Welcome to Albania !

- Passport – Visa
You must have all visas (and vaccination) certificates that are necessary to enter or pass through any countries involved in the journey or tour. Visa requirements are listed in individual Trip Notes, but please note that this information is subject to change. Lone parents travelling with children Single parents or other adults travelling alone with children should be aware that some countries require documentary evidence of parental responsibility before allowing lone parents to enter the country or, in some cases, before permitting the children to leave the country. For further information on exactly what will be required at immigration please contact the consulate of your destination country.

- Sun & heat
Always remember to pack sun-cream. Too much sun can give you sunburn and possibly lead to sunstroke, which can ruin your holiday and have negative effects on your health. A good lip salve is also advisable and dark sunglasses with high UV protect

- Camera
To what extent are you into photography? And how much time and effort do you want to spend on it? Everyone is going to want a record of their trip and to capture some of the amazing things they see/do, but unless you are a photography hobbyist it is not worth carrying around something expensive, bulky, fragile and heavy. Point and shoot (compact cameras, micro cameras or phone cameras) aren't perfect for amazing photos but with a good eye for composition you can take great pictures, especially at the high-end of quality/price. They are perfect to carry around carefree, light, less expensive, with reasonable zoom and excellent for a record of people and places. Go for decent size memory card in your camera/phone, although they can be bought abroad, there is nothing worse than being without space. The same goes for a spare or external battery. If you're taking a SLR make sure you have a UV filter, air (puff) cleaning brush and cleaning rag. A can of air is also useful, as equipment can get pretty dusty.

- LED Torch/flashlight
There is really no reason to take a large flashlight away with you, a small LED (key-ring sized) light should do the job - Backpack With about 30-10% spare space in (room to manoeuvre and to collect more stuff) - go for between (35 or 40 litres is perfect, that's 2,135-2,500 cubic inches). Sizes vary by manufacturer; one 30lt might look as big as another 40lt. Recommended is a pack that is lightish weight, with (important) comfortable hip and back straps, a zip front opening. Look for zips that can easily be secured with a small padlock (that is loops in the zip where the lock can fit through.

- Mosquito repellent
Most travellers don't like DEET much (among other things, it can irritate your skin and ruin clothes) - some natural repellents (e.g. Citronella) seem to be just as good. So is generally covering up in the evening. There are many brands of good repellents on the market and repellent is normally available in major towns abroad or anywhere with tourists and a large mozzie population. Repellent in pump spray or aerosol form is handy since it is so much more easily applied to feet, ankles and other areas (most mosquitoes - at least the nasty ones - are ground feeders).

- Sturdy boots or shoes
That fit you well. Watch out for hot spots that may cause blisters, and always break your footwear in with several short hikes before tackling a long hike. - Electricity and Plug types 2 Pin Round We recommend visiting http://electricaloutlet.org/. You can find out the voltage and plug type for most countries around the world. Helth/ first aid - Health first

- First aid and medicines
Taking your own first aid kit is a must. Remember to pack prescriptions in your hand luggage and not your checked-in luggage.
Medical kit: make your own up and keep it small, just what you need to get through any bad times/emergencies until you next get to a pharmacy. So while away or before you head off, pick up only a couple of doses/treatments of the following suggestions: Lip salve with sun protection, cold/flu pills (with decongestant), something for a sore throat, plasters (band aids), condoms, antiseptic/antibiotic cream, diarrhoea blocker, Pepto-Bismol or similar (Bismuth: upset stomach and diarrhoea reliever, pill form easier to carry), alcohol based hand-rub (or bar of soap in box), Hydrocortisone cream (2%) or something else to treat insect bites, oral rehydration salts (ORT), needle (maybe part of a mini-sewing kit) for blisters, perhaps a forehead digital thermometer and of course plenty of pain killers. If you feel you'll need them, then to the above list you can add: anti-fungal cream, laxative, hang-over remedy, travel/motion sickness pills, (on longer trips) mouth ulcer (aka canker sores) treatment (especially if taking Chloroquine malaria medication), an antidopaminergic [suppresses vomiting/nausea] such as (Domperidone), anti-parasitic (Tinidazole for Guardia or amoebic dysentery), anti-histamine pills, and syringes and needles (but don't go mad and only if really heading off the beaten track - generally these are not something you really need to carry around with you). In practice you can and will be able to buy and replenish supplies of any common medication you need while travelling. All things medical are available cheaply and plentifully on the road. There is very little point in weighing yourself down with a huge first aid kit. For example Salbutamol/Ventalin inhalers are available in major Asian cities at a quarter of European prices. The same goes with anti-malarial's in Bangkok, Nairobi, Dares Salaam and similar. Our guides will have as well a first aid kit.

- Local food and water
Your tour leader will be the best person to advise you, but here’s a reminder of some of the less common sources of germs: • Inadequately washed fruit or salad • Undercooked meat and vegetables
• Unpasteurised milk
• Brushing your teeth with tap water in risky areas
• Ice cubes
• Drinking straight out of a can

- Traveller’s diarrhoea
Often caused by the change of diet and climate, lasts around 48 hours and invariably strikes when least expected.
Treat water with the utmost care:
– When brushing your teeth, for instance or swimming
– And take care with your own personal hygiene, washing hands frequently. Antibacterial hand wash gel is recommended. If you do get an upset stomach, drink plenty of (bottled) water to avoid dehydration and take some electrolyte solution (e.g Dioralyte) to restore the salts lost by your body. If you have to travel, anti-diarrhoea tablets (e.g. Imodium) may be helpful. Be aware that an upset stomach may affect your body’s ability to absorb any medication you are taking. It’s always advisable to let your tour leader know if you are feeling unwell.

- Emergencies
Advise your friends and relatives to contact Explore in an emergency and we shall endeavour to get a message passed through to you as quickly as possible. Should anything happen to you while you are on tour, you can be sure that our emergency procedures and communications channels will kick in rapidly. Leave the worrying to us; you just enjoy your holiday!
1. High altitudes
Some of our tours take place at a high altitude, reaching elevations of 2500 metres or more. We allow time for acclimatisation and usually the body acclimatises well to spending extended periods of time above this altitude, however it is difficult to predict who is at risk from altitude sickness. Effects of altitude on the human body begin to appear at 1500 meters above sea level, and can lead to AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) also known as altitude sickness. In more serious cases AMS can progress to High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) or High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE). Both HAPE and HACE are potentially fatal. It is very important therefore that all travellers are aware of, and able to recognise, signs and symptoms of altitude on their body. Common mild symptoms include headache, fatigue, nausea, stomach illness, dizziness, sleep disturbance and shortness of breath. More serious symptoms include fever, dry cough, vomiting, bluish color on lips and fingers, difficulty breathing even when resting, lack of balance, loss of consciousness. For those travelling with pre-existing medical conditions, we advise customers seek advice of their doctor regarding travelling in high altitude, especially travellers with heart or lung conditions, anaemia, asthma, high blood pressure or on the pill.

2. Your fitness and ability to participate
Some of I Visit Albania adventures require some level of active participation. It is in the interests of all members of the group that everyone should be capable of fully participating in the activities of their chosen tour. With this in mind, travellers should be aware, if it is felt that any customer is not able to participate in a tour without endangering the health or safety of themselves or any other person (including other group members), or that the presence of the customer on the tour means we will be unable to provide the tour in whole or part to other members of the group as advertised and contracted, the Tour Leader at any stage has the right to require them to leave the tour. To ensure that this is never necessary, please make sure that you have fully understood the level of fitness and ability required to complete the tour on which you are booking. Tour Trip Notes are quite specific about the level of fitness and ability required on any given tour. It is your responsibility to let us know if you have any concerns related to this subject. If you have any medical condition or disability that may affect your tour arrangements in any way, you must provide us with full details at the time of booking. In certain circumstances, usually on more strenuous tours, we may require you to provide proof of medical fitness before travelling.

More info: If you want to check the rules Limited quantities of some food products including fish, eggs and honey, may be allowed from certain countries. You can either check www.direct.gov.uk/dontbringmeback Most Governments provide websites dedicated to providing their citizens with the most up-to-date travel information. The websites below publish online travel reports containing the most recent news, as well as background information on every country. • Canadian Consular Affairs Bureau
• The U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs
• UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office (Travel Advice)
• Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
• New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Free time Every country has its own issues with crime, and when on holiday we tend to be more vulnerable – partly due to being in a more relaxed frame of mind. It is therefore important that you are extra vigilant in areas where thieves may operate.
• Take care not to flaunt your wealth – such as jewellery, cameras, phones and computers • If you are carrying a bag, make sure its securely fastened to you and not loosely slung over your shoulder
• Unless you are required to do so, never carry your passport and flight tickets with you on the streets, and only take as much money as you need. Your money and valuables will be much more secure in the hotel safety box. If you can, scan your important documents (such as passports) and store them on your webmail account.
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