The weather in many tropical destinations, often favored by the round the world crowd, is often hot. The closer you are to the equator, the hotter the sun will be. Stick to a destinations summer for the best beach season. Keep in mind that seasons in the northern hemisphere and southern hemisphere are opposite each other. Protection from the sun in the form of hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen is important to protect against sun burn, eye damage, and skin cancer. Sunscreen with a high SPF, higher than 30 or even 45, is recommended if you are especially prone to burning. In tropical destinations rain can last for weeks and even during dry seasons a strong bout of rain can occur, therefore waterproof and easy drying clothing is a good idea.
Food and Water
When traveling in a strange country eating strange foods and the chance to drink unfiltered water is quite common, as are certain ailments. Medicines to counter these travel illnesses are recommended such as antibiotics and diarrhea medicine. Only drink bottled water in tropical areas, as the chance for cholera and water borne diseases is still high in many tropical countries. If you cannot get bottled water or want to cut down on your plastic bottle waste try iodine tablets, purifying drops, or water filters.
In most RTW trips you will explore types of destinations that you have never experienced before. At times you will be in the midst of the jungle, surrounded by dense forests where insects, and especially mosquitoes, are everywhere. Diseases, not to mention annoying bites, result from these winged creatures and in tropical areas protection/vaccinations for malaria and yellow fever may be necessary. In places like Brazil you can’t even enter the country or get a visa without a yellow fever vaccination. To combat malaria there are several things you can do. Malaria tablets such as doxycycline or mefloquine are recommended to prevent the sickness, although you need to check which pill works in which part of the world as some mosquitoes are resistant to some medicines. The best protection against malaria though is basic protection against mosquitoes such as bug spray (best with DEET), mosquito nets, wearing long sleeves, mosquito coils, and the countless other remedies. Always consult with a doctor who specializes in travel illnesses to see what types of medicine and vaccines you should take.
While the postcard is slowly fading into memory, the internet has become the cheapest and easiest way to communicate with friends and family back home. Cyber cafes are everywhere, especially in third world countries where the local population cannot afford internet service. Rates are usually less than $1 per hour, often considerably less. Online voice services such as Skype are downloaded at many net cafes and set up with headsets for foreigners to make international calls rather cheaply. While satellite phones are nice to have, they are expensive. Call centers in most third world countries, often inside or near cyber cafes, are relatively cheap, although the connections aren’t always crystal clear.