a trip like this but it sounds like you're being really organised. Definitely take out some good travel insurance too, just in case!

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  9. What a lot to do, and expensive too. Very exciting though! :)

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  10. Lots to do, but then it all adds to the excitement I guess!

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  11. Wow, I am impressed you manage to do all of this so quickly and it sounded stress-free x

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    1. I was actually amazed how quick we managed to get that sorted! There's still packing left though - probably the hardest bit ;)

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  12. It's always so stressful getting organised for going away isn't it - I am sure it will be worth all the effort when you get there!

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  13. Oh gosh! These things seem so expensive and I'm always amazed at how much there is to sort before travelling.

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  14. Sounds like a fantastic trip hope you have a fab time

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  15. I'm so happy for you. I am sure it's going to be some experience, and you are going to love it, in sha Allah. Have fun, don't stress the little stuff! :) I am looking forward to your posts from the trip when you get back.

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  16. I need to renew our passports this year, boo! On top of the thousands that holidays cost travelling sure is pricey... But I love it! We gave four breaks booked already xx

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    1. Wow, that's exciting! Yeah, going away as a family can get so expensive, I guess we won't be planning anything for a while now ;) I might only take the little one to my parents in Poland, at least that won't cost us a fortune :)

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  17. A handy post for those that are travelling. Wishing you a safe journey and a fabulous trip :) xxx

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  18. I hope you have a great time and I hope everything goes off with a problem x

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  19. wow so many different things to organise and consider before you go.

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  20. Great information! I would love to be able to visit Pakistan, among other countries, one day!

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  21. This is such a helpful and informative post for anyone about to do the very same or similar. Great for you that hubby got that discount and even better that you got served so quickly. I bet that took a whole weight off your shoulders xxx

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