Holiday Travel: 5 Golden Tips for Travelers to the 2016 Olympics December 22, 2014 By Cait Hartwyk Leave a Comment This installation of the Passport Health Holiday Travel Tips countdown plays off of the “five golden rings,” although the five rings we are going to address here are multi-colored instead of just gold. The countdown to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro still has over 18 months left on the clock, but there is a lot of preparation you should promptly get underway if you plan to travel to the largest country in South America for the Summer Games. Whether it’s preparing your documents or taking the necessary medical precautions to avoid getting sick, now is the time to start considering what you will need to do before arriving at the XXXI Olympiad. 5. Visa and Passport Could there be anything worse than planning your trip, getting all of your health needs taken care of, and buying tickets to events only to arrive at the airport to find out that you cannot even enter Brazil? Unlike other South American nations like Argentina or Peru, Brazil requires a tourist visa to enter the country from the US. The visa is fairly basic, but it does cost an additional fee, and the entire visa process can still take months to complete. Brazil has a passport restriction as well, so if your passport will be expiring within a year from when you apply for the visa, your visa application will be rejected. Additionally, the government requests proof of your outbound flight. 4. Get vaccinated before you go Brazil may not require any specific vaccinations for tourists arriving from the US to cross the country’s borders, but that does not mean you should neglect the recommended vaccinations. Hepatitis A and typhoid vaccinations are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, and getting a hepatitis B and yellow fever shot are suggested as well. The jungles of Brazil are endemic regions for malaria and dengue fever, meaning taking malaria medication and using proper mosquito-borne disease prevention strategies will be musts if you plan to visit these areas. Speaking of dengue fever, as of right now, there are a few dengue fever vaccinations that are going through clinical trials. If they are approved before the games it is possible this vaccine will be added to the list of suggested vaccinations for Brazil. 3. Be physically ready If you are going to a large event that is likely to require a lot of walking like the World Cup or the Olympics, then being physically fit can be almost as essential as having a visa and vaccinations. Though you (probably) won’t be participating in the 100 meter dash, be ready for long lines and long walks. Any event like this can be physically taxing, and making sure you are able to handle the exertion is very important. Daily walks, exercise routines, and a nutritious diet will help keep you healthy before, during, and after your long-awaited trip. 2. Stay safe while you’re there Although there were no major issues during the 2014 World Cup, Brazil can be a dangerous place depending on where you are. There were some protests during the World Cup, and be sure to avoid the impoverished areas of large cities, known as favelas. Before heading out to a locale, look for any advisories that might be posted online by the United States State Department. Travel insurance is also a good option to help out with potentially sticky situations. 1. Finish your medicine upon return If you are given malaria medications, be sure you finish your regimen once you return home, if this is what your travel health specialist has prescribed. Similarly, keeping up those healthy habits like daily walks that were developed before leaving is always a good health tip, and this practice will keep you in good shape for your next trip. It is never too early to start planning ahead! Do you plan on going to the 2016 Olympics in Brazil? How do you intend to prepare? Leave your comments below!